Bedwetting is a normal part of childhood, at least until the age of three and often later. But, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t necessarily seem this way to your child.
Childhood can be rather uncomfortable. A child has little control of his or her environment and must rely on parents and other caregivers for survival. And so, bedwetting can seem a much larger problem to a child. Children will often assign responsibility to themselves for things they cannot control.
While adults realise that very young children have not yet achieved full bladder control, children often regard bedwetting as a personal failure. This is why it’s important to be supportive and reassuring and let your child know that you realise that he or she is not bedwetting on purpose and that bedwetting does not signify “out of control” or “failure.” It’s simply something that both of you need to handle as best as possible.
Since children have so little control over their environment, they will more readily react to changing circumstances and stress through their own bodies. A trauma, such as a death in the family or even simply moving from one suburb to another, can trigger physiological responses like insomnia or bedwetting.
However, there are a number of things you can do. You can keep your child clean so that the smell of urine is not an embarrassment to him or her. Try to avoid becoming upset or blaming your child, while taking proper precautions. Such precautions include ensuring that your child has plenty of fluids during the day to avoid dehydration, which can actually increase the chances of bedwetting, while avoiding drinks containing caffeine and drinks with a high sugar content. Fluid intake should be cut back about two hours before bedtime.
Perhaps the best thing you can do to reduce anxiety is to praise your child for getting out of bed to use the toilet or for having a dry night. Such praise reinforces your child’s confidence and makes the problem of bedwetting less traumatic. A good solution to help alleviate stress and interruption during the night is a waterproof mattress that looks and feels like regular mattress. It is always important to make sure that your child knows that he or she is not being blamed and that this is a problem the family is handling together.