If you are not in a good place to start bedwetting therapy, there are things you can try to help your child. I often see families with new babies, odd work shifts, their child has difficulty falling asleep, they are having behavior problems in other areas, etc. It’s ok to pick your battles and if bedwetting isn’t one of them right now, no judgment.
To have success with the Time to be Dry Program you need to consistently follow each step. Some families aren’t ready. That’s ok if you don’t want to add one more stressor in your life right now.
When families are not ready to put in the work but still desperately want their child to wake up dry, I recommend dry waking. Dry waking in itself is not a bad idea, if you understand that it’s not fixing the problem long term. I think dry waking is great for the younger child, age 5-9 years old that feels really bad about being wet but is not willing to use an alarm. When a child develops social awareness about wetting they can have emotional problems, such as developing low self-worth. I believe this is the best age to treat a patient
So what is Dry Waking?
Dry waking is having your child pee before bed and then you take them to pee one more time before you go to bed. There are different variations in this and it depends on your child. Some kids do great with this and can wake up dry. Some kids may need to be woken up one more time, either late at night or early in the morning. It all depends on what you are willing to do and how well your child’s bladder functions overnight. You do not need to fully wake up your child. They can zombie walk to the toilet and pee while half asleep. Waking them up won’t train their brain to know what their bladder is doing because you may or may not be waking them at the right time. To connect the brain and bladder they need to have a full bladder that’s getting ready to empty. Even with a parent’s best sixth sense they aren’t able to do this accurately and consistently.
I have many families who follow the scenario of waking the child once before they go to bed between 10 pm and 11 pm
I have one family where the child goes to bed at 7:30 pm. The mom goes to bed at midnight every night. Right before she goes to bed she takes them to the bathroom and they are able to wake up dry.
I have another family where the mom wakes their child up at 10 pm to go to the bathroom and then the dad wakes them up again at 5 am to pee before he gets ready for work. Again, there is no added stress for this family to walk their child to the toilet. It all depends on your sleep schedule.
Why not use dry waking instead of the Time to be Dry Program?
This does NOT cure the problem, it’s similar to desmopressin, the child only stays dry that night.
- This does not train their brain to understand what their bladder is doing while they sleep.
- This does not improve their bladder dynamics or overall bladder health.
- This does not allow the child to go to sleepovers without the fear of wetting.
The true goal of the Time to be Dry Program is to give your child the confidence and skills, they need to go to sleepovers without fear or wetting.