7 Simple Tips to Help Your Child Stop Bed-wetting

Ineh Olisah

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.

Irrespective of the cause(s), bed-wetting 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:

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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.

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.

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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.

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. Bed-wetting 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.

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7. 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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