Recently I had an email from one of my lovely regular readers asking me about how to handle bedwetting. I am sure that others may be interested in a post about this so here it is!
What is Bedwetting
Bedwetting is a condition that affects children also known as nocturnal enuresis and can be the cause of ridicule amongst siblings and peers resulting in a great deal of stress to young children. In some cases there is an underlying medical cause but in the majority of cases, it is purely a developmental issue.
Just because your child wets the bed quite regularly (about twice a week) it doesn’t mean that they are doing it on purpose. Some parents mistakenly see it as an attention seeking tool or a sign of a difficult child but approximately 1 in 12 children under the age of 5 will do so at least twice a week.
I remember when one of my girls wet the bed one night. I could hear her crying in her bedroom. I jumped out of bed and went to her and asked her what was wrong and at first she was reluctant to reply. When she told me I barely reacted at all apart from reassuring here it didn’t matter and then proceeding to change the sheets and giving her a quick wash so she could go back to sleep.
What you can do!
There are various measures you can take to help reduce the incidence of this happening:
1. Firstly reassure your child that if they wet the bed it isn’t the end of the world. Punishing and shouting at children for bedwetting only serves to make the problem worse.
2. Cut down the fluid intake just before bed.
4. Encouraging and motivating a child can be immensely beneficial. Introduce a reward chart and have aims worth different amounts of points for the various achievements such as getting up to go to the bathroom at night, staying dry etc.
5. If they have just come out of nappies sometimes it helps to continue using nappies at night for that bit longer. Stopping day and night use of nappies at the same time can be too much for many children to cope with.
6. It is important that a toilet is easily accessible; provide a small stool if necessary to make it as easy as possible for the child to carry out the whole process themselves.
Make sure the path to the bathroom is suitably lit.
7. Constipation can affect bladder emptying and increase the chances of bedwetting. If this is an issue then simple ways to address this include making sure children eat plenty of fluid filled fruit and veg as the fibre bulks up the stool and the fluid helps for a smoother transit through the bowel. Cut down fatty foods as these make stool sticky and harder to pass. If the problem persists then make sure you visit your doctor.