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How to stop children from bedwetting

How to stop children from bedwetting
Want to say goodbye to your child's bedwetting? Here is a comprehensive guide of practical solutions that will keep sheets dry
Children don’t wet the bed on purpose—and that is important to remember, especially on mornings when you are faced with sopping sheets again.
"It is important to remember that children don’t wet the bed on purpose"
One thing is for certain: the problem can’t be alleviated through punishment. It does help to keep a sense of humour about the situation, which will undoubtedly pass. In the meantime, try out these techniques.

What’s wrong?

Nothing, usually. When you are bringing up a child, bedwetting comes with the territory. In fact, in Britain, at least 15 per cent of children over the age of five do not heed nature’s call at night.
"In Britain, at least 15 per cent of children over the age of five do not heed nature’s call at night"
It is likely that your child is not waking up when their bladder is full—and this is only a problem because they are producing a lot of urine in the night or have a bladder that is low on capacity.

Keep those "wee hours" drier

  • Restrict your child’s fluid intake for an hour before bedtime. Cut out cola drinks or hot chocolate that may contain caffeine, which irritates the bladder.
  • If your child usually drinks milk at bedtime, stop the practice for a week or two and see if it helps. A few children are allergic to the proteins in milk, primarily casein and whey, and the allergy can cause bedwetting.
  • Make sure your child goes to the toilet before they go to bed. It will not stop the bedwetting, but there will be less stored urine, which means less urine to wet the bed.
  • Make the pre-bedtime routine calm and quiet. Rough, active play or even an exciting television programme increases the risk of bedwetting. Read a story or leave the child to read alone in bed.
  • If the child is seven or older, consider buying a bedwetting alarm. This is a battery-operated sensor that emits a buzzing or ringing sound when it detects moisture. It conditions children to recognise the need to urinate and wake up before they have to go. With the alarm, most children respond within two months.

Limit the damage

Put a waterproof mattress protector on your child’s bed (supermarkets sell packets of padded, disposable ones). Not only will this protect the mattress, but it will also ensure that you can treat the accident as just that—an accident, not a disaster. Both you and your child will sleep better knowing that there isn’t a major clean-up job to worry about when the sun rises.

Enlist your child’s help

Get your child to assist you with the tasks that go along with bedwetting, like laundering the sheets, making the bed or putting out a fresh nightie or pair of pyjamas. Make it clear that participation is not a punishment, just a responsibility.

Medical help

Some studies show that children who wet their beds may have an abnormally low level of antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This hormone helps the kidneys to retain water, and if there’s a deficiency, more urine gets into the bladder.
"A doctor can prescribe a nasal spray, but behaviour modification may be a more effective solution"
A doctor can prescribe a nasal spray containing a synthetic version of the hormone to be used before bed, but behaviour modification may be a more effective solution.
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