Waking in the middle of the night to change your child’s sheets after a bed-wetting episode is practically not a new thing to parents; it’s more common than you think. Research has proven that twice as many boys wet their beds as girls. Bed-wetting among children may seem normal at first, but at some point parents may begin to worry about it. Bed-wetting can be an embarrassing situation among kids, but it is actually a very common experience. Research has proven that quite a percentage of children still bed wet after the age of five. This should be no cause for alarm because most children eventually outgrow this phase.
Why Your Child Bed Wets
Bed-wetting is literally the hidden problem of childhood. Unlike asthma or allergies, most parents would rather not talk about it outside the house. The secrecy that revolves around bed-wetting makes the situation more difficult for the child and 90% of children think they’re the only ones who wet the bed. The situation can get difficult for both parent and child; frustrated parents sometimes conclude a child is wetting the bed out of laziness; this is only but a myth.
For some children, bed-wetting may be an inevitable part of the growing process and therefore it doesn’t have to be traumatic. Understanding the causes of bed-wetting is the first step to dealing with this rampant childhood problem.
There’s no one single cause of bed-wetting, it is inherited for the most part. Research has shown that for three out of four children, either a parent or a first-degree relative also wet the bed in childhood. Science has even located some of the specific genes that lead to delayed nighttime bladder control in chromosomes. It would be nice if most parents who had the same problem communicate it to their children, this will help the child understand that he or she is not alone and it is not their fault.
Steps To Ensure Your Child Stays Dry Through The Night
1. Talk to them about it
Getting angry at your child and giving him a tough time for wetting the bed will only make the problem worse. It may be tough at first to stop a child from wetting the bed, and you shouldn’t worry about it unless he is embarrassed by it and asks you for help.
Most often than not, when parents do not talk about bed-wetting with their little ones, they begin to think that the issue is peculiar to them alone. Reassure your child that they are not alone and it is not an abnormal occurrence for a child their age.
2. Ensure they ease themselves before bedtime
When children empty their bladder before bedtime, there’s a lesser chance of them bed-wetting. Although this technique may not cure bed-wetting, it can be an effective means to keep the bed dry through the night. Most pediatricians suggest you should limit your child’s fluid intake a few hours before bedtime.
3. Talk to your pediatrician
Talking to your pediatrician about it will help him track your child’s progress and possibly offer suggestions and solution to the situation if possible. Talk to the doctor about possible causes which for instance may be: urinary tract infections, diabetes, or even stress. Even though most often than not, there is no physical reason for it. It’s nothing but a delay in the development of nighttime bladder control. You may consider adding a positive incentive like letting them play the Nintendo for every night they stay dry. This can work on a subconscious level to help your child end bed-wetting.
4. Avoid constipation
Constipation has been noted to be a common cause for bladder problems. When the rectum, which is located just behind the bladder, is filled, there is more pressure on the bladder. This may cause bladder instability, which may, in turn, cause nighttime or even daytime bed-wetting. It is advised that if you notice that your child isn’t having a daily bowel movement or if his stool is typically hard, you should increase his fluid or fiber intake. Juice, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains will surely do the trick.
5. Consider using medication
The option of medication may also be considered, but it is worthy of note that this may come with potential side effects in the form of desmopressin (reduces urine production), may cause headaches, nausea, and in very rare cases, severe water retention. Most medication will just control symptoms rather than cure bed-wetting. Therefore bed-wetting may continue as soon as you stop giving the medication. It is important to discuss with your pediatrician the types of medication choices that are available.
6. Integrate moisture alarm
A moisture alarm that wakes your child the moment he wets the bed will interrupt his sleep and condition the brain to control the bladder better and help prevent bed-wetting. This method has proven to be about 75 percent effective and tends to work when the child himself is ready to be dry. There are quite a number of brands of this product that can be purchased online.
7. Use waterproof mattress
It is also wise to invest in the good old method of a good waterproof mattress; this will not stop your child from wetting his bed but will save your child the stress of lying on an awful smelling bed. Be sure to lay fresh pajamas by your child’s bed for a quick change in the middle of the night. Your child helping to change the sheets in the morning can help him take responsibility for the bed-wetting, even if the child isn’t wetting the bed on purpose, he or she is still aware of the incident when he wakes up. Helping change the sheets can make them feel like they are a part of the solution rather than the problem.
Finally, be patient. This phase won’t last forever. In almost all cases, children outgrow bed-wetting.