Enuresis, or bedwetting as it is more commonly known, affects many children and can put a strain on many families. It is estimated that more than five million children in the US have problems with wetting their bed. While it is good to know that it is a common and harmless problem, most parents want it to end as soon as possible so they can spend their mornings doing something other than stripping the bed sheets. There are a lot of possible bed wetting solutions that you can try. They do, however, vary in efficiency.
Bed Wetting Alarms
The best investment you can make to stop bedwetting is a bed wetting alarm. It is both completely safe and highly effective. There are two main components to a bedwetting alarm. One part, which attaches near the shoulder of the pajamas, is the alarm. Inside the pajamas is the wetness sensor. When wetness is sensed, the alarm goes off. This startles the body and urination automatically stops. The child often sleeps through this. A parent then goes in and makes sure that the kid goes to the bathroom. This teaches the body to wake up if it has to go to the bathroom. These bed wetting alarms can cost anywhere from $50 to $100. Simple ones can work fine, but some parents like extra features. Even though they work well, not everyone chooses to use them. Some parents who are on a tight budget might prefer to use a free remedy. Other people might not have the patience to wake up their child and escort them to the bathroom every night for the month or two it might take to start working. Some parents see results sooner, but if you don't you will need to stick with it.
Go to the Doctor
Most children won't have to see a doctor to get over bedwetting, but some can benefit from it. Since most children outgrow wetting the bed by seven-years-old, there is little need to take younger children into the doctor. Kids who are older than this, however, might want to see a doctor. They will be able to check and see if there is any medical reason your child is bedwetting. They may decide to prescribe a medication that can stop this problem. This is a relief to many children who suffer from embarrassment at their condition and are unable to stay overnight at a friend's house because of it. Medication usually isn't a cure, but it does provide an effective short-term solution.
Lifting isn't really one of the bed wetting solutions, but it is a valuable way to prevent the bed from getting wet at night. To practice lifting, simply wake your child up a couple of hours after they have fallen asleep and have them go to the bathroom. This will keep the bed dry at night and since most kids outgrow this problem as they get older it is often all that is needed. It isn't a solution, however, because they body isn't learning how to recognize a full bladder and wake up on its own.
Some parents like to reward their children for dry nights. This is another thing that isn't a cure, but it can be helpful. If your child is stressed and upset about their bedwetting, a little reward can boost their spirits, allow them to relax, and enable them to see that they are making progress. Perhaps the simplest way to reward children is to set up a star chart. If they can get through the night without an accident, they get a star on their chart. Accumulating a couple of stars will make them eligible for a reward. This doesn't have to be anything fancy. It can be a trip to the zoo, a new toy, or their favorite meal for supper. These rewards can reduce the stress level of both the child and the parent. It should go without saying, but punishment is not a solution to bedwetting. The child is not doing it because they are willful or disobedient, so it isn't something that can be punished away. Unless they are older and able to understand, don't make them clean up the mess in the morning. Younger children may interpret this as a punishment.
Control Evening Liquids
Many parents choose to limit how much liquid a child drinks in the evening before bed. This can be effective, but it is important to not restrict fluids by too much. You will want to control what kind of drinks your child can have in the evening. Caffeinated beverages, for example, should be avoided because they increase urination. During the day, you should make sure that your child is drinking plenty of water and other healthy beverages.
Let Your Child Outgrow It
The majority of children will be able to outgrow bed wetting without needing any kind of treatment. So, who should just wait for their children to outgrow it? Well, if your child is less than seven years old, you might want to wait it out. Fifteen percent of children who are five-years-old wet the bed, but less than 10% do when they are seven-years-old. Of course, if you or your child is stressed by enuresis, you shouldn't just wait and you should invest in a more effective treatment such as a bed wetting alarm. If you do decide to let your kid outgrow it on their own, investing in a couple of bedwetting sheets will help you save some time and sanity.
Whatever solution you choose, it is important to have honest and caring communication with your child about their enuresis. Let them know that this is a common issue and it happens because their body hasn't quite grown enough to make it through the night. Don't let their siblings tease and torment them about this issue. Your child may be worried that the bedwetting will never end. If that is the case, assure them that they will grow out of it eventually. You just don't know when because everyone's body is different. If you or another adult wet the bed as a child, your kid might be assured to know this. Look for solutions that will work for your family, but never make a big deal about an episode.