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Children's Hospital at Dartmouth Hitchcock (CHad)
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Motivational and Behavioral Therapy

Motivational therapy

This involves the use of positive reinforcement. This can be either verbal praise or simple material rewards. A progress record (stickers and calendar) is kept, and stickers are placed on the calendar for each dry night. The child is rewarded each time a goal is reached.

Behavioral therapy

Children with small bladders will not stay dry unless they get up to urinate during the night. The best ways to have this happen is for your child to learn to wake up at night. Have your child practice following this self-awakening exercise at bedtime.

Tell the child to:

  1. Lie on your bed with your eyes closed.
  2. Pretend it's the middle of the night.
  3. Pretend your bladder is full.
  4. Pretend it is starting to ache.
  5. Pretend it is trying to wake you up.
  6. Pretend it is saying, "Get up before it's too late."

The child then gets up, walks to the bathroom and urinates.

Remember: Encourage your child to get up like this if he/she needs to in the middle of the night.

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