If your child is over the age of five and continent during the day, but still wets the bed at night, then realize that they have a real medical problem called nocturnal enuresis. Don't be alarmed by the fact that bed-wetting is now considered a medical problem after many years of being very misunderstood, because today, it can be treated by a urologist, so your child can finally begin to live a normal life filled with sleepovers with friends and fun camping trips. Read on to learn the do's and don'ts of helping your child overcome bed-wetting and leading a happier childhood.
Don't: Punish Your Child for Wetting the Bed or Just Wait for Them to "Grow out of It"
Decades ago, childhood bed-wetting was a very misunderstood problem that led parents to believe that their children who wet the bed were simply "acting out" or simply being "lazy" and after waking up to the urge to urinate, just eliminated it in the bed to avoid having to get up to go to the bathroom. This led to parents attempting to stop the problem by simply punishing their children the day after they wet the bed and rewarding them when they went the entire night without wetting it.
Today, it is known that most children who wet the bed do not wake up before they urinate and their bodies are not aroused awake when their bladders are full. Some have other medical problems causing the bed-wetting that need to be treated by urologists. This makes punishing a child for wetting the bed not only ineffective, but also cruel when a child typically already feels shame and guilt for their uncontrollable medical problem.
While you may be tempted to see if they just "grow out of it," like you may have when you were a child (nocturnal enuresis can be genetic), the truth is that the problem should be treated sooner rather than later; a child who wets the bed can develop frequent urinary tract infections due to lying in warm, moist bed sheets all night long. In addition, the guilt and shame your child experiences due to their bed-wetting can leave life-long psychological scars that can be avoided when the bed-wetting ends sooner rather than later.
Do: Take Your Child to a Urologist Who Can Offer a Solution
Taking your child to a urologist is very important to helping stop bed-wetting. First, the urologist can check for any irregularities in your child's anatomy that could be contributing to the issue. Many children who wet the bed have a low bladder capacity that can be fixed with a simple process. To help enlarge your child's bladder, their urologist may first suggest that you first place a enuresis alarm on your child's bed, which will wake them up when it senses moisture. While it will not activate until your child begins to urinate, when they wake up, they can then begin to hold the rest of the urine until they go to the bathroom.
After your child has not wet the bed for about two weeks, your child's urologist may instruct you to begin giving your child extra fluids before bed. This extra fluid can help stretch your child's bladder gradually, so they can eventually hold their urine during most of the night without even having to get up to go to the bathroom.
Your child's urologist may suggest a medication that helps stop nocturnal enuresis. Desmopressin is a medication can often be the key to ending bed-wetting when bladder training techniques fail. It stops bed-wetting immediately and if your child does not take it every day, they can take it only before sleepovers and camp-outs so they can have fun with no embarrassment.
If your child wets the bed and is over the age of 5, realize that they have a real medical problem that can be solved quickly after a trip to a urologist, like Advanced Urology Associates.