Many parents worry about why their child seems to wet the bed even after they have learned to use the potty or their chair. An important thing to know is that children do not learn the control of their bladders at the same age. Some kids do it early while others are a little late.
Another thing is that just because your child has learned to control themselves and go on the seat in the daytime does not mean that the same will be true for night. And this is exactly what leads to bed wetting complaints. Research suggests that it takes kids longer to adapt to the idea of going to the potty at night. The easiest solution for this is that you let them wear diapers for the first few weeks of potty training sessions. Once they become good at their daytime control, you can then allow them to sleep without the diaper at night. There will still be accidents, but in due time they will learn that bed is just not the place!
Keep in mind that occasional wetting of the bed for the 6 months following potty training is completely normal. But if a year passes and your child still seems to be having the problem, you will need to think of other things and underlying issues. Research suggests bed wetting runs in the family. If you or someone in your family wet the bed, then it is a possibility your child might too.
Why It Happens After Potty Training?
If your child seems to be wetting the bed more than 6 months after the potty training has been completed, then there can be something more than just bladder control that is an issue. But before going into other reasons, understand the fact that your child may be one of those who have a small bladder and holding it in for the whole night just might not be possible for them. There are also some children who are slow at the development of their brain, bladder and muscular coordination.
One more reason why your child may not be able to hold the urine in is because they are constipated and the pressure on the rectum makes them wet themselves. Some cases show that bed wetting is an early symptom of urinary tract infection or diabetes mellitus. If this is the case, then the only thing you can do is wait for them to develop physically.
There are other reasons why your child may be wetting the bed at night even though they do fine throughout the day. Stress is the biggest factor for bed wetting. Have you recently changed your house or city? Did you and your spouse get divorced? Did you have a baby? Did the child start kindergarten? Has the child been going through some emotional tantrums or is scared of sleeping in their room? These are some of the biggest stressors for a child to not be able to control their bladder.
What You Can Do to Help?
If your child is older than 3 years old, the easiest solution is to talk to them about the situation. You could ask them about what is bugging them and how you can help them out. But first things first! Understand the fact that bed wetting is not something your child is doing to make your life a complete misery. They are just as helpless as you may feel right now. Had they been able to control themselves, they would not be having the problem in the first place.
Therefore, scolding or punishing them is not the solution. You have to remain cool and patient. As soon as you find out that the child has wet themselves, take them out of their bed, and get them in clean, dry clothes. You would not want them to catch a cold. Likewise, leaving them to suffer the mortification of having wet themselves is a torture. They don’t just feel bad about disappointing you; they also feel embarrassed about the whole situation.
So get them clean and reassure them that it was an accident. Help them understand that you are not angry because it was something they could not have done anything about. Also reassert the fact that they can try the next day to make sure that they are not wet. You can get them involved in the process of changing the sheets and getting into dry pyjamas. This will help them see that you are not angry but just trying to be there for them.
If you notice that the bed wetting does not disappear for the next three months either, then you might want to consult a doctor to see if the there is any underlying medical problem. Some of the things to keep an eye on include:
Your child complains of a pain or burning sensation when they go to pee
When the child seems to strain or wince when peeing
There are constant urine dribbles
If the bed wetting continues even after 5 years of age
All of these signs might indicate that your child has some kind of medical problem like constipation, infection or the onset of diabetes. Remember, whether it is a medical problem or not, you will need to keep a low-key attitude about the whole situation or the many accidents that may occur. Remind your child that this is part of the growing up process and many kids face the issue.
Some other things that you can try include:
Do not allow your child to drink too many liquids before going to bed. Make sure they have only a few swallows two hours before bed time.
Right before sleeping, remind them to go to the bathroom one last time.
Try using absorbent undergarments like disposable training pants during the night. You can also cover the mattress with plastic sheets so that the mattress is not soiled each time.
Use bed-wetting alarms as they may help your child wake up in the middle of the night and visit the bathroom.
Introduce a reward system, where your child will have stickers and a board and they get to collect stickers on the nights they don’t wet the bed. Depending on the number of stars at the end of the week, you can give them a small reward. The more stars there are, meaning the fewer nights they wet the bed, the bigger a prize they will get.
If your child has a medical problem, your doctor would suggest plenty of things that you can try. From medications to some other techniques, the doctor will guide you on how you can help your child to break off the problem.
Just remain calm, patient and encouraging. If it is not a medical health problem, your child will grow out of it and with your continued support be assured of the fact that yes, they can do it.