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Bed Wetting

Bed Wetting - The Names
Bed wetting has many different names: enuresis (en-yoo-ree-sus), Primary Nocturnal Enuresis (every night), Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis (intermittently), night soiling, and sleep wetting. Bed wetting, no matter what you call it, is stressful to the child and the family.

Bed Wetting - The Causes
To a child, bed wetting is no laughing matter. It shouldn't be to the child's parent, either. Without someone to help them make the transition to dry nights, a child may have lingering psychological effects. The key to an easy transition is for parents to be knowledgeable and informed.

There are various causes of bed wetting:

  • Immature bladder muscles - Fifteen out of one hundred children wet the bed because of immature bladder muscles which aren't strong enough to hold urine through the night. These children will outgrow their bed wetting problem as soon as the bladder matures.

  • Life Changes - Stresses in children's lives are the second highest cause for bed wetting. The stress could come from a new baby brother or sister, divorce, moving, a death in the family, or physical changes such as diabetes.

  • Emotional Turmoil - An emotionally negative home life, such as a child's failure to adjust after being adopted, can also lead to bed wetting. Any family situation that causes the child sudden emotional instability can cause serious psychological strain which physically manifests itself in bed wetting.

Bed Wetting - The Solutions
Many encouraging steps can be taken by the parents and child to eliminate the problem of bed wetting:

  • Listen to the concerns of your child. Children rarely wet the bed on purpose. Take the time to listen to their fears and concerns. Make plans on how to deal with the bed wetting, such as having the child help with the clean up. Assure them that it is not punishment, but a way for the child to help. Outlining the steps that need to be done allows the child to handle it with privacy and discretion, and minimizes sleep disruption.

  • Assure the child that you will not tease or scold him for wetting the bed. Embarrassment is common for bed wetting children, which is another concern added to their already stressed minds. Alleviate this concern before it becomes a problem.

  • See a doctor. Your physician may prescribe a medication to help the bladder hold urine through the night. The doctor may also share several techniques in training the bladder and strengthening its ability to hold urine longer, such as exercises or silent buzzers alerting the child to wake up.

  • Keep clean linens close to the bed for night time clean ups. Consider purchasing waterproof sheets or mattress protection.

  • Stay encouraged! The good news is that most children grow out of bed wetting without intervention. Caring adults and determined children are a winning team when it comes to overcoming the bed wetting problem.

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