It’s the middle of the night and you can hear your child howling. You made the bed wet. Changing sheets at 2 a.m. while comforting a crying (and embarrassed) child is enough to keep you up for the rest of the night. In this article, we explore the topic of bedwetting: what it is, why it happens, and how to prevent it.
what is Enuresis?
Enuresis is the medical term used to describe the inability to control urination. Simply put, bed wetting. Bed-wetting occurs when a child urinates while sleeping and is more common in children who are “deeply asleep”. Although the bladder signals that it is full, the child does not wake up.
Some children have smaller bladders or produce more urine at night. Constipation can also lead to bed-wetting because the bowel is pressing on the bladder. Bed-wetting is common with toddlers, but if your older child goes to bed it may indicate a problem.
Pretoria psychologist Sigi Graham from the Child Behavior Center says boys are more likely to have enuresis than girls.
“It is estimated that 10% of five year olds wet their bed. These numbers are steadily decreasing every year and only about 5% of children are still making their bed by the age of 10. A child must wet their bed at least twice a week for three consecutive months before a diagnosis of enuresis can be made, ”says Graham.
What are the five different types of bed-wetting?
- Nocturnal enuresis – this happens at night while a child is sleeping.
- Diurnal enuresis – This happens while a child is awake.
- Nocturnal and daily enuresis – this happens both during the day and at night.
- Primary enuresis – the condition of a child who has never developed bladder control.
- Secondary enuresis – the condition of a child who develops enuresis at least six months after learning to control their bladder.
Why does my child wet the bed?
Enuresis can have a number of causes. Bed-wetting can be due to a medical condition, genetics, sleep problems, hormonal issues, or emotional issues. If your child has a problem with bladder control, the best thing to do is to take them to a doctor to find out what the problem is.
When to seek professional help
If you are concerned about your child’s health or bladder control, it is a good idea to share these concerns with your pediatrician when you take them for their routine checkups. If you are concerned, the doctor will advise you on what to do next and how to deal with the situation.
How can I prevent bedwetting?
Exercise, habit changes, and medication can all be used to treat enuresis. Before bedwetting treatment can be prescribed, a child must undergo a medical exam to determine the possible cause of their problem. Treatment can sometimes include medication, a psychological exam, or therapy.
Your doctor may also recommend that you adjust the child’s diet. Parents should limit their child’s fluid intake before bed and make sure they go to the bathroom shortly before bed. The child should go to the bathroom again before the parents go to bed. Children shouldn’t be ashamed of getting their beds wet. A positive and motivating attitude is necessary to work towards success.
Top tips for parents
- Try to keep a positive attitude and motivate your child to succeed.
- Invest in a mattress protector to minimize damage to your child’s bed. • If your child wets their bed, help them clean up and bring them back to bed.
- Protect your child’s dignity. Don’t make fun of the situation.
- Don’t rule out medical conditions that may be causing his bed-wetting.
- Avoid punishing your child and putting unnecessary pressure on them as this may compound the problem, not solve it.