Most children have developed the ability to stay dry all night by age 5 or 6. If your child is still wetting most nights, defined as having Primary Nocturnal Enuresis, he or she could probably use some help getting to dryness. You do not have to wait years for them to "outgrow it because there are effective treatments that can speed up the process. And puberty does not necessarily end bedwetting.
If your child starts to wet the bed after a few months or years of being dry, you should contact your health care provider. Other associated symptoms that require medical attention include painful urination, unusual thirst, weight loss, pink or red urine, and hard stools. A simple urine test in the medical office can rule out infection or diabetes as a cause.
Constipation and/or infrequent, large bowel movements can also contribute to bedwetting. You can work with your doctor in deciding the best constipation regimen and concentrate on including plenty of fiber and fluids in your child's diet.
Your son or daughter may notice that others their age no longer wear disposable pants or that a younger sibling or cousin can stay dry. Social activities with peers are important for any school aged child. Some children are easy-going and are fine with wearing disposables for overnight activities. Others turn down every invitation until they are consistently dry.
If your child is 5 or 6, and bedwetting is beginning to affect their view of themselves and their overnight activities, this may be the right time to discuss using a bedwetting alarm. Bedwetting alarms sense the wetting and alert you and your child so they can begin to put together that important brain-bladder connection.
This is much different than parents waking the child on their schedule, which might be when they go to bed or when they are up in the nighttime. This might help keep the bed dry but doesn't help your child to learn about the feeling that comes when they need to wake up to use the bathroom during the night.
Once your son or daughter can wake up on their own to empty their full bladder, they no longer wet. Children are 13 times more likely to achieve dryness using a bedwetting alarm than with no treatment! And the best part is that once they have learned this, they have it forever.
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