Nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting can be very irritating and at the same time concerning for parents. It could be due to many reasons such as late maturation of bladder, cold temperature, anxiety, and other idiopathic causes. Bedwetting is normal till 6 years of age but in some kids it may stay for longer duration of time.
CAUSES OF BEDWETTING
Some probable causes of bedwetting include:
- A small bladder: Your child's bladder may not be developed enough to hold urine produced during the night.
- Inability to recognize a full bladder: If the nerves that control the bladder are slow to mature, a full bladder may not wake your child, especially if your child is a deep sleeper.
- A hormone imbalance: During childhood, some kids don't produce enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH) to slow night time urine production.
- Stress: Stressful events, such as becoming a big brother or sister, starting a new school, or sleeping away from home, may trigger bedwetting.
- Urinary tract infection: This infection can make it difficult for your child to control urination.
- Sleep apnea: Sometimes bedwetting is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the child's breathing is interrupted during sleep.
Rarely, bedwetting is related to a defect in the child's neurological system or urinary system.
- Wetting during the day
- Frequency, urgency, or burning on urination
- Straining, dribbling, or other unusual symptoms with urination
- Cloudy or pinkish urine, or blood stains on underpants or pajamas
- Soiling, being unable to control bowel movements
WAYS TO TACKLE BEDWETTING
Encourage the child to pee before bed
Children should make it a habit to go to washroom before going to bed and they should be made to get up at dawn to use the toilet if necessary. In the starting days, parents should make it a routine to direct their children to do so.
Restrict fluid intake before bed
Children should not be given water or any fluid at least two hours before bed. The body won’t allow wastage of water if body is in scarcity of fluid. This helps in reducing chances of bedwetting in children.
Maintain room temperature
Sometimes bedwetting is a result of cold room temperature and child is not able to get up and use the toilet. Don’t make the room too chilled and give your child a thick and cosy blanket during cold weathers and make sure your child is covered well throughout the night.
Bladder control and anxiety is closely related. Talk to your child if he or she is anxious about something. Your child may also get stressed about his or her social image regarding this problem. Avoid talking about their problem in social gatherings and try to make them comfortable as much as possible.
See a doctor
Bedwetting is usually temporary and stops with growing age. A child specialist should be consulted if the problem persists. Medications may be required to gain bladder control. Your doctor can also teach your child some bladder stretching exercises that help in retaining urine in bladder for longer time.
As parents, please know that bedwetting is very common and nothing to worry too much about. However, it is always good to consult your pediatrician if this phenomena is worrying you too much.