Bedwetting In Older Children: Why Does It Happen And What Can You Do To Stop It?


Last Updated: January 03, 2023, 19:41 IST

Avoid giving your child fluids before bedtime.

Wetting the bed can cause a lot of guilt and shame among children and can lead to low self-esteem.

New parents may often find themselves dealing with a crying or embarrassed young one who has wet the bed. Such incidences are to be expected at a young age and there is no cause for worry. However, things are different when the child is slightly older (usually 7 or above). Bedwetting, or involuntary urination while asleep, in children above the age of 7 can be worrisome, frustrating, and even pose risks to the child’s healthy development. Sometimes, it can be treated with simple habit changes or therapy. Other times, it might hint towards an underlying medical condition and goes away after appropriate treatment.

In children below 7 years of age, nighttime bladder control may still be developing. Thus, instances of soaked pyjamas are of little concern then. If it continues after that age, it might be caused by several reasons:

Your child’s bladder may not have enough capacity to hold urine produced during the night due to being underdeveloped.

In case the nerves controlling the bladder are slow to mature, a full bladder may not wake the child up. This is especially true if the child is a deep sleeper.

If the body does not produce enough anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) to slow nighttime urine production, it could cause bedwetting.

Urinary tract infection can make it difficult for a child to control urination.

Bedwetting could also be due to genetics, diabetes, and defects in the neurological system.

Wetting the bed can cause a lot of guilt and shame among children and can lead to low self-esteem. Kids also lose out on social activities such as sleepovers, overnight trips and camping. They and may even face bullying.

Bedwetting must be treated with patience and understanding. The following steps can help:

Avoid giving your child fluids before bedtime.

Ensure your child goes to the bathroom before sleeping.

Bladder therapy, which involves slowly increasing the bladder’s capacity by making the child wait to go to the bathroom, can help.

Psychological counselling can be effective for children who have been through a traumatic event or are suffering from low self-esteem because of bedwetting.

Using medication to treat underlying conditions such as diabetes is also useful in some cases but please consult a doctor before doing so.

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