August 14, 2018

Let’s Talk About Bedwetting! The Ultimate Guide to Bedwetting and Helping Your Kids Stay Dry and Worry Free + Conversation Starters with Your Kids

This post is sponsored by GoodNites® Nighttime Underwear.

Admit it, parents love to talk about potty training!  What method are you going to use? When are you going to start?  How long did it take? At what age are they potty trained?

The thing is…there’s a HUGE misconception that potty training only happens when a child is dry all day and all night.

But that is NOT correct.  Potty training focuses on the process of training your child to control bladder and bowel movements and to use the toilet.  Potty training is complete when a child can consistently control their bladder and bowel movements to stay dry all day long.  

Note that potty training SOLELY focuses on being able to control these movements during the daytime.

Nighttime dryness is usually more complicated as it requires the physical maturation of the bladder along with associated nerve pathways from the bladder to the brain.  This must all develop plus a trigger for the child to get them up to go pee. This is a very intricate process that often happens in children later than the ability to potty training during the day.

Genetics also have a lot to do with this process.  If you or your husband, or an older sibling wet the bed at night until a later age, the chance is higher that this process will repeat itself.

If you are worried, always discuss your concerns with your child’s pediatrician. In some cases, there may be physical reasons for nighttime bedwetting.

But more often than not, your child’s body just has not developed the necessary skills to stay dry at night.  This is normal. This is okay. This is not embarrassing. This is not a problem. You are not a bad parent. Yes, they will still get into college and no, they won’t be wearing anything at night in college, I promise!

The issue is really a NON-issue, I assure you.  Why stress something you cannot control? GoodNites is a nighttime underwear and resource to help parents remain stress-free, be better equipped to navigate bedwetting and feel empowered to have conversations with their children.  

Bedwetting Conversation Starters with Your Kids

Dr. Heather Wittenberg is a child development expert and GoodNites partner. She walked me through how to approach conversations with Harper and Grayson, each in their own way. She came up with a GoodNites Guide on talking to siblings about nighttime wetting with tips and talking points for me based on their ages, experiences and feelings.

Bedwetting is personal and, in my experience, very few parents and kids talk about.  But, I always believe that it’s important to talk to my kids about everything going on in their lives.  I explain things, often before they happen, so they can adjust to changes and transitions in life with ease.

I have two kids, ages 4 and almost 7 who both wear GoodNites.  My conversations with them are different based on their ages, their awareness, personal questions and feeling a need to compete with their sibling. Your experiences may be different too, so be sure to check out Dr. Heather’s other guides on GoodNites.com with more articles and tips on navigating these convos with your kids.  

Conversation with Harper, My Four Year Old, About Bedwetting

Dr. Heather encouraged me to focus on introducing GoodNites to Harper as we discussed wetting the bed together. I knew she would immediately love GoodNites (she loves anything with pretty colors and fun characters on them!). She also loves trying new things, especially when they make her feel older like her big brother.

In my conversation with her, I avoided complicated words like bedwetting, as it is normal at her age to go pee while she is sleeping.  I don’t want her to develop any anxiety or issues around bedwetting or wearing GoodNites. I treat it exactly as it is, something fun for her to add to her pre-bedtime routine.

Lastly, I made sure to include her in the process of opening the GoodNites, and deciding where to put them in her room. She even plans to restock them on her own. This gave her a sense of ownership, which is very important for a four year old who wants to do everything on her own.

Bedwetting Conversation with My Almost 7-Year Old Son

At almost 7 years old, Grayson is more socially aware than his little sister about what his friends are doing and how things may appear to others.  However, he is very unbothered about wearing GoodNites for bedwetting. My husband and I have never made bedwetting a big deal or seem like a problem. Whenever he has an accident, instead, we often joke he is just a “mega” deep sleeper – because to Grayson, everything is “mega” at the moment.

The only hurdle in talking to him is to make sure he doesn’t compare himself to Harper, who wakes up dry more frequently. When talking to Dr. Heather about approaching conversations with siblings, I learned the top priority is to have these conversations separately and encourage compassion, especially from the older sibling.

So, when I talked to Grayson, I had the conversation away from his sister. I explained to him that everyone is different – Grayson has brown hair and Harper has blonde hair. I told him that sometimes he learns to do things first, and sometimes she does. Based on my conversation with Dr. Heather, my ultimate goal was to remove the emphasis on there being any “problems” or decrease comparison between them. Instead, I explained that they are different and kids do things at different times, so he shouldn’t be jealous or feel differently around his sister.

Now It’s Your Turn

You can visit GoodNites.com for more GoodNites Guides on how to talk to your child about bedwetting, all based on Dr. Heather’s expert advice. There’s also tons of other articles with different tips and resources on nighttime wetting to keep kids dry and worry-free.

I’d love for you all to share your tips and offer other parents support by using #GoodNites to join the conversation!

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