Most children outgrow bedwetting by the age of 5 or 6 and some will be smart enough by the age of 3. Bed wetting is more common with boys than girls and it can run in the families. If I remember correctly, a cousin of mine and I were unknowingly competing to wet our respective beds at an age of 5 or 6. I was helpless and embarrassed as I heard our mothers complaining about our problem. Those days were difficult as I did not feel confidant to stay over at a relatives’ or friends’ places. My parents were concerned but they never made me feel worried or embarrassed.
Bedwetting is rather seen as a symptom than a disease. It is found that some children who have been dry for a while may start to wet the bed again without any reason. It may be due to urinary tract infection, emotional problems or a sleep disorder. However, in some children it is mainly due to a lower bladder control. Bedwetting after a few months of dry nights may indicate the child’s insecurities or fears or it may even point to its stressful toilet training. Stress, constipation and diabetes can be other medical conditions leading to Enuresis. In some kids, bedwetting lasts up to their puberty or preteen years. The sad part is that children feel ashamed of themselves for no fault of theirs.
There is no medical help for Enuresis. All you need to give the child is some reassurance and emotional support. Remember that your child is more anxious about his problem than you are.
How to help your child
- It is wise to talk to your physician about the possible physical causes behind bedwetting. If there are none then you can take care of it at home.
- Never think of punishing, blaming or embarrassing your child. Remember that he does not do it on purpose. In addition, happily praise or reward him on the mornings for his dry nights.
- Limit his liquids in the night. Do not give the child much water from at least 2-3 hours before his bed time.
- Encourage him to urinate just before going to bed.
- Remind him to wake up after a while to empty his bladder. As a parent you can also wake up using an alarm clock to walk him to the toilet.
- Help him change his sheets and clothes if he wet the bed.
- If your child can wear diapers allow him to wear them. Use thick pads or rubber sheets to protect the mattress.
- Add vinegar into the water to wash the clothing and the sheets.
- Be patient and supportive.
Home remedies for Bedwetting
- Chewing cinnamon barks once a day.
- Give your child a healthy diet. If bed wetting is due to constipation give him a lot of fibre.
- Try to give the child some uncooked aval or poha (flattened rice) before going to the bed. It works as a temporary remedy if you want to stay over at a friends’ place. Poha will soak up the water inside and limit urination.
- Avoid sweets, too much of fruits, chocolate, meat, or artificial additives.
- Eating bananas.
- Have parsley.
- Eating walnuts and raisins work for some.
- No beer (for early teens)!
Please bear in mind that all the remedies may not work for all.
When to consult a doctor
- If your child starts wetting the bed suddenly after a few months of dry nights.
- If he suffers from pain or burning sensation during urination.
- If your child is wetting the bed and leaking stool.
- If the home treatment shows no effect.