We have had bedwetting issues on and off for quite a long time now, particularly with both of the boys. It is difficult and tiring for everyone, but of course most stressful for the child going through it at the time.
The most important thing to remember is to remain positive. Try not to show any impatience to your child. I know it is frustrating when you are changing sheets for the second time in one night, for the seventh day in a row. But it is much more frustrating for the child than it is the parent. I thought I would share some of the information that I have found helpful along the way.
Bedwetting, the facts!
I still don’t really know what causes it, but its handy to know some of the facts. Did you know that 1 in 15 seven year old’s are wetting the bed. Reminding your child that they are not alone will help greatly. The chances are there will be at least somebody else in their class, if not their school, who is having the same struggle.
As a child I suffered with bedwetting, and it does run in families. Children with parents that wet the bed are 40% more likely to wet the bed themselves. It can make us as parents feel guilty, but there is nothing that can be done about that. Again though reassuring them with that fact can help. According to my doctor they will most likely grow out of it at a similar age to me.
It is easy for a child to think that drinking less will help, but that’s not true. A child needs 6-8 cups of water based fluid a day, and the more they drink during the day the more they will be training their bladder for night times. Avoiding caffeine based drinks, and often orange and blackcurrant drinks is best. Obviously plain water is ideal, but I know not all children will drink just water.
Bedwetting can also be caused by constipation. A full bowel can cause wetting during the day and at night. Trying to combat the issue of constipation could help with the bedwetting as well.
How can we help as parents?
There are lots of things we can try, a fountain of information online, and it is important to remember every child and every situation is different. I have pulled together a few of the tips I have tried to share with you:
Try without nappies or pull ups. They are so tempting, and I have used them alot, and spent far too much money on them. But although bedwetting isn’t down to them being lazy, it can be psychological, when the child goes to sleep knowing that it is okay, they have their protection on, they don’t have to worry. Obviously we don’t want them worrying about it either but its about finding the balance.
Use waterproof sheets and protectors. We have a waterproof mattress protector on all of the children’s mattresses, but I also double it up by using additional pads from Hartmann Direct they sit on top of the sheet, and will catch most of the urine, so that you don’t have to change the sheets. The only potential problem with these is that the child may wriggle off of them, but this hasn’t been an issue for us.
Keep a drink diary, count those drinks in the day to make sure they are having enough to drink. And try to encourage them to have plain water if possible. It might not work, but it could make all of the difference. Along with counting the day time drinks limit the evening drinks, try to avoid drinks after tea.
Encourage them to go for an extra wee at bedtime, perhaps go before brushing teeth then try for another just before getting into bed. Trying to empty the bladder as much as possible before bed should help.
Make it easy for them if they wake at night, can you leave a light on, or give them a torch for if they need to get up to the toilet. Do you have bunk beds, are they sleeping on the bottom bunk so it is quicker to get out of bed?
A lot of people use bedwetting alarms, personally, it is something we haven’t tried yet. We haven’t tried them because the boys are such sweaty sleepers, I think that would set off the alarm. Saying that, it is something we are looking in to trying soon. The idea is that they will sound an alarm as soon as they feel moisture, hopefully triggering your child to notice the signs of starting to wee before they wet the bed.
Finally if you are really struggling, see your doctor. They won’t often prescribe anything until 7 years old, but they can prescribe a medication called Desmopressin. Desmopressin basically stops the bladder from releasing urine for 8 hours. It is really important not to drink when you have taken it though.
I really hope this post might help a few people. If nothing else, remember there are so many children going through the same issue, and it really will get better.
This is a collaborative post, all opinions are my own.
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