My son has been potty trained since he was three, and dry at night since he was four. Between ages 3 & 4, he wore a pull-up to bed just in case, but it was rarely "used." When he finally was dry at night for a solid three months, we dumped the pull ups and called it a day on potty training.
He is about to turn 7, and for three years he has had an accident about once a year - all times on vacation or during an illness. But over the last month, he has wet his bed four times.
I'd hate to put him back into overnight diapers (and he'd hate it, too). But I'm really annoyed at this point. Any advice or another, older column you have done about this topic that you can lead me to?
From: ANONYMOUS, Canton, MA
You've noted that he's had accidents in the past on vacation or when he's sick. I suspect that something similar is going on now. Check with your pediatrician to see if he has some kind of infection. If you rule that out, I'd look to some kind of emotional upset. Is something going on in your family -- sick grandparent, best friend moving, a parent who's lost or changed jobs? And don't rule out the end of the school year. That can cause anxiety for a lot of children this age who worry that next year may be hard and that they won't be smart enough. Or what about summer camp? Even the anticipation of transition to day camp can cause anxiety in some children.
Meanwhile, what to do? Keep in mind that bed-wetting is very common in 5 & 6-year-olds, including in children who have not had a problem before. I would not put him back in pull-ups; you're right, that will humiliate him. Put a rubber mat under his sheet (tell him it's just until you and he figure out why he's having accidents). Bed-wetting alarms help in some families.Showing him how to change and clean himself in the middle of the night can work with a mature child. In the meantime, try not to take your annoyance out on him (definitely don't punish him), it's not a purposeful behavior and he will most likely outgrow it. Here's the old column you were asking about.
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