When your child is young, it’s common for them to wet the bed, especially during the potty training phase. Even after that, it can still happen on occasion.
But what if your kid is 9, or in the older child age range. At that age, your child should be old enough to not wet the bed, and yet they’re doing it. What gives? Actually, it’s more common than you think. Usually, it’s a sign of enuresis.
This is the term for bedwetting, and it focuses on children who are older than 7. This is quite common in children, especially among boys. The only symptom of enuresis is that they are wetting the bed while they are sleeping. It can be occasional or happen frequently, even every night.
Bedwetting can have a few reasons. Here are some of them.
- Your Kid Is A Deep Sleeper
Usually, when one has to use the bathroom, they will wake up and use it, then go back to sleep. However, some children are deep sleepers, and will instead urinate while sleeping, and even that may not wake them up.
- It Runs In The Family
Did you or your partner have bedwetting issues as a kid? Your child could have inherited it.
That’s right. If your child is stressed, they may wet the bed. If you noticed bedwetting after a stressful event, that may be the culprit.
- Small Bladder
Some children have small bladders or bladders that are still growing. This can make it harder for them to keep the urine in there without having to use the bathroom.
- Other Reasons
Usually, the reason is minor, but there can be more concerning reasons as well, such as:
Slow nervous system development.
Urethral valve abnormalities.
If you’re unsure of the reason, it is worth it to go to the doctor and diagnose. This especially applies if your child is older and keeps wetting the bed. After visiting the doctor, they will examine your child, test their urine, and look into other factors that could cause it. However, the doctor may not be able to figure out what causes it. In most cases, it’s just genetics, and you can’t prevent it.
In many cases, doctors can’t find the cause of bedwetting.
Bedwetting is something your child usually outgrows, even if they are older. However, some do not. Here is what you can do if you want to treat your child’s bedwetting.
Don’t Shame Your Kid
The last thing you should do is get angry or make fun of your child for bedwetting. They can’t control it. They’re not doing it to make you angry or as a power play. Ensure your child that this is a normal thing and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. If you had a bedwetting past, tell them about it. Parents should be encouraged to tell their stories as well. Discourage sibling mockery, too, and make sure they aren’t telling their peers about the bedwetting. Kids can be cruel.
Instead, use positive reinforcement. When your child has not wet the bed for a day, reward them for their good work. But never put a kid down for something they can’t control.
However, you should teach your child responsibility. Have them help with the laundry or putting on the fresh bedsheets. This can help teach your child to clean up their messes. With that said, please don’t punish them for this. They will feel worse.
Don’t Drink Too Close To Bed
Some people can drink a gallon of water and sleep all night, but that’s not everyone. Try limiting fluids before bed and hydrating your child beforehand.
Let Your Kid Use The Bathroom Before And After Sleeping
This can help establish a routine and make it easier for your child to go to bed when they need to.
There Is No Shame In Waking Up To Use The Bathroom
Also, encourage your child to wake up in the middle of the night and use the bathroom if needed. This is perfectly normal, and your child may feel like they shouldn’t get out of bed. Make sure they realize that it’s okay. Put some nightlights to make the journey easier and so they don’t wake up anyone else.
Training The Bladder
If your child has a small bladder, it is possible to stretch it. Have your child hold in their urine for a while. Don’t torture them, but when they feel a mild sensation, teach them to ignore it unless it gets really severe.
When an accident does happen, putting a plastic cover over the mattress can make it easier to clean. Give it a shot and see what it can do for you.
Some beds you can equip with a moisture alarm, which can detect when a bed is wet. When your child wets the bed, they will be woken up. This can teach your child to wake up naturally when they do have to use the bathroom.
Usually, behavior therapy and changing your child’s routine can stop bedwetting in its tracks. But what about the medical side?
Luckily, there is medicine that is prescribed to older children who still wet the bed despite the routine change. They may be used in addition to changing routines. Some medicines can make less urine or allow the bladder to keep more in. With that said, make sure that your child is responding well to the medicine. The side effects are usually minor, but every child responds to medicine differently.
It’s common for an older child to wet the bed. However, they will almost always grow out of it. Don’t shame a child, and make sure they are getting the treatment they need. Eventually, your child will be able to sleep throughout the night without wetting the bed once, and it’s something that you should celebrate.
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