We have a prolific bedwetter in our house. This is one of those aspects of parenting and child-rearing that reflect a specific age and stage in life. It’s been challenging, time-consuming, and even costly as we’ve sought a solution. At this point, it’s simply something that we have to deal with.

There are strategies to help and it requires patience and discipline. Parents must know that this is likely a phase in your child’s life and, while it may feel like it’s going on for a long time, it’s simply part of growing up and growing into their bodies. Some kids sleep so hard and so soundly that they don’t realize they’re wetting the bed until it’s too late. It takes time for them get accustomed to what’s happening and going to the bathroom before an accident occurs.

Here are some tips and ideas to help deal with the problem.

1. Put Limits on Liquids

This is common sense, but it can be hard to follow through. If you limit the amount of water or drinks your child has after a certain hour, it makes sense that they would have less liquid to release. The key is to set a time and stick to it, no matter how strenuously your child begs for a drink before bed.

2. Make Sure They Pee Just Before Bed

Again, this takes discipline, but make sure that the very last thing your child does before crawling into bed is go to the bathroom. Your child might protest, but that last trip to the bathroom might save you a major cleanup effort in the middle of the night.

3. Prepare Pads and Clean Sheets

If there is an accident overnight, plan ahead. Make sure that you’ve got clean sheets at the ready and an extra mattress pad or two. Another option that works well are absorbent pads that you can buy at most grocery stores that go right underneath the fitted sheet. Those pads soak up an enormous amount of liquid and make clean-up quicker. Also, make sure there are extra pajamas and clothes available should there be a late-night or early-morning accident.

4. Wake Them Up to Pee

Another thing you can do is take your child to the bathroom before you go to sleep for the night. Preferably this should happen at a reasonable hour before your child wets the bed. The trip will brief and a doctor told us that it’s best to make sure your child wakes up so that way they know what’s happening. The hardest part about this is remembering to do it before you crash for the night!

5. Don’t Get Mad at Them

Being awakened in the middle of a good night’s sleep because of a child’s accident can be frustrating, especially when you have other small children in the house who might wake up and cause more ruckus. It also requires work and time. But you need to be patient. Getting upset in the middle of a quick change operation will only raise your blood pressure and make your child feel worse about the situation. Reassure them, remain calm, and remember that they are just a child. This isn’t something they do purposefully.

6. Talk to Your Pediatrician

If the problem continues and it’s a burden, put in a call to your pediatrician. It’s possible your trusted doctor has strategies to help mitigate the matter.