Bedwetting is an issue that many parents face every night. It is extremely common among young kids, but can last into the teen years. In the western hemisphere, parents are concerned when their child continues to wet their bed at night past the age of 3 years. However, given our culture of easy-going and tolerant parenting, bedwetting well beyond 6 years is not uncommon. Either way, child psychiatrists stress that bedwetting is fairly common, and that most of the time it is not a sign of any deeper medical or emotional issues.
All the same, bedwetting can be very stressful for families. Kids can feel embarrassed and guilty about wetting the bed and anxious about spending the night at a relative's house or during school excursions. Parents often feel helpless to stop it.
How can I help my child stay dry?
You can take several steps to help your child stay dry. Make sure your child drinks enough fluids throughout the day. However, restrict the amount of water consumed beyond 6pm in the evening. Have your child avoid drinks with caffeine, such as colas or energy drinks, after 4pm in the evening. Drinks with caffeine speed up urine production. Give your child one glass of water with dinner and explain that it will be the last drink before going to bed. Make sure your child uses the restroom last-thing before bed; make this a habit. Many children will still wet the bed, but these steps may be helpful.
Bladder training can help your child hold urine longer. Write down what times your child urinates during the day. Then figure out the amount of time between trips to the restroom. After a day or two, have your child try to wait an extra 15 minutes before using the restroom. For example, if a trip to the restroom usually occurs at 3:30 p.m., have your child wait until 3:45 p.m. Gradually, make the wait time longer and longer. This method helps stretch your child's bladder to hold more urine. Be patient. Bladder training can take several weeks or even months.