Bedwetting can be upsetting and the practicalities of washing the bedding can take up a lot of time especially for parents who lead such busy lives. Wetting the bed at night (nocturnal enuresis) is very common in young children. In fact, it is normal up to the age of five years and eventually it does pass!
All about bedwetting
- Almost half of all three-year-olds and about 10% of five-year-olds wet their bed
- It is somewhat more common in boys than girls
- Children who wet the bed often have no physical or great emotional problems
- Bedwetting can become a social problem for many children and their families if it is still continuing by the age of six to seven years
- There are two types of bedwetting: 1. The child who has never been dry for more than a few months at a time (primary nocturnal enuresis) 2. The child who has been completely dry for more than 6 months and then starts to wet the bed again (secondary nocturnal enuresis). An emotional event or social changes or constipation may trigger this second kind of bedwetting
What causes bedwetting?
- Interestingly, 60% of children who wet the bed produce more urine during sleep than other children
- The amount of urine the bladder holds may be less in bedwetters than children who don’t wet the bed
- Fluid restriction in the evening doesn’t prevent the episode from occurring
- Please take notice of this fact: because it happens during sleep the child has no conscious control over it
- The cause may be your child has worms!
What can you do to help?
- Please reassure your child, especially if they are upset. You need to be patient and understanding, even though you may feel angry
- A night-light may be useful for children who often wake up during the night, either to go to the toilet or to change their pyjamas
- Do encourage a good night’s sleep. A restful sleep without interruptions is best for your child. Waking your child to go to the toilet during the night will not help solve the problem
- Do try absorbent pads. The pads go under the bottom sheet to keep the bed drier and more comfortable
- Do shower or bathe your child before you let them go to pre-school or school
- Do encourage your child to have plenty to drink, particularly during the day
- Do discourage your child from drinking caffeinated drinks in the evenings (eg chocolate or cola drinks)
When should you seek some professional help?
If your child is still wetting the bed after the age of about six or seven, and the child is unhappy or uncomfortable about it.
If your child has persistent daytime wetting. If it is causing problems in the family. If your child has been dry at night for over a year and suddenly starts to wet the bed again.
There are good programmes at most hospitals for treating enuresis. Osteopaths, Chiropractors and Homeopaths can assist with these issues.
There is a very good seminar coming up by Janet Cater author of the very helpful, parenting book “Why won’t my child listen?” The seminar will include: How brain development affects behaviour & learning, Fussy eaters – establishing healthy eating habits, Bedtime capers – assisting your child with sleep, Temper Tantrums – helping your child with challenges, Tips for setting boundaries & limits, How to foster healthy self-esteem in your child, The causes of temper tantrums and how to prevent them. You will gain skills in how to manage those you are unable to prevent!
Tickets are $35 and you can book directly through Helena Mooney at www.birthandparenting.com.au
Newtown: Thursday 6 September, 7-9pm
Dickson Space Hall, 35-39 Dickson st, Newtown.
Crows Nest: Tuesday 11 September, 7-9pm
Crows Nest Community Centre, 2 Ernest Place Crows Nest