Bedwetting: Why is my child peeing on the bed and how can I help him?
Nocturnal enuresis, also known as nocturnal infantile urinary incontinence, is the involuntary discharge of urine that occurs after 5 years of age (it can even last until adolescence), at which time it is assumed that the child should have taken control of their sphincter.
In this post we will explain why your child pees on the bed and what you should do to help him.
How common is it?
Statistically, 20% of children have urinary incontinence at 5 years and 10% continue to present it until they are 7 years old. In turn, it should be noted that nocturnal enuresis is more common in men.
Causes of nocturnal enuresis
Some of the causes that can promote and lead to enuresis are related to:
- Sphincter control: when the child has not yet obtained the ability to control his sphincter at night. One of the causes may be the low secretion of DNA (antidiuretic hormone), responsible for reducing urine production at night.
- Sleep: some children tend to have a deep sleep, which prevents them from being alert to the need to urinate.
- Anatomy of the urinary system: it may happen that the bladder has a reduced and less elastic capacity, so the child will need to pass urine frequently.
- Emotional causes: enuresis can also occur when children feel emotionally affected by, for example: the birth of a baby brother, temporary separation from father and / or mother, change of home or city, or loss of a loved one.
- Rigid or early teaching of the habits of going to the bathroom: mismanagement in the face of the failure that the child suffers by not learning at the pace set by the parents, generates, in him, insecurity and lack of self-confidence.
- Biological inheritance: according to some studies, it can happen that nocturnal enuresis is inherited from parents to children if the latter suffered it during their childhood.
How to help my child
To combat nocturnal enuresis, a series of behavioral measures are usually carried out that help the child to overcome it. Some of these measures are the following:
- Urinate before going to bed.
- Reduce your fluid intake at night: It is advisable not to drink a lot of fluids 2 hours before going to bed. To do this, one option could be not to eat a lot of salty foods: this way you will not have as much need to drink water.
- Bladder training: training may consist of breaking the stream of urine for around 10 seconds and then resuming urination. One way to make it more enjoyable is by treating it as if it were a game and not training or learning.
- Use of absorbent underpants or panties at night: this is a way to alleviate the possible discomfort or embarrassment that the child suffers if the bed is wet.
- Therapy and psychological help: if you identify that something is affecting the child emotionally and that it may be the cause of enuresis, seek the help of a child therapist to guide you through the process.
- Do not retaliate: punishing the child when he pees on the bed will not help him, but, on the contrary, will generate more stress, pressure and frustration, delaying and slowing down the learning process more.
- Achievement Awards: congratulating you when you wake up without wetting the bed can give you the motivation to keep pushing yourself to improve.