Bedwetting affects everyone in the family, not just the child who is wetting the bed. You and your family are not alone when it comes to this issue. In fact an average of 5-7 million children deal with the bedwetting situation on a regular basis. The child suffering with bedwetting can feel quite discouraged, embarrassed, and guilty during this difficult time while the parent(s) try to not show their frustration and try to remain encouraging through it. It’s important for the parental figures to stay positive and motivating that this too shall pass. Though it’s possible for it to mean a medical condition, bedwetting is normally a natural part of development that a child will grow out of at some point – hopefully sooner rather than later. Statistics
The medical term for bedwetting is Nocturnal Enuresis, and it is common for children under the age of 6 to wed the bed nightly or every so often. About 13% of children under 6 still wet the bed, 20% of 5-year-olds, while around 5% of 10-year-olds still do so, and 1% of 15-year-olds.
Why Does It Occur?
Bedwetting is commonly genetic. If one or both parents wet the bed as children, more than likely their children will as well. Doctors cannot find a reason why bedwetting occurs or why it stops when it does, but they are reassuring that it IS normal. It’s rare for it to be due to a medical condition.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If you’re concerned about your child’s bedwetting, it is best to seek guidance from a pediatrician to make sure everything is alright. Below are reasons your child may be wetting the bed:
- Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)/bladder problems
- Starts wetting the bed after having stopped wetting the bed at least 6 months prior
- Urinates frequently
- Wets his or her pants during the day
- Burning while urinating
- Swelling of the feet/ankles
- Over 7 years of age
- Drinking/Eating more
- Heavy snoring at night
Don’t automatically think the worst case scenario when your child wets the bed. Again, it’s rare for it to be a sign of a medical problem.
Helpful Ways to Ease out of Bedwetting
There are ways to help bedwetting lessen over time. The first thing to do is limit any liquids being consumed after a certain time at night. If your child goes to bed between 8-9PM, stop liquids at 7PM. Do not allow caffeinated drinks to be consumed because that will make your child want to urinate even more and keep them up at night. Have your child use the restroom right before bed so his or her bladder will be empty at bedtime. You may need to set an alarm in the middle of the night for a couple weeks to get him or her in the habit of using the restroom instead of wetting the bed. Over time, the bladder will be accustomed to waiting until the morning to release urine. Use encouragement to help your child transition to not wetting the bed. You may want to give little gifts like stickers or a fun book to read if he or she stays dry during the night. Praising your child will help them beyond this period.
Whatever you do, do not discourage the child or put him or her down because that will make them more insecure about the bedwetting situation. Be patient and love well through this difficult time. It will end sooner than you think – Remember your child doesn’t want to wet the bed either so don’t make this about you. Love well through it! And good luck!