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My 3½-year-old wets his bed at night
Q: My 3½-year-old son is wetting his bed. I have never had any problems before, and I have done everything his doctor recommended, including cutting out drinks after 5 p.m. Yet he still wets the bed. Do you have any suggestions? He’s a very heavy sleeper. He doesn’t like training pants because they cause skin rashes.
A: First, Donna, you must understand that nighttime bed-wetting is not under your control. A lot of physical maturation has to take place for a young child to have bladder control at night. Different children reach this maturity at different ages. At 3, your son is still well within the normal age range for bed-wetting. In fact, many children wet the bed up until 5 or 6. Until he’s better able to control his bladder, here are some tips to help your son through this phase:

  • Tell him that his nighttime wetting will stop in time. Explain that lots of kids wet their beds.

  • Have a matter-of-fact attitude in the morning as you help him get clean. A plastic sheet and a small nappy pail in the room make cleaning up easier.

  • Resume using training pants once his rash clears up. He shouldn’t have any problems with rashes if he gets into dry pants in the morning.

  • Tell him that if he wakes up because he’s wet, he should come to your room so you can get him into dry underpants. You can also show him how to put on the underwear himself.