The appropriate bed wetting solutions depend on a child’s age. Most, but not all, children are able to stay dry through the night by age six or seven. Doctors typically recommend a patient approach that may include waiting on the child to get a little older. Here’s an overview of the subject for parents.
These bedwetting statistics seem to remain accurate year after year. Around the age of six, about 10-15% of children are still wetting the bed. By age seven, the percentage drops to about 7%. At age 10, the number drops to 5%, which is still a relatively large number of children. So if your child is 10 and still wetting the bed, you are not the only parent dealing with the issue. Experts suggest that making a big deal out of the issue is bad for the child’s self-esteem and could actually delay his or her ability to stay dry during the night.
Five and six year old boys are more likely than girls of the same age to wet the bed. This is especially true when bedwetting is a nightly occurrence. This is a developmental difference not related to the structure of the urinary tract. Urinary incontinence in people over the age of 60 is actually much more likely to affect women.
Bedwetting solutions may be recommended for a child over the age of six or seven who wets the bed regularly. Some guidelines are more specific. They suggest that a diagnosis of primary nocturnal enuresis or PNE may be made when bedwetting occurs more than twice a month after a girl reaches the age of six or a boy reaches the age of seven. Enuresis is the medical term for bedwetting. Nocturnal means at night. The term primary in this case means that a child should be old enough to stay dry all night, but has always had occasional accidents.
The causes that should be ruled out before bed wetting solutions are employed include infection or disease, especially if a child has been potty trained for a considerable length of time and begins to have difficulty during the day or wets at night. When the child has stayed dry all night for six months or more and then reverts to bedwetting, the condition is referred to as secondary nocturnal enuresis. The underlying cause is sometimes emotional stress, but a bladder infection should be ruled out.
One of the bedwetting solutions is an alarm that makes a sound when moisture in the child’s underwear is sensed. The solution is effective for children that are not wakened by the sensation of a full bladder. The alarms also help to train the child to respond to feeling that their bladder is full and eventually he or she can wake without the sound.
Some studies have shown that children using the alarm are 13 times more likely to stay dry throughout the night, but there is a high relapse rate, meaning that if use of the alarm stops, because the child has been able to wake without the alarm, they may begin to wet the bed again and the treatment may need to be repeated.
Whether or not an alarm is used, it is helpful to restrict fluid intake during the hours leading up to bedtime. This should be an obvious solution for parents.
Drugs can be prescribed, but they are not without side effects. Most doctors prefer to try other options before prescribing a drug.
It is possible to manage the situation until the child outgrows it by using absorbent underwear. Although GoodNites might not be something you would think of as bed wetting solutions, they can help the child’s confidence and reduce laundry.