It is frustrating for you and a source of embarrassment and sometimes shame for your child, but bedwetting is a perfectly common occurrence in children. Managing it is easier when you have key items to hand.
Most children find bedwetting a problem until about the age of 5 but for some children, it is an issue that carries on for longer.
Bedwetting can be a nightly occurrence or something that happens occasionally. There are various products on the market that help parents and carers, as well as the child to manage bedwetting.
Most parents or carers use some kind of bed protection with small children as a means of protecting mattress and bed clothing from night time accidents.
There are many different solutions and what you choose would depend on the severity of the bedwetting;
- Occasional bedwetting or leaks can be managed with a discreet absorbent pad under the sheet. It protects the mattress, but it does mean you need to wash and dry the sheet. However, if it is not something that happens too often, this is manageable.
- Waterproof covers can also be used to cover the entire mattress. However, opt for a high-quality product that uses breathable material as some covers are plastic based, and can be hot.
- Duvets protectors can also help to stem the life of a duvet if bedwetting is a common or nightly occurrence. Again, choose a quality product as not only can they make sleeping almost unbearable, they can be noisy when in use too.
Incontinence products have come a long way in design in recent years. At one time, incontinence pants would be bulky and unwieldy, as they would be stuffed with absorbent padding.
However, technology has moved on and this means that these pants and pads are now much more discreet and more reliable too than earlier examples.
Worn like underwear, your child would slip them on under their nightclothes and are discarded in the morning. These pants are great for protecting the bed, but also stop rashes and sore skin too. And because they are discreet, they can be worn without others knowing, something that is important to a child enjoying a sleepover of friends or family.
Psychologically, incontinence pants at night-time can be important and can be a useful tool in helping the child to less conscious about bedwetting. When it is less of a problem, it becomes less of an issue and thus, worrying less can mean less chance of it happening.
There are many reasons why a child may continue to wet the bed longer than the perceived norm, such as;
- Regular constipation places pressure on the bladder, leading to incontinence, especially at night
- An infection in the urinary tract can be the cause
- Drinking too much close to bedtime and not using the toilet before bed is also a common cause of nighttime bedwetting
For some children (and adults) wetting the bed at night occurs because they are in such a deep sleep, they fail to detect that they need to empty their bladder. A bedwetting arm could be a solution and work well for anyone over the age of 7 years.
A special moisture sensor is placed in the pyjamas or underwear of the child. A bell or a buzzer goes off when it detects moisture. The idea is simple – should a child start to urinate, the pad detects the moisture, sets off the alarm and the child wakes, goes to the toilet and finishes urinating.
In the first few weeks, however, it is usually the parent that is woken, and they take the child to the bathroom. If the alarm wakes the child nightly, it will take around 4 to 6 weeks for the child to be ‘trained’ to wake and use the toilet.
Some bedwetting alarm manufacturers claim that within 12 weeks of use, a child will be waking themselves up to visit the toilet at night or will hold their bladder until the morning.
Once your child has been dry every night for three weeks, manufacturers suggest continuing to use the alarm for another two weeks by which time, bedwetting should have past.
There are other styles of alarms, more popular with teenagers and adults that use a wireless system in which the sensor vibrates to alert them to wake up and go to the toilet.
Bedwetting is more common than you think but managing it is important. From bed protection to incontinence pants and the latest technology in the form of a bedwetting alarm, it is not only possible to manage it but to stop it too.