Bedwetting Solutions: 10 Tips to Help Your Child Stop

Ineh Olisah

Irrespective of the cause(s), bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis is a nightmare that brings loads of trauma, misery, embarrassment, shame, and frustration to parents and the bed-wetting child. Bid smelly sheets and mattresses goodbye with the following tips:

1. Be supportive

I know it’s frustrating to have to deal with odours from mattresses and wash smelly pyjamas and bedspread every morning. It doesn’t feel better than when he was just a baby but you know what? If you don’t encourage him, especially by letting him know it’s a passing phase and praising him for dry nights, but take to constant tongue lashing, ridiculing and punishments, no one else will.

2. Encourage delay of daytime urination

This is a stretching exercise. It entails holding urine in the bladder longer than usual before urinating during the day. This practice helps the bladder hold more urine during the night, reducing the frequency of wet nights.

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3. Discourage late meals and heavy consumption of fluids at night

Ensure he eats about two hours before bed time and minimizes liquid intake. It helps his food digest properly and enables him urinate as many times as possible, before retiring to bed. Do it in a way that doesn’t make him feel disadvantaged because of his condition.

4. Wake the child at regular intervals at night

Make it a point of duty to wake him up to urinate every two to three hours, ignoring his excuses not to get up. It’s tough I know, but, after few months he’ll learn to wake up by himself and you’ll be the happier for it.

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5. Setting an alarm clock

It is usually not as effective as waking him by yourself at regular intervals but could still get him up to urinate after few hours of sleep, until he learns to do it spontaneously.

6. Bedwetting monitors

Worn on the child’s pyjamas, it sets off an alarm once moisture is sensed. Subsequently, the child becomes conditioned to waking up to urinate when his bladder feels full. You could try your hands on Malem and Roger products or shop for more options online.

 7. Natural remedies

Corn silk tea can be made by pouring a cup (240ml) of boiling water over 2tablespoons (2.5kg) of dried corn silk. The mixture is covered and steeped for 10-15minutes and should be taken three times daily. Otherwise, a tincture of 1teaspoon (3-6ml) of corn silk can be taken three times daily. Do this by mixing the herb with water or alcohol at a ratio of 1:5 or 1:10.Corn silk is also available in 400mg capsules to be taken two capsules, three times daily.

Giving your child a teaspoon of raisins and a couple of walnut halves before sleeping, having him chew on a stick of cinnamon or some of its bark during the day, giving a mixture of aloe vera juice with an equal amount of the child’s favourite fruit juice once a day also helps. If he is presently on medication, you should talk to your doctor before starting any herbal treatment.

8. Chiropractic therapy

This is an extreme solution. It has been reported to be effective in the U.S. Chiropractors use various spinal manipulation/adjustment techniques to realign the spine and ease pressure on nerves that may be affecting the bladder, causing bedwetting. Talk to your local doctor about availability in Nigeria or viable options abroad.

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9. Medication

There are varieties of drugs online claimed to be useful in reducing production of urine during the night, alter a child’s sleeping and waking styles and increase bladder capacity. However, they could come with side effects and a relapse may occur when they are stopped. Remember to verify claims before purchase.

10. Consult a pediatrician/urologist

Finally, you should consider taking the child for thorough medical evaluation and counselling. Remember not to twist or withhold any piece of relevant information from the doctor. This would aid appropriate assessment and prompt resolution of your child’s problem.

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Your child probably wets the bed because he is a heavy sleeper, has a small urinary bladder which makes it impossible to go all night without urinating, experiences muscle spasms that cause urine to leak, his body secretes inadequate amount of anti-diuretic hormone which regulates urine production, is undergoing stress, has psychological issues, a bladder infection or defect in the urinary system, is diabetic or has a family history of bed-wetting.

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