There are plenty of things you can do to prevent it without resorting to treatment, and to minimize the stress when it does. Though a lot of children are dry through the night by the time they are three, the bladder and the ability to control it develops at different speeds for everyone.
Bed wetting frequently runs in families, but it can also be triggered at times of stress, anxiety or unhappiness, such as starting at school. Lots of liquid before bedtime is another contributing factor, especially if drinks are caffeinated.
Some children just have a small or underdeveloped bladder, but occasionally bed wetting is a sign of another, more serious medical problem such as a urine infection or diabetes though in these cases there will be other symptoms.
First, don’t feel you need to put the diapers away too early. Parents, please don’t punish your pre-schooler or make them feel guilty for wetting the bed. Comfort and reassurance until they get it right are likely to be much more productive.
Get your preschooler involved in changing the sheets, and give a little reward if they get through the night dry. That will serve as a reminder that ‘If I don’t mess up the sheet, I will get a gift somewhere.’ A waterproof sheet can protect the bed itself.
If your preschooler grows older and the bed wetting continues, it is worth mentioning it to your doctor, but with a bit encouragement and training, it is one of those conditions that should just naturally pass.
As frustrating as bed-wetting can be, the endless washing, the airing of smelly bedding, the stripping and remaking of beds, never punish, criticize, or make fun of your preschooler. Remember, bed-wetting is beyond your child’s control. No child wants to wake in the middle of the night wet and cold. He wants to be dry just as much as you do!