You should try to understand that it’s not your child’s fault and they are not wetting the bed intentionally.
It’s quite a common problem and in a typical class of thirty children aged between seven to nine years, a couple of them will wet the bed. It’s not something parents tend to chat about in the school playground! Quite commonly, it can be a problem that runs in families.
Children who wet the bed often have ‘oversensitive’ bladders which can only hold a small amount of urine. They may sleep soundly, so they are not aware of the messages that their bladder is filling. After years of sleepless nights when your child’s a baby it can be frustrating and tiring to have your sleep broken again to change a wet bed! Remember it’s a very treatable condition that your child is likely to grow out of, so never punish them.
Set in place some good bladder habits during the day and praise your child with rewards when they stick to the plan of action. Adequate fluids, no caffeine, healthy diet and not ignoring the call to have a wee when they feel the need to go.
Ask the Doctor
If simple lifestyle changes don’t seem to be helping then speak to your GP or health visitor. They can direct you to an ‘enuretic’ or bed wetting clinic where a healthcare professional can give extra guidance and support.
Many parents are advised to treat their child’s symptoms using a bedwetting alarm. These devices have a small sensor that sounds an audible alarm or vibrates when wetness is detected. They can be attached to your child’s underwear and also come in the form of a bed mat. Initially your child will wake to the sound of the alarm or vibration.
Over a period of a few months their brain is trained to wake to the sensation of fullness and they wake to wee rather than relying on the alarm.
Stay positive and encouraging throughout the training process – these devices have a high success rate. You can ask your GP about medication such as Desmopressin that can be used to control bladder leaks during the night. However medications do not have the same training effect on the bladder as an alarm.
Written by Chartered Physiotherapist, Jane Appleyard.
Find out more about Jane here.
The information on this website is written to give general information and does not in any way replace advice from your G.P. or qualified healthcare professional. If you have any specific concerns about your health you should seek an individual consultation with your G.P. for diagnosis and advice.