The first thing to acknowledge is that bedwetting in children is very common. Almost one third of 4-year-olds will wet the bed, but the problem usually resolves itself as the child ages. So, when they turn six, only one in ten still have the problem.1
The reason it disappears with age is that the underlying cause of the bedwetting is usually an immature or small bladder, so it simply doesn’t have the capacity. When compounded with a tendency to be a deep sleeper or a family history of bedwetting, no wonder it’s so common.1,2
It’s also important to appreciate that bedwetting is not usually a behavioural or attention-seeking issue. It’s simply a lack of control.1
Apart from letting a child ‘grow out of it’, there are still some strategies that you might find useful.
Firstly, there’s bladder training. Scheduling drinking and bathroom visits.
It’s recommended that you encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids evenly throughout the day, rather than loading the bladder before bedtime.1.2 Similarly, try and schedule regular bathroom visits, including right before bedtime.2
Avoid bladder irritants or stimulants. Caffeine can be found in more than just coffee and tea. You’ll find it in chocolate milk or cocoa drinks. In addition to irritating the bladder, caffeine acts as a diuretic – it promotes the production of urine.
Constipation can sometimes be a contributing factor in bedwetting. The bowel is directly behind the bladder, so if the child is constipated, the full bowel may exert pressure on the bladder, reducing capacity.1,2 If that’s the case, try and introduce more fibre into the diet.
Be positive. Acknowledge the issue with the child and avoid punishment or shame. Rather, you might find it helpful to turn the situation around and reward the child for dry nights. For example, putting a sticker on a calendar on the fridge each time a dry night is achieved. When the child achieves a big milestone (say a week of no bedwetting), they’re rewarded with a small prize or toy.1
According to the Royal Children’s Hospital, bedwetting alarms are the most useful and successful way to stop bedwetting. In fact, research shows that a bedwetting alarm will help 80% of children achieve dry nights and stay that way.1 Bedwetting alarms can be particularly useful if your child is a deep sleeper.3
The Welcare Stay-Dry Children’s Upper Arm Bedwetting Alarm is a simple, effective, and affordable way to help treat bedwetting. You can check it out here.