By the time children are six years old they stop wetting the bed. If a child continues to do it even after the age of six or if the child starts wetting the bed again after a gap of six months or more, it is considered to be a problem. The problem is more common in boys than it is in girls. The main reason behind this is the slow development of that part of the nervous system which controls function of the bladder. Sometimes this developmental delay is passed on in heredity. However, mental stress or an emotional issue such as parents going through a divorce, may make the child wet the bed. A medical condition such as urinary tract infection or diabetes mellitus may also be responsible for bed wetting.
What might be done
The child may already be feeling embarrassed about the fact that he/she is wetting the bed, and if the parents are not supportive, the problem may be aggravated. The parents, therefore, must be patient and should try to understand the problem. They should talk to their child and ask if there is anything that is bothering him/her. Apart from this, he/she should be made to form a habit of going to the toilet before going to bed. Restricting fluid intake before at least two hours of bedtime may also be helpful. If this too doesn’t help, and the problem persists, parents should consider consulting a doctor.
A urine examination is carried out to check for evidence of a urinary tract infection or diabetes melitus. If any one of the two is detected, a treatment for the same will be given. A special nasal spray that contains desmopressin may be prescribed if the child is going out for an overnight picnic or is staying overnight at a friend’s place. This spray helps in controlling the bladder functions. There is another way in which bedwetting can be reduced. A special pad, which is attached to a buzzer is placed on the bed. The pad senses moisture and when he/she starts to pass urine, it triggers the buzzer. This makes wakes up the child and he/she can then get up and go to the toilet. With persistent efforts, patience, and moral support from parents, the child can stop wetting the bed after a point in time.