What is enuresis? Enuresis (bed-wetting) is the term used for urinating while asleep. It is considered normal until at least age 6.

What is the cause?

Most children who wet the bed have inherited small bladders which cannot hold all the urine produced in a night. In addition, they are deep sleepers who don’t awaken to the signal of when they are full.

Measure your child’s bladder size to help you understand how important it is for him to get up at night. Do this by having your child hold his urine as long as possible on at least 3 occasions. Have your child urinate into a container each time. Measure the amount of urine in ounces. The largest of the 3 measurements can be considered your child’s bladder capacity. The normal capacity for children is 1 or more ounces per year of age.

How long does it last?

Most children who are bed-wetting overcome the problem between ages 6 and 10. Even without treatment, all children eventually get over it. Therefore, treatments that might have harmful complications should not be used. On the other hand, treatments without side effects can be started as soon as your child has had complete bladder control during the daytime for 6 to 12 months.

How can you help your child?

 

Encourage your child to get up to urinate during the night

This advice is more important than any other. Tell your child at bedtime, “Try to get up when you have to pee.”

Improve access to the toilet

Put a night light in the bathroom. If the bathroom is at a distant location, try to put a portable toilet in your child’s bedroom. Boys will do fine with a bucket.

Encourage daytime fluids

Encourage your child to drink a lot during the morning and early afternoon. The more your child drinks, the more urine your child will produce, and more urine leads to larger bladders.

Discourage evening fluids

Discourage your child from drinking a lot during the 2 hours before bedtime. Give gentle reminders about this, but don’t worry about normal amounts of drinking. Avoid any drinks containing caffeine.

Empty the bladder at bedtime

Sometimes the parent needs to remind the child. Older children may respond better to a sign at their bedside or on the bathroom mirror.

Take your child out of diapers or training pants

Although this protective layer makes morning clean-up easier, it can interfere with motivation for getting up at night. Use special absorbent underpants selectively for camping or overnights at other people’s homes. Use them only if your child wants to use them. They should rarely be permitted beyond age 8.

Protect the bed from urine

Odour becomes a problem if urine soaks into the mattress or blankets. Protect the mattress with a plastic mattress cover.

Include your child in morning clean-up

Including your child as a helper in stripping the bedclothes and putting them into the washing machine provides a natural disincentive for being wet. Older children can perform this task independently. Also, make sure that your child takes a shower each morning so that he does not smell of urine in school.

Respond positively to dry nights

Praise your child on mornings when he wakes up dry. A calendar with gold stars or happy faces for dry nights may also help.

Respond gently to wet nights

Your child does not like being wet. Most bed-wetters feel quite guilty and embarrassed about this problem. They need support and encouragement, not blame or punishment. Siblings should not be allowed to tease bed-wetters. Your home needs to be a safe haven for your child. Punishment or pressure will delay a cure and cause secondary emotional problems.

Click here to find out what to do when your child reaches age 6.

Click here to fin dout what to do when your child reaches age 8.

For more information visit AboutKidsHealth.

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Jennifer McCallum

Thank you so much for stopping by this page to get to know a bit more about me and why I started Parent Guide Inc.

My business story started a way back in 2001…

…after the birth of my first daughter, I realized that an "all-in-one" resource guide for parents was needed, and fast! I designed the New Parent Resource Guide to fill a gap in the community for busy parents like myself. The New Parent Resource Guide offers an A-Z of key contacts for parents, caregivers, service providers, and health care professionals.  Working with key businesses and organizations in the community, we have also compiled much-needed articles, tips, and charts to answer all your parenting questions.

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