Knowledge Can Help Lead To Dry Nights
Nocturnal enuresis describes children who consistently wet the bed, as opposed to the other forms of bedwetting, including secondary enuresis (which is when a child has not wet the bed for at least six months and then begins bedwetting again).
Bedwetting is much more common than you might think. In fact, up to 20% of five year olds and up to 5% of ten year olds wet the bed. Around 97% of children have grown out of bedwetting by the age of 12, so most cases are nothing to worry about and simply require some love and support.
The most common cause of bedwetting is usually common bladder development delays which will usually fix itself over time.
What Are Primary And Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis?
What Causes Nocturnal Enuresis?
- Neurological development delay: If your child’s nervous system is still developing, the bladder may not be able to signal the brain to wake up for a bathroom visit.
- Genetics: There is a 75% chance that the child of two parents who wet the bed as children will experience bedwetting. This decreases to 40% if it’s just one parent, and 15% if neither parent experienced bedwetting.
- Under-production of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH): ADH is a hormone that regulates urine production while we sleep. Some children do not produce enough ADH, which causes their bladders to become full during the night.
- Small bladder capacity: Sometimes a delay in bladder development can result in low capacity and cause the need to urinate during the night.
How To Manage Nocturnal Enuresis?
- Explain to your child that bedwetting is very common and something that they’ll eventually grow out of.
- If they’re old enough to use the internet, help them look up bedwetting causes and ways to manage it – being informed and seeing the information for themselves can help them feel more in control of the situation.
- Never punish your child for wetting the bed, as no child is doing this on purpose. Punishing them can lead to greater feelings of shame, anxiety, and confusion.
What Causes Secondary Enuresis?
- Urinary tract infection (UTI): UTIs can cause frequent urination and/or the need to urinate urgently in the sufferer. A urine test can be used to identify an infection, and then can usually be treated with antibiotics.
- Diabetes: Frequent urination is a symptom of type 1 diabetes. Talk to your doctor and they will be able to run a test to see if this is the cause.
- Neurological abnormalities: Even the smallest imbalance in the nervous system can cause secondary enuresis.
- Constipation: Blockages in the rectum can reduce the bladders capacity by putting pressure on it.
- Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA): OSA can cause increased nighttime urine production, leading to secondary enuresis.
- Emotional stress: Big changes in a child’s life can cause emotional stress, which is a common trigger for bedwetting.
What To Do If Your Child Is Suffering From Secondary Enuresis?
- Talk to your child and discuss anything that has changed when the bedwetting started again. Write down everything that you all have thought of and have a discussion with your child and their doctor.
- Note whether your child is displaying any other sign of stress, such as irritability, headaches, outbursts or tantrums which are out of character, crying, or social withdrawal.
- If you do think it could be a medical issue, you should visit a doctor as soon as possible and discuss the required tests with your doctor. Even if you strongly think it’s a psychological cause, it can still be good to rule out any potential medical issues.
Secondary Enuresis Treatment
Bedwetting caused by emotional stress can sometimes be tougher to deal with and might require setting up an appointment with a counselor or therapist for your child. Less traumatic emotional triggers, such as anxiety about a school exam or moving houses, generally fix themselves over time, but it’s always important to be supportive and try to help ease their anxiety.
You should always consult your child’s doctor for guidance on how to treat secondary enuresis.
- Goodnites® Nighttime Underwear: These absorbent underwear are designed specifically for bedwetting and provide more protection than the leading training pants while being discreet.
- Mattress protector: A good mattress protector is a smart investment while your child is going through bedwetting.
- Goodnites® bedwetting mats: Absorbent bedwetting mats add an extra layer of protection to decrease the number of sheet changes and are a good option to consider if your child’s bedwetting has become less frequent and they don’t wear nighttime underwear every night.
- Night light: A night light can help your child make the bathroom trip at night and decrease the number of bedwetting incidents.