Is your child stuck in nappies or pull-ups at night?
It’s not uncommon for parents of bedwetting children to worry about the causes of this particular problem – after all, it could be due to anxiety related problems at school, a developmental delay or problems with bladder function.
However, in my experience of running a children’s bedwetting clinic for over 12 years now, in the majority of cases the cause is simply “habit”. Somehow over the years, your child got into a habit of wearing pull-up pants or similar absorbent protection and just never learnt how to stay dry all night. It’s as simple as that.
And then you found yourselves caught in that ‘catch 22’ situation. Never quite confident enough to stop using absorbent pants (after all, think about the embarrassment a bedwetting accident would cause if you were staying in a hotel) –but at the same time never quite giving your child’s mind the opportunity to allow the neurological pathways to wire themselves up and create that ‘auto-pilot’.
It’s a common enough problem and in fact, it’s the reason why more and more children are beginning to suffer from night-time bedwetting problems than ever before. Have you noticed how the supermarket shelves are increasingly stocking night-time ‘pull-up’ protective pants for teenagers up to the age of 15?
A decade or so ago these just did not exist to the same extent. Make no mistake, the manufacturers are more than happy to keep on making these in all sorts of fancy designs and colours to keep your child happy.
A quick survey of my bedwetting clients revealed that the average amount of money spent on protective night-time pants is £7 – £10 per week. Wow, just think how good you could feel if all that money stayed in your purse, rather than being thrown in the bin (quite literally!).
I believe that the super-absorbent quality of these nappies or night-time protection actually tricks the child’s mind into believing that they’re simply not wet. And so the vital connection between the actions of the body and the results produced are never really made. It’s very much like trying to learn how to play the piano wearing sheepskin gloves – it’s very much harder to do.
My advice to all parents of bedwetting children has to be to ‘bite the bullet’ and stop using this protection after the age of 5 years. From this time onwards, it’s going to be better to protect the bed, rather than the child.
Alicia Eaton is a Children’s Behavioural Specialist – a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed NLP Coach based in London’s Harley Street since 2004. She is the author of the best-selling “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” book and video programme. You can read more about changing children’s habits and behaviours in her latest book: “Words that Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything”.