How To Stop Bedwetting In Children

By MaryAnn DePietro, CRT. May 7th 2016

Bedwetting is very common in children up to about age six. Even after six, some children continue to wet the bed while they are sleeping. Parents may become frustrated, but it is important to remember, bedwetting is involuntary, and your child is almost always not doing it deliberately. Often, bedwetting occurs simply because some children do not yet have the ability to control their bladder overnight. Although almost all children will outgrow wetting the bed in time, there some things parents can do to try to stop bedwetting.

Limit Fluids About An Hour Before Bed

While it is essential kids drink enough fluids throughout the dry to stay well hydrated, fluids right before bedtime can contribute to bedwetting in some kids. A few slips before bed are probably reasonable, but big glasses of fluids should be avoided about an hour or two before going to sleep.

Consider A Moisture Alarm

Moisture alarms, also known as bedwetting alarms, can be purchased to help alert a child when they start to wet the bed. The alarm is placed under a pad or sheet and sounds as soon as any moisture is detected. It will wake your child up, so they stop wetting the bed and get up to use the bathroom. According to UCLA Health System, bedwetting alarms are one of the most effective ways to help stop bedwetting.

Encourage Your Child To Use The Toilet Before Bed

Whether your bedtime routine involves story time, snuggling or a little television, right before your child goes to sleep have him go and use the toilet. Even if your child says he does not have to go, have him try. Going to the bathroom right before falling asleep may reduce nighttime accidents, especially for children who have a small bladder.

Avoid Negative Reactions

Although it is normal to get frustrated when you have to get up in the middle of the night and change wet bedding, getting upset with your child and making negative comments won’t fix the problem. Keep in mind, your child is not doing it intentionally. Getting upset will only stress your child out more. Step away for a minute if you need to and take a deep breath.

Consult A Doctor

Although in most cases, medication for bedwetting is not needed, in a few instances it can help. According to the University of Miami, Miller School of Medicine, medication may be prescribed, which controls muscle spasms if an overactive bladder is suspected. If excess urine production is thought to be the problem, a synthetic form of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) can be prescribed, which slows urine production during sleep.

Prevent Constipation

If your child has problems with chronic constipation, it can contribute to bedwetting. Add plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and whole grains to your child’s diet, which will help reduce constipation. Kids should also drink plenty of water throughout the day, which keeps the digestive system working efficiently.

Limit caffeine

Drinking or eating foods that contain caffeine can increase urine production. Although your child may not be having a double espresso, caffeine is also in food and drinks kids may eat. Chocolate and certain types of soda contain caffeine. If bedwetting is an issue, consider eliminating sodas which contain caffeine or at least limiting them about five or six hours before bedtime.

Use Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement is an excellent way to help reduce negative emotions that can occur with bedwetting. Keep in mind, children who wet the bed are not doing it on purpose and may feel ashamed. Consider offering positive reinforcement, such as offering praise when your child gets up to use the toilet at night or when your child stays dry throughout the night. Although positive reinforcement may not stop bedwetting, it can help your child deal with it better.

Rule Out medical problems

Occasionally bedwetting can be a sign of a medical problem, such as a structural abnormality or problems with the spinal cord. In some instances, a bladder infection can lead to bedwetting. If your child continues to wet the bed, despite lifestyle changes, consider contacting your child’s pediatrician for an evaluation.

Be patient

If you have made some lifestyle changes and your child is still wetting the bed, try to be patient. Children develop bladder control at different ages and those on the later end eventually catch up. Continue to be understanding and use positive reinforcement.

With all the things parents have to be concerned about, bedwetting is usually not something to spend too much time worrying about. In many cases, a few changes will help solve the problem. Even if bedwetting continues for a little while, it is almost always just a temporary stage your child is going through.


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