How to Help Your Child Stop Wetting the Bed

Parents often worry about their children bed wetting, a problem defined as “involuntary urination in children 5 years of age or older.”
Halima Janjua, a pediatric nephrologist and Audrey Rhee, a pediatric urologist in an interview with Cleveland Clinc, offers some tips and solutions on how to help your child stop this habit.
  • Shift times for drinking. Increase fluid intake earlier in the day and reduce it later in the day.
  • Schedule bathroom breaks. Get your child to adopt a regular urination schedule every two to three hours and right before bedtime.
  • Be encouraging. Reward successes occasionally and do not make your child feel like they have committed a crime.
  • Eliminate bladder irritants. At night, do not give drinks such as such as chocolate milk and cocoa, citrus juices, artificial flavorings, and sweeteners. Many parents don’t realize these can all irritate a child’s bladder.
  • Avoid thirst overload. If schools allow, give your child a water bottle so they can drink steadily all day. This avoids excessive thirst after school.
  • Consider if constipation is a factor. Because the rectum is right behind the bladder, difficulties with constipation can present themselves as a bladder problem, especially at night. This affects about one third of children who wet the bed.
  • Don’t wake children up to urinate. Randomly waking up a child at night and asking him or her to urinate on demand isn’t the answer, either – and will only lead to more sleeplessness and frustration.
  • Don’t resort to punishment. Getting angry at your child doesn’t help him learn. The process doesn’t need to involve conflict.

Bed-wetting with little or no control can be a sign of more serious health conditions in children.

  • Urinary tract infections (UTIs) – A urine sample can detect these infections, which is a typical test doctors will order when bed wetting is an issue.
  • Diabetes – A urine sample can also detect diabetes in children

It is important to have your doctor evaluate your child and rule out these possibilities.

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