Friday, March 16, 2012

Parenting Tips: Nighttime Dryness

by Tiffany Rudd
This picture is a few years old and really has nothing to do with this post, other than the fact that she is sleeping. It just makes me smile. 

I know a lot of kids just naturally start staying dry at night a short time after potty training. I’m jealous. Then there are the basic tips for kids who have a slightly harder time learning to stay dry at night...
No drinks a few hours before bedtime.
Fun new underwear or pull-ups to keep dry.
Waking the child up to use the bathroom once or twice each night.
A sticker chart and toy or reward to work toward.
I know quite a few moms who have had success with these tricks. I’m jealous. When we got pregnant with our 4th child, it really hit me that I was about to be buying diapers for ALL FOUR OF MY KIDS! Anniston just turned 1, so she gets a pass, but Cameron (6) and Brooklyn (4) were both still wetting the bed every night. I gave up spending the extra money on pull-ups long ago so, that meant...diapers for 4! Yikes! For years we have used all the tricks. I honestly felt like they were both motivated to stay dry at night, we were doing everything we were supposed to, and yet neither of them had ever had a dry night. Ever. 
I wasn’t really worried about it, they are both heavy sleepers and I just kept thinking they would eventually grow out of it. But right about the time Cameron turned 6 I read an article that said 80% of children who are wetting the bed at age 6 will still be wetting the bed at age 8 unless there is some kind of intervention. I immediately started researching our options and decided to give a bedwetting alarm a try. 
I bought the Wet-Stop 3 on Amazon for $50. It was actually one of the cheaper alarms, but had great reviews. Best $50 I’ve ever spent. Okay, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but I was extremely happy with the results. I would definitely recommend it to those of you having similar problems. Here is how it worked for us....

We tried to get Cameron (6) to go first, but he was resistant and Brooklyn (4) volunteered, so she was the first guinea pig. By the time she was done Cameron was definitely ready. We put a bed of blankets on the floor in our room until she was able to stay dry for 10 nights in a row. That way when the alarm went off I was there to help her to the bathroom. Before bed I had her put on underwear, clipped the alarm to her underwear and then covered them both with a diaper. Who wants to wash blankets every night? For the first few nights the alarm went off 2 or 3 times and each time her underwear and diaper were totally wet. I still had her sit on the potty each time, but to no avail. Then for about the next week the alarm continued to go off 1-2 times, but her underwear were less wet and she was able to get more in the potty each night. After less than 2 weeks we were all sleeping through the night and she was staying dry. After 10 dry nights in a row we took her to the Disney Store to let her choose a toy and went out for burgers and fries. She has only had one accident in the 2 months since! We followed the same plan with Cameron, but he was even faster. Less than a week after we started he was staying dry and hasn’t had a single accident since. Success!
Too bad I can’t go back two years and buy the alarm when Cameron was 4. If you have struggled with nighttime dryness like we have I would definitely give it a try. 
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