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HELP! MY CHILD IS PEEING IN THE BED

Young children are prone to bedwetting. Until they reach the age of five, it's normal for them to wet the bed.

  • Approximately half of all children ages 3 to 4 wet their beds.
  • 10% of kids are still bedwetting at the age of 5 years.
  • More boys than girls are affected by this.

Kids have no control over it because it happens during sleep. The first thing we need to do as parents is reassuring our children. Whenever we're upset, our children feel it more acutely and can negatively impact their self-esteem.

HOW CAN YOU HELP?

Bedwetting can't be fixed or treated overnight. Children may eventually outgrow it, but it still takes time. The best we can do as parents is to prevent it as early as possible and reduce the psychological and social effects of bedwetting.

Our immediate problems have to be resolved first since it is a process. The smell of urine, for instance, can stay on your child for a long time. If your child is going to school or pre-school, it is advisable that you give him/her a bath or a shower. Failing to do so could cause embarrassment to your child. It could also lead to other children ridiculing your child. Psychologically and socially, this could be detrimental to him/her in the long run. It is common for children to remember teasing for the rest of their lives.

Taking care of our children is also an immediate problem. The slightest anger will show in our speech and actions. When your child wets the bed, observe how he or she looks at you. Your sense of guilt is immediately apparent as you talk and clean the mess.

That's why patience and understanding are crucial. Kids go through this process naturally and it's outside of their control. When we are upset with our children, they may take action on their own to stop bedwetting. For instance, they might limit how much water they drink so that they will not pee at night (or pee less). Five-year-olds and younger are good at forming associations between things. A child can figure out very early that drinking too much water leads to frequent urination.

Be understanding and patient. Instead of blaming the child, concentrate on the problem. Remember that it's involuntary and out of your child's control.

HOW ELSE TO HANDLE BEDWETTING?

Since bedwetting isn't caused by anything specific, it can be difficult to stop it for good. You still can minimize the impact of it. You can do the following:

  • Drinks that contain caffeine should not be consumed at night (caffeine is mildly diuretic). Also, it is healthy for them to avoid caffeinated drinks (which are also high in sugar).
  • Provide them with a nightlight. It will make kids feel safer at night and motivate them to use the bathroom.
  • To keep the bed dryer and more comfortable, place absorbent pads under the bottom sheet.

A good night's sleep may also reduce or prevent bedwetting. The reason for this is that a good night's sleep will improve brain function. You shouldn't wake your child up at 1am to encourage them to pee. It is important to understand that bedwetting often occurs involuntarily. Whether or not you wake your child at 1am, bedwetting can still occur at other hours.

Counseling is often requested by parents so that their kids can better deal with bedwetting. Particularly when a parent suspects that bedwetting is caused by an emotional problem. For example, kids had been sleeping through the night for several months, but suddenly it started happening again. Psychological factors may have been involved.

IS THERE BLADDER TRAINING AND MEDICATION AVAILABLE?

Treating or solving enuresis (involuntary urination, especially in children at night) is a slow process. We mentioned earlier that the majority of children will grow out of it without any intervention. However, this process may take several months or even years. 

Parents try a variety of options, including bladder-training programs and medications. This has been successful for some kids. However, both have drawbacks.

First, the child must be willing to undergo bladder-training. Moreover, these types of programs are more useful if the child has daytime wetting problems (even when awake, urination is hard to control).

The second problem is that medications only have a temporary effect. Even if medication produces good results, the problem may reappear once the medication is stopped. Whenever possible, it's a good idea to rely on minimally invasive measures first.

ENURESIS ALARMS - DO THEY WORK?

It is said that bedwetting can be effectively treated with enuresis alarms without the use of medications. This works due to behavioral conditioning, whereby the alarm is triggered when the child urinates early in the night (the alarm detects wetting). The loud alarm wakes the parents and/or the child.

This is also a kind of training but can be more effective. When the alarm sounds, the child can be conditioned or trained to go to the bathroom immediately.

Doctors, hospitals, and child health nurses can recommend bedwetting alarms. 

OTHER OPTIONS

A young child wetting their bed is just normal. There is no clear cause for our child's behavior, but we can take effective steps to help him or her through this difficult time.

Even if your child is 6 or 7, getting professional assistance is recommended if they wet the bed.

Bedwetting can ruin kids' confidence at this age since they are more aware of themselves. If your child starts wetting the bed suddenly after months with no problems, you should call the doctor because it could be a psychological problem or something more serious.

The best we can do as parents is cope and realize that it will pass soon enough. It's part of being a parent and about helping the kids cope with this phase positively.

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