Toilet training is a developmental milestone for a child. When it is achieved, parents may already expect that a child can fully stay dry through the night. Parents may then be surprised, when a child suddenly wets the bed. Although some parents may be concerned, it is usually just a phase that children go through. Around 40% of preschoolers still wet the bed, even after they have attained day time bladder control.
Bed-wetting is classified into two types. Primary nocturnal enuresis is accidental wetting of a child, who has never attained bladder control for more than 3 months. Most cases of primary nocturnal enuresis do not occur, as a result of any underlying medical problem.
Although the cause is not fully known, some factors may play a role. A child with an immature nervous system may still be unable to sense a full bladder. Likewise, a child with small a small bladder, or those with a hormonal imbalance, may be prone to bed-wetting. Children, who are deep sleepers, are also prone to having these accidents. Primary nocturnal enuresis may also be caused by psychological or social factors.
Secondary nocturnal enuresis on the other hand, is accidental wetting by a child who has already achieved bladder control, for at least 6 to 12 months. This type of bed-wetting is more likely due to a physical cause. These may be due to infections of the bladder or kidneys, or birth defects affecting the urinary tract.
There is a need for parents to know when to seek for help. For children who have not attained bladder control for 3 months or longer, it may only be a matter of time before they can overcome this. This usually does not need any medical intervention because it remains to be a normal part of a child’s growth and development.
However, if you notice that your child is exhibiting symptoms like crying or complaining when urinating, or when your child is urinating more than usual, consult your health care provider. Take note as well of a child’s urine color because cloudy or pink urine warrants medical attention. There is also a need to seek consultation, if your child still wets the bed after he has turned 5 or 6 years old.
Bed-wetting is involuntary, and an older child may be embarrassed regarding the incident. Parents then need to be supportive in reinforcing good habits. Try to limit fluids at night, and make sure that your child urinates before sleeping. Have your child avoid caffeine containing foods and beverages late in the day. Caffeine is a diuretic, and it can promote urination.
Be certain that the hallways are well lit, so that your child can easily and safely go to the bathroom. An extra thirty minutes of sleep each night, may also help stop bed-wetting in children. It may also help if you encourage your child to express his feelings. An anxious child can feel secured if parents pay attention to their issues. Do not criticize your child when he has accidents, but praise your child for dry nights.
Since bed-wetting can be a part of growing up, parents need to explain to kids that it is normal. Do not let your child feel bad for bed-wetting because it may only aggravate the problem. Children will always have challenges when growing up, and parents need to ensure that they get all the necessary support, so that they can fully achieve their developmental tasks.