Nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) happens when your child can’t control their bladder during the night and unwillingly wets the bed. Nocturnal (at night) enuresis (bedwetting) is very wide spread and affects about 16.6% of all 5 year old children. The enuresis condition was actually found in some of the earliest medical documentation dating right back to 1550 B.C. This stage can be very challenging for both parents and children.
There are two types of nocturnal enuresis – the first type is called Primary Nocturnal Enuresis and this occurs when your child wets the bed having not yet mastered control of his/her bladder (this normally happens for younger children). The second type is called Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis, this occurs when a child wets the bed after having achieved night time dryness, and staying dry for 6 months or longer, but then relapsing into bedwetting. The good news is that it’s normally just a part of the development process your child goes through and should stop on its own once your child has reached a certain age.
Why does Nocturnal Enuresis happen?
Bedwetting is not anyone’s fault and is not to do with your child trying to get your attention or being lazy. It is an involuntary act on your child’s behalf. Although many studies and research papers have been conducted on the subject, doctors still don’t know for sure what exactly causes nocturnal enuresis but the following are a few of the causes of nocturnal enuresis:
- Your child sleeps so deeply that the message that their bladder is full doesn’t wake them up
- Some children don’t produce enough of the hormone which regulates how much urine the body makes at night
- Some children simply have small bladders which can’t hold the required amount of urine
- Bedwetting often runs in the family, so if both the child’s parents wet the bed there is a very good chance your child will wet the bed
- Stress from moving cities, a new baby in the house, school bullying or other factors can trigger nocturnal enuresis
Dealing with Nocturnal Enuresis
Reassure your child by taking the time to explain to them why bedwetting happens and that it’s a common problem. Get a mattress protector, there are a variety of products available to protect the mattress and pillows, a good product will mean minimal fuss during the night.
Absorbent pyjama pants like DryNites Pyjama Pants can also help your child deal with his/her nocturnal enuresis. They can ensure your child gets a full night’s sleep and can help your child avoid feelings of embarrassment.
Without making a big fuss don’t let your child drink lots of fluid just before he or she climbs into bed. Make sure your child goes to the toilet prior to going to bed. Consider leaving on a night light, so the child is not scared and can find their way to the toilet easily. Make sure your child has a shower or a gentle wipe down after a bedwetting incident, to get them fresh and clean before going back to bed. Motivate and encourage your child, get them involved in the nocturnal enuresis treatment or plan.
Try and establish a set bedtime ritual that doesn’t involve activities that are too active or stimulating. If possible try to stop your child from indulging in too much TV watching or playing on the computer, this can cause too much visual stimulation. A nice relaxing evening with your child can do wonders for their sleeping patterns and may just cut down how much he/she wets the bed.
Don’t force your child to clean up after themselves. They could see this as punishment for something they have little control over. Children often feel sad or stressed when waking up wet, the last thing they need is an angry or upset parent.
Nocturnal Enuresis Myths
- Children with nocturnal enuresis are lazy. This assumption is not only wrong but counterproductive as it can lower your child’s self-esteem significantly. Normally bedwetting is not something your child has any control over.
- Drinking alot before bedtime causes bedwetting. While getting your child to limit what he/she drinks before bed may lessen nocturnal enuresis, drinking lots before bed doesn’t cause bedwetting.
- Kids with nocturnal enuresis always have psychological problems. In the majority of the cases this is false especially a child who has always suffered from nocturnal enuresis.
- Wearing absorbent pyjama pants during the evening can delay your child from growing out of nocturnal enuresis. Wearing DryNites® Pyjama Pants, will keep your child from waking up cold and wet in the mornings. They will also allow you to get a good night’s sleep, will not cause your child’s bedwetting to last longer than it normally would and help protect their self esteem. Using DryNites also provides your child with a sense of control as they are able to participate in the management of the bedwetting stage.