Bedwetting is a common issue among young children as well as incontinent adolescents and adults. There are many issues that bedwetting can cause, including embarrassment, discomfort and messes. In addition, bedwetting individuals are at risk of damaging their skin by lying in a wet or soiled bed throughout the night. Bedwetting is therefore an issue that must be dealt with properly, rather than accepting it as fact.
With the proper steps, bedwetting occurrences in both children and adult can become less frequent or even stop altogether. The following 10 tips offer effective ways to stay dry at night.
1. Monitor fluid intake
Although it is important to stay hydrated throughout the day to avoid dehydration, which can irritate the bladder, try to limit fluid intake during the last few hours before bed. This will help ensure that the bladder isn’t working too hard during the night, which can lead to bedwetting.
2. Cut back on caffeine.
Caffeine has been found to increase urine production rate, and it is therefore recommended to decrease intake of caffeinated products including coffee, tea, carbonated drinks, energy drinks and cocoa, especially close to bedtime.
3. Use the bathroom before bed
Before going to bed, empty your bladder fully to help avoid nighttime accidents.
4. Ensure easy access to the bathroom
For many bedwetting individuals, it may be a simple issue of getting to the bathroom in time. This problem is especially likely when dealing with young children, disabled or mature adults, as well as mentally impaired individuals.
The following are several tips to provide safer and easier access to toileting at night:
- Clear the path between the bed and bathroom to avoid tripping or falling
- Use night lights to help your loved one easily locate the bathroom
- Install a raised toilet seat to make it easier for adults with mobility issues to use the bathroom independently
- Provide a bedside commode, urinal or bedpan to give immediate access to bedridden adults or those with limited mobility
5. Monitor bowel movements
Constipation can get in the way of effective bladder voiding, so monitor bowel movements to ensure that your loved one is not suffering unnecessarily. If constipation or irregularity is suspected, speak to your doctor about the best way to relieve this issue and thus help avoid nighttime overflows.
6. Use a bedwetting alarm
Bedwetting alarms are an effective way of training incontinent children as well as adults who have primary enuresis (bedwetting since childhood).
Do not use bedwetting alarms for adults who wet their beds at night due to any of the following issues:
- Secondary enuresis caused by a disease or condition
- Degenerative diseases
- Inability to sense when the bladder is full
- Physical difficulties getting to the bathroom
Bedwetting alarms sound on detection of urine during the night, which can successfully train adults and children to associate the sensation of a full bladder with getting up to use the bathroom. This method has been proven very effective if used consistently for several weeks.
7. Wearable protection
Until your loved one is trained or cured of their bedwetting issues, you can help keep their skin and their beds comfortably dry throughout the night with wearable protection such as incontinence pads, youth or adult diapers and absorbent underwear, also known as pull-ups. Disposable incontinence products – especially those designed for overnight use – can contain a high amount of liquid and are easily disposed of when soiled.
8. Bedding protection
When wearable protection isn’t sufficient for keeping the linen dry during the night, bed pads can go a long way to protect the part of the bed most likely to get wet or soiled. Purchase cost-efficient and environment-friendly reusable underpads or conveniently disposable bed chucks that offer reliable absorbency and waterproof backing to minimize clean-up after an accident.
9. Mattress protection
Mattress covers and mattress pads won’t keep the bedding dry, but it will protect your mattresses from liquid damage and is an important step to consider if your loved one has bedwetting issues. These products are waterproof and usually easy to wash, and offer reliable protection that will allow for longer mattress life. Keep in mind that although thicker mattress pads do provide better comfort for the user, the thickness also means that washing and drying these pads will take longer.
10. Speak to your doctor
Although bedwetting may be uncomfortable or even embarrassing to discuss, it is important to consult your doctor about your issue. This is crucial because a medical professional can help discover the underlying cause of bedwetting issues, which will make treatment easier and more effective.
Bedwetting can be difficult and frustrating for any caregiver, but it is important to remember the feelings of the incontinent individual as well. Always avoid teasing, blaming and punishing loved ones who suffer from bedwetting issues. Not only will this approach be ineffective, since the problem is out of the child or adult’s control; this may actually make the problem worse. Instead, focus on encouraging and supporting your loved one through this difficult time, and with the help of the above tips, you will be well on the way to dry, stress-free nights becoming the new normal.
About The Author: Hanna Landman lives in New Jersey with her husband and child. She works for AvaCare Medical, an online medical supply store servicing seniors and the homebound across the US. She specializes in adult incontinence solutions and writes for their blog on all topics related to incontinence, caregiving, senior living and more.