Bedwetting is annoying, but it’s common. Many children (and parents) are concerned with the problem of bedwetting. Why, how, but above all what to do with your child’s bedwetting? Here are some tips for dealing with this moment.
Bedwetting and statistics
From the age of 3, more girls than boys manage to spend a night in the dry. Yet 15 to 20% of children aged 5 to 6 still wet the bed at night and 8 to 12% of children over 5 continue to wet their bed regularly … at the age of 15, we no longer count that 2% of children still suffer from this urinary disorder also called nocturnal enuresis. This worry that plagues parents’ mornings and children’s nights, however, always ends up being resolved.
Why is my child wetting the bed?
A distinction is made between primary enuresis , in a child who has never been clean and which affects more than 400,000 children aged between 5 and 10 years, from secondary enuresis affecting children who have been clean at night for at least 6 months before. to wet their bed again.
Several causes can explain these nocturnal urinary leaks:
- The first factor comes from parental history. Indeed, it has been shown that in the majority of cases, at least one of the two parents of the child who has trouble stopping bedwetting has himself suffered from similar disorders. When both parents have had a problem with bedwetting, their child has a 77% risk of being affected too.
- Bedwetting does not necessarily have a psychological origin, as we often think. The decrease in nocturnal secretion of the antidiuretic hormone, which normally prevents nighttime urine output, is also involved.
- Children’s nervous systems may not be mature enough to control bladder contractions, especially at night, in which case patience will be the only cure!
- Some anxious children are afraid to get up alone and in the dark and still prefer to wet the bed.
- They may also dream of going to the bathroom (this has happened to all of us!)
- Finally, some people “only” suffer from having such a deep sleep that they are not woken up by the urge to urinate… and it is bedwetting!
How to react to the problem of bedwetting? Our advices
When faced with bedwetting, each parent seeks the right attitude to adopt. Should we trivialize the accident or on the contrary should we scold our child? Or, wouldn’t it be better for him to feel involved and therefore participate by removing his sheets or washing them? Parents are all different and so are their reactions! Just keep in mind that bedwetting is totally unconscious on the part of the child. It is wrong to say that it is “done on purpose” to wet the bed as we sometimes hear it.
So, even if it’s complicated, we avoid focusing on this (transitory) problem. Everyone is doing their part to make the situation as painless as possible. We can – or not – ask the child to put on his sheets and his pajamas with the dirty laundry and, on the parents’ side, we choose a detergent that is gentle on the skin and for the laundry. Indeed, faced with the many detergents involved in bedwetting, it is better to choose a detergent that will preserve your sheets and leave your little wolf’s pajamas soft and smelling good. Perfect conditions for peacefully going to bed and approaching the night with peace of mind.
Bedwetting: When should we be worried?
After 6 years it is not unusual for a child to wet his bed and it is important to remain calm and patient. In child psychiatry, we do not worry about bedwetting in a child under 7 years old who has always wetted the bed.
In the case of a child who has already been clean for a long time before rewetting the bed or a child who has urinary leaks during the day, the pediatric consultation is then necessary to detect a possible medical problem.
From the age of 11, treatment is necessary and psychotherapeutic care becomes sometimes really necessary. The same is true when bedwetting is a handicap or a real discomfort for the child or adolescent. Thus, as they grow up, a large proportion of these children avoid going to sleep outside their home. It can even become problematic when leaving for a summer camp or a discovery class.
What solutions in case of bedwetting?
The most important thing is certainly to get your child involved without humiliating him. Make him understand that he has nothing to do with it, but make him participate in taking charge of his bedwetting without it being considered a punishment. To help your child overcome his bedwetting problem, here are some simple tips to put in place:
- After snack time , ask him to drink less … but do not deprive him of drinking completely, it is useless and harmful to his health!
- Avoid offering him soup for dinner!
- Systematically suggest that your child go to the bathroom just before going to bed and thus create an immutable ritual.
In the morning
* Was the night dry? value your child, praise him. Remember how you raved about his first pee in the pot and how he beamed then… keep going!
* In the event of an “accident”, involve him and make him participate by asking him to help you change the sheets and make a clean bed.
* Create with him a little calendar of “the weather forecast for bedwetting”: the night was dry, he draws a sun in the corresponding day box, the night was humid, a rain cloud… What a joy to see, Over the weeks and months, the calendar will fill up with many more suns and less and less rain! This lets her see that her efforts are paying off and soon all of that nighttime bedwetting will be just history … and there are even versions to fill out online!
* Encourage him by showing him that you value his success in getting clean more important than the laundry problem, so you will give him more self-confidence.
And to make your life easier, anticipate night-time leaks with:
- The pot near the night light
- A light left on if your child needs to get up alone
- Waterproof mattress protection
- A spare pajamas
- A towel near the bed
- If your child is going to a colony or spending the night with a friend, plan small nasal spray treatments. And yes, there is a nasal spray treatment that temporarily retains water in the body, thus limiting the amount of urine formed and therefore, the need to urinate for the child is less important.
- And a good washing machine!
The questions you ask yourself:
Should I wake my child up to go pee at night?
No, that would be pointless, and in the long run, this type of habit ends up affecting the child’s sleep.
I take my child to the doctor to fix the problem. What’s going to happen ?
In order to make his diagnosis, the doctor will ask the parents and the child to answer a questionnaire. This can be supplemented by examinations: urinalysis, ultrasound …
What other methods are there against bedwetting?
When the child consults, doctors sometimes prescribe certain medications.
There are also protections: special diapers for “older children”. Finally, there are anti-bedwetting warning devices on the market. It is a panty or a plate to slide under the draw sheet and equipped with humidity detectors connected to an alarm. At the first drop of bedwetting, the alarm goes off, the child is awake and can then go to the toilet. This method, sometimes criticized, can sometimes prove to be extremely effective! These alarms associated with conventional measures manage to make bedwetting disappear in a few months.
The wet mornings rhyme to play down in case of bedwetting
If despite all your common efforts your child has wet the bed, avoid raising the tension and sing with him this rhyme that has always made children laugh:
“It was the Queen of England who pooped on the floor,
We wiped it down with potatoes.
It was the Queen of Italy who wet the bed,
We wiped her with spaghetti.
It’s my little darling who wet his sheets,
We’re going to tell the washing machine to take care of this.”
Image source: iStock