Bedwetting is defined as nighttime bedwetting often beyond the age of 5. Bedwetting in children is also called nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis. It is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected. Every mum must learn how to stop bedwetting in children.
Bedwetting sometimes affects many school-age children and even some teens. Although not a serious health problem which many children usually outgrow naturally; very few children find it more difficult to overcome. While most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own, some others may need some help.
Although bedwetting can be a symptom of an underlying disease, a large majority of children who bed wet have no underlying disease that explains their bedwetting. In fact, an underlying condition is identified in only about 1% of children who routinely wet the bed. Parents must be ready to help such children overcome this challenge.
This however does not mean that children who bed wet can control it or that they do it on purpose. They are not lazy, willful, or disobedient. This is because bedwetting is most often a developmental issue which most kids simply outgrow and never need any form of treatment.
Generally in babies, the connection between the brain and the bladder has not fully formed. Hence the bladder will just release urine whenever it feels full. But as the baby grows older, the connections between brain and bladder develop. This enables the child to control when the bladder empties. This ability usually develops during the daytime first and takes more time before it develops at night.
Causes of bedwetting in Children
Although it cannot be specifically stated, but there are few issues that can cause it.
- Bladder: less space in the bladder at night
- Kidney: more urine is made at night
- Brain: unable to wake up during sleep
- Genetics. If one of the parent wet the bed after 5 years old, their children may have the same problem about 40% of the time
- Deep sleep
- Bladder or kidney disease
Types of Bedwetting In Children
There are 2 main types of bedwetting.
- Primary bedwetting and
- Secondary bedwetting.
Primary means bedwetting that has been ongoing since early childhood without a break. A child with primary bedwetting has never been dry at night for any significant length of time. Primary Bedwetting can be caused when the baby cannot yet hold urine for the entire night and cannot wake up when their bladder is full. It may also be caused when he/she produces a large amount of urine during the evening and night hours.
Primary bedwetting may also be caused when the child has poor daytime toilet habits. Many children habitually ignore the urge to urinate and put off urinating as long as they possibly can.
Secondary bedwetting is bedwetting that starts up after the child has been dry at night for a significant period of time, at least 6 months. This can be a sign of an underlying medical or emotional problem. Children with secondary bedwetting are much more likely to have other symptoms, such as daytime wetting.
How to Stop Bedwetting in Children
- Limit intake of food or drinks with caffeine and avoid salty snacks and sugary drinks, especially during the evening.
- Encourage your child to go to the bathroom regularly during the day (every two to three hours) and just before going to bed.
- Wake your child only once during the night to urinate, if necessary. Waking your child more than once a night may disrupt his or her sleep pattern, which could lead to problems at school the next day.