6 Tips Not To Forget As Parents When Dealing With Bedwetting.
I am a mother of three and my first daughter is nine. My daughter hit all her milestones just as a normal child. I was very proud of myself for having dry nights by the time she was three. I am Tanzanian and the common method we usually use to help a toddler out of nighttime daipers is to monitor their water intake from evening time and waking them up for a trip to the bathroom a few hours after bedtime. It may not be the best approach but it worked very well for us. After a week or so, we had dry nights.
Fast forward 4 years later, all the progress went out the window and my daughter began wetting the bed. We have no idea what triggered this situation as it happened so spontaneously overnight. We tried to use the same method again, but it did not work. At first we took it lightly, she just had a minor setback and since we successfully helped her before, we could just do it again. We were wrong. Six months down the line, that is when it hit us that it was not going to be as easy as the first time.
After a year of my daughter consistently wetting the bed I was in shambles. I had gone though an array of emotions. I had invested my everything to help my daughter and absolutely nothing had worked. I was frustrated; I was sad; I was angry; I was confused and I was scared for my daughter. Coming from Tanzania, bedwetting is not something you go to the hospital for. People believe in other means. But I chose to go. And was heartbroken when all tests came back negative. I was glad that nothing was wrong healthwise but that also meant we were back to square one. What was the problem?
I did some research online here and there, and all solutions would work for a while, maybe a week or two and then it all came back again. I used to look at her face and just cry. My daughter would not know sleepovers? My daughter would not go on school field trips? My daughter could not stay at her nana’s house over the weekend? It was hard. As much as I would like this post to be about effective ways to curb bedwetting, I do not have any honestly. Instead here are just a few tips that I had to learn in order to cope with the situation.
1. Patience, patience, patience
Patience is key. There is no given timeline or guarantee that your child will stop wetting the bed at a certain age. Sometimes it is a slow process. Be patient and allow your child to adapt at their own pace. It will happen eventually.
2. Be understanding and kind
As frustrating as it might get, harsh words will not solve the problem. Nor will punishing the child change anything. It is out of their control. No child enjoys wetting the bed and it is our place as parents to understand this and help them. Instead of being upset all the time, teach them to deal with the situation. If it is doing their laundry in the morning or reminding them to go to the bathroom before bed. Always be kind to your child.
3. Do not act on every piece of advice
After some time I felt I was at wits’ end and natuarally I started seeking advice from other people. From family, to friends to even work colleagues. I was desperate. But I came to learn not to act on advice given from just every Tom, Dick and Harry. It was better to do my own research and then to choose a method that may work best for my daughter. From my experience, either people just did not undersand or know what they were talking about and some were very discouraging.
4. Words of encouragement
If you are not going to be there for your child and encourage them, then who will? As a parent you need to let your child know that what they are experiencing happens to quite a number of children. Encourage them to keep their head up and not to let their problem affect their happy-go-lucky attitude and personality.
5. Every child is different
Do not compare your child to other children. That will just give you a headache. Every child is different and every child hits their milestones at their own time. Realise that your child is unique and try to pay attention to them especially. Develop a routine that suits your child best.
6. There is always a solution
It might be temporary or it might be permanent. It can be easy or it can be a hard one but there is always something you can do. In my case, I chose to wake up twice everynight for the past 2 years to take my daughter to the bathroom. Sometimes tiredness gets the best of me and we have an accident but at least we had some dry nights. Others may opt for medication while others may opt for bedwetting alarms. As a parent, do not give up, there is always a solution.
Today marks Night 24 of being Dry for us and I am over the moon. I am grateful and hopeful that she has finally grown out of bedwetting. I honestly do not know how it happened. She just woke up one day screaming “I didn’t wet the bed!” We cheered, we encouraged her as usual and up to today, she has not wet the bed. I wish I knew what epiphany she had so I can share with other parents but we do not want to even revisit that topic.
Well, that is all I wanted to share today. Thinking till next time . . .