Bedwetting is quite common in children but can inconvenience parents. Keeping the bed dry all through the night is a challenge to most kids while some manage to do it for some time then again start wetting the bed.
About 15% of children around the age of 4 usually wet the bed. However, the number tends to decrease with age and happens to only 2% of children 14 years and older. Boys are more likely to wet the bed as compared to girls.
Additionally, bedwetting is more common in those with behavioral and emotional difficulties and slight developmental delays.
Why Children Wet the Bed
Bedwetting in children usually occurs due to different reasons. Here are some common ones:
- Time – Most children require extra time to learn how to control their bladders.
- Genetics – Most children who usually wet the bed have someone in the family that did the same until a later stage in life and this typically suggests some genetic component.
- Sleep – Children who are deep sleepers or don’t get quality sleep have a higher chance of wetting the bed.
- Life Changes or Stress – Going through major life changes like getting new siblings or anything stress related can make a 4-year-old to start wetting the bed again.
- Medical Conditions – Medical conditions like constipation, urinary tract infection or other differences in built of the body or functions such as producing a lot of urine and small bladder can cause a 4-year-old to start wetting the bed again. Also, the first symptom of type 1 diabetes is bed wetting, frequent urination and increased thirst.
How to Stop 4 Year-Old Wetting the Bed Again
About 15% of children stop wetting the bed on their own without any help from parents. However, when it occurs for longer, the harder it is to control. However, some of these tips will come in handy for parents looking to stop their 4-year-olds wetting the bed again:
- Reduce intake of fluids and caffeinated drinks before going to bed. Caffeine usually causes frequent urination in children.
- Encourage your child to go to the bathroom 20 minutes before retiring to bed and right before going to bed again. Most children only pee to relieve the urge but don’t empty the bladder completely.
- Ensure the child gets enough sleep. Remove any pets and electronics from their room
- Don’t discipline the child for small accidents as it tends to increase stress, shame and also teaches them not to be open when they wet the bed. You can instead let the kids help out with different chores when they can.
- Reward the child if he/she doesn’t wet the bed to motivate them. This additionally helps keep a track of bedwetting days to identify patterns and get to know if it’s getting better or worse. If the child hides their bedwetting, give two different stickers for the dry nights. One of the stickers is for when they tell the truth or none when they lie or hide.
- You can also try waking them up in the wee hours for the night to use the bathroom. If your 4-year-old has wet the bed by the time you get there, try at a different time, but this time earlier than you did the previous day. Keep adjusting to get the perfect time.
Using a Bed Wetting Alarm
The bedwetting alarm usually clips to the child’s underwear. You can also get the child to sleep on a pad. When the pad or clip gets wet, this alarm will vibrate or make a sound to alert the child to wake up and use the bathroom. However, this only works when the child pees frequently for their brains to learn the exact time to pee.
Investing in a bed wetting alarm should be the last option given the disruption it causes and the time it takes. However, a recent study shows that if done correctly, it can be the most effective way of teaching bed wetting 4-year-olds to stay dry throughout the night for an extended period.
Seek Medical Attention
Ask the doctor if there are other alternative means that can help stop bed wetting. Medication usually works perfectly well for most children but once they stop using them, they can start bed wetting again. However, medications can be a bad idea when used strategically like during sleep-overs.
Consult the doctor when the child:
- Starts wetting the bed again suddenly or experiencing daytime accidents especially after being dry for long consistently if there aren’t any stressors or life changes.
- Has difficulties in breathing at night or snores loudly
- Complains of feeling pain or burning sensation when peeing
- Urinates frequently
- Unusually eats and drinks more
- Has swollen feet and ankles