Before you learn how to stop bed wetting, it is important that you understand the problem properly. Although Nocturnal Enuresis (or bed wetting) manifests the same for people of all ages, the causes may be different.
Enuresis – needs to be addressed if still happening by the age of 5
At the age of five, bed wetting is considered to need assistance because it is likely to continue for several years and it becomes more difficult to manage as the child gets older. This is because the amount of urine passed during the night increases and the effort to manage the washing requirements increases, the child wants to go to sleep overs and school camps, they become more aware of the issue and can suffer embarrassment and low self-confidence,etc.
Otherwise healthy children who wet the bed are considered to have "Primary Nocturnal Enuresis", or PNE short.
Causes And Cures For Bed Wetting
In most bed wetting children, bed wetting is caused by a genetically determined combination of factors. They sleep very heavily and produce more urine at night then children who do not wet the bed.
All parents of bed wetters will agree that their child sleeps very heavily, but in fact there is no evidence that these children actually sleep more heavily than those who do not wet the bed. it is the combination of sleeping heavily and producing too much urine which results in Primary Nocturnal Enuresis or bedwetting.
Some bedwetters may have are rather small bladder, and this will usually be apparent because the child goes to the bathroom more frequently than other children of the same age and appears to pass relatively small amounts of urine.
In normal daily activities most children well prefer to "hang on" rather than go to the bathroom (sometimes with the result of not getting there in time), but this tends to stretch their bladder capacity quite naturally. It appears that for children who have a small bladder that this has not occurred, it is usually not some physical abnormality of the bladder itself.
However, for a small group, approximately 2%, the bedwetting is a symptom of an underlying medical problem. this will usually be obvious because the child has been dry during the day and at night consistently for many months, or even years, and then begins to wet the bed at night. This is called Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis because most likely it is secondary to some other medical condition. In this case the correct treatment is to treat the underlying cause. For this reason a medical examination is essential if it is suspected if it is secondary enuresis, and advised for all bedwetters as a first step.
How To Stop Bed Wetting
If there are no medical issues, then the well-proven method of treating bedwetting is through using a bed wetting alarm. You can read the details about bedwetting alarms from the preceding link, but a brief description is that bedwetting alarms comprise a sensor which is located in the underwear of the child, or can be supplied as an undersheet, and which connects to an alarm by a wire connection, or wirelessly. The alarm can be attached to the child's clothing or, if there is a wireless connection, can be alongside the bed. With wireless models a separate alarm unit can be in the room of the parent or caregiver.
When the child starts to wet, then the sensor will be wet and will trigger the alarm to emit a loud beeping sound which will wake the child. Even although the child has started to pass urine before the alarm sounds, and may take some time to wake, over a period of weeks the child's brain begins to become more and more aware of the bladder sensations that are occurring as the alarm starts to sound, and they begin to wake more quickly until they wake without wetting the bed.
But there is more to it than that.
While it is well proven that using the alarm teaches the child to learn to wake without wetting the bed, what is less well understood is that these children, who previously may have been wetting the bed 2 and 3 times a night, now will need to get up just once during the night or perhaps not at all.
There is some evidence that using the alarm causes the child's brain to mature in the way in which it signals the kidneys to produce urine during the night.
It is known that a specific hormone (vasopressin) is secreted at night by the brain and it signals the kidneys to produce less urine. The secretion of this hormone increases as the child is increasing in age, so that by the time most children reach the age of 5 years, they produce enough of this hormone at night that it reduces urine production significantly.
It is known that bed wetters do not produce enough of this hormone and this is part of the genetic pattern of bed wetting. Some evidence indicates that using a bedwetting alarm "kickstarts" the brain into producing more of this hormone so that less urine is being produced at night and they have now reached the mature pattern.
As a parent, during the time that you are trying to teach your child not to wet the bed, it is important to encourage. The fact that this is a genetic pattern indicates that the child is not to blame and it is not due to laziness.
While constant bedwetting is extremely frustrating for everybody, support and encouragement is vital to assist the training, especially if the child is already suffering from low self-esteem, they need to know that the bedwetting is not the fault, and that they are receiving support and understanding from their parents.
Check out the section: The essence of good treatment is to be a team on this page http://1stopbedwetting.com/bed-wetting-alarm/ which explains how to develop a team approach with your child. It is describes a conversation aimed at ensuring that both you and your child are approaching the situation from a logical, problem solving basis. Having this attitude from the beginning ensures that success is much more likely.
A Word to Separated Parents
When a child is spending time at different homes then it is important that both parents have a shared understanding of the issue and the best method of treatment. Both need to read about the causes and treatment of bedwetting and to avoid suggesting that the bed wetting is due to the other.
He only wets at your place
A situation can be where a child will wet the bed at one parent's home, but not the other. The parent where the child does not wet the bed may suggest that this indicates that the child is more insecure at the home of the parent where they do wet the bed.
Actually it can be the opposite. This is because a child which has the genetic form of bedwetting is more likely to wet the bed when they are sleeping comfortably and securely without stress. However, a bed wetting child who is feeling more stressed, is likely to be sleeping less heavily and will not wet the bed.
How To Stop Bed Wetting – additional information
If your methods to put an end to Enuresis didn't work, you should seek the advice of a doctor. There is bed wetting medication available that can help with the issue, but this is typically a short term solution because the bed wetting typically returns once the medication is no longer being taken and there may also be the side effects of the medication to contend with.
it is also important to ensure that the bed wetter is drinking well during the day and has good toileting habits, they should be avoiding caffeine-based drinks and those which can irritate the bladder. The jury is still out regarding bedwetting having any relationship to food allergies, but if you suspect this is the case, then stay as close as possible to unprocessed foods, and eliminate those that you suspect and see what effect this has on the bed wetting.