Bedwetting is nothing to worry about until your child is 5 years old. Even when they turn 5, approximately 1 in 5 children wet their bed at night, and 1 in 10 children aged 10 years are still wetting the bed at this age, so parents shouldn’t be too concerned. The issue usually resolves on its own, especially if you can help your child using one or all of these 8 tips.
8 tips to combat bed wetting
- Always be encouraging – it’s really important that you show support and make your child feel good about their progress by consistently rewarding their success.
- Shift times for drinking – try to increase fluid intake earlier in the day and gradually reduce it later in the day. Once they have dry nights consistently, you can then slowly make their fluid intake more balanced in the day.
- Avoid thirst overload – some children tend to not drink much at all during school hours but then are excessively thirsty when they return home. If the school allows, give your child a water bottle so that they can drink steadily all day.
- Create a bathroom routine – some children really benefit from scheduled bathroom breaks. If you can get your child on a regular bathroom schedule (e.g. as soon as they wake up, every two to three hours, and right before bedtime), you may see fewer wet nights or perhaps none at all.
- Eliminate bladder irritants – food and drinks can all irritate a child’s bladder so make sure to eliminate these before bedtime. Caffeinated drinks in particular, such as chocolate milk and cocoa, can be irritable as well as citrus juices and anything with sweeteners, artificial flavourings, and dyes.
- Don’t randomly wake your child in the night – while waking up your child randomly to ask them if they need to urinate may result in a dry night or two, this isn’t a long term solution. It only results in more sleeplessness and frustration for both of you. If this is something that you want to try, consider a bedwetting alarm instead. All you need to do is clip the alarm to your child’s underwear and it will go off if it detects moisture. This is when you should wake your child and take them into the bathroom.
- Avoid punishment – although you may feel frustrated or angry with your child for wetting the bed, especially if it continues or they regress when they were previously doing so well, try not to direct it at them. Your child may feel embarrassed or naughty for wetting the bed so let them know that it is not their fault and that it’s a learning process that we’ve all had to go through.
- Consider other factors – there may be another reason for your child wetting the bed consistently such as constipation. About one-third of children who wet the bed do so because they are constipated so make sure to keep track of their bowel movements as this might be the underlying issue.
What if my child is still wetting the bed?
If you’ve done all of the above and your child is still wetting the bed consistently with no signs of improvement, don’t be afraid to seek medical attention.
Although this is a learning process and it can take more time for some children than others, sometimes wetting the bed is a sign of something more significant (e.g. a bladder that is not yet matured, a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI), Diabetes etc).
Hopefully, now you feel less worried if your child is still wetting the bed when you think that they shouldn’t be. Try your best to help your child learn at their own pace by using these 8 tips, be wary of other factors that may be causing them to regress, and lastly if you’re trying everything and you’re still worried, consult a paediatric doctor or urologist for advice.