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Dry Night Ahead: How to help your child from bed-wetting

Yes, Toilet training is a hard act to master. Even if you child has been doing it right through the day, there will be days (more nights!) that result in dampness of both child and their (previously) warm and cosy bed.

 

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You are not alone. Research states that approximately 18 percent of children India are still wetting their bed at age 5. of children in India Parents often worry about bed-wetting in their children – also known as Enuresis, is usually defined as an involuntary passage of urine after the age of three and the failure to control the urinary bladder during sleep, in the absence of any identifiable physical abnormality.

 

What causes bed-wetting

 

Why children wet the bed is not fully understood. For most children, bed-wetting is a normal developmental stage and likely related to one or more of these factors:

  • Your child produces too much urine at night.
  • Your child’s body is still developing.
  • Your child’s routine is disrupted.
  • There’s an underlying medical condition. Medical conditions – most commonly constipation or urinary tract infections, which are easily treated – can sometimes be the cause. Bed-wetting can also be a sign of a more serious health condition, such as diabetes, but that is uncommon. If your child has worrisome symptoms in addition to bed-wetting, call your child’s doctor.

 

When will my child stop wetting the bed?

 

About 90 percent of children outgrow bed-wetting on their own by the age of 7. That’s why most doctors don’t routinely suggest bed-wetting treatments, such as a bed-wetting alarm, for children younger than 7. Unless your child has been dry during the day for at least six months, it may be too soon to expect her to stay dry at night.

 

It can take some trial and error to figure out what nighttime protection works best for your child, and you may need to adjust as she grows.

 

The important thing to remember is that bed-wetting is completely involuntary – your child can’t control it and is not doing it purposely. But there are ways you and your child’s doctor can help.

 

How can I help my child through bed-wetting?

 

  • Shift times for drinking. Increase fluid intake earlier in the day and reduce it later in the day.
  • Schedule bathroom breaks. Get your child on a regular urination schedule (every two to three hours) and right before bedtime.
  • Be encouraging. Make your child feel good about progress by consistently rewarding successes.
  • Eliminate bladder irritants. At night, start by eliminating caffeine content in food (such as chocolate milk and cocoa) and if this doesn’t work, cut citrus juices, artificial flavorings, dyes (especially red) and sweeteners. Many parents don’t realize these can all irritate a child’s bladder.
  • Avoid thirst overload. If schools allow, give your child a water bottle so they can drink steadily all day. This avoids excessive thirst after school.
  • Consider if constipation is a factor. Because the rectum is right behind the bladder, difficulties with constipation can present themselves as a bladder problem, especially at night. This affects about one third of children who wet the bed, though children are unlikely to identify or share information about constipation.
  • Don’t wake children up to urinate. Randomly waking up a child at night and asking him or her to urinate on demand isn’t the answer, either – and will only lead to more sleeplessness and frustration.
  • Don’t resort to punishment. Getting angry at your child doesn’t help him learn. The process doesn’t need to involve conflict.

 

Be patient and sensitive to your child’s feelings and work through the problem together. With reassurance, support and understanding, your child can look forward to the dry nights ahead.

 

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By Prerna S Joon
Chief Content Officer – Silver Rattle

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