Monday, March 26, 2012

About Changing A Wet Bed

Being a mother is not easy.  Let me say that again.  Being a mother.  Is. Not. Easy. But I get better at it as I go along.  Some of the things which troubled me as a young mother have become easier.  There are an awful lot of things I wish I'd known when I started.  I can't count the number of times I've kicked myself and shouted, "Why did it take me five (or six, or seven, or even eight) babies to figure this out?"  But I do wish I'd known then some of the things I know now.  Here is another post in a What I Wish I'd Known (or WIWIK) series.

As a mother of boys, I've had my share of middle-of-the-night accidents.  I even had one bedwetter who was so skilled at soaking through everything, every night, that we thought he'd go pro (he has since thankfully retired).  I changed a lot of sheets.  A lot.  And it was almost always when I was dead-tired.  Sometimes I was even still asleep, I'm sure.  You wet the bed in your sleep?  I change sheets in my sleep!

I wish I would have known that I could double-make a bed.

For bigger beds, put down a waterproof pad.  Then make the bed with the bottom sheet.  Repeat with another (big) waterproof pad (on top of the first bottom sheet), and another bottom sheet.  When the accident occurs, simply peel off the now-wet top-bottom sheet and the top waterproof pad.  And the bed is still made!  Little Wetter can crawl back into bed, and (after lugging the wet stuff to the laundry room to deal with in the morning) you can crawl back into your bed, too.

For persistent wetters, find the waterproof pads that are softer.  These are not so hot and uncomfortable to sleep on.  Invest in a pile of these.  It will make your life easier.  Make the bed with a pad, the bottom sheet, and another waterproof pad.  Stop here.  Little Usually Wet can sleep directly on top of the pad.  In the middle of the night, pull off the pad and replace it with a new, dry one (from the pile of waterproof pads you keep conveniently under his bed), and everyone goes back to bed.

Of course, you will also have nearby (perhaps in a plastic box under the offended bed) an assortment of clean undies, pajamas, and blankets.  Being prepared makes the midnight dressings so much easier.

If your Littlest Wetter is in a toddler bed or a crib, this is the easiest of all to double-make.  Put down ye olde waterproof pad.  Make the bed with the bottom sheet.  Now pick up the entire mattress and flip it over.  Your pad and sheet are now on the underneath side of the mattress.  Make the bed again, with a pad and sheet.  You could also try this with a bigger bed if the mattress is somewhat light or easy to move.  When nature's call is not answered in the wee hours, take off the wet linens, flip the whole mattress over, and voila!  Ready-to-go.

Other thoughts:  if you do have a wetter (even if only occasionally), make sure the entire mattress is covered with a waterproof, zippered pad.  It is worth it to not have to scrub smellies out of the mattress.  Also, two-piece pajamas are nicer, as the tops do not always get wet.  If Little Wetter has a "lovie" (special blankie, stuffed animal, etc.), make sure you have two of them in case one needs to take a trip to the laundry room.

Be nice to yourself.  Bedwetting doesn't last forever, and you're not a failure of a mother if you have a Nighttime Fountain of Youth.  Don't get angry, just take care of it, give your (now dry) sweetie a hug,  and get you both back to bed ASAP.  This will make life easier.

That's all.

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