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Children And Bed-Wetting

As we all know, most children are usually potty trained by the time they are three or four years old. Although wetting the bed at night could still be a problem for many older children. It is not uncommon for children who are six to eight years old to have this problem. It seems to be more common in boys than girls and in families that have had a parent wet the bed as a child.

Bed-wetting may be a cause of a small bladder capacity which means your child may not be able to hold as much urine as a child that does not wet the bed. About fifteen percent of children who wet the bed out grow the problem every year. It very rare is a disease or physical problem that causes bed-wetting. 

As any parent could imagine this is a very embarrassing problem with your child. He will feel very apprehensive when being invited to a sleepover. He anticipates the day of his first sleepover only to decline the offer for fear of what might happen.

As your child matures he will out grow this bed-wetting crisis, but until that day help him increase the number of dry nights that he experiences by trying some of the following:

  • First and most importantly reassure your child that this is not his fault and explain that you understand that he is not doing this on purpose and that in some children his age this is normal. Do not blame or punish your child for wetting the bed and make sure that other family members do not make fun of him about it.

  • Avoid letting your child drink fluids two hours before going to bed. Allowing only small sips will limit the amount of fluid in the bladder before retiring to bed.

  • Have your child use the toilet just before going to bed. Having an empty bladder prior to going to bed will help eliminate the urge to go while in bed.

  • Protect your childís bed with a plastic cover between the sheets and mattress. A plastic mattress cover will work great and are relatively inexpensive.

  • Let your child help change the wet sheets.¬†

  • Think about practicing bladder-stretching exercises, in which your child will try and increase the time between urinating during the daytime so that the childís bladder can learn to stretch and hold a greater amount of urine at night.

  • Think about a routine in which you will wake your child to urinate two to three hours after he or she goes to bed, either at the parentís bedtime or after setting an alarm. The child will get in a routine of being awakened at the same time that he will automatically start to wake up at the same time to go.

  • A child may also wear a pull up, which are made just the same as underwear but has an absorbent layer. These are great to wear at a childís sleepover, making your child feel more confident.

If these methods do not seem to work well and your child is still wetting the bed after he or she is seven or eight years old talk to your doctor about a bed-wetting alarm. This alarm senses when your child has begun to wet and sets off an alarm to wake them up. This will help your child respond to a full bladder.
Your doctor should also be informed if your child is also wetting himself during the day, complains of burning during urination, is losing weight, has blood in his urine, or if the problem is affecting your childís self esteem.¬†

Your doctor might also recommend a medication. Many doctors reserve the use of medications, they may be effective in reducing the number of wet nights that your child has, but they may have possible side effects and relapses are common when you discontinue using them. 

Most importantly is patience. This is a persistent and frustrating problem for you and your child. Just remember, this problem is one that will resolve, as your child gets older.





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