Most boys and girls have wet the bed at some time. This, which is seen as normal in most cases and will be solved, can be a real headache for parents when they see the problem is chronic.
Nighttime bedwetting is a real problem , which requires treatment and understanding by adults towards the child. Neither the child is to blame nor does he bet, however, this does not mean that nothing can be done to avoid it.
Let’s look at some tips to prevent children from urinating in bed while they sleep , in addition to understanding to what extent a good understanding of the problem is necessary from the child’s family environment.
- Related article: ” Childhood anxiety disorders: symptoms and treatments“
What is nocturnal enuresis? Short definition
Urinating on top is one of the most common problems in childhood . According to the DSM-5, enuresis is the inappropriate emission of urine at least twice a week for at least three months in children over five years of age.
This problem can be a great interference in the life of the child, since none wants to urinate, something that can pose problems at the level of socialization, autonomy and emotional state, generating high levels of anxiety.
Tips to avoid nocturnal enuresis
Follow these guidelines to prevent nocturnal enuresis from occurring again.
1. Control what you have for dinner and drink
The child should consume fluids, but their intake should be reduced after 7 at night and, above all, avoid drinking them during the two hours before bedtime .
It is especially important to avoid consuming drinks that contain caffeine, such as tea, coffee or cola, since this methylxanthine has diuretic effects, that is, they contribute to the formation of urine.
At dinner time you should take light food , without too much salt or sugar.
2. Go to the bathroom before bedtime
Although it may seem like an obvious option, an effort should be made and go to the bathroom before going to bed, to ensure that the bladder is as empty as possible and thus avoid night accidents.
3. Have easy access to a sink
Related to the previous point, being sleeping in a room far away from the bathroom can make it difficult for the child to want to get up and go to urinate.
The best solution for this is to ensure that you sleep at a point close enough to the bathroom, so that you don’t feel lazy about having to get up and urinate.
You should also avoid obstacles between your room and the bathroom and, if necessary, place night lights to mark the path and do not be afraid to go. If necessary, place a portable urinal in the room.
4. Wear diapers
Regarding this point, the opinions of experts are quite varied. There are those who consider that it is not at all advisable to use diapers in children and adolescents who have problems with nocturnal enuresis, while others recommend them in a timely manner.
The reason that there are certain professionals who do not recommend the use of these diapers is that they interfere negatively in the child’s motivation to learn to control his sphincters and wanting to wake up dry the next day. They can make the child, when he notices that he wants to urinate, instead of getting up and urinating, he prefers to stay in bed having the guarantee that the diaper will be taken care of to avoid wetting the bed.
On the other hand, those who advocate the use of these diapers say they help make children feel more secure and confident .
Whatever the best option, it is advisable to ask a pediatrician about whether or not to use diapers for the child in question.
5. Control the belly of children
It may be the case that the child has constipation problems, which can cause less control over the bladder. This is because the intestines, full of feces, press on the bladder decreasing its capacity .
A good way to get the child to urinate on less is to introduce more foods with fiber in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables. Once constipation is over you can see your urinary control increased.
6. Avoid blaming the child
The boy has urinated in bed, but it is not because of him nor has he done so . It should be understood that the child suffering from nocturnal enuresis problems occurs because he has no control of it, due to a problem in maturation.
Blaming the child and punishing him for urinating in bed will only make the situation worse.
7. Be understanding
Parents or legal guardians must show that they are on the side of the child, that they are not blamed for the problem and that the best is wanted for him.
Avoid dramas every time the child wets the bed. If it happens that some family member also suffered enuresis as a child, it can be given as an example that it is something that sometimes happens and that, with the passage of time and putting a little effort, it ends up being overcome .
8. Don’t bring up the subject when you don’t touch
When it happens, you should comment on what is happening, but you should not talk more than necessary on the subject, much less when you are in front of relatives or acquaintances.
It is not that the matter should be treated as if it were a taboo subject, but one should not shout out loud that the child wets the bed. In doing so, the child may feel humiliated and this may mean, in addition to trauma, a worsening of bedwetting .
9. Hold the child responsible for their improvement
As we have said before, the child is not guilty of urinating on it nor does it voluntarily. This does not mean that the child should not be involved in certain responsibilities related to the problem.
If he has wet the bed, instead of changing the sheets for him, he should help in the process . He must also change his pajamas alone.
10. Urinate frequently
To prevent the child from relieving himself during the night in bed, he can be taught to go to the bathroom with some frequency, such as two or three hours. In this way it will be avoided that too much urine is retained in the bladder and accidents so little desired occur during the night.
11. Wake up the child
If necessary, the child can be woken up once during the night to make sure he does not feel like urinating and, if so, go to the bathroom and be relieved.
This should be done carefully and only once at night . Doing it too hotly or repeatedly can affect the necessary rest of the child very negatively.
The goal of this is to prevent the child from urinating on the night and solve this problem, not cause insomnia that will later become drowsy the next morning when he is in school, clearly affecting his academic performance very negatively.
12. Write a dry night diary
This tool can be very useful to have a long-term perspective of the successes achieved by the child . In this newspaper, the nights in which the bed has been kept dry and those in which unfortunately it has been wet are noted.
With this you can have a more objective measure of the success that the treatment may be having, in case the child is being subjected to one of them, and also the application of the advice described above.
13. Bladder training
Bladder training exercises are actions that can be done by the child with bedwetting problems that allow him to have better control over his sphincters.
For example, you can practice holding out for a brief period of time the urge to urinate for an hour of the day or go to a bathroom, start urinating and stop the jet for a few moments to restart urination later .
14. Make the child understand that he must get out of bed to urinate
Instead of crossing your fingers so that the child does not urinate on him tonight, it is best to convince him how important it is to go to the bathroom before going to bed and that, if he is already in bed, he feels he wants to Go, make an effort and go to the sink.
The alarm method or Pipi-Stop
Although the advice explained here is useful to help overcome the enuresis that the child may suffer, going to a psychologist and pediatrician to start the appropriate treatment is imperative , especially if the situation is serious. In cases where it is very difficult for the child to wake up to urinate or in which there are enuretic episodes between 5 and 7 times a week, one of the most popular and effective treatments is the alarm, also called Pipi -Stop.
This technique, developed by Mowrer and Mowrer, consists of an apparatus that is placed on the child’s pants, which is activated when the first drops of urination are given . Once this happens, the device makes a noise, waking the child and stopping the emission of urine. Thus, once the child has woken up, he goes to the bathroom to relieve himself. In this way, through classical conditioning, the child associates the urge to urinate with waking up.
This method will help the child to be more aware of how much he wants to urinate while sleeping, preventing him from wetting the bed and, over time, having better sphincter control, combined with an increase in self-esteem and a reduction in the emotional problems that could be associated with enuretic episodes.