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Bedwetting: The Great Diaper Dependency Experiment

Bedwetting: The Great Diaper Dependency Experiment

Bedwetting: The Great Diaper Dependency Experiment

Some of the parenting websites I read regularly have recently featured discussions about something called diaper dependency.

Now I've got to tell you right out - this isn't a term I ever even dreamt would be in my vocabulary when I became a mom. Chalk it up to being just one more of the surprising things about being a parent - right? Basically, the diaper dependency theory says that kids who wet the bed, if they wear pull-ups or diapers (nappies to our friends across the pond), wet because they know they can. Their little minds figure dryness isn't worth a middle of the night trip to the loo, and since they're protected anyway... the theory says.

This idea makes me nervous. At the root, it sounds like it hints that after a while, enuretic kids only wet the bed from laziness, apathy, or choice. We are so not going there! For anyone who's got a child with enuresis, we know this is a crazy stance to take. Sure, on any given day, my child can be as lazy as a log, headache-inducingly apathetic, and even cantankerous - but so can every other child I've ever seen. But there's a big difference between not wanting to clean his room, do the dishes, or get all his homework done before knocking off for the day, and simply deciding, "What the hay... the bathroom's just not convenient enough, so I'll wet my bed."

The urge to be lazy is simply not an enticing enough tradeoff for waking up in a wet bed.

But wait! Let's not throw this baby out with the bathwater. If you think back to the days of potty-training your little ones, there's a parallel to the diaper dependency theory. Those super-absorbent pull-ups made it pretty hard for the kids to know whether they'd had an accident. In the staying dry process, the day comes when you've got to chuck the pull-ups and try flying without a net. I started wondering whether it could it be the same thing with sleepwetting - maybe if he could feel it happening, he could stop.

So, it was time to try an experiment. As he reached the age of being between pull-up sizes (too small for adult sizes; too big for kid sizes), it might be time for a break.

The idea - see what happens if he went without pull-ups for a few days.

It wasn't really a big deal to try this for a few days:
* My laundry routine was already in full gear, so a few more sets of sheets wouldn't even be noticeable.
* His mattress was fully protected, so it didn't do any harm.
* He's already a very responsible kid, and takes care of his own bathing and clean-up.
* I also made a solemn promise not to complain if it didn't work.

Who knows - stranger things have happened, right? Maybe this would be the thing that works. Some kids just reach a certain age and their enuresis troubles disappear. Could this be the perfect storm situation that leads to dry nights?

Nope. It didn't work at all.

No harm done, and nobody was any worse for the wear. And we learned some things - first of all that the whole diaper dependency business is just plain silly. The experiment also led us to try again with a bedwetting alarm (we tried a couple several years ago, but found that either the sensor died quickly, or the alarm was unreliable and hard to shut off). And we found some other sources for pull-ups that'll work better than the ones at the grocery store.

What was his take on all of this?

This is probably the best part. It's been no bed of roses for him, but it does seem to have made him a more compassionate kid. When he knows another kid has medical problems or challenges, he's always kind and sensitive to their feelings. He's also gotten pretty verbal about his bedwetting problem - and, thankfully, calls me on it if I ever complain or say something to make him feel bad about it. (Yes, I'm still learning to master my own mouth, and don't always do it right.)

And get this - he's even written his own book about a kid with bedwetting challenges. It'll be published soon on my site, and we're hoping it will help other kids who have the same struggles. This is his first attempt to help other bedwetting kids, and gives me just one more reason to be a very proud mom.

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Author Bio
Sue LaPointe is the owner of BedWettingHelpforMoms.com – a site aimed at encouraging, supporting, and educating parents of bedwetters. Request your copy of the free report "Got a Bedwetter? Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid."

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