Bedwetting is a common problem among children of various age groups. It usually affects toddlers during or after their potty training period however older children can be affected by this for a multitude of reasons. It’s important to recognize the reasons as to why they are having these accidents. Here we have collected some tips and advice on how to help your child through this stressful period in their life.
Finding out the reason
If your child wets the bed regularly and is over 5 we recommend talking to your health care provider to rule out any possible medical reasons. Look into your family history and see if anyone had similar problems throughout their lives. This includes aunts and uncles as well.
Before calling your doctor keep an eye on your child’s bowel movements. Do they get constipated often? Have they been peeing more than usual? Observe whether incontinence only happens during the night or during the daytime as well. If they have accidents during the day, what kind of activities were they doing when it happened? You should be able to answer these questions before asking your doctor in order to help them get to the bottom of this issue quickly and efficiently.
If you see blood in their urine or they complain about pain contact your doctor straight away.
The most common culprit that causes incontinence among older children is stress and anxiety. Stress can be caused by significant changes in their daily lives or schedule for example if you have a new baby in the family. It’s important to talk to your child about any changes. Spend more time with them even if you have a busy schedule or a new baby on your hand.
Make sure you never blame your child for wetting the bed. Be patient and make sure they understand that there is nothing to be ashamed of. This is not their fault. Point out that this is completely normal and they just need to practice in order to get better at it. If you have other kids, make sure they don’t tease your child. It’s important to put a positive spin on problems like this to avoid further stress.
There are many things you can try to help your child through this period and make bedwetting stop or at least become less regular.
If your child is struggling to recognize the signs of needing the toilet to start daytime bladder training. Set an alarm for regular intervals and get your child to use the toilet even if they think they don’t need it. You can even set an alarm for the during the night to encourage them to use the toilet if they struggle to stay dry.
Keep an eye on how much your child is drinking. Keeping hydrated is really important but observe how your child’s bowel movement works. After a big drink, how long does it take them usually to need the toilet? It’s good to learn the signs yourself so you can help your child recognize them as well.
If your child wets the bed overnight it’s important to set up a routine before bedtime. Make sure they drink well before you start getting ready for the night so they can empty their bladder just before getting into bed.
Not being able to get to the toilet is a common reason for incontinence especially among younger kids. Getting to the toilet might be difficult or even scary for some kids during the night so set up some night lights. Make sure their way to the bathroom is clear so they don’t fall over and make sure they can use the toilet on their own during the night. Have the child toilet seat installed and provide the step stool if they need it.
If your child successfully stays dry overnight, make sure you reward them. Positive reinforcement is incredibly important while teaching your kids and bedwetting is no different. Make sure they understand that being aware of their needs is their job and they are in control.
If your child has trouble controlling their bowel movements while asleep regularly it’s good to be prepared. Make sure the cleanup is quick and changing clothes and sheets are simple in case it happens in the middle of the night. Invest in some waterproof covers. Try to get your child involved in the cleaning up procedure. Not as a punishment just to encourage their learning process. Often kids rely too much on parents noticing their signs and get ‘comfortable’. Including them in the cleaning up can help them realize and break this habit.
If your child is still in their potty training period it might be a good idea to get them some overnight absorbent pull-ups. This is easy for them to remove if they need to use the toilet but in case of an accident, they won’t be uncomfortable. Keep in mind that this can also discourage them from paying attention to their bowel movements.
The best way to keep a mess to the minimum is to invest in some waterproof bedding. This is probably preferred to absorbent underwear as it takes away the training wheels but still adequately prevents sheets from being soaked through.
We only recommend bedwetting alarms for older children if they are struggling to stay dry overnight. These can be efficient training tools that help your child realize when it’s time to go to the toilet by making a sound and waking them up.
While bedwetting can be a frustrating problem to deal with for both you and your child it’s extremely important to treat it with kindness and support. Be patient and encourage positive outcomes even if they are just a small step in the right direction. Bedwetting is often triggered by emotional distress. Make sure you talk to your child and don’t hesitate to get professional help if it’s needed. Remember that this will likely only last for a short period of time and they will grow out of it over time.
Do you have any other ideas as to how to break the cycle of bedwetting? Let us know down in the comment section!