Bed wetting is a problem faced by a large number of children as well as teenagers. It not only affects the children who suffer from it, but their parents, who must deal with the aftermath of it.
According to the National Kidney Foundation, about 5 to 7 million children aged 6 years or older suffer from night time bed wetting, medically known as enuresis. This is characterized by involuntary loss of urine at night, or peeing in bed. If a child wets the bed after the age of 5 or 6, there is an 85% chance he or she will still do it a year later.
Some possible reasons kids wet the bed:
It’s not known exactly why children wet the bed after a certain age, but it is believed that in some cases it may be genetic. Research indicates that if both the child’s parents wet the bed in their childhood, then there’s a 77% chance that the child will wet the bed. If just one parent was a bed wetter, then the child still has a 44% chance of wetting the bed too. However, if neither parent wet the bed, the child still has a 15% chance of becoming a bed wetter.
Also, having a small bladder capacity, which holds less urine than the average child, can also be a factor in bed wetting.
One of the worst things parents can do is get upset, yelling and screaming will only make matters worse. Some parents blame the child and in this way make the child feel guilty; this only serves to stress the child more, lower his/her self-esteem and create more bed wetting. Some parents may feel they have failed and have not properly toilet trained their child. However, the expectation that parents have as far as when their child should stop peeing in bed is totally cultural and socially imposed. Each child has his or her proper time to stop bed wetting. It’s believed bed wetting is a psychological condition, which diminishes with time, so some patience and love will help reduce and eliminate it. Apart from medication, which can have mixed results and lead to adverse side effects, here are some natural ways to help reduce the problem:
• Reassuring your child that this is a normal part of development and that there is a good chance that she/he will eventually outgrow it.
• Make sure your child pees twice before going to bed, right after dinner and just before going to bed.
• Make sure your child is not drinking pop; drinks with caffeine and carbonation, these are diuretics, and will cause excessive urination for example: coke, root beer, ice tea. Ensure they only consume these drinks on special occasions and only before 4pm.
• Encourage your child to go to the washroom in the middle of the night, make sure there are night-lights in the washroom and in the hallways leading to it, so the child can see his/her way.
o Make sure the path is also clear of clutter, so the child does not trip on the way to the bathroom
• Do not tell frightening, scary stories at night, only happy, feel good ones. This will ensure your child is in a good mood just before sleep.
• Talk to your child at night; see if there is anything on his/her mind or anything that may be bothering them. Having their fears out in the open may reduce anxiety and help the child have a peaceful and dry night.
It’s also advisable to give your child positive reinforcement after a night of non-bed wetting, for example, say: “Wow, what a dry bed! You did well last night!”
Implementing all these techniques will most certainly help you reduce, if not eliminate your child’s bed wetting behaviour, the key ingridients are time, patience and understanding.