How To Help Your Child Overcome Bed Wetting

Bed wetting is incredibly common in children under five years of age but it can greatly affect children of all ages. 

Bed wetting is incredibly common in children under five years of age but it can greatly affect children of all ages.
Bed wetting describes an involuntary loss of urine while your child is sleeping. It can be extremely traumatic for the child (and the parents) and is something you will desperately want to help your child overcome. This issue affects at least 15% of all children at one point or another.

There are a number of things that can cause bed wetting. In some cases, it may be the simple issue of a bladder that is too full going to bed and in other cases, it points at a complex psychological issue that may need to be addressed with the help of a professional. Some children experience bed wetting for a short period of time and others may be prone to bouts of bed wetting even if several months of dry nights have successfully passed. This can be very frustrating and concerning for the parents.

In simple terms, bed wetting occurs when the bladder is full and cannot hold the amount of liquid that has travelled to it. You may have to consider a different approach to their bed-time drink. Many parents find that reducing the size of the drink or offering it at least an hour before bed is helpful as it gives the bladder an opportunity to manage the volume, especially if it can empty itself before your child sleeps. As your child grows their bladder will grow and your child will become better at managing urinating during the night without it breaking their sleep or comfort levels too much.

Almost all children have an experience of bed wetting. If it happens occasionally it is not a great cause for concern. If it happens on a very regular basis it should be mentioned to your GP as it can be a symptom of diabetes or a Urinary Tract Infection. Your GP may also inquire about your child’s emotional health. Many children that experience bed wetting do so because they are upset or anxious about something. Getting to the root of the issue can make the world of difference in helping your child overcome the issue.
In the majority of cases working with your GP and speaking openly to friends and family will be enough. Bed wetting is usually a temporary thing and almost all children overcome it and go on to have dry nights with time. In more extreme cases a treatment may be recommended.

Some treatments involve an alarm which is attached to your child’s underwear. When it recognises moisture the alarm signals. This can help your child recognise the feeling of a full bladder and that it is time to leave bed temporarily to empty their bladder. Known as an “enuresis alarm”, this treatment is only used short term for a couple of months. An incontinence specialist may work with your family to ensure that it is used properly and to help you assess the results.
When your child is dry for a certain number of nights the specialist may recommend offering your child more fluids to help train their bladder to manage a greater volume of liquid. In other cases, medication may be prescribed to alter the body’s production of urine. These should only be taken under strict doctor’s orders and supervision and it is important to adhere to all accompanying advice regarding your child’s levels of fluid intake.

Bed wetting is a very stressful experience for everyone involved but it is important to reassure your child that it is not their fault and to reward them in their efforts to work towards improving things.


Tracey Quinn

Proud mum of two who got married on Don't Tell The Bride and had an accidental home-birth (loves a good story). She's passionate about breastfeeding, positive thinking & all things cosy.

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