Bedwetting in Children: Understanding the Urinary System
What you should do
“The good news is that most cases of bedwetting that go untreated will result in the child developing complete control over time,” says Stengler.
He adds that conventional treatment focuses on behavioral techniques like putting a child on a regular bathroom schedule during the day, setting alarms at night to wake the child to void the bladder, and using rewards as a positive reinforcement.
Another technique is to use a special device that senses urine in the underwear and sets off an alarm. The child is gradually conditioned to wait until morning to go to the bathroom. According to Dr. Stengler, this technique is used for children six years of age and older.
A third option would be to consider disposable absorbent underwear such as GoodNites® pants. While these don’t cure bed-wetting, they do a great deal to help kids who wet the bed maintain their sense of privacy and self-esteem until they grow out of the condition. GoodNites® help kids stop worrying about bed-wetting, help them feel more independent and allow them to do things other kids their age do (like sleepovers) without worrying that they will wake up to a wet bed or sleeping bag.
The AACAP encourages parents to remember that children seldom wet the bed on purpose and feel ashamed when they do. Parents should remain positive and reinforce with the child that he will soon be able to stay dry all night. Parents can also seek the advice of a pediatrician or friends who have gone through similar situations.
In the meantime, avoid giving a child something to drink after a certain time and make sure they go potty before going to bed.
Fiedler and her husband began putting a pile of extra blankets and sleeping bags by their son’s bed so that when he did have an accident, it was a quick and easy matter getting his bed back together in the middle of the night.
“We know it’s not his fault, but it can be frustrating getting up twice in the middle of the night,” says Fiedler. “We are switching pediatricians and will bring it up with our new doctor, but right now we are remaining positive and encouraging him, which is what he needs.”
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