Bedwetting

child sleepingAny child can have an isolated incident, but the term “bedwetting” usually refers to a chronic condition. Nocturnal enuresis, or bedwetting, is a very common in young children and can affect older kids, sometimes carrying on into their teens. It also tends to run in families. If you and your husband struggled with wetting the bed, chances are your child will to.

Remember that a child should not be punished for wetting the bed, because that will not make the problem go away.

The good news is that most of the time, it is not serious and, most of the time, it goes away on its own. But it can be frustrating, uncomfortable, and embarrassing. As you help your children through this stage, make sure you stay positive and reassuring. Telling them stories of a similar struggle you or another family member had may make them feel less embarrassed. Make sure they understand the condition is common and only temporary. Remember that a child should not be punished for wetting the bed, because that will not make the problem go away.

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Do not yell at or embarrass your child. They already feel embarrassed and if you humiliate or punish them, they will be less likely to let you know when they've had an accident and may even try to hide it from you. To help you and your child cope, try the following tips from kidshealth.org:

  • Urge your child to use the bathroom right before bed.
  • Provide more fluids during the day and limit drinks at night.
  • Come up with a motivational, reward system.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages.
  • Ask your child to help you clean-up the mess, but be clear that it is all part of the process and not a punishment.
  • Praise your child for every dry night.
  • Invest in a bedwetting alarm system.

Occasionally, bedwetting can be a symptom of a medical condition, such as an UTI, bladder problem, diabetes, constipation, or severe stress. It’s important to be aware of the warning signs. Call the doctor if your child has had dry nights for six months or more and suddenly begins wetting the bed, your child begins having accidents during the day, your child snores while sleeping, your child complains of a burning sensation while urinating, your child begins urinating very frequently, your child drinks or eats much more than usual, your child experiences swollen feet or ankles, or if your child is seven years of age or older and still wetting the bed.

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Bedwetting

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