Understanding Nocturnal Enuresis
“Parents need to understand that bedwetting is a treatable condition which won’t last forever. All it requires is patience, love, support, perseverance and medication”
Coping With Bedwetting
Bedwetting is uncontrolled urination
that happens while a child is asleep at night. This problem can be commonly seen in kids under the age of six and goes away on its own. However, in some cases it goes beyond this age and at times becomes an embarrassing, uncomfortable situation for the child. In medical terms it is known as nocturnal enuresis and is an elimination disorder. Thus, as a parent, it is important to support your child by providing positive reinforcement.
To cope up with bedwetting the foremost step should be reassuring your child and calming him/her down. Basic steps like making your child drink fluids during day time and avoiding it during nights (especially drinks containing caffeine), reminding your child to pee a final time before snuggling in the bed, and bedwetting alarms help a lot.
lf the bedwetting persists beyond the age of six, at least twice a week for three consecutive months, or it recurs alter having at least six months of dry nights, it is better to consult a doctor who may diagnose and check for signs of UTI,bladder problem, constipation, stress or even diabetes.
A Developmental Issue
Parents often associate enuresis with the child’s laziness to wake up even after having the sensation of a full bladdet However, they need to understand that bedwetting is a developmental issue contrary to what many familles think, that the child wets his/her bed willingly In deep sleep. Other reasons are stress caused due to factors like parent conflict, sibling rivalry sexual abuse, new school, separation from home. Accidents and bad toilet habits can also be one of the core reasons amongst children suffering from nocturnal enuresis.
Children facing enuresis have a higher rate of urine production at night and as a result the bladder is full very quickly. This arises when there is decreased quantity of antidiuretic hormone (ADI-1), which regulates urine production. A full intestine due to bad toilet habits like ignoring the urge to poop and constipation can also give rise to pressure on the bladder and result in bedwetting.
When To Consult A Child Specialist
- Children with secondary enuresis, who achieve bladder control but start bedwetting again after staying dry for more than six months
- Bedwetting in the child continues to persist even after the age of five years of age
- If you see signs and symptoms of a urinary tract infection like burning pain while urinating, cloudy urine, blood while urinating, frequent urination, genital rashes, etc.
- If you see signs and symptoms of diabetes like weight loss, drinking or eating more than usual, lethargy, etc.
- Bedwetting even during day-time
In such a scenario, the immediate action taken by the child specialist are clinical and psychiatric evaluations, routine urine test and microscopy. fasting blood sugar, ultrasonography of kidneys, bladder, and the spine.
Helping Your Child Overcome This Problem
Make it a habit for your child to use the 100 before hitting the bed. Set up a goal for your child to get up in the night and use the toilet rather them making your child focus on getting through the night dry.
Sticker charts, small rewards and words of praise also help the child to build confidence and in turn there significant improvement is displayed. As a parent, ensure your child has easy access to a toilet. You can also try to provide a portable toilet, if necessary. Avoid the use of diapers and pull-ups as they act as a hurdle with the motivation to wake up in the night and use the toilet.
Motivating A Child
The parents’ attitude towards bedwetting is also very important in motivating a child to keep dry all night. Many parents tend to be oblivious and turn a deaf ear towards the problem, assuming that the problem will cease on its own. But rather than ignoring the problem, parents should sit back and find an effective solution to deal with it.
Parents also need to understand that bedwetting is undoubtedly a treatable condition all it requires is patience, perseverance, understanding and medication. Take care not to punish or penalize your child as it can lead to anxiety and stress, making the condition more critical.
Remember that the fear of being blamed for wetting the bed might give your child sleepless nights, as the child might be scared of the thought of falling asleep for the fear of peeing while sleeping. Building a habit of bedwetting alarms play a major role in overcoming bedwetting as these alarms are very effective but it may take a few weeks
before you can see the results.