Bed wetting is usually a frustrating and embarrassing condition. It is embarrassing for a child, because it might be a sign of immaturity. It can prevent him from joining peer activities like camping or sleepovers for fear that bedwetting might be a laughable and embarrassing condition. For a parent, it can be frustrating to have to clean up after your child every morning.
Bed wetting results from several causes, which involve physical and even emotional reasons. Physically, a child’s bladder might not be mature enough to hold itself during sleep. Other factors like stress, anxiety and family problems can also contribute to bed wetting. If you have a child seven years or older who still wets the bed, then it’s probably time to find an effective treatment.
Treatment through medication
Medical treatment for bedwetting usually involves controlling the bladder and anti-depressants. Drugs like Tofranil, an antidepressant, can be prescribed to help improve your child’s sleep patterns. These should be taken with care, though, as it can result in serious side effects. Some doctors will prescribe nasal sprays that contain anti-diuretics. These prevent the bladder from overfilling during the night.
The most practical means of addressing bedwetting in children involve behavior and discipline. Here are a few ways that you can help cure bedwetting in your child.
- Retention control – You can train your child to strengthen his bladder control by trying to hold in his urine when he has to go, usually for a few minutes, and then gradually increasing this through time. Exercises like this can help increase bladder capacity, and strengthen the muscles that control urination. However, you should check with your physician on the safety and practicality of this method.
- Night-lifting – Wake up your child at regular intervals throughout the night and ask him to urinate. You might notice a pattern or a particular time of the night when he experiences bed-wetting “accidents” and it’s best to wake him up right before this time.
- Use a wetness alarm – moisture alarms, which can be bought from $10 to $20 dollars, will alert a child if he is about to wet himself. This might require getting used to, but is helpful in avoiding “accidents.”
- Minimize liquid intake at night – Don’t give your child drinks about two hours before bedtime, and make sure he goes to the bathroom right before sleeping. Be sure to compensate for this by giving him enough fluids throughout the day, though.
- Praise your child for success – When training your child against bed-wetting, it will be important to emphasize the positive. Reward your child when he does not wet himself at night. This positive reinforcement will help him subconsciously try better not to wet the bed.
Curing bed wetting usually involves a lot of patience and a lot of attempts. Success may not necessarily come overnight. Try different methods, but what’s important is to assure your child that bedwetting is not a crime. It’s a condition that can be solved with understanding, discipline and care.