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Our toddler is bedwetting a lot, and we are unsure how to deal with things. We haven't told her off for it, but we're not sure what we should be doing. Would telling her off just make things worse? If so, should we just wait for her to grow out of it?

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4 Answers

The physical development needed to avoid bedwetting doesn't come in as quickly as that needed to stay dry during the day. It's quite normal for a child to wet at night long after being toilet trained. The Mayo Clinic says bedwetting as late as 7 years old isn't cause for concern..

Reprimanding a child for something she can't physically control yet isn't constructive. My advice is to give it time, and use pull-ups or similar at night to minimize messes. If your child isn't stressed out about it, she'll probably grow out of it in time without any problems.

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While I'm sure opinions on this will vary, our kids' pediatrician suggested that pull-ups will simply make it take longer for a child to learn to control his or her bladder, since it makes it easier to sleep through nighttime wetting. That said, it certainly makes it easier on the parents, so make your choice accordingly. –  Bill Clark Jun 2 '11 at 18:41
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When I had the problem, and I wanted to fix it myself I tried all sorts of things but the one thing I had the most success with was not drinking any liquids at least one hour before bedtime. I also made sure I went to the bathroom before I went to bed, at least once, just to make sure there was nothing left inside. My goal was to try and avoid the situation from happening, although at the time I probably was doing this due to the divorce my parents were going through, but I never understood why, I just hated waking up in a wet bed.

There might be some stress in the child's life, could be developmental as HedgeMage says, or something else. With toddlers it is hard to tell.

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I would suspect illness or stress if a child who had been making it through the night dry for some time suddenly started wetting the bed, but the OP never indicated that his/her child had mastered that in the first place, so it's probably developmental. –  HedgeMage May 29 '11 at 4:32
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The reason children bed wet is due to the fact that their bladders are not large enough to hold urine for 12 whole hours, so I would suggest that you give as little liquids to your child after dinner, or even better, during dinner.

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Aside from limiting liquid consumption to at least an hour before bedtime and using the toilet immediately before going to bed, one thing you may consider trying is:

  • Wake your child up one hour after she goes to bed to let her go to the bathroom (and then back to bed)
  • Wake your child up one hour before she usually gets up to go to the bathroom (and then back to bed)
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I have been fairly successful with this approach. I have set the alarm to wake up at various intervals. From then on it is mostly mechanical, pick up toddler, carry him to bathroom, and let him do his pee-pee –  abhi Mar 21 at 15:12
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