Bedwetting by some children especially those between the ages of 4-8 is entirely normal and should not be seen as a disturbing phenomenon by parents. About 15% of children within this age range wet their bed on a regular basis. However, the inconveniences such developments cause is what troubles mothers. Here are some steps parents can take to gradually stop their children from betwetting.
1. Avoid foods that can irritate the bladder
There are some types of food that the bladder reacts to, and even for children, causing them to lose control of their bladder and as you already know, bedwetting accident become inevitable. Once you are able to target and avoid this food for your kids, then you are a step away from having clean and dry sheets when they wake up.
Foods rich in too much acidic content should be avoided. Juice products such as lemon, pineapple, oranges, grapes or cranberries should be skipped especially before bed-time. Avoid milk or yoghurt because dairy can cause your kids to fall into a deeper sleep and make them feel more reluctant to get out of bed when the need to pee comes. Tea, hot chocolates, coke, or any drink that contains too much sugar or caffeine should also be avoided.
2. Reduce the number of drinks before bed
The bladder is like a sac in the body that gets filled up just as water is ingested in the human body. Yes, water is essential, nonetheless, in cases where your child wets the bed, you should reconsider the amount of water they have access to before bed.
By controlling your child’s fluid intake, they can have enough amount of water in the mornings and the afternoons but it should be drastically reduced at night, so they don’t lose control of their bladder while they sleep and become too tired to wake up to pee. You should also make a habit of letting your child use the toilet before bedtime so they all urine content out of their system, else, the water control would be useless. Make this a routine and watch the magic happen.
3. Increase the magnesium intake
Research done by the National Clinical Center noted that children might suffer from nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting) due to a lack of magnesium in their daily diet. Children who lack magnesium in their body may be unaware when they want to use the toilet because their nervous system is less responsive. Supplements aren’t necessary, merely incorporate magnesium into your child’s diet and everything should be back to normal.
Magnesium rich foods would include avocados, bananas, sesame seeds, salmon, legumes, and tofu.
4. Incorporate bathroom breaks in the middle of the night
After burning a tremendous amount of energy during the day, kids tend to sleep a whole more than usual at night. So it is vital that you establish bathroom breaks because you just might be saving the bed sheets from another urine bath.
You can keep a record of the number of times your child uses the toilet during the day and how frequently. Then use that to calculate how many times at night they might need to use the loo. For example, if your child uses the bathroom five times a day, every 4 hours, then it is only proper to wake them up every 4 hours at night. Over time, they would grow to wake up on their own and better control how they use the bathroom.
5. Keep a record
To better help monitor the progress of your child’s control of their bladder, it is vital that you keep a record. By maintaining a journal of your child’s daily activities, you can adequately monitor their habits, fluid and food intake, as well as their emotional and mental health.
This will adequately help you keep track of what triggers their bedwetting. Then you would know what foods or drinks to avoid that may irritate their bladder and what they take that makes them urinate most.
6. Maintain communication with your child
Children also feel and they surprisingly feel deeper emotions than we adults, so you could try talking to your child about how they feel emotionally. It really doesn’t have to be centred on bed-wetting. You could talk about their general emotional state and how they really feel.
You could talk about school, if they are being bullied, if a find specific subject too difficult and whatever you can think of. This would better give you information on what might be causing them stress or anxiety, which may also be responsible for their bedwetting. Giving them support instead of embarrassing them would best help them overcome the bedwetting phase.
7. Reward them
Reinforcing your child’s efforts not to wet their bed with gifts might just be a step in ridding them of bedwetting altogether. If you reward them for nights they maintained a dry bed; you just might get more positive feedback from them.
Reward them with things that would help them avoid bedwetting, such as promising to wake them up to pee at night for good behaviour, give them bananas (magnesium) for not wetting the bed night before, or a glass of water in the morning when they wake but avoid overdoing it.
8. Install a bedwetting alarm
There are bedwetting alarms that you could clip on your child’s underwear that goes off once it detects moisture. It just might be the ultimate device you need to put everything into order. It may not wake your child up but would definitely have you up on your feet.
Develop the habit of waking your child to use the bathroom once the alarm goes off, so your child gets used to it and get up and use the bathroom on their own.
9. Encourage them by giving them responsibility
It is crucial to motivating your child to be independent and responsible to some level. Instead of talking them down with words, or making them feel guilty and ashamed for the actions they have no control over while you do the clean-up.
Calmly and nicely show them how to change their sheets and ask them to help you. Direct them to take the clothes they had urinated on to the laundry and ask them to help you do the laundry. By doing this, they become appreciative of you, and it will make them want to be more responsible when it comes to staying dry.
10. Consulting your doctor
I mentioned earlier that bedwetting is entirely reasonable, but there are cases where you might need to ask your doctor if and when things get out of hands and do not seem to be getting any better.
See a doctor if:
Your child bed wets both during the day and at night, and they are over the age of 5.
When they wet the bed consistently at night and are over the age of 7.
When your child goes months without wetting the bed and then suddenly start wetting the bed.