Wetting the bed is a common problem for many children, even after they have been through potty training. Andrea, a mum from Bradford tells the story of how her six-year-old son, Ben, overcame bedwetting with the help of an alarm.
“Ben had been wetting the bed for a long time. We had no trouble toilet training him and he was excellent during the daytime, it was just during the night that the problem arose. We had tried everything – lifting him at night to take him to the toilet, reducing his fluid intake in the evenings and using all sorts of star charts, but nothing seemed to work. Eventually we spoke to the school nurse, but even her suggestions didn’t seem to work. Ben continued to wet the bed most nights.
[quote_left] “It was just during the night that the problem arose. We had tried everything” [/quote_left]
Ben, who was six at the time, had an overnight trip with the Beavers coming up. When asked about the trip, he expressed immense anxiety at the prospect of his friends finding out. It was at this moment that I knew we had to try to find a solution. I didn’t want him to miss out on the trip and I certainly didn’t want the bedwetting to affect his confidence any longer. I had heard about ERIC (Education and Resource centre for improving Childhood incontinence) through a friend, who suggested I have a look at the ERIC Webshop for products to help cope with bedwetting.
From the selection of bedwetting alarms on the website, I chose a body worn alarm which made varying sounds and vibrations when activated. Ben could sometimes sleep quite deeply, so I thought this would be the perfect combination to help rouse him.
Within the first week of using the alarm there was a noticeable difference. Towards the beginning, we had a couple of nights when the alarm went off more than once, but after that we had more and more dry nights per week. After a few weeks of wearing the alarm he was completely dry! Ben was absolutely thrilled, it really boosted his confidence and he was able to go on his Beavers trip. I too, was delighted – at long last he would be able to sleepover anywhere without being embarrassed.
The alarm was worth every penny, it was truly amazing. I would definitely recommend ERIC to other parents. There is often something that can be done to help manage or, in our case, overcome the problem.”
So, why do children wet the bed?
It is not unusual for children under the age of five to still be wet at night, or to have occasional wetting accidents in the day. We don’t fully understand why some children take longer than others to master the art of staying dry, but we know it is not linked to poor toilet training or laziness on the child’s part. For most children the situation will resolve itself with the aid of a few simple measures.
It is known there is a genetic link that suggests late toilet training and bedwetting can run in families. Other factors, such as constipation and urinary tract infections are known to affect the bladder and should always be checked by your GP or health visitor, especially if the child wets during the day beyond the age of five.
For the one in seven children who wet the bed beyond the age of seven, a full assessment of the problem will help identify any possible physical factors and the school nurse or GP should be able to direct you to a specialist continence clinic or service.
For more information, ideas or help contact ERIC. ERIC provides a free confidential Helpline service for parents and children open Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm 0845 370 8008 and an information text messaging service 447 624 811 636.
TV’s Super Nanny gives us her tips to help your child stop wetting the bed
- Before you start, make it clear to your child that you’re not cross, you’re just trying to help, and make sure you listen and get them on board with any new measures.
- If you suspect that the bedwetting is stress-related – if there’s a change in family structure, you’ve moved home or your child is experiencing bullying for example – try to work on this anxiety before you start on a new regime.
- Staying dry and exercising control over the bladder (using her pelvic floor muscles) during the day might help – give her a timer or a watch with an alarm and see if you can prolong time between toilet trips by 10 minutes each day.
- Offer sips of drinks from about 4pm and nothing at all to drink one and a half hours before bedtime.
- Try to avoid putting your child in pull-ups or a nappy – it might help that they can feel when they’re wet at night time.
- Once your child wets the bed, ask them to help you change both themselves and the bed sheets, remembering to stay sympathetic and gentle.
- Others say that once a child is old enough for sleepovers, there is an initial period of embarrassment as she inevitably wets the bed, but that overnight stays can act as a catalyst for retraining.
Super Nanny says, “Make sure you have the right protective sheeting.”
Our Pick of Bedwetting Products
The Astric Dry-Bed bed wetting alarm
The alarm works in two parts, an extremely sensitive control unit which uses the latest electronic techniques and a light, comfortable detector pad which is placed over the mattress protector and a sheet, then covered with a smaller sheet – flanelette would be ideal (draw-sheet). Then simply plug in the pad into the control unit and as soon as the first few drops of urine touch the pad, the bed wetting alarm emits a loud humming tone that will awaken your little one. The equipment is battery powered.
Bedwetting Alarm- Malem MO5
This alarm records your own sounds, music or personal message to alert your child. There is also the option of having a flashing glow when sounding. The alarm can be easily attached with a safety-pin or clip and is ideal for children with learning disabilities. The alarm is also supplied with externally detachable, replaceable, gold-plated sensor with clip and includes AAA batteries. This alarm is available to buy from the online Eric Shop.
M&T Mattress Protector
The M&T Mattress Protector is made out of PVC/Polyester fabric and comes with a encapsulated zip. The fabric is both waterproof and ‘breathable’ making it comfortable for your little one. The mattress also provides protection for asthma sufferers and because the sheet is machine washable/wipe-clean it is perfect for busy mums! The mattress is available in single or double size. This mattress is also available to buy from the online Eric Shop.
Bedding Industrial Beguda Bedding
Bedding Industrial Beguda (B.I.B.) have developed a range of B.sensible and Suavinet bedding, that offers a new sleeping experience for everyone. The bedding provides ideal solutions for many sleeping issues, not least the problems of leaking nappies and bed-wetting, a common problem throughout childhood. Previously, parents had to rely on unreliable pyjama pants for their little ones and noisy uncomfortable waterproof under sheets.
This new bedding provides a wonderful way to overcome the problems. The Suavinet and B.sensible ranges act like a second skin. The 100% natural fibre, ‘Tencel,’ which is obtained from wood pulp cellulose, is uniquely bonded with a thin, stretchable and virtually undetectable membrane. Here are just a few of the benefits…
• This gorgeous bedding is as soft as silk, cool as linen, warm as wool and infinitely more absorbent than cotton
• It acts as 2 in 1 fully fitted sheets – no other sheets or mattress protector required
• Optimum comfort for the skin, helps regulate body temperature
• Hypoallergenic- clinically proven to be suitable for those with sensitive skin, asthma, eczema and rhinitis
• Natural barrier against dust mites etc
• Virtually noiseless – no nasty plastic sheets
• Eco- friendly – 99.5% of solvents used are recovered and reused in the manufacturing process. Wood pulp obtained from sustainable sources
• Tencel contains no pesticides or agricultural chemicals
• Wide range of colours including classic white
• 10-year guarantee
The Suavinet range is for babies and toddlers, and the B.sensible range is for older children and the grown-ups.
The bedding has so many qualities that everyone can benefit from it, not only does it protect your expensive mattresses (including memory foam) but it is so comfortable and smooth that a better nights sleep is almost guaranteed
B.I.B. developed the product over a period of 3 years in cooperation with Lenzing; the Austrian producers of Tencel They will continue to look at expanding the product range and to introduce more innovative products.
Another great waterproof mattress protector on the market we’ve found is from Brolly Sheets. Their motto is ‘Wee accidents’ are no drama. Each of their mattresses are uniquely designed to fit over the top of a bottom sheet making them extremely easy to change and everyone can be back to bed in seconds, without the need to turn on the lights and change the whole bed saving you time, washing and your sanity! We also love the way these sheets are as soft as normal sheets to sleep on due to their 100% cotton top. Plus they can be machine-washed and tumble dried. Your child will also have fun picking out a sheet for their bed, as the sheets are available in five colours and several sizes. For your chance to win one of three Brolly Sheets simply visit our website.
Education and Resource centre for improving Childhood incontinence
Bed wetting solutions online shop
Waterproof bedding retailer
Parenting advice website