Bed Wetting

Bed Wetting - 4aKid
Bed Wetting
By Claire Marketos

For young children who are learning to control their bladders, and mastering using the toilet in the middle of the night, bed wetting, (enuresis) can be part of normal childhood development. For older children, bed wetting can be a response to a stressful life-changing event, as well as indicating an underlying medical problem, or the side effects of medication.

Allow children to develop at their own pace, especially with regards to giving up their night time diaper. Research shows that children who are potty/toilet trained when they are ready, are less likely to wet their beds. Children do not have to be potty/toilet trained when they are two-years-old unless they show an interest in using the potty or toilet.

Research also shows that pressure during toilet training especially from the mother can lead to obsessive-compulsive behaviours later on in life, such as repeated hand washing and obsessions with cleanliness.

Bed wetting is not something your child can control or that he does on purpose, so punishing and shaming him will only make things worse and have a negative impact on his self- esteem. Chat to your child and reassure him in a matter of fact way, that he has nothing to be embarrassed about, and that you will help him to deal with the bed wetting.

Here are some tips:

Ensure that he no longer requires a bottle at night time, before you remove his diaper.

Take him to the toilet just before bed and teach him how to ‘squeeze wee,’ or empty his bladder.

Take him to the toilet in his sleep at about 10 pm, or before you go to bed. This may help with bed wetting. However, for some children who sleep heavily, it may not make a difference as to whether they wet their bed or not.

There should be a light on in the toilet, and it should be close to the child’s bedroom, so he can find it during the night.
Put a dry mat on his bed, so it is easier to change in the morning.
Be aware of your reaction to your child’s bed wetting. If you are irritated it is likely to make the situation worse because the child feels shame and stress.
Deal with soiled clothes and sheets in a matter of fact way.
Look out for other changes in your child’s behaviour, such as withdrawal, excessive crying, and changes in appetite. Sometimes children who have a traumatic experience such as the loss of a loved one, a divorce, or bullying at school may wet their beds. You may need to seek medical attention or play therapy for your child.
Some parents have experienced success with a bed wetting alarm.
Make a big fuss of your child and praise them for a dry night.
Bed wetting is generally a developmental issue. However, with older children physical issues such as allergies and sleep apnea may contribute to enuresis, A sleep clinic will be able to advise if bed wetting is occurring because of sleep apnea. Constipation can also put pressure on the bladder, so ensure your child is eating sufficient fibre so that he is not suffering from constipation.
Bed wetting in older children is usually hereditary, with one or both parents have experienced it. Ask family members to share their experiences of bed wetting when they were young and how they coped. This helps your child know that you understand what he is going through. Also, assure your child that he will probably outgrow enuresis.


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