Causes of bedwetting
Not all of the causes of bedwetting are known. Children who wet the bed have difficulty waking up to go to the toilet when their bladder is full. Sometimes their bladder is smaller or ‘irritable’ and holds less urine. Bedwetting does tend to run in families. If one or both parents used to wet the bed when they were children, then it is quite likely to occur in their children.
In some rare cases, there may be a physical problem that is the cause of the child’s bed-wetting. Therefore, it is very important that a doctor examines your child. It is very important to be patient and to encourage your child. Most important of all, you must understand that punishing or making fun of your child for wetting the bed will only make the situation worse. Brothers and sisters need to understand this as well.
Your child needs to be very involved in the treatment plan if it is to work. As the treatment progresses, your child will probably have some good and some bad days. Be very positive on the good days, and try not to be negative on the bad ones. It can be helpful to keep a record chart of wet and dry nights
Changing habits and exercises
It is important for your child to drink plenty of fluid spread evenly throughout the day. Don’t try to restrict the amount of fluid your child drinks in the evening as this will not help and can even delay the process of getting dry at night. However, don’t give drinks containing caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, hot chocolate, caffeinated soft-drinks like Coca-Cola etc) late at night.
Some doctors recommend bladder awareness exercises. These exercises include learning to resist the immediate urge to urinate, and stopping and starting the urine flow midstream. Your doctor will recommend and explain these if necessary.
Most children with bedwetting do not need to take medication, but there are some occasions when it can be useful.
Key points to remember
- Bed-wetting is not a behavioral problem.
- Most children have no lasting problems from bed-wetting, however, many do feel embarrassed or ashamed.
- Family members of children with bedwetting need to be supportive and not critical.