When a child wets the bed, it often sends parents running to clean up the mess and the child without being late for work and school. The commotion often causes the child to feel ashamed and guilty for disrupting the family routine and could possibly worsen the bedwetting problem.
While it’s understandably stressful when a child wets the bed and parents often feel unsure about how to address the problem, it’s important to proactively inform yourself about bedwetting, how prevalent it is, its possible causes, and ways to stop it. Here’s what you should know about bedwetting:
About 20 percent of children between the ages of five and six wet the bed regularly. Children are said to outgrow the problem at a rate of about 15 percent each year, but an estimated 1 percent of teenagers will continue wetting the bed regularly.
Ensure that you and everyone else in the household don’t further embarrass or shame your child for wetting the bed, as the emotional trauma could just worsen the problem. Also, show sensitivity in explaining to your child that bedwetting happens sometimes and is nothing to be ashamed of.
Take your child to the doctor. There are some medical conditions that could cause bedwetting, such as allergies, diabetes, urinary tract infections, cell anemia, and sleep disorders. There are even some medications that can cause bedwetting. Rule these conditions out before pursuing other possibilities.
If there’s no medical cause for your child’s bedwetting, investigate other possible causes. Psychological issues, like stress, upset, and trauma could be the cause, or simply drinking too much or not emptying the bladder right before bed.
Consider whether your child is getting enough sleep, and set an earlier bedtime if necessary. A child who regularly goes to bed too late may sleep too heavily to be able to wake up for a full bladder.
Care for your child’s skin. Urine left on the skin for a few hours during the night can irritate your child’s skin. Be sure to bathe your child with soap and water after every bedwetting episode and apply petroleum jelly to irritated skin.
Try positive reinforcement. Receiving praise or a small award for staying dry can subconsciously encourage your child to gain control of her bladder while she sleeps. A gold star for each dry night and a small prize for a dry week could do the trick. Experts say this is the most effective method of stopping bedwetting.
Do you have any tips for helping a child get over bedwetting? Let us know!