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How to Help Your Child With Bedwetting

How to Help Your Child With Bedwetting

by Laura Woj

 

Let me be clear here. The majority of children are going to “nighttime train” themselves. There, that’s it! Easy, huh? But that doesn't sooth your soul, and there ARE some things you need to know, because you can definitely help your child with bedwetting. You can help the body learn, and you can help your child tune in to their own body, but ultimately the body has to figure this out for itself.

So what about the five million school-aged children in the U.S. who wet their bed? Yes, there is that. Chances that you will have a bedwetter are about 20 percent. One in five kids under the age of five will wet the bed. Four out of five won’t, so the majority will night train themselves. This leads me to my next point. I had three bedwetters, which means that twelve other children didn’t! My first son wet until he was five, my second son wet until he was eight, and my daughter wet until she was six. Neither parent had bedwetting issues in their youth. This is just typical. 

I'm surprised at how many people I consult with that tell me they've been to the doctors and never heard any advice from the professional sector like what I've given them. There are some basic, simple things that can help your child overcome bedwetting, or at least prime them for growing out of it, and I feel that it's very important for me to share this with you! 

How Can I Help My Child With Bedwetting?

Start with these tips to help reduce bedwetting

  1. Pay attention to your child's activity level throughout the day

     More common then not you will notice that your child’s level of physical activity that day is directly related to wether they will wake up dry or not. You might have some dry days throughout the week, but if you spent all afternoon on a hot soccer field watching your star striker run their butt off, you can pretty much be guaranteed of a soaked mattress in the morning. Understanding this and bringing it to light can help your child not feel so bad about it happening. The brain literally falls into too deep a sleep to monitor its bathroom needs. It has much more important things to do… like growing that kid up, processing that amazing soccer game, and regulating all the hormones that have to fire off so the next stage of puberty isn’t delayed! There simply isn’t time for a bathroom break.

  2. Make sure your kid gets extra sleep

    There’s nothing tough about this idea, except maybe the fight to get your kid to bed earlier! Kids in elementary school and toddlers with busy mornings don’t have a choice in when they wake up. Naps start to go away and exhaustion sets in at night. Older kids engage in sports and sweat until blissfully exhausted...

    As I mentioned earlier, there is a place in the brain that stays awake for the sole purpose of making sure you don’t eliminate in your sleep. When your body isn’t rested well enough, it is too deep in sleep to feel the signal of a full bladder. Nonetheless, the bladder must release. Getting thirty more minutes of sleep per night for a few weeks can be enough to restore your sleep tank and stop bedwetting. It is also a great indicator for if your kiddo is going to wet the bed tonight. Busy exhausted day? Yup, it's happening.  There are a ton of other reasons why sleep is important, so you might as well give it a shot.

  3. Switch out your child's disposable diaper for a cloth option

    No 7 yr old kid wants to be associated with a plastic baby diaper. Consider switching your child’s nighttime disposable to a cloth option. By making this change, you are shifting what the mind is going through when the wetting actually happens. Kids can feel more wetness in cloth than in disposables, which is a huge advantage to a sleeping brain! It could even be powerful enough to...help wake them up.

    People have told me that after switching to cloth at night, their children just grew out of bedwetting in a few weeks. That is a relatively common occurrence and a few weeks is what it will take to re-program the brain/body connection. However, in the event this does not work, guess what? You have a cloth option that doesn’t cost you money every time you go to the store! Parents spend an average of $400 a year on nighttime disposable diapers. They are more expensive than regular diapers and they know you’re going to pay whatever their sticker price is. The price point per package is similar to diapers, but you get less and less quantity with each size you go up. With cloth, you can invest around $100 in three pairs of high-quality, high-absorbency underwear that can last two to three years. If your child continues to wet the bed that initial up-front cost could save you $1200. Certainly a well-worth investment.

  4. Occasionally have your child sleep bare-butted

    When a child pees at night and the wetness is caught in the diaper, whether cloth or disposable, it is held close to the body. That limits the cause and effect feeling. If you want a real “wake up” effect, having nothing will give that to you! Sure, you have to diaper the bed instead. Sure, you have to wash a blanket in the morning. Sure, you need to budget time for a bath or shower the next day, but this is all temporary. Have your child sleep bottomless for two to three days straight to kick in that waking-brain sensation. Remember, you only have one opportunity each night (usually) for the learning moment to happen, so these methods are not a one-night solution. You will need repetition for the solution to take hold. After a few days, if you don’t see any improvement, just go back to diapers or cloth overnight underwear and give this a shot in another month or so.  

 

Share this rich information with your bedwetting kiddo. Let them know how incredibly common bedwetting is, and help them understand when they are more likely to wet (like on high energy days.) By teaching them to pay attention to their body they can actually begin to predict how their subconscious processes will behave, which is very empowering!

I truly hope this helps you and your child reduce, overcome and understand bedwetting. Want to listen to Laura's rant? She's got some good points!

 

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Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers

Cloth Diapers vs Disposable Diapers

Diapers are expensive, there is no doubt about it. If you are considering cloth as an alternative to disposables, cloth costs money – and disposables don’t stop costing money.  So what is the real difference between cloth diapers vs disposable diapers?

Cloth verses dispensable diapers cost

Let’s look at the cost of cloth diapers vs disposable diapers:

Disposable diapers cost about $.75* for size 4-8 – This may seem high but that’s the math. Disposable products made for bedwetting are even more expensive.

Now for the next sizes up, 8-14, the costs double to $1.41.*  They keep the price point of a pack the same but reduce the quantity you get, making you buy packs more often.

Cloth Diapers and Potty Training

From a young age, your baby can learn to connect the sensation of a full bladder to the soon-to-follow sensation of wetness in his diaper. And if this sensation is uncomfortable to him, he will cry, you will change him, and his preference for a dry bottom is reinforced. Guess what! Making that ‘potty-awareness’ connection is half the work of potty-training right there! Cloth diapers can help this process. Want to introduce the potty early? Read our Early Potty Training tips here.

But what about bedwetting? Not many parents take bed wetting into account when weighing the pros and cons when looking at cloth diapers vs disposable diapers.

  • Nightly bedwetting using disposables in the smaller size: $22.80 per month,
  • Nightly Bedwetting in larger sized disposables: $42.30 per month, almost double!

Within two months you will spend over $80, more than 2 pairs of a great cloth alternative. But cloth can last you up to three years. Even if you got a new pair of cloth bedwetting undies every month you would still save mad cash! You’d spend over $500 a year on disposables and only $420 on cloth!  OR just get two pairs and rotate them.

Other benefits of cloth vs. disposables.

This topic is mainly dealing with older kids wetting the bed. We’re talking 5 yr olds and 8 yr olds, maybe even older! (Yes, Super Undies has sizes for bigger kids, too.) Let’s look at the thought process of an older kid that is wetting the bed. The biggest relief I hear from parents and kids alike when they switch to cloth is this… They don’t have to use a “baby diaper” anymore. Mentally, climbing into the same plastic diaper that gets strapped on a toddler seems infantile to a kid, even if you change the name from “diaper” to “pull-up” to “under jams.” Wearing the same kind of diaper as a toddler can damage their self-esteem.  This article in Pediatric Nursing clearly states the damage to one’s self-esteem that can be done if bedwetting is ignored and not supported.

Using plastic baby diapers, especially when children are beyond 6 years old, can be damaging to their self-esteem. Cloth bedwetting solutions are a wonderful alternative to disposables and often help kids feel better about themselves. Super Undies helps breaks that stigma!

Bedwetting Help

The Benefits of Parental Support

Another way to normalize and support your child through bedwetting is to offer them variety!

Nothing says, “Let’s work out” like getting 5 pairs of yoga pants. Or how about, “You look great in blue,” so you buy blue dresses and shirts. The same is true here.

“Bedwetting is no big deal, and I’m with you in this.”  That’s what you’re saying when you invest in Super Undies. You’re telling your child that you don’t care how long they will wet the bed. There’s no pressure to stop, we’re just going to wash and reuse these! Fun fact: 15% of Kids that transition from disposables to cloth end reducing how often they wet the bed, or stop altogether within 2 weeks. This is because cloth helps build the body-brain connection much better than disposables. In support of this statement, I’d like to point out that the National Library of Medicine has published an article stating that 4 out of 5 cases of nocturnal enuresis are most likely curable.

Now back to parental support

Imagine you are 8 and you have been wetting the bed since you can remember. Your parents got you some cloth undies. You feel better because they don’t have to keep buying packs of disposables. AND no one can see under jams in the shopping cart, so you don’t think anyone they run into while shopping can figure out that you are the bedwetter. That’s a relief. But now a new pair of Super Undies just showed up! You didn’t even ask for them, but these are a new release and have cool space heroes on them. Your parents just said they thought you’d like them, so they got ’em for you.

How cool is that! They really aren’t mad about this! They are totally supportive of me. I love mom and dad.

That may seem a bit theatrical, but I bet it’s not. A world of uncertainty is constantly spinning in the minds of our children, and it grows bigger as they do. We need to be loving and supportive through this. If disposables make your child feel more comfortable, then stick with them. But if cloth can help them quit, feel more comfortable, be more absorbent than disposables, and prove you are supporting their trials, then go with it.

So What’s Next?

My suggestion is this. Talk candidly with your child about their issue and ask them if they would like to explore more options. Show them pictures of kids in Super Undies, prepare them for the undies being a bit bulkier (but softer and comfier) than disposables. If your child is older, show them That you are willing to support them and work with them in finding solutions. This may not mean the complete elimination of bedwetting. This means more comfort while sleeping, the potential to bed-wet less, and eliminating the stigma attached to using plastic baby diapers.

Are you planning on potty training with training pants? Click here to shop cloth training pants in all sizes and prints.

*All prices are quoted from Targets retail price

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Potty Training Boys: What do I need?

Potty Training Boys: What do I need?

 Every stage of a baby’s life will come with its own unique set of challenges (breastfeeding, sleep regressions, teething, you name it), potty training boys for sure can bring on ALL.THE.CHALLENGES. 

Anything that comes after this? Bring it. We have potty trained and therefore, we can do anything.

I want to share all the things I have learned (the hard way), with the hope of saving others some of the stress that comes along with figuring it all out. Since the day we started potty training our first kid I’ve kept notes of EVERYTHING you need to be successful without it being stressful.

Potty training a boy

So here’s the thing. Potty training boys really starts before you begin the actual act of potty training. Wait, what? Yes, and you can read all about how to start as early as 8 months here.

If you’ve passed the early introduction stage and are ready to actually jump in with a toddler then keep reading.

Now, for the biggest question that’s a little more specific…

Potty training boys

There isn’t a huge difference in potty training boys vs girls, though it’s common to hear that it does take longer for boys. Typically mom is the one taking on most of the duties and children learn best by example. So if dad can get in there and show how it’s done, then you may stand a chance to speed along the process. If not, that’s ok just have patience as every child will learn this at their own pace.

Potty training a boy

How to get started potty training boys?

First things first, go ahead and download this free book The Age of Potty Training to help you figure out when your little one is ready I’ve written this free book for you.

Where to Potty Train and What do I Need?

A few weeks to a month before potty training is a good time to collect supplies. I made up a list of essentials for boys and girls, plus a few things that simply come in handy.

 

How to potty train a boy

A closed-in space – reducing the area your son has access to can help you keep a better eye on things, and capture success!

A mini potty – Start with a small floor potty, especially if your son is on the younger side. Eliminating the dexterity it takes to climb up and balance on the big toilet can reduce their stress and allow them to focus on matters at hand. Urge sensation and quickly sitting on the potty!

Or two? – Having two mini toilets can increase your success. Giving kids options (like which one and in which space they want to use) can help empower them. Kids love choices! Having a second potty also makes traveling a breeze. Just pack the potty in the trunk or back seat when heading out! Your son may even “need to go” just for the novelty of using his toilet in the car!

A step-stool – Safely helping your son access running water will making handwashing a simple fun part of potty training

 

 Potty Training Hygiene

Potty training a boy

Wet wipes – These make cleaning easy and effective by teaching how to wipe with wet wipes. This will help reduce irritation of that delicate skin by keeping things clean. Try flushable ones for a more “real life” experience!

A faucet extender – Short arms will need help getting that water, so why not bring the water to them! Faucet extenders are the best way to help your son gain access to splashy hand washing fun!

Extra clothes – It’s a good idea to a few extra clothes for both of you within reach.

 

 

What do I need to potty train

Successful Potty Training

Trainers – Training pants may not be necessary for the first few days of the potty learning process, but expect potty training to take a few weeks or even a few months. Support your new-found potty training career with waterproof, mildly absorbent training pants to help reduce your anxiety around potty training. But don’t use disposables! They absorb too much and can give you a false sense of security that can delay the process. You can shop my favorite training pants here.

Stay & Play Ideas – Such as a remote control car – Well, this may not be essential to potty training, but having a plan to get your son to sit and stay long enough for the magic to happen is. A remote control car can let them play while sitting, and might thrill them so much that they will beg to use the toilet! Other ideas include fun books, stickers, action figures, and other stay-and-play toys.

Incentives – Don’t stop the incentives after the first few days. Map out a plan to help your child earn rewards for the behavior you want: potty use! You can try these free punch cards too! Click here to download.

 

potty training a boy

Long term potty training follow-through

Support – Read some potty training books, and get in a community that can help you troubleshoot unexpected surprises! It takes a village! Looking for a community to join? We have a Facebook group for that.

Additional resources – Whether there is an imbalance of power in your home between child and adult, or you just need some really solid “how-to” advice, my book Potty Training Through Parenting is sure to help!

 

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Potty Training Early: How to and When to Start

Potty Training Early: How to and When to Start

Thinking about early potty training?

If you’re thinking about potty training early then I want to tell you a story about the time my eight-month-old pooped in the potty.  That’s right, this unheard of, surreal phenomenon actually took place in my bathroom! 

Yes, I said that correctly. No, we weren’t doing elimination communication.

Now, I want to be very clear: I did not have a potty-trained baby. Early potty training was never my goal. The truth is that I was done changing crappy diapers. There, I said it. I absolutely hated it! I also hate laundry, always have. Oh, and I’m really cheap. See? I have a few things stacked against me in this crash quest to become some domestic goddess.

Getting my baby to poop in the toilet meant that I could avoid crappy blowouts (you know what I’m talking about), laundry from cloth diapers, save another disposable diaper (we were half and half) and save me money.

Did I mention it could also save me from having to change another poopy diaper on a five-hour flight?

 

My son was eight months old at the time and I was game to give this method I learned about a shot.

Years ago as I was just beginning to explore healthy options for my family, I was at a natural parents meet-up when I met a woman from Belarus. As we mingled and talked about all things baby, she revealed to me that she was surprised to see how long children stayed in diapers here in the U.S. She then went on to tell me that her 11 month-old son poops on the potty all the time and never in his diaper…

Of course, I had to know how?

“It is common in Russia to begin training our children to use the pot early on,” she said.

She went on to explain that it used to be an actual pot on the floor. When the baby woke up, the baby was sat on the pot until he eliminated. Parents typically start this around six months old. In her case, she transferred this behavior to the standard toilet. Every morning, right after her baby would wake up she took him to the toilet. She sat him on the front of the toilet seat and pulled his torso comfortably forward while holding him steady.

That’s it. That is how she started. She added that as her baby pooped in the toilet, she would make a sound to help him correlate the two. Like language. She has named the action with a sound. Within a week she could then put her baby on the toilet, make this sound (i.e., tell him to poop), and he would release his bowels.

No more crappy diapers.

This just sounded too good to be true!

The next morning I wanted to try, but I was too late. When I heard him wake up, I went to put him on the toilet, but he had already gone in his diaper. I wasn’t attentive enough to the pre-wake up phase of babyhood, I suppose.

Potty train early

 

However, the next morning I was ready! I listened intently for his little noises that meant he was in the process of waking up. Then gently picked him up and talked to him while I took him to the potty. I sat him on the edge of the toilet, facing me and pulled him forward. Feel free to let your baby lean into you as well. It’s just like hugging each other.

We sat there for a few minutes and within the first minute, he peed! I was super excited and almost whisked him off to find the phone and call Grandma, but then I came back to my senses.

There could be more!

Somewhere around the third or fourth minute, my eight-month-old pooped on the toilet. I just couldn’t believe it!

Later that same day, after lunch, he peed on the toilet. No cues, just mommy-hunches that it would be about time for him to go. We caught a few pees on the potty, changed another poopy diaper, took note of the time he pooped and went to bed. The next morning he pooped and peed again on the toilet, this time more quickly. Remember, within just twenty-four hours this little guy now had six experiences with using the toilet.

His little brain was perfectly primed and optimized for learning because that’s its job!

I began experimenting with other times to put him on the toilet and discovered that we didn’t even need to add in a sound for him to know what to do. I’ve learned that babies don’t tend to fight and struggle as toddlers do. They pretty much hang out where you put them. Since babies naturally eliminate as they wake up (or just after), it became very easy to catch some potty action like this.

Are you planning on potty training with training pants? Click here to shop cloth training pants in all sizes and prints.

Potty Train early

At that point, my son did not necessarily hold his pee or poop until we sat on the potty. He did still wear a diaper, and I was free to change it or not. He did not argue or make any fuss when wet. But sitting him on the potty did elicit an elimination response in him every time. If there was something in there, it would come out. If there wasn’t, we knew in the first few moments.

When my son turned two, we were using about four diapers a day, and they were all wet. I decided to potty train at that point and began explaining what he would have to do. We said we would start Monday and that he would not have a diaper anymore after that point. Since he was so familiar with the toilet already, he was truly potty trained in 2 days.

I have heard so many perspectives on the readiness of potty training.

Whether you look for signs of readiness in your child or take on a parent-led approach, I just want to encourage mothers out there that potty training doesn’t have to be complicated.

By introducing the toilet early, it becomes a common tool in the house and pooping in it just isn’t a big deal.

If you have a young child, you don’t need to start potty training, but you certainly could try to make potty time a natural behavior in the house.

Looking for potty training tips? Click here to grab a free guide.

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