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I often give thanks for the fact I’m a parent in the 21st Century. I dread to think what I, a worrier of massive proportions, would have done without the aid of a good old Google or Facebook community.
Seriously, the internet is one of the cornerstones of my main parenting strategy. By my reckoning, parenting is 80% instinct, 20% Google. Because you’re lying if you haven’t woken up in the middle of the night and asked the internet “Why does my baby feed once an hour?”, “How do I know if my baby is too hot?”, “Are my nipples going to fall off?” or “Why doesn’t my baby like me?”.
Yep, I for one would go mad without said supportive mother-based Facebook groups (The Motherload is my all-time favourite: highly recommended if you’ve ever felt like you’re going mad at your kids/your partner/your family), and considering my kids are now 5 and 7 I spend an inordinate time on these places making sure I’m not scarring my children for life by refusing their demands for Frosties and on-tap Haribo (spoiler: I’m not).
But one thing that makes me sad on these groups are the things that some mothers find too embarrassing to discuss with their real-life friends, one of the most important of these being bedwetting. Weekly I’ll see someone say, “I don’t know who to ask about this…” followed by a worry that a slightly older child is still wetting the bed.
The fact is that children can’t be trained not to wet the bed and it’s not an unusual issue: it affects more than 900,000 children and young people in the UK at any one time.
Though an uncomfortable topic for some it’s something I try and encourage open discussion about in my house.
We have long used DryNites® pyjama pants at night time, age-appropriate pants with five layers for maximum absorbency, and to help parents with the common worries that circulate from older children bedwetting I wanted to share some common myths to bust:
Myth 1 – ‘If your child is properly toilet trained, they shouldn’t be wetting the bed’.
Staying dry at night is a separate stage of your child’s development, and is very different from urine control during the day. In most cases, it’s just a matter of time and nothing to worry about. You shouldn’t blame yourself or think that you didn’t go through the toilet training phase properly. Your child might know when to go to the toilet when they’re awake, but still wet the bed at night. It’s important to remember that this is nobody’s fault.
Myth 2 – ‘Bedwetting is unusual once a child reaches school age’.
While many kids will have stopped wetting the bed by the time they start school, it is by no means unusual for kids to not yet be dry at night.
Myth 3 – ‘Waking your child in the middle of the night for a bathroom visit will end bedwetting’.
Often referred to as “lifting”, this is a common practice that involves parents waking their children up at night to encourage them to go to the toilet. It can seem to be a good strategy; however, this method does not help improve your child’s bladder control. It might also disrupt your child’s sleep, especially if they don’t need to urinate when you wake them. If your child is over five, it might also make them feel like they have no control over the situation.
Bedwetting isn’t an easy topic to broach and often the child can feel ashamed about their inability to control their bladders at night time. But if I could give you one piece of advice it would be this: relax, take your time and tell your child it is an issue that will resolve itself when it’s ready. There’s really nothing to worry about and, as much as you and your child might feel alone in experiencing this, you can bet your bottom dollar you aren’t alone.
This is a post commissioned by DryNites Pyjama Pants