Bedwetting is an inconvenient issue that parents would rather not deal with. But like most things in parents’ lives, you have to deal with it with as much patience, sympathy and compassion as you can muster. Besides, you can take comfort in the fact that bedwetting is a common issue among kids – according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, 20% of 5-year old kids wet their beds while 10% of 7-year old kids and 5% of 10-year old children also do so.
The issue can even persist well into their early teenage years although bedwetting is temporary and harmless in nature. Unless there are other physical and mental symptoms that accompany bedwetting, it’s a normal occurrence. You, the parents, shouldn’t be too concerned about it and, thus, you shouldn’t give your child a hard time because of it.
Still, you can use the following practical tips to make bedwetting less of a problem and more of an acceptable thing, in a manner of speaking.
Know the Causes First
When you have a better understanding of a condition, you will be better able to deal with it with a more sensible mindset. This is the case for bedwetting in children although emphasis must also be made that the causes for bedwetting aren’t fully understood, so far.
But researchers believe that bedwetting is likely to be related to these factors:
- Your child’s body is still in its development stage. He wets his bed because his nervous system and brain as well as his excretory system including his bladders are still developing. He cannot help bedwetting any more than he can help his first tooth and wisdom tooth from coming out.
- Your child’s bedwetting habits may have been inherited. If you or your partner has experienced bedwetting, your child will be more likely to do so, too.
- Your child’s bedtime routine has been disrupted. You may also observe that his bedwetting increased when he’s overly tired, feels stressed, and experiences a minor sickness (e.g., cold), as well as undergoing a stressful situation like a big move.
- Your child sleeps so well and so deeply that his brain cannot pick up the signals that he must use the toilet, thus, the bedwetting episodes. Most bedwetting episodes happen during the deep sleep phase.
- Your child produces high levels of urine during the night, largely because his body doesn’t produce sufficient amounts of the hormone that decreased urine production at night. Even drinking lesser amounts of fluids before bedtime will not completely resolve bedwetting episodes.
But bedwetting may also have an underlying condition that must be treated to resolve both issues. The common conditions that result in bedwetting episodes include urinary tract infections, constipation, and diarrhea, among others. But if your child has more worrisome symptoms alongside the bedwetting, then you should call your doctor for more information.
Know the Ways to Deal with Bedwetting Episodes
Bedwetting doesn’t have to be a daily occurrence! You can adopt several sensible steps in reducing the frequency of bedwetting episodes.
- Avoid using a bedwetting alarm for children younger than 7 years. Your child will likely outgrow bedwetting by the time he’s 7 years old anyway so it’s completely unnecessary.
- Encourage your child to wear disposable underwear with insertable pads, which will reduce the amount of urine spreading into the mattress. If necessary, you may also let him use training pads or overnight diapers at night so he will not be pressured into getting up to use the toilet at night. Plus, you’re basically giving him the opportunity to let his body mature more to the point where bedwetting doesn’t happen again.
- Consider the individual aspects of your child’s bedroom. Your child may find the bathroom too far or his bedroom too dark so he doesn’t get up at night to use the toilet, thus, the bedwetting episodes. You have to discuss with your child his concerns about going to the toilet at night in ways that he will understand. You can, for example, place a nightlight by her bed, turn on the bathroom light open at night, and leave a hallway light on so she can find her way.
- Limit your child’s drink intake in the evenings although it isn’t the be-all and end-all of bedwetting solutions. You should still ensure that he drinks a sufficient amount of water during the day for his normal functioning. You may also apply the 40-40-20 rule – 40% fluid in the morning, 40% in the afternoon, and 20% in the evening.
- Establish bedtime routines that can help in reducing the risk of bedwetting. Your child, for example, should use the toilet before hitting the sack and relaxing him so that the stresses of the day melts away.
In all these steps, you should always maintain a clear and cool head. Your child isn’t at fault here so it’s counterproductive to scold him for it.
Bedwetting isn’t a walk in the park especially when parents have to deal with the mess in the mattress and linens. But in time, it should resolve by itself so there’s no reason to raise a fuss. When your child has moved past it, then you can buy a new Sleepwell mattress to replace the abused one.