Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, refers to the unintentional passage of urine during sleep. Enuresis is the medical term for wetting, whether in the clothing during the day or in bed at night. Another name for enuresis is urinary incontinence.
For infants and young children, urination is involuntary. Wetting is normal for them. Most children achieve some degree of bladder control by 4 years of age. Daytime control is usually achieved first, while nighttime control comes later.
The age at which bladder control is expected varies considerably.
Some parents expect dryness at a very early age, while others not until much later. Such a time line may reflect the culture and attitudes of the parents and caregivers.
Factors that affect the age at which wetting is considered a problem include the following:
- The child’s gender: Bedwetting is more common in boys.
- The child’s development and maturity
- The child’s overall physical and emotional health. Chronic illness and/or emotional and physical abuse may predispose to bedwetting.
Bed-wetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected.
Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but there’s really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.
If you have a bedwetting child, rest assured you have plenty of company. Childhood bedwetting is one of the most common pediatric conditions. Most girls stay dry through the night by the time they reach age six; some boys may still be bedwetters until they reach age seven. This should prove reassuring to parents who expect that their children will stay dry through the night at a much earlier age.
Typically, bedwetting boys are no different from bedwetting girls when it comes to reasons why they wet their beds; however, boys do outnumber girls as bedwetters.
Your child may be a bedwetter because:
- You were one – 75% of all childhood bedwetters have a parent who also was one.
- The communication link between their brain and bladder isn’t mature enough yet to function properly during sleep.
- He or she is a very deep sleeper; therefore, their brain just doesn’t receive the “full bladder” signal.
- He or she may have a lower level of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH). ADH tells the kidneys to stop producing urine when you sleep.
- He or she has a smaller bladder that can’t hold urine through the night.
- Your child is constipated and the bowel is putting pressure on the bladder.
Although many parents once thought that childhood bedwetting was due to laziness, this is far from the truth. What child would actually want to sleep in a wet bed all night? Thankfully, this attitude has changed for the most part.
Here are changes you can make at home that may help:
Limit how much your child drinks in the evening
It’s important to get enough fluids, so there’s no need to limit how much your child drinks in a day. However, encourage your child to focus on drinking liquids in the morning and early afternoon, which may reduce thirst in the evening. But don’t limit evening fluids if your child participates in sports practice or games in the evenings.
Avoid beverages and foods with caffeine
Beverages with caffeine are discouraged for children at any time of day. Because caffeine may stimulate the bladder, it’s especially discouraged in the evening.
Encourage double voiding before bed
Double voiding is urinating at the beginning of the bedtime routine and then again just before falling asleep. Remind your child that it’s OK to use the toilet during the night if needed. Use small night lights, so your child can easily find the way between the bedroom and bathroom.
Encourage regular toilet use throughout the day
During the day and evening, suggest that your child urinate every two hours or so, or at least often enough to avoid a feeling of urgency.
If constipation is a problem for your child, your doctor may recommend a stool softener.
To prevent a rash caused by wet underpants, help your child rinse his or her bottom and genital area every morning. It also may help to cover the affected area with a protective moisture barrier ointment or cream at bedtime. Ask your pediatrician for product recommendations.
Some home remedies that can effectively help in curbing bed-wetting are as follows:
Walnuts and Raisins
Walnuts and raisins can also be used to reduce the frequency of bedwetting. Many children will enjoy this as a tasty snack.
Cranberry juice is good for the bladder and urinary tract. It is highly recommended for children with bedwetting problems.
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is an excellent Ayurvedic remedy for bedwetting.
Cinnamon is one of the simplest home remedies for your child to stop bedwetting. It is believed that this spice keeps the body warm.
Another popular home remedy for bedwetting is honey. Many children like the sweet taste of honey, making this an easy remedy to try.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar helps balance the body’s pH and reduce acid levels which may be contributing to the problem. It will also aids detoxification and treat constipation.
Jaggery has a heating effect on the body. When the body remains warm from inside, the problem of bedwetting vanishes soon.
One good remedy for the problem of bedwetting is mustard seeds. Mustard seeds can be of great help to those suffering from urinary tract infections.
These are considered to bind to the stomach and have been used to prevent bed-wetting at night. A banana at night before sleep can relieve you from urinating.
A concoction made up of horsetail, bearberry, and oak bark is a well-known ayurvedic practice that prevents the flow of urine while sleeping.
A diet rich in leafy vegetables and fiber is considered to be better for bed-wetting patients. Nutrients in the form of almonds, milk, and sesame can be taken, which are rich in magnesium, calcium, and silica.