Many children are having dry nights by the time they reach school age, but there is certainly nothing unusual about four to seven-year-olds wetting the bed. In fact, around 15% of five-year-olds do so.
It’s important to understand that children don’t wee the bed on purpose because they’re lazy or naughty. Most kids of four to seven years old would love to stay dry at night time. Aim to be kind, patient and supportive while your child goes through this stage.
The most common cause of bedwetting is a neurological developmental delay. Or in simple terms, the child’s brain and bladder aren’t yet fully connected: their nervous system is slow to process the feeling of a full bladder and these children do not wake up in time to go to the toilet.
Other bedwetting causes include:
- Deep sleep
- Not enough ADH (the hormone the monitors urine production)
- A smaller than normal bladder
- A urinary tract infection
- Sleep apnea
- Juvenile diabetes
Exciting or stressful events in a child’s life sometimes trigger what is called secondary nocturnal enuresis.
ENCOURAGING NIGHT TIME DRYNESS
- Encourage your child to drink water regularly throughout the day (taper off at night)
- Limit sweet and bubbly drinks, especially ones containing caffeine
- Avoid foods high in salt
- Avoid dairy products at night until bedwetting decreases
- Make sure your child goes to the bathroom before bed
- Use a plastic mattress protector to keep the bed fresh, dry and clean
- Use DryNites® Pants to help keep your child and their bedding dry throughout the night. Contrary to popular belief, wearing absorbent pants does not delay night time bladder control
- Increase dietary fibre to prevent constipation
- Don’t lift sleeping children to take them to the toilet during the night as this reinforces to the child that it’s ok to wee in their sleep
Remember: most children of this age will outgrow bedwetting on their own.
In the meantime, keep them in DryNites® Pants as these keep your child dry and comfortable even if they do pee at least once in their sleep.
What’s more, staying dry will help their self-esteem and confidence while reducing the washing workload for mum and dad.