Oops, They Did It Again! Help Your Kids Overcome Bedwetting
Published | 6 min read
Bedwetting can be a very upsetting part of growing up for your child. Follow these tips to help your little one overcome this nocturnal oopsie.
Bedwetting can be very embarrassing for your child. In some cases, it can be so distressing that parents get stressed too! Learn more about bedwetting and how to help your little one get through this part of growing up.
Causes of Bedwetting
Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis is the accidental and involuntary passing of urine during sleep. It is common in young children who are still developing their bladder control. Common and possible causes of bed wetting include:
- Bladder size
:Having a smaller-than-normal bladder.
- Genetics: One or both parents have a history of bedwetting.
- Sleeping habits
:Being a deep sleeper to the point of not waking up to urinate.
- Sleep apnoea
:A condition in which the child’s breathing is interrupted during sleep
:Having low levels of vasopressin hormone, suppressing urine production during sleep. Your doctor may recommend some medications to help with this.
:Consuming diuretic drinks (such as caffeinated or carbonated beverages) before bedtime causes more frequent urination.
l:Chronic constipation can sometimes cause the involuntary passing of urine.
- An underlying condition
:Medical conditions such as a urinary tract infection, abnormal urinary tract structure, or diabetes can impair bladder control.
- Stress or trauma: Increased stress levels caused by recent changes such as moving to a new town, changing schools, divorce, or death in the family.
Steps to Help Your Little One Overcome Bedwetting
Most young children stop bedwetting between three and five years old. Consult your paediatrician if you see unusual symptoms like pain during urination, discoloured urine, or a sudden change in mood. Otherwise, here are some tips to help your little one get through the night.
Assure them that they are loved and safe
Understand that bedwetting is a normal part of childhood. Then, share that understanding with your child. If you have other children, encourage them to be supportive of their siblings.
Make it easier to deal with the leakage
Use a waterproof layer under bedsheets to prevent urine from seeping into the mattress. Involve your child in changing the bedsheets to help them feel a sense of control. However, never do this as punishment. Consider moving your child’s bed closer to the bathroom in case they wake up in time to run to the bathroom.
Avoid drinks near bedtime, especially diuretics
Minimise fluids closer to bedtime. Avoid fizzy or caffeinated drinks, as these are diuretics. Be sure to keep your child sufficiently hydrated throughout the day.
Try a bedwetting alarm
This is a gadget worn by your child with a sounding or vibrating alarm. The sensors will detect moisture in their underwear and trigger the alarm when your child urinates during sleep. The goal is to train them to wake up and finish urinating, eventually avoiding bedwetting altogether.
TCM Views and Remedies on Bedwetting
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a different but complementary view of bedwetting. According to TCM physician Lim Sock Ling, bedwetting in young toddlers is acceptable.
“The most common cause of bedwetting in children is Kidney
Acupuncture, herbal medicine, and tuina massage
Physician Lim shares a study on acupuncture conducted by the Department of Paediatrics of the Affiliated Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine of Capital University of Medical Sciences in Beijing, China. Researchers found acupuncture and herbal medicine effective in treating children with bedwetting and other forms of involuntary urination.
“In a comparison of treatment modalities, the researchers discovered that combining acupuncture with herbal medicine created a synergistic medicinal effect and a higher curative effective rate,” she reveals.
You can work with your TCM practitioner to find the right herbal formulation for your child. Some formulations include the following:
QiDeficiency: Dodder seed powder ( tusi zi, 菟丝子散) or Wu Zi Yan Zong pills (五子衍宗丸)
- Spleen-Lung Qi Deficiency: Bu Zhong Yi Qi soup (补中益气汤) and Suo Quan pills (缩泉丸)
- Damp-Heat in the Liver meridian: Long Dan Xie Gan soup (龙胆泻肝汤)
A study published in 2017 in Pediatrics International looked at 369 children with nocturnal enuresis. It revealed that the TCM herbal formulation Suo Quan combined with the hormonal drug desmopressin worked better than the drug alone to improve the condition.
Bladder control is a skill that young toddlers learn as they mature and leave babyhood. It’s common for bedwetting to occur as they go through this normal transition. Know that it is all part of raising your child to be the wonderful human they are. Fortunately, there are both Western medicine and TCM solutions that you can rely on.
- MyHEALTH, Ministry of Health, Malaysia. 2012. Bedwetting. [online] Available at: <http://www.myhealth.gov.my/en/bedwetting/> [Accessed 20 September 2022]
- Cleveland Clinic. 2019. Bedwetting. [online] Available at: <https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/15075-bedwetting> [Accessed 20 September 2022]
- PositiveParenting.org. 2018. Mummy, I Wet My Bed…. [online] Available at: <https://mypositiveparenting.org/2018/09/28/mummy-i-wet-my-bed/> [20 September 2022]
- Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. 2022. Using a Bed-wetting Alarm. [online] Available at: <https://www.cincinnatichildrens.org/health/u/bedwetting-alarm> [20 September 2022]
- HealthyChildren.org. 2021. Bedwetting: 3 Common Reasons & What Families Can Do. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthychildren.org/English/ages-stages/toddler/toilet-training/Pages/Bedwetting.aspx> [20 September 2022]
- Pediatrics International. 2017. Effect of traditional Chinese and Western Medicine on Nocturnal Enuresis in Children and Its Influencing Factors: A Randomized Controlled Trial. [online] Available at: <https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319624950_Effect_of_traditional_Chinese_and_Western_Medicine_on_Nocturnal_Enuresis_in_Children_and_Its_Influencing_Factors_A_Randomized_Controlled_Trial> [20 September 2022]
- Frontiers in Public Health. 2022. Tuina for Enuresis in Children: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. [online] Available at: <https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2022.821781/full> [20 September 2022]
- HealthCMi. 2014. Acupuncture and Herbs Halt Bedwetting. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthcmi.com/Acupuncture-Continuing-Education-News/1347-acupuncture-and-herbs-halt-bedwetting> [20 September 2022]
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