Handling Bedwetting When Co-Sleeping

by Susan

Co-sleeping can be a wonderful blessing for children and parents… but sometimes families have to work around a couple challenges to keep everyone sleeping soundly.

Before I had children, I never would have imagined I’d opt for a family bed. But when Julia was about 5 months old, after weeks of worrying about it, I finally decided to co-sleep.

When Sophia was born, Julia was two and a half and still sleeping in my bed. I worried some more, but decided to figure out a way to make a family bed work.

Since the start, I’d followed all sorts of safety precautions including placing an extra firm king size mattress on the floor and removing any extra bedding and pillows.

But there is an extra wrinkle when three of us share the bed… bedwetting can be extra uncomfortable.

As I mentioned before, Julia regularly wets during the night and if it weren’t for GoodNites® Underwear, I don’t know how we’d make co-sleeping work.

While soon I expect my daughter Julia, who just turned six, to decide to move to her own bed, she doesn’t seem ready yet. And frustratingly, her bladder doesn’t seem to be ready to make it through the night either.

GoodNightsI am so relieved to be parenting in a time where I can connect with thousands of other mothers online who understand and accept that my six year old and my three year old still want to share sleeptime with their Mommy and that my six year old can’t stay dry during the night.

A few nights ago, my three year old, who almost never has nighttime accidents, fell asleep a little ahead of schedule, without fully emptying her bladder, and ended up soaking the sheets. As I dried her off and mopped up the mess, I felt relief that I don’t have to deal with wet sheets every night.

Very soon my little girls will both be in their own rooms, sleeping in their own beds and we’ll hardly remember bedwetting. But until then, I’m glad our family bed stays dry.

 

Written by Susan Carraretto, Mom Blogger and 5 Minutes For Mom Co-Founder
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Disclaimer – We are working on a paid campaign with GoodNites® Underwear to spread awareness and information about enuresis, also known as bedwetting. I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments about the product.



Email Author    |    Website About Susan

Susan Carraretto and her identical twin, Janice Croze, created 5 Minutes for Mom in 2006. Susan loves all social media, but her top addiction these days is Pinterest. She recently published a children's book titled "The Pest Detectives" which you can download now in digital format for free.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cat Davis July 5, 2011 at 3:20 pm

While we don’t co-sleep any longer, I definitely understand the frustration of bed wetting. My daughter just turned 4 and has been working hard at wearing underwear to bed but there are accidents here and there. I may have to try these goodnights with her, at the very least it’ll save me extra laundry.

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2 Susan July 6, 2011 at 1:44 pm

And what mom doesn’t want LESS laundry? LOL

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3 Mommy Moment July 5, 2011 at 3:37 pm

We have never co-slept, but I have no issues with families who do.
I want you to know that I really appreciate the honesty you put into these GoodNites Posts…so many children wet the bed and that’s OK!

Great post Susan!

Smiles,
Jody

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4 Susan July 6, 2011 at 1:48 pm

Thanks so much Jody! Yes, sensitive issues such as bedwetting can be extra difficult because they’re often not talked about.

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5 Lolli July 5, 2011 at 3:51 pm

I regularly have kids sleeping in bed with us. The youngest three tend to take turns. And while it’s rough to clean up a kid’s wet bed, it is so much worse when the accident happens in MY bed. I totally hear you!

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6 Susan July 6, 2011 at 2:17 pm

I often hear from families who don’t technically “co-sleep” that still many nights their kids spent part or all of the night in bed with them.

And yes, when everyone is in one bed, it’s far worse cleaning up an accident.

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7 Tiffany (As For My House) July 5, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Although I’m not a disposable diaper fan, I appreciate your openness in sharing about co-sleeping, especially with two. So many people seem determined to put their kids off in isolation as soon as possible.

My husband and I still have our middle (just turned six) and youngest (three) in our bed… As you say, the time will come soon enough.

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8 Susan July 6, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Thank you so much Tiffany for sharing that your children – at the same age as mine – are also co-sleeping. Fantastic to hear!

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9 Tarasview July 5, 2011 at 11:49 pm

I still have two kids who regularly wet the bed ( son age 9 and daughter age 4 … middle child age 8 does not) and we LOVE good nites. I don’t know what I would do without them. I think my daughter will be able to go without them soon I hope. We are concentrating on helping my son NOT be embarrassed by the fact he still wets the bed. We had our doctor tell him that there are LOTS of kids who wet the bed at his age and that it isn’t a big deal and he will most likely grow out of it in the next few years. Good Nites help reduce the shame he feels. He took one on his recent sleepover and it worked just fine- his friend never knew he was wearing one.

We have co-slept at various times with all three of our kids- my daughter lasted the longest though. Now she sleeps in her own bed beside our bed as a step to her own room. She is just not there yet and I have no issues with her needing to be close!

Oh- and my mom totally coslept with me until I was about 8 or 9. It was just her and I and I needed the comfort. I was an anxious child and she helped me get through that!! I grew out of it and it in NO way affected me negatively.

I too am proud of you for being so open- I will never forget the day when a friend of mine told me she had coslept with her kids. Her kids were older at the time – all well adjusted teenagers- and it was such a relief for me to find SOMEONE who didn’t bash me for letting my kids climb in bed with us!! It was like a huge weight was lifted off my chest just to know I wasn’t the only mom in the world cosleeping!

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10 Susan July 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm

Thank YOU Tara for sharing your personal story. It truly helps to hear other moms’ perspectives… especially when you have experience from your own childhood.

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11 Annie July 6, 2011 at 10:13 am

Thank you for being so honest Susan!! We currently share the bed with my 2 yo son and 6 mo daughter. My 4 yo daughter is in our room – but sleeps in her own daybed. You have a wonderful relationship with your girls, you are so blessed!!

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12 Susan July 6, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Thanks Annie. How sweet that your whole family shares the room. I really think it helps bonding and let’s the children feel that extra love, security and confidence. Of course it isn’t for every family, but I’m grateful that I’ve had the opportunity to have my girls co-sleep.

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13 Jennifer July 6, 2011 at 5:18 pm

I’m not a cosleeper — never did it, never wanted to. However, that picture of the two sisters snuggled up is enough to make me reconsider. Adorable!

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14 Susan July 7, 2011 at 3:52 am

So funny… yes, they are sooooo sweet when they’re sleeping, aren’t they?

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15 Ludicrous Mama August 27, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I wet the bed well into Elementary school (I want to say I still was when I was 11, but I’m basing that on a vague feeling, and not on any kind of verification with my parents!) And since bed-wetting often runs in families (based on sleeping deeper or something) I fully expected my daughter to as well, but she inexplicably stays dry most nights (but she has night terrors, so our few accidents have been when she was too incoherent to communicate that she needed help getting to the potty.)
I also read somewhere that children given a choice to co-sleep will chose to sleep with parents until age 7, on average (so some stop earlier and some later, obviously.) So both older bed-wetters and older co-sleepers are normal and healthy. :) My daughter decided she’d rather sleep with her plushie menagerie in her big girl bed, rather than with us, a little before age 3. But I still frequently wake up to find she’s moved into our bed over night. Which we’re fine with. We set up baby gates in the hallway at night to block her off from the rest of the house, for safety reasons. And we had to put a nightlight in our room so she can find her way around. But waking up to that smile is SO worth it!

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