Bedwetting is very common, affecting 8-10% of school age children but it’s also very frustrating. Most families have tried limiting fluids, voiding before bed, and lifting when parents are awake. Yet nightly wetting continues.
Here are some suggestions beyond those listed above that help end bed wetting in school-age children.
-Make sure there are no urological reasons for the bedwetting. A urinalysis and visit with your health care provider should rule this out. 97% of bedwetting children do not have bladder or kidney problems.
-Insure that your child has a soft stool every 1-2 days. Ask him about his bowel movement frequency. Increase his fiber intake, either by foods or supplements, so that he feels the urge to have a bowel movement every day. Increasing fluids during the day also helps with this.
-Make sure he or she drinks enough during the school day. They should feel the need to urinate at least twice while at school if they drink enough. Doubling up on fluids during breakfast and lunch and taking a water bottle help with this. Well hydrated children feel less of a need to drink more in the evening.
-Begin using a bedwetting alarm every night. This will sense the wetness and sound so that they begin to realize when the wetting is happening. This is the first step in putting together the important brain-bladder connection. Over time, their body will begin to associate a full bladder with waking up or holding on until morning. Learning to stay dry at night is a process and does not happen overnight. Initially, many children even sleep through the loud sound so parents have to help wake them. Signs of progress are smaller wet spots in bed, less frequent wetting and wetting closer to morning. Chart when the alarm sounded and the size of the wet spot in the bed. Your child can see how well they are doing by looking at previous weeks.
Wireless bedwetting alarms are well-suited for older children because they have to get out of bed to turn off the alarm. These alarms can also be ordered with a receiver for the parent’s room, which is helpful in the beginning. The average child takes about 10-12 weeks to get to complete dryness (14 consecutive dry nights). When the alarm is used long enough, he or she becomes permanently dry with little relapse.