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These tips have all been sent in by other parents, carers and professionals in the learning disability community. We hope they will give you plenty of ideas to try, but please remember Netbuddy is not responsible for the information provided or any of the activities suggested.
Give clear instructions
Make sure you give clear instructions at bedtime like: “What do you do if you need a wee?” …“Get out of bed and go to the toilet.” I think my daughter was genuinely confused before and thought she was not supposed to get out of bed, even to use the toilet.
I put two water proof sheets on, so when he wets, I can gently peel the sheet away without making him get up - so he goes back to sleep more easily!
Underlying constipation issues
Many children/adults who are bed wetters often have underlying constipation issues that are not being treated. Treat the constipation and the sensation and awareness often improve.
Alignment and breathing have a huge impact on the pelvic floor muscles and therefore on continence (and constipation). Children with movement challenges can benefit from activation of the deep core muscles, thus activating the pelvic floor muscles for improved continence.
Disposable bed pads are really expensive, puppy training pads from the pound shop work just as well.
Bicarbonate of Soda
Sprinkle bicarbonate of soda (you can usually find it near the flour in the baking section of supermarket) on a wet mattress and it will not only absorb the smell it will soak up the wet. Leave it on the wet patch for as long as you can and then vacuum off.
Two duvets are as good as one
I can't get a thick winter duvet into my washing machine, which is a problem when it gets soiled. But I've found that if I put two thin duvets together they're as warm as a thick one, and I can wash them separately.
My son has autism and goes through phases of bed-wetting – usually when he is ill or loosing a tooth etc. Other sensory issues seem to distract him from recognising the urge to go to the toilet. Always be aware there may be reasons behind bed-wetting.
No clothes, no wet bed
I've found that if my son goes to bed naked, he is less likely to wet the bed. Respite have found the same. Presume the sensation of control is better.
You can get very strong, robust furniture, including PVC-covered beds, mattresses and pillows designed for use by people with special needs and incontinence problems. www.linkdesign.co.uk
Just add water
My 10 yr old has regressed many times with his toileting skills. Contrary to the usual advice, our incontinence nurse told us to increase our son's fluid intake. Apparently if the bladder is not stretched it will lead to more accidents.
Snow angel exercise
Bed-wetting can sometimes be a symptom of a retained spinal galant reflex. It's worth trying the Angels in the Snow exercise. It took about 6 months, but it worked for my son! Snow angels
Avoid cocoa at night
Don't give hot cocoa before bedtime. Caffeine causes excessive urination. The combination of caffeine and sugar is not good for sensitive bladders.
Rent an alarm
You can get a bed alarm for bed wetting which can be rented from the enuresis clinic (you would need to get referred to your local one from GP or consultant), worked fantastically for us. You can also buy cheap ones in the shops – be careful though, you don’t want the alarm to go off for every dribble !
Telecare may be able to help with bed-wetting. If the person you are supporting is able to toilet themselves in the night, but needs a prompt to get up, you can get a device similar to a speaking clock, linked to a vibrating bed alert.
Find cheap bed protectors on ebay. I have saved £££s that way.
Use a Conveen ( if person is male). These have totally solved the wet bed problem. Works like a sheath, attached to a tube so the urine flows into a bag. Available on NHS from a doctor's scrip. Coloplast organise home deliveries superbly efficiently.
Artificial food dyes are related to bed wetting, especially red dyes. If you've got a bed-wetter try eliminating red dye from their diet.
Suki is incontinent during the night - as she gets bigger and drinks more her pads often leak causing a wet bed. We took the simple step of using booster pads which we bought from Boots and this provides additional absorption and keeps the bed dry. You can always cut them in half if they are too big.
I might be stating the obvious here. But some people aren't aware that if their child is incontinent they can request help from an incontinence nurse and receive free pads, bed protection sheets etc. Different areas have various rules, but a good place to start is with a health visitor or GP
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