If your child wets the bed, and has always done so, then they most likely have primary nocturnal enuresis.
Your child is by no means alone; up to 15% of five year olds and up to 5% of ten year olds still wet the bed.
The important thing is not to let yourself or your child be stressed by bedwetting. Most cases simply need love and patience, and 97% will grow out of it by the age of 12. Your child may experience low self-esteem due to bedwetting so try to give them lots of reassurance.
Some steps that may help, include:
- Explaining to your child that it is very common, and that they will definitely grow out of it.
- If you have a history of bedwetting it may help to talk about it so they feel that you understand.
- If they’re old enough to use the internet, find some good resources for them to read about bedwetting causes and strategies.
- Avoid punishing your child at all costs, as this can make them feel more ashamed, anxious and confused.
Reasons for bedwetting
Understanding the causes of bedwetting may help you and your child feel more in control. There can be a variety of factors that can lead to your child wetting the bed. Below are some of the most common reasons:
- Genetics: Yes, genetics can play a role in bedwetting. If both parents wet the bed as children, there is a 75% chance that their child will also experience bedwetting. The chances decrease to 40% if it’s just one parent, and 15% if neither you nor your partner were affected.
- Bladder capacity: Sometimes your child may have a small bladder capacity and need to urinate more during the night. Their capacity will increase as their bladder develops properly.
- Neurological development delay: Our bladder needs to signal our brain to wake up when our bladder is full. However, if your child’s nervous system is still developing, this may not be happening yet.
- Low anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) levels: ADH is a hormone that regulates urine production while we sleep. Some children do not produce enough of this handy hormone, which causes their bladders to become full during the night.
The bedwetting journey requires a lot of patience; you can’t rush your child’s development. To help reduce stress for both of you, it might help to find some bedwetting products to get you through this time. If your child is old enough, ask them what they think would help. Here are a few options:
- DryNites Pyjama Pants: These absorbent pants are designed to be lightweight and discreet, just like real underwear.
- Mattress protector: A quality mattress protector will save you trying to clean and dry mattresses, or even worse, having to buy a new one altogether.
- Disposable bedwetting mats: Absorbent bedwetting mats add an extra layer of protection and are a good option to consider if your child’s bedwetting has become less frequent and they don’t wear pyjama pants every night.
- Night light: A night light can make your child feel more comfortable visiting the bathroom when it’s dark.
This article was written for Huggies DryNites. For more information visit www.drynites.co.nz