What is enuresis?
Bedwetting (medical: enuresis) occurs when a child over the age of 5 still wets the bed regularly. It’s not uncommon for younger children not to always have bladder control. Still, there seems to be something of a competition among mothers to see which child dries first. It’s important to know that it’s perfectly normal for children under the age of 5 to still have mishaps from time to time. When we talk about bedwetting here, we mean bedwetting at night. In addition, it also happens that older children and even young people wet their pants during the day.
Information on enuresis treatment
Bedwetting is more common than you might think. About 10 percent of all 6-7 year old children are affected. ( Bedwetting in children of school age ) In the case of young people it is still about 2 percent. The older the children are, the more embarrassing such an incident is for them. They are ashamed of friends, family and, last but not least, of themselves. They would like to spend the night with friends or take the class to a youth hostel – but their problem prevents them from doing so. But bedwetting always has causes and can therefore be treated.
A thorough check-up by the pediatrician is important, who will, under certain circumstances, consult a specialist doctor. The reasons for the mostly nocturnal wetting can be very different and range from a simple developmental delay to mental problems to organic disorders. So can parents’ divorce or bullying at school be just as much a cause of bedwetting as, for example, a malformation of the urinary tract or an imbalance in certain hormones. A diagnosis is very important in any case, because an efficient treatment plan can only be drawn up once this has been established. The child may have to take medication for a while or carry out targeted bladder training. It can also be useful to seek professional advice. If the causes of bedwetting are emotional, child and adolescent psychotherapy can also help the child.
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Tips for parents of affected children
Since the children or young people already suffer a lot from wetting anyway, you as parents should deal with this topic very carefully and sensitively. The following tips may be helpful for you and your child:
- Never scold your child! That is the most important thing. Don’t punish them either, because that will only hurt your child, who is already suffering from bedwetting.
- Praise your child when they don’t wet the bed! This confirmation gives him self-confidence and is therefore a step in the right direction.
- Make your work easier. A rubber pad on the mattress protects it from moisture. Waterproof fitted sheets are also commercially available in all sizes. Since the bed linen has to be washed often, you should think about a tumble dryer or washer-dryer. That makes the work a lot easier.
- Before your child goes to bed at night, please remind them to go to the toilet. Children often forget to empty their bladders before bed.
- New pajamas in the room and a set of fresh bed linen enable your child to act independently if it has wet itself at night.
- Don’t make the problem of wetting too much of an issue. Talking to your child is of course important, but it shouldn’t be the norm in everyday life. Absolute no-go: expose the child in front of friends or acquaintances.
It may be useful to use bell trousers or a bell mat, in consultation with the doctor treating you. If the first drops of urine fall into the pants, a signal sounds. Now the child has to go to the toilet – and for that it has to be really awake. For you as a parent, this means that you have to help him at least in the early stages. After about 8 weeks, a high percentage of the children treated in this way show clear progress.
No matter which treatment method is indicated for your child – you will definitely have to have a lot of patience. Stand by your child, show them your love and give them a sense of security. You really don’t need unsolicited tips from outsiders on how you can finally get your child dry. Trust the treating doctor and/or therapist and think carefully about whom you tell about the problem of wetting.
Of course, you will also find information about children’s sleep rituals and bedtimes for children here .