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How do I deal with my child's bed-wetting?

At least half of all three-year-olds are unable to stay dry at night. Toilet-trained children generally wet their beds or night time pants twice a week for up to a year after training is completed. Even if your child has spent months sleeping dry, the occasional nightmare, or change in emotional state can cause wetting.

Stress from lifestyle changes, physical abuse and illness can manifest itself with bed-wetting. Sometimes the lack of bladder control can be caused by a urinary tract infection. If your child has dribbling urine, the urine is cloudy or has blood, or there is a rash near the genitals, then you should consult your doctor or paediatrician.

Some children have a small bladder, or their bladder is not developed enough to hold urine for the entire night. In these cases, the bed-wetting will gradually taper off and disappear altogether. Most children are able to wake up when their bladder is full, but some children take longer to get that right. If your child is wetting the bed due to stress, the bed-wetting will stop once the stressful situation has gone.

If you are dealing with a child going through the transition to staying dry at night, ensure that the mattress is protected by plastic sheeting. Always change your child's sheets, blankets and clothing after a wetting incident. Make bed-wetting easier to deal with for your child by providing disposable waterproof underwear and absorbent pyjamas. This will help contain dampness and gives your child the chance to go to the toilet afterwards and not need a complete change of bedding. 

Never complain or get angry with your child about bed-wetting. This will create stress and pressure and make the situation worse. Rather praise your child whenever a dry night is achieved and treat bed-wetting incidents as normal. If your child starts wetting the bed after a long period of dryness, look for underlying emotional causes, such as family problems, abuse, stress, or lifestyle changes.

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