5-10% of children from 6 to 15 years old wet their bed, that is roughly 10 kids in each class.
As frustrating as it is to wet at night as an older child, nocturnal enuresis is a common problem that tends to resolve naturally in 98-99% of children by the age of 17; however, it is not a problem to underestimate because it is well documented how it can badly impact on the psychology of a child and therefore it is worth treating to minimise the risk of creating psychological issues.
#ERIC - The Children's Bowel & Bladder Charity - campaign to raise awareness of #bowelandbladderconditions and they offer support and help to children, teenagers and their families. They also campaign to improve the care and support children and teenagers receive in healthcare and education settings.
What isn't so well documented is the knock on affect on the family and this concerns me. Getting up nightly to change bedding is exhausting for all parties involved. Then there is the time and cost involved in doing loads and loads of washing - all the bedding and night wear including duvets need to be washed at 60 degrees. Then there is the cost in replacing bedding and clothing. Nappies are generally supplied by the NHS but often they are not well sized or are not suitable for a child. I have found there to be little acknowledgment of the physical and financial impact on the care giver. Have you overcome these challenges? Can share your resources with our community - we would love to hear your experience: firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are some top tips and tricks that I found useful:
Prevent constipation - hard poo sitting in the bowel can irritate the bladder and make you wee more often - sign up to my mailing list and receive a free copy of Gut Feeling
When you have done a wee wait a minute - and then try again to see if you can do another wee.
Drinking will teach your bladder to hold more and make your kidneys work harder in the day rather than at night - encourage your child to drink regularly, 6-8 glasses or 1 litre daily.
Go to the toilet 6 times a day at specific times - this teaches your bladder that you are the boss!
Limit caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate), it can cause more urine to be produced.
Limit blackcurrant & fresh orange juice or other drinks with high potassium content, they can irritate the bladder and make you need a wee more often.
Stop all fluids at least 1 hour before bed.
Go to the toilet before going to bed and then again before going to sleep, ie after reading.
GIVE LOTS OF LOVE AND ENCOURAGEMENT - it's not your child's fault.
And here is a CHECKLIST of things to think about before you next see your Dr or nurse:
Does your child feel the urge to go for a wee?
Can they hold on or do they have to hurry? Look at their body language
Are they drinking enough fluid?
Are they constipated?
Do they have a history of urinary tract infections?
How many time are they wee'ing in the day?
When and how often are they wetting their bed at night?
Links and Resources
ERIC - The Children's Bowel & Bladder Charity - support & fact sheets
Stop Bed Wetting - resources, check lists and support
Enuresis Alarms - we got one from the NHS but ERIC sell them HERE
Watches - we have a WobL vibrating watch which is great for tiny wrists, annoyingly Spike takes his off so it's a bit pointless
Bed Protectors - the best I have found are Brolly Sheets
Nappies - we get pull up pants from the NHS, buying them as your child gets older is impossible (another issue to discuss)
RADAR - A Radar key gives access to locked, public disabled toilets around the country.
URApp bladder training app - Developed by a research team at the University of Bristol, the app allows users to set their daily drinking goal; provides discreet reminders and a diary to help establish a regular schedule of drinking and toilet visits, and gives personalised feedback to help users track their progress towards their drinking goals
As always please Email me and share your TOP TIPS & TRICKS FOR BEDWETTING.