Set The Alarm, Stop Bedwetting!

One of the most common issues with children is bedwetting. And a lot of children who wet the bed struggle with feelings of frustration and embarrassment. Until your child outgrows this problem, there are ways of helping him or her to overcome it, such as setting a bedwetting alarm. Let’s take a closer look.

Bedwetting? What is That?

Simply, this is when a child unintentionally urinates in the bed, in an age when he or she normally has control of his or her bladder. It will become apparent when the child is about five years old and still wets the bed. There are two categories for bedwetters:

          1. Primary bedwetters are those kids who have wet the bed since they were infants and have not had a dry period since. They could wet the bed every night or a couple of times a week.
          2. Secondary bedwetters have dry periods for around six months at a time.

The Causes of Bedwetting

Genetics can play a role in bedwetting. Other causes include:

  •      Delays in maturity – some kids have small bladder capacity or their nervous system is immature.
  •      Deep sleepers – often bedwetters are deep sleepers who fail to awake when their bladders need emptying. This is when it’s a good idea to set a bedwetting alarm to help you or your child wake up to empty the bladder during the night.
  •      Disturbance of circadian rhythm – when the antidiuretic hormone is released abnormally this messes up the child’s circadian rhythm during the night, resulting in frequent urination at night. This is because  the antidiuretic hormone controls the balance of fluids in the child’s body.

How to Help Your Child

  • Start combatting bedwetting by chatting to your paediatrician about the issue. They can help to rule out any underlying medical concerns and possibly recommend a visit to an urologist.
  • Never scold or punish your child. Instead, encourage your child and give a gold star chart for dry nights. Positive reinforcements would help him or her gain self esteem.
  • Ensure your child is well hydrated during the day. Kids that don’t drink enough during the morning and afternoon but drink plenty in the evening will be overloaded with fluids before sleeping. This will cause a lot of urine come bedtime.
  •   Restrict fluid intake after dinner. It’s recommended that there is a two hour gap between the last drink and bedtime.
  • Keep your child away from food and drinks that irritate the bladder like fizzy drinks, caffeine or citrus fruits. Do not give them these beverages and fruits after lunch.
  •  Have your child go to the bathroom right before bedtime. Make it a nightly ritual and tell your child to make sure they’re finished instead of trying to rush.
  •  Set a bedwetting alarm to wake your child at intervals during the night and have them go to the bathroom to empty their bladder.
  • Ensure your child isn’t constipated as an intestine full of stool strains the bladder, leading to a lack of control.
  •  If the bedwetting is a major issue, a doctor may be able to prescribe medication to help stop the bedwetting. These medications will stop the body producing urine during the night, but are not a long-term bedwetting solution.
  • A bedwetting alarm has been proven to be as much as 80% effective. You can clip the special alarm onto your child’s pajama cord and attach it to your child’s underwear. As soon as the alarm senses even the smallest amount of urine, it will vibrate and alert the child to wake up. The child will then have to get up and go to the bathroom to empty the bladder. This is a great way of getting your child’s brain to register what is going to happen before it happens. Eventually, your child should get into a routine of waking up to urinate before he or she wet the bed.

Don’t give up on your child’s bedwetting issues. Even if you’ve tried a bedwetting alarm, have restricted fluid intake, and have offered rewards for dry nights, it can still help to talk to someone, such as a doctor or urologist.

Remind your child that he or she isn’t alone and that your child is free to talk to you and the doctor about their bedwetting.

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