My two little men right after they moved into their "big boy beds" back in the fall of 2010.Do you have any suggestions on stopping bed wetting? How did Elijah's resolve? Did you intervene in some way? Thanks!
I received this question after Elijah started wetting his bed during our move to the Azores. I had heard from many mothers about "regression" in their children during a move. It seemed so strange to me that a child could pick up on stress in a household and deal with it through a physical action like bed wetting.
But then I saw it for myself
The World Health Organization defines nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) as wetting twice per month (under 7 years) or once per month (over 7 years). Primary nocturnal enuresis is defined as bedwetting in an individual who has never been dry for six consecutive months. Secondary nocturnal enuresis is defined as bedwetting in an individual who was dry for six consecutive months and then started wetting again.
Although children may develop secondary enuresis after an episode of emotional stress, psychological problems do not cause primary nocturnal enuresis. Examples of stressful situations that can trigger bedwetting include:
- Change in the child-care routine—for example, a new sitter, or starting a child-care or preschool program
- The mother’s pregnancy or the birth of a new sibling
- A major illness on the part of the child or a family member
- A recent death
- Marital conflict or parents’ divorce
- An upcoming or recent move to a new house
The wetting usually resolves when the stress passes.
Go figure! This is exactly what happened with Elijah. He potty-trained very young. It was back in February of 2011. Elijah was just two. Isaac was a few months away from three. They both caught on quickly, and while number two look longer to perfect, they were basically potty-trained from that moment out. However, Elijah did wear a pull-up to bed for quite awhile. He would be three when he finally started sleeping through the night dry.
Fast forward now to more than a year later. We are in the midst of our move. Our stuff has gone. The house is feeling empty. It has been at least six months since Elijah has worn a dipaer or wet the diaper, so you can imagine our surprise when we go into check on him before bed and he is soaked. The next night it is the same. In fact, he is wetting the bed more nights than he is staying dry.
So what did we do? In our case, we:
- tried to prevent the wetting by getting him up frequently to go to the bathroom. We'd take him to go as we went to bed a few hours after he went down.
- kept a pad of paper and pen outside his room. Whenever one of us woke up for another reason (Abigail, Isaac, Scrubs, or potty ourselves), we'd take him again and leave the time. That way we didn't get up within an hour of each other.
- tried to be even more aware of what he was drinking close to bed or nap times.
- asked him one evening if he wanted to wear a diaper. He said yes. We would not have made him if he didn't want to, but he made the decision. He only wanted to do it one time (and that night he was dry -- of course.)
Outside of a stressful reason for nighttime wettings, we simply did not worry about our children wetting at night. We basically did the same types of things. For instance we:
- put them in a pull-up (or put extra padding down on the bed if it happened rarely) and just let them grow out of it themselves
- didn't get upset or make them feel guilty about the accidents.
- tried to limit water for approximately two hours before bed.
- would get them up to go during the night or right before we went to bed.