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Dealing with bedwetting in grade school

Author: Austin Sheeley
Published: Mar 22 2013

No child wants to wake up in a wet bed. Still, until they reach grade school it might not be that big of a deal to them. But then they find out their friends have stopped wetting the bed. Worse yet, they may be invited to sleepovers and want to go, but feel they can’t due to their embarrassing problem.

Fear not! There are ways to deal with bedwetting both in the long-term and the short-term

Long Term Solutions

Deal with an Underlying Problem: Occasionally, bedwetting is caused by stress and anxiety or by a medical condition. If you believe your child might be stressed or anxious, talk to them about what’s bothering them, and if possible help them work through the troubling issue. Remember, your child has not had time to develop the same coping mechanisms you have.

Medical issues can include constipation, urinary tract infections or juvenile diabetes. If your child has any of these, deal with the medical issue first and hopefully the bedwetting will clear up. However, most of the time bedwetting isn’t the result of stress or a medical issue. Generally it occurs because the child’s brain-bladder connection hasn’t yet formed. Fortunately this can be overcome with the help of a bedwetting alarm.

Unless there’s an underlying issue, bedwetting alarms are currently the only curative solution for bedwetting. They sound and vibrate as soon as your child begins to wet, waking them up so they can hurry to the bathroom to finish urinating. Over a couple months, this process will help the brain-bladder connection form. Your child’s body will then know to respond to the feeling of a full bladder either by holding urine in or waking the child to use the bathroom.

Short Term Solutions

Protective Bedding: Most bedwetting alarms can’t be used with diapers, so in the meantime many families like to use some form of protective bedding such as a waterproof mattress underpad. It may not stop the bedwetting, but it will make nighttime cleanups easier for everyone.

DDAVP: Medications such as DDAVP or desmopressin decrease the likelihood of bedwetting by lowering urine production at night. In most cases when the child stops taking the medication, the bedwetting will starts back up. Still this could help your child get through a sleepover or summer camp without embarrassing themselves.

Waterproof Sleeping Bag Liner: Another great strategy for camps and sleepovers is to get a waterproof sleeping bag liner. These prevent leaks and are designed to look like regular bedding so no one will no. Alternatively, your child may want to wear waterproof briefs designed to look like regular underwear.

Austin Sheeley is a pediatric health blogger who focuses on nighttime enuresis (bedwetting) and daytime wetting. He writes for a variety of medical sites including

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