How to Handle Bedwetting
Nocturnal enuresis, the medical term for bedwetting, is more common that most people think. By age four, most children are able to hold their urine all night, but some still struggle with this embarrassing issue. For most, the problem is entirely in the brain: the brain fails to send signals to the bladder to hold during sleep. It can also be triggered by childhood trauma like a divorce, move, or new baby.
Most bedwetters feel like their bathroom struggles should be behind them, which causes feelings of shame and guilt. Here are some ways you can handle bedwetting.
1. Never punish. Like I said, bedwetting is neurological, so punishments don’t work. They can even make the problem worse. Use gentle guidance and lots of communication. Explain that it isn’t their fault and the problem will go away eventually.
2. Avoid sugar and caffeine. Both of these substances (as stimulants) can make it harder to hold one’s bladder. Cut them out entirely until the matter is under control.
3. Prompt a night-time pee. At some point during the night before your child usually wets the bed, wake him up to use the bathroom. This will help his brain recognize when his bladder is so full that bedwetting is about to happen. After a while his brain will start to wake him up to go in anticipation of your wakeup.
4. Most pediatricians can’t help. For whatever reason, most pediatricians have little information on bedwetting. However, your doctor can refer you to an urologist with a pediatrics specialty, medication (desmopressin acetate), or a pediatric enuresis program. This program is usually one appointment with a follow-up session.
5. Try a bed alarm. A bed alarm is a simple device that uses a sensor in your child’s underpants that recognizes wetness. This sensor then triggers an alarm (separate device) to wake your child. Even though they wake after wetting the bed, over time it trains your child’s brain to wake at the first drop so your child can stop the wetness. The whole process takes about two months.
6. Rule out constipation. Constipation can put pressure on the bladder. Usually this pressure is manageable during the day, but it can cause just enough stress on the bladder to release urine at night.
7.Keep your child dry. Kids do grow out of bedwetting, even when no other measures are taken. The simplest solution is often just to keep your child dry. Purchase a waterproof mattress cover to protect the mattress. You can find night-time pull-ups for almost any size. If your child soils the sheets, have him help you change them so he feels like part of the solution, not just the problem.
Written by Dr. Nina Farzin, Inventor of oogiebear
Nina is a wife, mother and career professional who never intended to start her own business. When her children were newborns, she ached to ease the discomfort from dry, stubborn, crusty mucus (boogers)! As a doctor, she knew there were no safe solutions on the market to help her kids, so she invented oogiebear, a revolutionary booger removal tool that helps babies breathe easier.
Nina graduated Howard University where she earned her doctorate in Pharmacy (R.Ph, Pharm.D). She is a Registered Pharmacist in Washington DC, Maryland and New York. Nina and her family are fitness enthusiasts who enjoy outdoor activities and healthy eating.
For more information, please visit myoogie.com.
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Note: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and not to give professional medical advice. Please consult your doctor about any questions you may have regarding your child’s health and before following any of the suggestions in this post.