How to teach children to stop bedwetting
According to emedicinehealth, 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.
The average age for potty training in the United States is 34 months for girls and 37 months for boys (though it’s not at all unusual for older 3-year-olds to still be in diapers). Toilet training isn’t complete, of course, until your child stays dry all night, and accidents are likely to continue through the age of 5. Patience, a waterproof mattress cover, and a handy change of sheets are among the tools you’ll need to handle this transition.
Even if your child is basically potty trained by now, you can expect accidents, especially at night, for months or even years to come. Staying dry at night is the last step children master, and it tends to be harder for boys than for girls. But rest assured, most kids grow out of bed-wetting naturally. Most physicians don’t consider it a problem until age 5 or 6.
No one knows exactly what causes bed-wetting. Sometimes physical traits are a factor (a small bladder, an immature nervous system, or a very deep sleep pattern). Emotional changes may also trigger bed-wetting. If your child starts having accidents after months of dry nights, it could be that she’s facing new stresses or fears.
Don’t make an issue of the wet sheets. Your matter-of-fact attitude when dealing with accidents will help lessen your child’s embarrassment. If she’s anxious, reassure her that it’s a normal part of learning.
Since bed-wetting can run in families, it may help your child to hear stories about how you or Dad took a while to stay dry at night when you were kids, too.
Eliminating liquids, including frozen or gelatin treats, after dinner can help. So can making a visit to the potty part of the bedtime routine. Some parents of frequent bed-wetters find it worth waking their child in the middle of the night (or just before the adults go to sleep, if it’s a few hours after their preschooler went down) for a potty trip. If your child is a very deep sleeper, a brighter night-light may keep her from sleeping quite so soundly, making her more aware of bladder signals.
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