This can be a distressing and stressful issue for parents and children alike. Children do not have enough of the hormone vasopressin before the age of 2. Most children have enough by the age of 4. Vasopressin controls fluid balance at night. Less urine is produced at night, and hence your sleep is not disturbed. This is also the reason you wake up with a full bladder!
Most children can be ‘dry’ during the day but still continue to wet the bed at night. As the child gets older, she may start to feel embarrassed about this issue especially if they want to go for sleepovers etc.
For parents, it can be quite stressful as they may perceive that if the child has bladder control during the day, this is the case at night too. Having several broken nights’ sleep due to changing wet pyjamas and bedsheets can make any sane parent stressed!
5 top bedwetting tips:
- Don’t scold the child!
This may be quite difficult especially if the problem persists past the ‘social norm’ or longer than her siblings. This can make the child scared to tell the truth about bedwetting or feel shameful. Often they are not doing it on purpose.
- Ask for help and use practical solutions.
‘Pull-up®’ type nappies worn at night can give peace of mind for parent and child alike. However, these can be expensive. Putting down pre-emptive waterproof sheets and absorbent towels can also help. There are various different solutions offered online too e.g. bedwetting alarms, diaries, programmes etc.
- Make sure fluid intake is good!
It can be tempting to limit fluid intake to try and keep the bladder as empty as possible. However, this can make the urine more concentrated. This in turn can irritate the bladder lining and cause bedwetting. Children should be encouraged to urinate frequently and empty the bladder completely.
- Switch to fluoride-free toothpaste.
This can help in up to 20% of bedwetting cases! Fluoride affects the endocrine system which controls vasopressin production. This is a really simple switch to make.
- Avoid caffeine.
Caffeine is present in chocolate. So whilst children may not be having tea/coffee, chocolate can be a hidden source of caffeine. Caffeine is a diuretic and can aggravate bedwetting. Vitamins A/C/E/B complex, zinc, and magnesium supplements can all help too.
Email me to discuss which remedies can help support you and your child with bedwetting!