Going off to camp for the first time is a big step. Your growing child needs love and attention to help build confidence to continue to try and succeed at new things. From learning how to read and preparing for grade school to being able to ride their first two-wheel bike, it’s the positivity from mom and dad that keep kids striving for more. Sometimes kids transition with ease to the next stage in development, and other times they may experience a few bumps in the road, prolonging transition. One of those areas where a child might need an extra boost of confidence is when they are experiencing an issue with wetting the bed at night – especially if they’re headed off for camp.
Though many children stay dry at night by age five, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that bedwetting remains an issue in about 15% of children age four and up. Parents experiencing this issue with their child may think of bedwetting as an occasional occurrence or accident, instead of something their child cannot control. It’s important to understand that bedwetting is not the child’s fault and will likely resolve in time. Keeping a positive attitude and providing proper support from family is very important to the child during this time. Children may feel embarrassed and down on themselves, especially during the ages when they are trying new things and looking to grow their confidence.
Parents should be patient while dealing with their child’s bedwetting. It’s important to keep the conversations positive and avoid displaying any frustration. If a child is afraid to make their parent mad, it can actually worsen a bedwetting problem.
Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg is a nationally renowned parenting expert, board-certified pediatrician, and has practiced pediatric and adolescent medicine for more than 15 years. She is also a mother of three. She offers some tips and advice for parents dealing with bedwetting.
Tip 1: Set the scene for success
When parents set the scene for their child to ease into a good night’s sleep, it can help both parent and child get a better night’s sleep. Try to provide support and encouragement to your child as he or she gets ready for bed, incorporating fun ideas such as story time and a trip to the bathroom as part of the routine. A new bedwetting choice such as GoodNites Bed Mats offers nighttime protection for your child, while helping to boost their confidence by getting them involved in their nighttime protection routine in three simple steps. Simply help the child place the mat on top of their fitted sheet, peel the adhesive strips off the corners and smooth down to help the child feel empowered and protected.
Tip 2: Deal with setbacks positively
Bedwetting setbacks are to be expected. If your child wants to talk about it, help keep confidence up by reassuring him or her that this is something he or she can’t control. Remain an optimist and emphasize to your child how well they have been doing on other things, such as helping to clean their room or helping set the table for dinner, rather than dwell on the accident.
Tip 3: Stress and anxiety may increase bedwetting
Stress and anxiety may result in bedwetting. If a stressful situation comes up in your child’s life, such as moving to a new town or the first day at school, help keep your child calm by reminding them how special and proud of them you are for everything they do. This will help to keep their attitude up and make sure they feel confident!
Tip 4: Limit liquids, but don’t eliminate
It’s easy for parents to restrict liquids after dinner in order to help their child avoid a full bladder at bedtime, but this can also cause dehydration if fluids are limited for a long period of time. Instead of limiting fluids completely, offer ice chips so your child stays hydrated, but doesn’t overwhelm his or her bladder.
Even for older children, bedwetting will cease in time. Be patient, positive and supportive, and you and your child will make progress you can both be proud of.