The unnecessary shame of bedwetting

Is your child a bedwetter? Were you?

Do you feel embarassed to answer these questions? Embarassed to even be asked? I would have…before I attended the Drynites event. I went expecting a pleasant morning out and a distraction from my usual day to day but I actually left with a change in mindset.

I don’t know a single parent who looks forward to changing sheets and pjs in the middle of the night. It’s annoying and it is frustrating. Especially when your child is fully potty trained during the day and has been for a while. Here’s the thing: bedwetting is caused by the uncontrolled release of urine during sleep. The key word is ‘uncontrolled’. Your child, regardless of age, is not wetting the bed on purpose. It isn’t a case of laziness, or stubbornness or disrespect. They literally have no control over whether they make it through the night dry or not. Think about that for a moment and think back to your reaction the last time you had to wake up and change the bedding in the middle of the night. Feel a bit of guilt?

I’m not saying its impossible for a child to stay dry through the night. Of course its possible. By limiting liquids after supper and cutting out fizzy/sugary drinks at night, most kids will make it to the morning without a problem. It’s the kids who don’t manage to stay dry and who are getting past the 4/5 year mark that need the extra help. Bedwetting is filled with shame and embarassment. Kids are perceptive. They can pick up on the subtle signs of frustration from parents and the less subtle teasing from siblings or family members.

This shame does absolutely nothing positive.

Children are so easily influenced by their peers perception of them. (I’m not even going to get into the harmful effects of bullying because that is a whole blog post on its own.) The way to build confidence in a child who continues to wet the bed is to give them a semblance of power. Give them a feeling of control over their bodies betrayal. Drynites may be the answer. I confess I sniggered a bit when I first saw the ad a few months ago. I wondered why in the world a massive company like Kimberly-Clark would waste their time making nappies to fit 4-15 year olds. What 15 year old needs a nappy??! Well, quite a few apparently.

Drynites pajama pants may look a lot like the Huggies Pull Ups but the idea behind this is that the child uses it as underwear under their pjs at night. It is softer than a normal nappy which means it wont make the rustling sound and should go undetected. They put it on themselves and dispose of it themselves the next morning whether it is wet or not. No embarassment. It could be argued that the ‘pajama pants’ are an enabler to the bed wetting situation but then we have to remember the most important fact: this is uncontrolled behaviour.

That being said, if your child was completely dry through the night for six months or longer and THEN starts wetting the bed, there could be other physical or mental factors at play and it would be a good idea to consult a doctor.

One last interesting thing I learnt: if you take your child to the toilet in the middle of the night (like we do) then you are doing them a big disservice. Yes they make it through the night this way, but they don’t get to learn the feeling that comes from a full bladder. Their little bodies aren’t getting a chance to connect the dots between a full bladder and waking up. So stop it. Change those sheets until they learn this new skill and remember that they are such little human beings. Everything is new and every skill needs to be learnt.

If your child still wets the bed and you are at your wits end, go to the Drynites website and request a sample. I also have four sample packs with me from the event if you would like it. Try to remember that there is nothing shameful about wetting the bed. It’s a normal part of growing up. Like walking or talking, bladder control is a skill that children learn at their own pace. Bedwetting is as natural as drooling when teething. Let’s try to do our bit to remove the stigma.


This post was not paid for though I did get a very cute pillow for attending so…yay me!

9 thoughts on “The unnecessary shame of bedwetting

  1. I actually saw the advert the other day and thought it was a brilliant new concept that might come in handy. We are still on the daytime potty training and haven’t ventured into the night potty training as yet. I am dreading changing those bedsheets but it comes with the territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My 9-year-old has never managed to be dry more than a couple nights per week. He’s never been shamed for it and knows it’s not his fault. It’s because of a kidney issue, but it’s still frustrating for him. Sad how many times you hear parents talk about punishing or spanking their kids for this.


  3. Yep, I wet the bed!!! SO MUCH! But now I’m fine, of course. I agree that shaming the kid does nothing!!! I read a great post on his-girl-friday (a WP blog) about some combo of oils that stopped her son’s night wetting. It had something to do with helping the body connect those dots.
    I hope it gets easier for you guys soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great idea: Drynites. I worked at a summer camp and we were prepped on how to handle “birdwatchers” (not a term I’m happy with but there you are 😜). I thankfully didn’t get any, but this would have made our strategy much easier!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My son would stay dry during the night without accidents. When he turned 4 he started bed wetting even during a one hour nap. That’s been going on for 6 years now.
    One day he’ll get it. 😊


    1. That did actually come up at the talk. The event was hosted by Dr Micheal Mol who is the spokesperson for Drynites. He said that the alarms work for a short while but then people end up putting them off for the same reason that we end up hitting snooze on our morning alarms.


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