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How Can My Child Overcome Bedwetting?


Bedwetting - it's a term that is common in millions of households across the U.S., and it can even be a sticky subject for some families. According to Boston Children's Hospital, about 15 percent to 20 percent of all 5 year olds experience nocturnal enuresis - better known as bedwetting - and usually children grow out of it as their body matures and they attain bladder control. In fact, the hospital noted it's normal for children to continue to involuntarily lose control of their bladder at night even after they've mastered potty training for several years.

However, continual bedwetting can become an issue for many families, especially if bedwetting into adolescence runs in the family or if their 4 to 6 year olds are too scared to go to a sleepover for fear of wetting the bed with their friends there. So, how do you help them?

Remain optimistic and open

No matter what, stay positive. Your stress and nervousness about bedwetting can negatively impact your child, and telling your little one they must stop wetting the bed or that they aren't trying hard enough may only hurt the situation. Dr. Scott Goldstein told that families should always be open about bedwetting with their children so their little ones know there isn't something wrong with them and that they should be careful not to pressure children to stay dry. 

"The moisture alarm method is effective 75 percent of the time."

Utilize technical tools

There are many different gadgets out there that parents and guardians can buy that can help their little ones overcome their bedwetting. Special alarms that go off when the child loses urinary control at night are go-tos for many families and experts, and studies have shown that such alarms can be highly effective because they condition the brain to strengthen the child's bladder control. In fact, noted that the moisture alarm method is effective 75 percent of the time. 

Limit liquids before bed

This is a simple solution that can be difficult for parents and guardians to put into practice. Children often wet the bed because their bladders are still too small for them to stay dry all night, so not allowing your little one to have a glass of milk before bedtime can reduce the amount of urine they produce at night. However, many children get used to having a bottle before bed or having a water bottle available if they get thirsty, so breaking them of this habit can be hard for parents. In a blog post for the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, pediatric nurse practitioner Denise Ferguson recommended parents give children more to drink earlier in the day so they are still hydrated at night and don't need to drink a lot of fluids before bedtime. 

Ask for medical advice

Know when you need to talk to your child's pediatrician. The Mayo Clinic suggested families consult their doctors about bedwetting if their children begin to wet themselves in their sleep after being dry for many months or if they are also experiencing urinary issues or have an unusual thirst, as these symptoms could point to an underlying medical condition.

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