“…it is natural. With time, they’d learn that it is all part of being human.” – Carey Thomas John
Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is a common issue in children. It refers to the involuntary release of urine during sleep in children beyond the age of toilet training. It’s important to understand that bedwetting is a normal developmental stage for many children, and it gets better over time.
Categories of Bedwetting
There are two main types of bedwetting:
- Primary Enuresis: This is when a child has never been consistently dry at night. It’s the more common type and is often related to the maturation of the nervous system controlling bladder function. Primary enuresis tends to run in families and is often outgrown as a child gets older.
- Secondary Enuresis: This occurs when a child who has been dry at night for at least six months starts wetting the bed again. Secondary enuresis can be triggered by various factors, such as emotional stress, urinary tract infections, constipation, or certain medical conditions.
What causes Bedwetting?
Several factors can contribute to bedwetting:
- Developmental Factors: Some children’s bodies might take longer to develop the ability to hold urine throughout the night. This is a normal part of maturation.
- Genetics: If one or both parents wet the bed as children, there’s a higher likelihood that their children might also experience bedwetting.
- Deep Sleep: Children who are deep sleepers might not wake up in response to the sensation of a full bladder.
- Bladder Capacity: Some children have smaller bladder capacities, which can lead to more frequent nighttime urination.
- Emotional Factors: Stress, anxiety, or changes in a child’s routine or environment can sometimes trigger bedwetting.
- Medical Conditions: In rare cases, medical conditions like urinary tract infections, diabetes, or structural abnormalities in the urinary tract can contribute to bedwetting.
How can you stop Bedwetting
There are several strategies you can employ to stop it. Here are five approaches to consider:
1. Maintain a Consistent Routine: Establish a regular bedtime routine that includes using the bathroom before going to sleep. Encourage your child to empty their bladder before bedtime. Consistency can help train their body to recognize the need to urinate during the day and reduce nighttime accidents.
2. Limit Fluid Intake Before Bed: Reduce the amount of liquids your child consumes in the evening, especially within a couple of hours before bedtime. This can help minimize the likelihood of a full bladder during the night.
3. Use Bedwetting Alarms: Bed Wetting alarms are devices that detect moisture and wake the child up with a gentle sound or vibration when they start to wet the bed. Over time, these alarms can condition the child to wake up when they need to urinate, helping to improve bladder control.
4. Positive Reinforcement: Offer positive reinforcement when your child has dry nights. Praise their efforts and progress, and consider implementing a reward system, such as a sticker chart, where they earn rewards for consecutive dry nights.
5. Consult a Healthcare Professional: If bed wetting persists and becomes a concern, consult a paediatrician or healthcare provider. They can assess any underlying medical issues and guide appropriate interventions. In some cases, the doctor might recommend medication or other treatments to address the bed wetting.
Remember that bedwetting is often a developmental phase that children eventually outgrow. Be patient, and understanding, and avoid punishing or shaming your child for accidents. Creating a supportive and understanding environment can help your child feel more comfortable and motivated to work on overcoming bedwetting.
Researched by: Aduloju Oluwatoyosi Afolabi