Children Bedwetting, any hope?

Bedwetting occurs at night, often with children who have little or no trouble controlling their bladder during the day. The older children are less likely to wet the bed.


Bedwetting creates anxiety for the entire family.  This makes parents to be frustrated and tired by the extra laundry, drying mattresses, and time set aside in reassurances that follow each incident of bedwetting.


One may ask, what are the basic causes of bedwetting? Few causes of bedwetting include ailments such as;

  • urinary tract infections,
  • allergies,
  • diabetes,
  • cell anemia,
  • sleep disorders
  • Having taken excess prior to going to bed.


Although, researchers have found that psychological reasons such as stress, upset, and trauma often contribute to bedwetting.


Teenagers who wet the bed often suffer from low self-esteem, withdrawal, stress, fear, and other problems.  These children may suffer from insomnia because they fear or are ashamed of what happens while they are asleep.


Many parents wonder whether they should search for help for bedwetting.  After all, despite the problems of bedwetting, many doctors still recommend patience and time as the best way to resolve the problem, as many children overcome it with little or no extra help.



Many years ago, it was thought that bedwetting children were simply poorly taught, were developmentally delayed (or otherwise “abnormal”) or just needed more discipline.


Endeavor to involve your child when seeking the solution. When you approach a child with a way to resolve bedwetting, you can often ensure a better reception by approaching the subject in a sensitive and informative way. Help the child to clean up, tidy up the pillows or fold the sheets. Ensure you involve such child in the clean up exercise. In doing this, you are indirectly making them to know bedwetting is not an ideal situation. In addition, this can make the child feel less babyish and hopeless.



Do not make cleaning up exercise look like a punishment. It is important not to discipline your child for wetting the bed.  This method not only does not work, but the stress of the discipline may make the problem worse.  No child wants to wet the bed after, knowing full well that someone can stay “dry” for the night.

The child who has a hard time not wetting the bed needs sympathy and help, not discipline. If you adopt punishment methods, you will get the following results;


  • The child become ashamed, Hence, low esteem


  • Become upset with their regular life, thereby turning them towards depression.


  • Sudden and big changes in appetite (eats a lot less or far more)


  • Fearful or withdrawn with others


  • Does not show interest in regular activities


  • Does not spend time with others


  • Cries and gets angry or is very quiet


  • Mood swings


  • Have problem of sleeplessness


  • Loss of control of bladder during the day


  • Reduced performance in school.


If you notice these problems, seek more aggressive treatment for the bedwetting and visit a counselor or doctor to help your child deal with the secondary problems caused by bedwetting.


You have to be very sure it is not a medication that is causing the problem. If your child is taking any medications that cause extreme drowsiness or an urgent need to urinate, the medications may be causing bed wetting.  Medications that make your child very tired may simply not allow such child to wake up and to go to the bathroom.



Techniques employed in stopping bedwetting


Earlier bedtime

Children, who are tired, usually have a hard time waking up to empty their full bladder.  If your child gets the sleep he or she needs, they will not be so overtired not to be able to wake up.


Assure your child that the problem is not forever


If your child seems to be doing better, remind him or her again that most people overcome bedwetting with time and you will notice that their situation seems to be improving itself.




Night lifting

Night lifting is a technique that requires the parent to wake up the child in the night.  Most children lose control of their bladder at night especially if the child follows the same routine of sleeping all through and wet the bed each day.  If you can identify when each accident occurs, say every 30 minutes, 1 hour? You can set your alarm before this time, so as to wake your child up, and lead them to the bathroom.


You can also try waking your child up twice a night.  In most cases, this helps the child wake up dry in the morning. Then use this opportunity to encourages the child to keep trying to wake up before they are woken up.  However, children may resist waking up in the night, especially if they are tired.



Urination control exercise

Some doctors are of the opinion that helping the child control urination, also helps them control the muscle that holds back or releases urine.  This exercise is often used in conjunction with the bladder control exercise and is completely safe.


How can this be done?

  1. When your child urinates, have your child stop urinating “mid-stream”


  1. Have your child start-stop three times.


  1. Repeat the process during each bathroom visit.


The idea is that the child will control the bladder more effectively during the day, causing the control to be present at night as well.


In general, these exercises work best with children over the age of six years and those who are willing to work hard to control their bladder.




Avoid excess liquid before going to bed

It is important to keep your child hydrated.  Drinking enough water helps the body function properly and helps keep the kidneys healthy.  However, encourage your child to drink most of the water earlier in the day so that less water is drunk in an hour or two before bedtime. This can help ensure that the body does not produce much urine that will agitate wetting the bed at night.


It is important to note that some fluids cause more wetting of bed problems than the others.  While your child is trying to overcome bedwetting, it is often best to stick to water.  Drinks like dark teas, and coffee all contain caffeine that irritates the bladder. Hence, may increase the urgency to urinate more habitually.  For teenagers, alcohol may also affect bedwetting, as the need to urinate is increased.


Take for instance, apple juice also seems to cause increased urine in some children, due to the two substances, patulin and gallic acid, that it contains.  Encourage your child to eat apples during the day, but do not serve apple juice prior to bed time.



Wake up alarm

A wake up alarm emits noise as at time set.  It will wake your child up, so as to visit the bathroom even if your child is a very heavy sleeper. The alarm can wake up the rest of the household, so that you can wake your child up.  The essence of this device is to wake up the child several times. With this device, some improvement will be noticed.




Be cautious of medicating your child

Do not use drugs do not cure this problem in the first instance because some other options may be available. Parents should think carefully and consider all the risks and options before choosing medication as these drugs also carry some side effects.  Medication may be useful for children who suffer excessively from the bedwetting. But ensure you consult a doctor before embarking on such action.

You should also remember that children who take medication for bedwetting are much likely to revert to bedwetting once the medication has discontinued.




Get mattress liners or protectors

These products are placed under the bed sheets to keep the child’s mattress free from urine and its stains, thereby avoiding the smell of urine that make your child uncomfortable.


You spent money buying the mattress so you ensure its protected, as cleanup may be stressful and time consuming. Simultaneously, ensures that smell of urine doesn’t linger in the mattress and make your child uncomfortable.


Without liners or protector, each time the child wets the bed, the mattress will undergo drying in the sun during the day. The situation may become worse during the rainy season when you experience limited sunshine. Liners make life easier for everyone in your family

Ensure that the liner cover the mattress firmly as to prevent leaks  which happens if your child is a restless sleeper (the type that tosses and turns a lot during sleep).



You must be patient

Yes, this is a difficult advice to follow. You must be patient with a child that wet the bed as the result cannot be achieved in just one day. In view of the fact that bedwetting often corrects itself in part or in full with time, a combination of any other option and patience is often necessary in order to achieve success.


There are no “instant” resolutions for bedwetting, and trying many remedies in rapid succession is not likely to work.  In fact, instead of solving the problem, it will frustrate you.




Love your child

Teenagers who wet the bed often experience great disturbance of emotions.  Hence, they need your love more than ever. Being affectionate and loving will help reassure the child.  This can help give your child the strength to get over the bedwetting problems as soon as possible.


If you have been short-tempered to your child in the recent past, make him or her know you love him or her. And when the child absorb this message, he or she will do everything possible to please you buy making sure any option applied to stopping bedwetting works.


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