Hi, I am a mother of three, the eldest is Eight almost turning Nine, but what baffles me is that she still wets her bed. Though not routinely, it is an embarrassment that I really don’t know how to deal with especially when we visit our relatives’ homes upcountry.
Most often children wet the bed because their bodies are not yet physically capable of nighttime dryness. Unless your child has other symptoms, bed-wetting is almost always normal.
The important thing to remember is that bed-wetting is completely involuntary – your child can’t control it. Why children wet the bed is not fully understood. For most children, bed-wetting is a normal developmental stage and likely related to certain factors.
Your child’s body is still developing. It’s likely she wets the bed because her bladder, nervous system, and brain are still maturing. You can’t rush the physical development needed for nighttime dryness any more than you can rush a first tooth coming in. About 90 per cent of children outgrow bed-wetting on their own by the age of Seven, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. That’s why most doctors don’t routinely suggest bed-wetting treatments, such as a bed-wetting alarm, for children younger than seven years old. It can take some trial and error to figure out what nighttime protection works best for your child, and you may need to adjust as she grows.
Look at your child’s sleeping environment. Is the bathroom a long way from her room, or in an area of the house that she finds scary at night? Ask her gently if there’s any reason why she doesn’t want to go to the bathroom at night. If she’s afraid of the dark, let her know it’s okay to wake you if she needs to go. You can also put a nightlight by her bed or leave a hallway light on. Keep an eye on your child’s fluid intake. It’s important that kids drink enough water. The amount of fluids they need depends on things like weather, what they’ve eaten, and how active they are. It’s a myth that restricting fluids will make it less likely that she’ll wet the bed. But you can encourage her to drink more early in the day and see if that helps. Aim for roughly 40 per cent of her fluid intake in the morning, 40 percent in the afternoon and 20 per cent in the evening. Make a bathroom stop part of the bedtime routine. Make sure she goes to the bathroom right before bed, and if she wakes up during the night, ask if she’d like to use the bathroom. Offer to go with her if she’s reluctant. However, research shows that waking up a child deliberately to go to the bathroom or carrying her to the bathroom while she’s asleep won’t cure bed-wetting.
Monitor daytime bathroom breaks. Your child should be going to the bathroom regularly, about four to seven times, throughout the day.
If you have a burning question, send it to: firstname.lastname@example.org