I’ll admit it; I was a bed-wetter on and off until I was about 6 years of age. The biggest hurdle I faced in getting past leaving a little puddle of urine in the bed during the night, was visually realistic dreams. I would actually see myself get out of bed, walk to the bathroom and sit on the toilet. Unfortunately, I was only dreaming and would awaken after feeling a wet spot in the bed. It was quite embarrassing.
An accident in a friend’s bed during a sleepover was the last straw.
It took several pre-bedtime experiments to finally help me make it through the night dry; but eventually I was able to tell reality from dreams.
How common is bedwetting? Nocturnal enuresis (the medical name for bedwetting) is involuntary urination that happens at night during sleep after the age when a child should be able to control his or her bladder.
About 13 percent of 6 year olds wet the bed, while about 5 percent of 10 year olds.
Bedwetting sometimes runs in families – if one or both parents wet the bed when they were children, odds are that their children will too.
Most of the time, bedwetting goes away on its’ own. Until that time, it can test a parent’s patience and cause a child plenty of anxiety.
To help a child cope with this uncomfortable time, reassure your child that bedwetting is a normal part of growing up for many kids, and that it will not last forever. If you have stories of your own experiences, this would be the time to share them with your little one.
My child also wet the bed and one sure way to stop her tears of embarrassment was to tell her one of my own personal experiences. It didn’t take long to switch from sobbing to laughing over our shared nighttime horror.
Kidhealth.org offers these tips for breaking the bedwetting spell:
- Try to have your child drink more fluids during the daytime hours and less at night (and avoid caffeine-containing drinks). Then remind your child to go to the bathroom one final time before bedtime. Many parents find that using a motivational system, such as stickers for dry nights with a small reward (such as a book) after a certain number of stickers, can work well. Bedwetting alarms also can be helpful.
- When your child wakes with wet sheets, don't yell or punish. Have your child help you change the sheets. Explain that this isn't punishment, but it is part of the process. It may even help your child feel better knowing that he or she helped out. Offer praise when your child has a dry night.
Sometimes, bedwetting can be a signal that there is a medical condition that should be checked out. If it begins suddenly or is accompanied by other symptoms, talk to your pediatrician.
The doctor may check for signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), constipation, bladder problems, diabetes, or severe stress.
Call the doctor if your child:
• Suddenly starts wetting the bed after being consistently dry for at least 6 months
• Begins to wet his or her pants during the day
• Snores at night
• Complains of a burning sensation or pain when urinating
• Has to pee frequently
• Is drinking or eating much more than usual
• Has swelling of the feet or ankles
• Is 7 years of age or older and still wetting the bed
Bedwetting can be a sign that a child is under a lot of stress. Often, when a child loses a family member or pet, is doing poorly in school or is frightened about something, they will suddenly start wetting the bed – even if they’ve never done it before or have mastered the art of getting through the night dry.
Your support and patience can go a long way in helping your child feel better about and overcome the bedwetting.
Remember, the long-term outlook is excellent and in almost all cases, dry days are just ahead.
As for me, I had to find a touchstone to let me know the difference between dreaming and actually getting up to go the bathroom. It was the bathroom light switch. If I actually touched the light switch and turned it on, then counted to five before moving, I was really awake. If the light was already on and I walked to the toilet and sat down- I was dreaming.
Story source: http://kidshealth.org/en/parents/enuresis.html#