By Darlene Zagata
We usually begin to potty train our children around the age of two and by the age of three the feat has normally been accomplished. Of course, that’s just an average guideline. Some children are potty trained at a younger age whereas others may take a bit longer. Potty training can often be taxing enough on both parents and child but then there is bedwetting. Not all children experience a problem with bedwetting but some do. Parents that are faced with a child that has a recurrent bedwetting problem may find themselves stressed and frustrated because they don’t know what to do to help their child overcome the problem.
As exasperating as the problem may be, parents that are patient and understanding can help children to overcome bedwetting. Parents should consult the pediatrician if bedwetting is or becomes a persistent problem. Physical examinations can be performed to rule out or determine if bedwetting has a medical cause. Bedwetting may also have an emotional basis. Fear, change or any disturbance in a child’s normal routine can cause emotional upset that may result in bedwetting. Childhood fears such as being afraid of the dark or becoming accustomed to sleeping in his own bedroom can be unsettling to a young child.
Try to pinpoint whether or not the bedwetting started or became worse after any change in routine or home environment. Has the child been dry at night for a period of time and then suddenly began having bedwetting occurrences? Is the bedwetting periodic or regular? In many children the problem is simply an immature bladder. In others it may be an emotional response. For example, if bedwetting occurs shortly after the birth of a new baby it may be a fair assumption that it is an emotional response in regard to the child’s reaction to the new sibling. The older child may be upset that he or she is no longer the baby of the family. The child may feel a need to compete with the new baby for the attention of his parents.
Changes such as moving to a new home or the separation or divorce of parents can be emotionally disturbing for children. Starting school or pre-school can be sufficiently stressful to trigger an emotional reaction such as bedwetting. Regardless of the cause parents must be patient with the child. Never try to embarrass a child into quitting their bedwetting habit. Don’t discuss it with friends or family in front of the child. Such actions do not solve the problem and only serve to cause the child more anxiety.
Show the child plenty of love and attention. Help him to feel secure. If any changes have taken place such as the birth of a new sibling, reassure him and include him in activities when caring for the new baby so that he doesn’t feel left out in any way. Spend time alone with him when the baby is sleeping. Talk to your child. If the child has recently started sleeping in his own room do what you can to make the room feel safe and secure for him.
Limit your child’s fluid intake and have him go to the bathroom before going to bed. If bedwetting continues to persist consult your physician. He or she may be able to prescribe medication. You may also want to invest in a moisture alarm, which will awaken the child at night. Some parents claim to have had success with this method. You can also be your child’s alarm by waking the child during the night to go to the bathroom. Most of all, remember to be patient and understanding. Provide your child with a positive and supportive environment. In time, both you and your child will be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep without interruptions or accidents.
Article written by Darlene Zagata.
All opinions expressed are that of the writer.