Some children can’t make it through the night without wetting the bed no matter how hard they try. This can frustrate both you and the child. Sometimes, parents get worried that the child’s bedwetting might be caused by an underlying medical problem.
However, most of the times, children outgrow bedwetting with time on their own while others require medical attention. Here are answers to parents’ questions about their child’s incontinence.
My 3-year-old wets the bed every night, is it a common issue in children?
About 7 out 10 3-year-olds usually wet their beds. Experts also don’t quite understand why some children of the same age stop wetting the bed while others don’t. Some associate bedwetting with developmental issues as it varies from one child to the other. Sometimes, it’s the bladder that is still pre-mature thereby can’t store urine through the night. Other times, the child may not have learnt the ability to control the bladder when full or wake up to use the bathroom.
What’s considered normal in relation to bed wetting?
When it comes to bed wetting, is range is relatively wide. Most children are usually trained to use the bathroom between the age of 2 to 4 years. However, some can’t make it through the night without wetting the bed until they grow a little older. Most of them can stay dry by the age of 5 to 6 but others continue bed wetting until they get to 10 or 12 years.
You will also notice that some children manage to stay dry through the night consistently then start bed wetting again. This is usually associated with different factors like stress, anxiety, family changes and school problems. Children are unlikely to wet the bed when they are old enough to use the bathroom by themselves. By the time they get to their teens or even earlier, most of the kids who wet their bed will have outgrown this issue with only a smaller percentage dealing with it.
Most school-going children with bed wetting problems have what is known as primary enuresis in medical terms. They can’t seem to control the bladder when it’s full. Besides, genetics also play a significant role when it comes to bed wetting in children. Most of those who wet the bed have a family history of close relations that did the same at a younger age.
My 3-year-old wets the bed every night, at what point should we seek medical attention?
Talk to your paediatrician if you feel your child’s bed wetting bothers you. Bring up the issue with the doctor immediately if the child has been making it through the night without bed wetting consistently then suddenly starts wetting the bed again. The doctor will then evaluate the child and perform different tests to ascertain if the problem is due to underlying medical conditions or merely stress-related.
However, the chances of an underlying medical condition are usually very slim as only about 1% of bed wetting problems are linked to infections, diabetes, bladder or kidney abnormalities and other related issues. If you notice any unusual symptoms such as blood in the urine or the child complains of a burning sensation when peeing, see the doctor immediately.
How to Help the Pediatrician Solve the Child’s Bed Wetting
You can be of help by playing detective in the house. Also, be ready to give answers for some of these questions:
- Does your family have any bed wetting history?
- Do certain foods, drinks and conditions trigger the bed wetting episodes?
- Do you allow the child to take caffeinated drinks or fluids before bedtime?
- Have you noticed any unusual symptoms like blood in the child’s urine?
What Happens During Bed Wetting Treatment?
The doctor will order a small sample of urine to test for urinary tract infection which is known to sometimes trigger bed wetting. The doctor will also check the child’s overall health along with other different tests.
My 3-year-old wets the bed at night what other things can I do to stop her from wetting the bed?
The paediatrician can suggest some of these measures to help reduce bed wetting.
- Limiting or eliminating intake of fluids an hour or two before bedtime
- Use a bed wetting alarm as it goes off when it detects any wetness. This will help the child wake up and use the bathroom. The devices are readily available on the market are relatively cheap depending on the features. You can give it a try before resorting to any bed wetting treatments. Here are the best bed wetting alarm.
- Ask the doctor for an over-the-counter prescription that helps reduce the amount of urine produced at night. It’s not a great alternative especially for younger children and should only be used when all other methods fail.
How can parents help their children during bedwetting treatment?
Keep assuring the child that bed wetting is usually a common issue especially in children. Tell them not to be embarrassed as they will outgrow it eventually. If the child has other siblings that don’t wet their beds, make sure they understand this too.