A friendly guide to helping kids achieve dry nights and happier mornings.
With more than 40 years’ experience as a physician, Robson (Stop Washing the Sheets, 2011) has worked with many children and parents to help them overcome the frustration of waking up with drenched sheets. This how-to can be read in an afternoon, and is divided into 10 succinct chapters, beginning with an explanation of why children wet the bed. The average age when parents seek his advice, writes Robson, is when a child is about 7 or 8, an age when bladder capacity is often lower than the norm. He says that this can often be improved with time and behavioral changes. Parents may be surprised to read, for example, that they should encourage kids to drink fluids in the evening; according to the author, good hydration promotes good bowel health, which is the first step toward improving bladder capacity and preventing bedwetting. A morning “poop time” is crucial, writes Robson: “You need to finesse the cooperation of your child to sit on the toilet for ten minutes (use a timer) after breakfast.” He also recommends “alarm therapy” for retraining the brain to recognize the signal to get up and urinate. Although some readers may balk at the idea of clipping an alarm to their child’s underwear at night, the author’s gentle tone makes the therapy seem less clinical; for instance, he playfully encourages parents to help kids learn to “Beat the Buzzer.” In lieu of excessive medical jargon, Robson’s down-to-earth language (including words such as “pee” and “poop”) makes for breezy reading. Parents will also relate to his analogies; for example, he likens the feeling of a child’s full bowel and cramped bladder to a mother’s constant urge to urinate during pregnancy. This slim edition is also an insightful eye-opener, as it refutes several myths, including the idea that bedwetting is a psychological problem. The book concludes with a brief appendix featuring a few easy-to-interpret tables, including one detailing the fiber content of common foods.
Sensible techniques to combat bedwetting, to be used in conjunction with a trip to the pediatrician.