KAYLA HEGER, PT, DPT, WCS
Kayla can be reached at email@example.com.
You are not alone, bedwetting tips that really help!
Bedwetting is common in children with research showing ~15% of 5-year-olds wet the bed. This is also an issue we tend to not talk about, especially outside of immediate family or at all. It is important for families to know this is a common issue but NOT something your child has to live with.
Let us first “debunk” some myths before we dive into tips that can help your child become the “Boss of their bladder”.
“There is no point in treating bedwetting, they will grow out of it eventually.”
Children who are still wetting the bed from the age of 5 years and on can and should be treated!
The ‘watch and wait’ approach is not always the best game plan as your child could be suffering from these symptoms longer than they need to. It could be something as simple as your child being constipated that is the root cause of their bedwetting.
“Children wet the bed because they are ‘lazy.”
This can be a very frustrating time for child and parent alike, but this is not something children do on purpose. Bedwetting occurs while your child is sleeping and is out of their conscious control, making it just as frustrating and embarrassing for your child. Always reassure your child it is not their fault and they are not the only one dealing with this issue.
“Punishing children will help them stop wetting the bed.”
Since bedwetting is out of your child’s control, punishing them for it would be like punishing your child for coughing or sneezing. It is so easy to become frustrated and annoyed by the situation, but keep in mind your actions can affect your child’s self-esteem and only add to their embarrassment and feelings of shame which in turn can just prolong the issue. Try and stay calm and supportive of your child and consider rewarding your child for making efforts to stay dry (using the bathroom before bed, avoiding bladder irritants before bed, etc) instead of rewarding them for a dry bed in the morning.
“Children wet the bed because they are deep sleepers.”
Some children do not wake after wetting themselves simply because they do not pick up on the bladder signals that they need to empty their bladder. So, it is the inability to wake up rather than the depth of sleep that usually is the cause.
So, what can you do to help your child be the boss of their bladder??
- Make sure your child takes the time to empty their bladder!! (If you notice your child is in and out of the bathroom within 1 minute, chances are, they didn’t take the time to fully empty their bladder.) Some fun suggestions would be to have your child sing a song while sitting on the toilet, set a timer to have them sit there for a couple of minutes. This becomes very important when your child uses the bathroom before bed to make sure they are going to sleep with an empty bladder.
- Regular bowel movements! I’ve talked about this before many times, but the number one cause of bedwetting is constipation. Helpful tips would be to keep a poop chart that helps keep track of when your child has a BM. Also be sure to note if the stool was hard or soft and if they were having to strain.
Did your child complain about their tummy hurting or have you noticed a change in their attitude?
Increase the water intake and have your child use the bathroom after all meals because that is when they are more likely to have a BM.
- Bathroom Schedule! It is important to keep your child on a regular routine of going to the bathroom every couple of hours. Doing so can help prevent them from holding too long and to keep their kidneys functioning properly.
- Stay Positive! Although it is a frustrating time for both you and your child, it is important that your family is supportive and keeps a positive attitude about the situation.
Celebrate the accomplishments (dry nights) and use reward systems to encourage your child along the way.
If these strategies do not work or you are overwhelmed about where to start, physical therapy is always another option and great addition to finding the source of what could be causing your child’s bedwetting!
Please visit our website or give us a call as we would love to talk more individually about your child’s condition and help them become the “Bladder Boss.”
KAYLA HEGER, PT, DPT, WCS