Bedwetting has always been a problem for children. They wake up at night because they cannot control their bladder. This condition is called nocturnal enuresis.
There are several ways to treat bedwetting. Some parents try to ignore the situation. Others resort to medication or even surgery.
Nocturnal enuresis affects approximately 4% of children between 3 and 12 years old. The cause is unknown, but some experts believe that the brain is involved. Children who suffer from bedwetting often experience stress and anxiety.
There are two types of treatment for bedwetting: Medical and behavioural. Behavioural therapies include changing sleep habits, using alarms, and limiting fluids. Medical treatments include medications and surgery.
In this blog post, we will discuss preventing bedwetting in kids. We will also cover the different methods available to treat bedwetting so that you can make an informed decision on what's best for your child.
Causes And Symptoms Of Bedwetting
Bedwetting is caused by the inability to hold urine while sleeping. It may be due to a lack of muscle strength, increased sensitivity to pressure, or impaired coordination.
Experts do not know why it happens. However, certain factors increase the risk of bedwetting.
Bedwetting causes have been identified as primary bedwetting and Secondary Bedwetting.
Primary Bedwetting Causes
Bedwetting that has been continuous since early childhood but without a break is referred to as primary bedwetting.
A kid who suffers from primary bedwetting has never gone dry at night for an extended period.
Secondary bedwetting occurs after a child has been dry for a long time (at least six months).
In general, primary bedwetting is thought to indicate nervous system immaturity. During sleep, a bedwetter does not feel the sensation of a full bladder and thus does not wake up to urinate on the toilet.
The cause of bedwetting is likely due to one or a combination of factors:
- The youngster is unable to hold urine for the whole night.
- When children's bladders are full, some do not stir. Some youngsters may have a smaller bladder capacity than others.
- The child's urine production levels up during the evening and nighttime hours.
- The youngster has a poor daily toilet schedule. Many kids delay urinating as long as possible and frequently ignore their natural urges.
- The "potty dance" is a well-known sequence of gestures involving leg crossing, grimacing, wriggling, squatting, and glueing oneself to the toilet that children use to keep their bladder.
Secondary bedwetting might be an indication of a medical or emotional condition. The child with secondary bedwetting is significantly more likely to have additional symptoms such as daytime wetting.
Bedwetting that occurs after the age of three is often caused by one of the following factors:
- Urinary tract infection: Bladder inflammation can cause lower abdominal discomfort or irritation with urination (dysuria), a more urgent desire to urinate (urgency), and frequent peeing (frequency). In children, urinary tract infections might indicate another issue, such as an anatomical abnormality.
- Diabetes: A high concentration of sugar (glucose) in the blood is present in people with type I diabetes. As a result of substantial blood glucose levels, the body increases urine output. Urination frequently is a typical symptom of diabetes.
- Structural or anatomical abnormality: Urinary tract and urinary problems can also occur due to an exception in the organs, muscles, or nerves involved with urination.
- Neurological problems: Urination is regulated by a delicate neurological equilibrium, and disruptions in the nervous system, damage or disease of the nervous system, might cause urination problems.
- Emotional problems: Sleep-deprived Children, as in a home where the parents are fighting, sometimes wet the bed due to their stress. Starting school, moving to a new house, or having a new baby, are all significant changes that can cause bedwetting—some children who are being assaulted on the body or sexually begin to wet the bed.
- Sleep patterns: Obstructive sleep apnea (thunderous snoring and choking during sleep) might be linked to enuresis.
- Pinworm infection: The excessive itching in the genital area, including the anus, is also characterised by bedwetting.
- Excess water consumption is another cause apparent cause of bedwetting
Bedwetting tends to run in families. Many children who wet the bed have a parent who did, too. Most of these children stop bedwetting at about the same age their parents did.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Bed Wetting?
The main reason that most individuals wet the bed is due to a sleep disorder. They typically have no additional symptoms except for bed-wetting at night.
Physiological Causes Of Bedwetting
Other potential indicators of physiological reasons or problems with the nervous system or kidneys should alert the family or healthcare practitioner that this is more than just a case of bedwetting.
- Daytime Wetting
- The three most common symptoms are burning during urination, urgency, or frequency.
- Straining, dribbling, or any other odd symptoms with urination
- Blood Stains on underpants or pyjamas, or cloudy or pink urine
- Encopresis is the term used to describe this problem, which affects children. When the soil can't control its bowels (also known as faecal incontinence or encopresis).
Frequent Urination In Children And Adults
The frequency of urination is different for children than for adults.
- Children urinate much more frequently than adults, in some cases as often as 10-12 times each day. Although many adult humans only urinate three or four times each day, youngsters do so considerably more frequently, with some children peaking at around ten to twelve instances every day.
- A symptom of "Frequency" should be assessed about what is typical for that specific youngster.
- Unusual urination (infrequent urination less than 3 times a day).
Constipation can be a sign of faecal impaction. Straining with a blockage in the intestines or constipation can harm the nearby urinary sphincters, which are muscles that regulate urine flow out of the body.
- Faecal impaction occurs when defecation becomes extremely difficult or impossible due to faeces being so densely packed in the lower intestine (colon) and rectum. When the faeces is passed, it is frequently a distressing experience.
- The complex, firmly packed faeces in the rectum might compress the bladder and surrounding nerves and muscles, causing urinary control difficulties.
- Constipation and faecal impaction are not uncommon in youngsters.
- A rigorous bowel regimen, including dietary change and over-the-counter medicine, can help cure bedwetting in most cases.
How To Stop Bedwetting In My Child?
Here are some of the tips to stop bedwetting, my child:
- Shift times for drinking. Increasing fluid intake in the morning and reducing it at night is a good idea.
- Schedule bathroom breaks. Right before bedtime, get your child on a regular urination routine (every two to three hours) and
- Be encouraging and positive. Make your child feel good about their development by rewarding them for every accomplishment.
- Eliminate bladder irritants. To start, eliminate caffeine (such as chocolate milk and cocoa). If this doesn't work, get rid of citrus juices, imitation flavourings, colours (especially red), and sweeteners. Many parents are unaware that these can all irritate their child's bladder.
- Avoid thirst overload. If allowed, provide your child with a water bottle so they may drink all day slowly. Excessive thirst following school is avoided this way.
- Constipation may be a factor. Constipation can cause a bladder problem since your rectum is positioned behind your bladder. According to a recent study, approximately one-third of children who wet the bed suffer from constipation. Children are unlikely to discuss or disclose information about constipation.
- Don’t wake children up to urinate. It isn't the solution to wake your kid up at night and demand they urinate on command. It will cause you and your child to be even more tired and frustrated.
- An earlier bedtime. Children who are not getting enough lead often have a deeper sleep leading to bedwetting.
- Cut back on screen time, especially before bedtime. Sleep Hygiene is essential to cope with the bedwetting issues related to any sleep disorder.
What Not To Do?
Never resort to punishment. Avoid getting angry with your child as this is not something that they want to go with intentionally. It will elevate the stress and anxiety in your child.
It's easy to get angry with your kid and punish them for wetting the bed, which adds pressure on them to keep dry and worsens the problem. "It's tough to prevent a kid from wetting the bed," says Dr Laskowski.
Instead, don't make a big deal out of it; offer some consolation. "When parents don't discuss bedwetting, children believe they are the only ones suffering from it," says ADHD expert Dr Shefali Honnadula.
"Try telling your kid how common bedwetting is in their age group, and reassure them that they are not alone.
How Does Bedwetting Affect My Child?
The first step toward treating bedwetting is identifying whether your child has a physical or psychological problem. In most cases, bedwetting is a symptom of another underlying issue.
For example, someone who has weak muscles may not be able to get out of bed without waking up. Someone who has poor coordination may stumble when trying to walk.
The second step is determining whether your child needs medical or behavioural treatment. You should consult a doctor before making any decisions.
Medications used to treat bedwetting fall into three categories: anticholinergic agents, desmopressin, and alpha-adrenoceptor agonists.
Anticholinergics are synthetic chemicals that block acetylcholine receptors. They are used to treat bladder instability. Common side effects include dry mouth, blurry vision, constipation, nausea, and dizziness.
Desmopressin is a synthetic form of vasopressin. It works by increasing the production of urine.
Desmopressin is administered orally or intranasally. The oral route is preferred because it does not require a prescription. Side effects include headache, abdominal pain, thirst, nosebleeds, vomiting, diarrhoea, and skin rashes.
Alpha Adrenoceptor Agonist
Alpha adrenoceptor agonists work by stimulating the alpha-adrenergic receptor sites on the bladder walls.
They are also known as "urge suppressants." Medications in this category include dDAVP, oxybutynin, and imipramine.
In addition to medication, you can try behaviour therapy. Behavioural therapy includes teaching your child how to control their bladder during sleep.
You will need to teach them to wear night diapers until going to bed. Also, you will need to help them wake up at the right time every morning.
In some cases, parents find that their child's bedwetting can be controlled through medications and behavioural techniques. However, there is no guarantee that your child will stop wetting the bed once these treatments begin.
If your child still wets the bed after using medications and behavioural methods, then you should consider consulting a urologist for further evaluation.
Bedwetting is one of the common problems faced by toddlers. Most of them do not realise what they have done wrong. But if you want to avoid such situations, you must take proper steps. Here we are sharing an article that provides information about bedwetting.
Now that you know all about bed wetting, let’s take a look at a few frequently asked questions.
When Does Bedwetting Start To Be A Problem?
By the age of five, most children are entirely toilet trained, but there is no specific deadline for bladder control. Bed-wetting persists as a problem for some kids between the ages of 5 and 7.
Is It Okay To Wake My Kid Up To Pee?
Don't wake your kid up to pee when you go to bed. It won't help with bedwetting and will only disrupt your child's sleep. Help your kid wash well the following day if they wet the bed to avoid unpleasant odour.
Bedwetting is a widespread problem among young children. It usually stops when a child reaches puberty.
If you suspect that your child has bedwetting issues, consult a paediatrician immediately. They will prescribe appropriate treatment based on the severity of the condition.
Furthermore, if you’re looking for more sleep health related blogs to improve your sleep, then visit Crafted Beds. We have plenty of well curated blogs written by experts to help you get the sleep you desire!