Restrict fluids before bedtime...that is about all I learned from my pediatrician about ending the bedwetting. Well, there was also the assurance that he would eventually grow out of it. I'm not sure where this advice originated, though I understand that it can reduce the amount of urine on the sheets. But let's get to the truly important question...why is it bad advice? Well, we all know that there are many disadvantages to bedwetting, but one of them is often overlooked by parents who are absorbed in the duties of cleaning it all up. It is this: when we sleep all night without going to the bathroom, we stretch our bladders out on a regular basis. Just like a balloon that has been filled with water and left overnight, when the fluid is released the bladder empties but remains somewhat stretched and wrinkled. But if you fill up a water balloon and then empty it sooner, it will not be very stretched but regain its original size rapidly, and so it is with the bladder. This just perpetuates the problem. So restricting fluids can actually make the problem worse by keeping the bladder from being stretched and keeping it accustomed to being emptied when there is not much in it. Okay, and the second problem is very obvious. Our bodies need to be hydrated. I can remember on more than one occasion our son crying because he was thirsty, and we would make him swish a little water in his mouth and spit it out or even tell him he could have a tiny drop. And it never helped him stay dry! I've heard that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.
The first thing that they (the company to whom we are paying $2,000 for teaching us to become dry) told us was to make sure he drinks all the water he can comfortably hold before bedtime. WHAT?! You read right! Flies right in the face of everything we were told previously. But this made him pee lots more! See that was one of the goals, and I'll explain more about that tomorrow. Make sure you stick with us to find out more, and as always, feel free to contact me with any direct questions. I'll do my best to answer them from what I've learned so far.