As a parent, discovering that your child is frequently waking up with wet sheets can be understandably concerning. While it’s normal to be worried about children who wet the bed … The National Institutes of Health notes that 15 percent of children are still wetting the bed by the time they turn five. In general, bedwetting — which is medically known as nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence — happens to more than five million kids. Interestingly, it also tends to run in families, so if you have memories of soggy blankets and wet jammies, your child might have inherited the issue.
While most kids grow out of the bedwetting phase on their own, there are some steps that you can take to help them stay dry and remain positive about themselves:
Resist the Urge to Scold or Blame
Kids are not deliberately wetting the bed, so getting mad at them and taking away beloved toys or privileges will only make them feel worse and might even make the bedwetting happen more frequently. Try not to make a big deal about it and reassure your child that lots of kids pee during the night. If you had this issue while growing up, share this with your child. This will help your son or daughter feel less alone and realize that it will eventually stop happening.
Give Your Pediatrician a Jingle
If your kiddo is older than five or started wetting the bed after years of staying dry during the night, you might want to give your pediatrician a call to talk about the situation. In some cases, bedwetting has an underlying medical or emotional cause, such as a urinary tract infection, diabetes or stress. In most cases, though, bedwetting happens because your child’s body has not fully developed its nighttime bladder control functions.
Make Sure Your Child’s Bed Is not Part of the Problem
There are a couple of approaches to bedwetting that involve your child getting up during the night to urinate. Night-lifting means waking your kiddo up periodically at night and walking with him or her to the bathroom and then tucking your child back into bed. Moisture alarms are often a successful way to treat bedwetting; the device will detect when your child starts to urinate and sound an alarm which will wake the child and allow him or her to finish peeing in the bathroom.
Both of these solutions require that your child have a bed that is easy to get in and out of. For example, if your son or daughter currently has a bunk bed, it is best that your child sleep on the bottom bunk while conquering a bedwetting issue. Rooms To Go features a helpful guide on how to select a bunk bed that is right for your child, including what materials are best and most durable and how to make sure the bed is safe, especially those who need to get up frequently during the night.
Medications Can Help
Even though the vast majority of children will outgrow a bedwetting issue, if your child seems really upset by the situation and you are comfortable with this approach, you might want to discuss medications with your doctor. One drug that has been found to help with bedwetting is called Imipramine (Tofranil). This antidepressant seems to have a positive effect on the smooth muscles in the bladder and it helps about a third of the kiddos who take it.