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How to reset the morning after a night-time accident

Child stretching and yawning while sat on a bed

Navigating the morning after your child has had a bedwetting incident can be challenging for the entire family. It disrupts sleep, stirs up emotions and can leave everyone feeling unsettled. At Pee Paediatric Services (PeePS), we understand these challenges and we're here to provide practical advice to help you reset and start the day on a positive note.

PeePS, founded by Cheryl Jennings, an experienced Clinical Nurse Practitioner in Paediatric Urology, specialises in treating children with lower urinary tract dysfunction. With over 23 years of experience, including more than a decade of focused care in this field, Cheryl brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to support your family through these tough times.

Helping your child reset after a night-time accident

Your child's wellbeing is paramount in these situations. Here’s how you can help them bounce back and face the day with confidence:

1. Take a bath or shower 

While your child might have had a quick clean-up during the night, a thorough bath or shower in the morning is essential. This not only removes any lingering odours but also helps them feel fresh and ready to face the day without any embarrassment.

2. Choosing their own clothes 

Allow your child to pick their own clothes if possible. This small act can give them a sense of control, helping them start the day positively.

3. A reassuring cuddle

After a disrupted night, a comforting cuddle can work wonders. It reassures your child that everything is okay and that you're there to support them.

4. Open communication

After breakfast, take a moment to sit down quietly with your child. Discuss what happened during the night, ensuring they understand they're not in trouble. This conversation can help them process their feelings and come up with a plan to avoid future accidents, promoting a sense of control and confidence.

Bedwetting can lead to feelings of guilt and embarrassment for your child, but with the right approach, you can help them regain their confidence and remain emotionally strong. Here’s how to provide that crucial support:

Encourage open dialogue

Creating an environment where your child feels safe to talk about their feelings is essential. After a night-time accident, encourage them to express their emotions and thoughts about what happened. Let them know that it's okay to feel upset or embarrassed, and reassure them that they are not at fault. Use open-ended questions to facilitate the conversation, such as, "How did you feel when you woke up?" or "What do you think might help stop this in the future?" Listening actively without interrupting or showing frustration will help your child feel heard and understood, fostering a sense of trust and openness.

Plan for the future 

Once you have discussed their feelings, shift the focus to planning practical steps that can help prevent future accidents. This might include tweaking their bedtime routine, such as limiting fluids before bed, ensuring they use the toilet right before sleep and possibly incorporating incontinence pants or a bed mat for added security. Explain these strategies calmly and positively, emphasising that they are temporary measures to help everyone sleep better. Involving your child in these plans can give them a sense of control and responsibility, which can reduce anxiety and improve their confidence.

Re-make the bed together 

Involving your child in the process of re-making their bed after an accident can be a therapeutic activity. It helps to demystify the incident and frames it as a manageable issue rather than a source of shame. Show them step-by-step how to strip the bed, replace the sheets and arrange their bedding. Use this opportunity to talk about what happened in a calm and supportive manner, reinforcing that accidents are a normal part of growing up. This activity not only teaches practical skills but also symbolises a fresh start, helping your child move past the incident and look forward to a new day.

Quality time together 

Spending quality time with your child after a bedwetting incident is crucial for rebuilding their self-esteem and ensuring they feel loved and valued. Engage in activities they enjoy, whether it’s reading a favourite book, playing a game or going for a walk. This dedicated one-on-one time signals to your child that they are important to you, irrespective of the bedwetting issue. It helps them feel special and secure, maintaining the bond between you and keeping the lines of communication open. Additionally, planning enjoyable activities for the day or the upcoming week can give your child something positive to look forward to, shifting their focus away from the incident and reinforcing a positive mindset.

Resetting as a parent

As important as it is to support your child through the challenges of bedwetting, it’s equally crucial to ensure you are taking care of yourself. Here's how to reset and recharge so you can continue to provide the best support for your child:

Get things in order 

The first step to resetting after a night-time accident is to address the immediate practical needs. Begin by washing the soiled sheets and changing the bed. This not only restores order but also helps you start the day afresh. Getting things in order includes tidying up any mess and ensuring your child’s room is clean and comfortable for the night ahead. This routine can also have a calming effect on your own mindset, creating a sense of normalcy and control. Taking care of these tasks promptly can prevent the lingering stress that a disrupted night can cause and helps everyone move on from the incident more smoothly.

Take time for yourself 

After addressing the practicalities, it’s important to carve out some time for yourself. Whether it’s indulging in a quiet cup of tea, going for a morning walk or participating in a yoga class, find an activity that helps you relax and reset. Even a brief moment of solitude can significantly improve your mood and energy levels. By taking time for self-care, you are not only nurturing your own wellbeing but also setting a positive example for your child on the importance of self-care. Remember, recharging your own batteries is essential to maintaining the patience and calm needed to support your child effectively.

Share responsibilities

If you have a partner, sharing the responsibilities of night-time support can make a significant difference. Take turns attending to your child during the night, allowing each other the opportunity to rest and recuperate. For single parents, it’s important to seek support from extended family or close friends. Perhaps a grandparent or a trusted friend can stay over once a week to help out. If this isn’t possible, consider taking some time off work when your child is at school or nursery to catch up on rest. Sharing the load ensures that you don’t become overly tired and stressed, which can impact your ability to provide consistent support to your child.

Maintain your mental health

Caring for a child who experiences bedwetting can be exhausting and stressful, especially when combined with the demands of work and other family responsibilities. It’s vital to prioritise your mental health during this time. Ensure you have a support system in place, whether it’s friends, family or a professional counsellor. Talking about your experiences and feelings can provide relief and perspective. Additionally, incorporating stress-relief practices such as meditation, exercise or journaling into your daily routine can help manage anxiety and prevent burnout. By looking after your mental health, you’re better equipped to handle the challenges of bedwetting and provide a supportive environment for your child.

Taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it’s a necessity. When you are well-rested, mentally strong and supported, you can offer the compassionate, calm and patient care your child needs during this developmental phase. 

Book a discovery call with PeePS founder, Cheryl Jennings (pictured)
Book a discovery call with PeePS founder, Cheryl Jennings (pictured)

We're here to help 

Bedwetting is a common phase for many children, and with the right support, they will get past it. PeePS is dedicated to helping you and your child through this stage. If you need further advice or support, we offer a free 15-minute discovery call with founder Cheryl Jennings.

Contact PeePS today to book your call and receive expert guidance tailored to your child's needs. Let's work together to help your child – and your family – move forward with confidence.

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