Bedtime with your child is very special. Ideally, it should be a relaxed, loving encounter between you and him after a busy day. It’s a time for cuddles and hugs, for those unique bonding rituals which that ensure a restful night’s sleep for the little one, and peaceful evening for you.
Whether or not the child has mastered the ability to stay dry all night should not be an issue. Just as some children learn to walk later than others, some need more time to develop this ability.
The child will stay dry all night as soon as he is able. Just as he was proud to take his first steps and say his first words, he will view this accomplishment as a major step along the path to growing up. Until that time, do not badger him about staying dry. You will only make him anxious, and that may interfere with his ability to get good night’s rest.
Having a regular bedtime routine is important. If the child finds the experience pleasurable, he may even look forward to going to bed. Here are some tips to help you and your child approach this special time of day with cheerfulness:
* About half an hour before bedtime, turn off the television and tell the child this is “together time”. You can work on a puzzle, color, play a game, and discuss the day’s events. It’s surprising what tidbits of information a child will share while you’re working together on a puzzle.
* After he has brushed his teeth, give him a warm, relaxing bath. Dry him off and suggest he go to the washroom once more. If he wears protection against nighttime accidents, put it on without comment, then his pajamas.
* As you tuck him under the covers, tell him how much you love him, and how much you’re looking forward to the time when he’s older. Mention some of the things he”ll be able to do: ride a two-wheeler, stay up later, wear only pajamas at night, sleep over at Grandma’s, learn to swim, and maybe even get a pet when he’s old enough to take care of it. Keep the conversation positive. Having a dry bed in the mornings is one of the good things that will happen naturally as he gets older.
* Dim the lights, cuddle up beside him, and tell or read a favorite bedtime story. By the time you’re finished, your little one should be almost asleep. Don’t be surprised if you are too.
Bedtime for a bed-wetter should be no different from that of a child who is completely trained. All children need lots of cuddles and love, and the security of knowing that their parents think they are wonderful, just the way they are.
For the vast majority of children, having a dry bed at night will happen naturally, in nature’s good time. It really shouldn’t be treated as a major problem.