Like so many other issues related to children, bedwetting has its own developmental time line. It is not uncommon for a 7- year-old to still have trouble staying dry at night. Between 15% and 30% of school age children wet the bed at least once per month.
What causes bedwetting?
Although the causes for bedwetting are varied pediatricians agree the following reasons are most common:
- Your child is a deep sleeper and does not awaken to the signal of a full bladder.
- Your child’s body may make too much urine at night.
- Your child is suffering from a minor illness, is overly tired or is responding to stress and change in his life.
- There is a history of bedwetting in your family.
- Your child has an under-developed bladder.
What can you do?
The first step is to take your child to the pediatrician and confirm there is not a medical condition causing bedwetting.
After you have confirmed that your child is otherwise healthy you can try the following:
- Reassure your child that many children have the same problem and that as he matures the problem will go away.
- Reduce the amount of liquids your child consumes in the evening and make sure he uses the restroom at bedtime.
- Try waking him 1-2 hours after he goes to bed to use the toilet.
- Protect the bed with plastic so his room does not smell of urine.
- NEVER allow siblings to tease him.
- Talk with your pediatrician about available medications that may help. These are not usually recommended for children under five.
- Reward him for dry nights and do not punish him for wet ones.