It is surprisingly common and yet, for many children (and their parents) nighttime bedwetting can be an embarrassing problem. HARTMANN Direct have come up with five top tips for helping you through the bedwetting stage.
Bedwetting in children is very common and a natural part of development in which the brain and body get to grips with controlling the bladder whilst sleeping. It passes with time and age, although some children can take longer to be dry all night than others.
As well as using incontinence products specifically to help the child and protect mattresses, there are other steps you can take to help…
#1 Banish blame
Waking to find you have another load of sheets to wash or having to change the bed in the early hours of the morning is frustrating and annoying. Your own lack of sleep, concern and frustration can simmer to boiling point and when this happens, blame becomes the enemy.
But there is silent blame, and this is something that research shows children commonly deal with. Around 5% of children continue to wet the bed until they are 6 years of age, sometimes older. By not talking about it or acknowledging that it is perfectly normal, children can feel ‘silent blame’ – that is, they assume that they are the only ones suffering from it.
#2 Talk to your GP
Some children wet the bed every night, others occasionally. Whilst it is perfectly normal, there could be a medical reason why it is happening;
- Diabetes – we urinate to expel sugar and other waste matter from our system. Increased sugar means frequent urination, thus diabetes could be the underlying issue.
- Infection – it could be that a urinary tract infection (UTI) is causing an increase in urination.
- Other concerns – poor sleep along with bedwetting could also be a sign that there are things that the child is worrying about. Talking to your GP or practice nurse could help.
#3 Night time toilet routine
In time, a child will stop wetting the bed at night but in the meantime, you need to manage it so that incidences are reduced. This means having a bedtime routine that helps to lessen the possibility or urinating at night;
- Night time drinking – tailor off night time drinking so that in the hour before bed, your child doesn’t consume any fluid. But make sure they drink plenty through the day. Not having enough to drink will mean stronger urine which may irritate the bladder causing more frequent urination.
- Night time toilet visit – as part of the cleaning teeth routine etc. make a toilet visit the last thing your child does before hopping into bed for a bedtime
- As you go to bed – some parents lift their child and sit them on the toilet, so they urinate again. Even though more or less asleep, the action of sitting on the toilet triggers the brain to empty the bladder.
#4 Create an incentive and praise chart
Although in most cases, bedwetting resolves itself, on a subconscious level, incentive and reward charts can work.
It doesn’t have to be complicated – every time they wake in a dry bed, reward your child with a happy sticker which they add to their chart. When they collect a number of happy stickers, say 10 of them, reward them with anything from a small gift to a lollipop. With some children, a positive suggestion does work but don’t forget, it needs to come with plenty of encouragement and patience on your part.
#5 Check for constipation
Bedwetting happens for all kinds of reasons and sometimes, the occasional bout of bedwetting can be linked to constipation.
When there is a lot of hard poop in the rectum, a passage situated just behind the bladder, the pressure on the bladder increases. This causes bladder instability, something that we can’t control, especially at night – and that means bedwetting.
If you notice that your child is not having a daily movement, you need to take steps and that means more fibre in the shape of fruit and vegetables, as well as increasing their fluid intake.
Bedwetting is part and parcel of learning to control the bladder. There is some evidence that suggests boys take longer to control their bladder, especially at night, than girls.
But if it is an ongoing issue, there are other steps you can take such as medication that helps manage continence, as well as items such as a moisture alarm. These bedwetting alarms have proven to be successful in children over the age of 7.
Bedwetting is something that many children simply ‘grow out off’ but they may need help in the interim to manage it.
HARTMANN Direct supply a range of high-quality incontinence pants, ideal for helping children to get a great night’s sleep without worrying about bedwetting.
*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.