|Bed wetting or nocturnal enuresis is the uncontrolled passing of urine at night at an age when control is expected.|
A three year old should have control of urination during the day and should generally be dry day and night by the age of four. Bed wetting becomes less common as the years go by. However, even up to the age of fifteen you do have the occasional case of nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting.
Even though it can be a worry, you should not show concern nor convey this concern to the child until the age of five is reached. Even then the emphasis is on giving the child reassurance and support rather than adding to his or her worries by showing undue concern.
Enuresis day or night can be due to rare genetic defects or to disease affecting the urinary tract. Your doctor will be able to see if these are the cause.
Boys suffer from bed wetting more than girls and often it is the first born child in a stressful home environment. Deep sleepers are thought to suffer more from bed wetting. However, this factor is controversial. Bed wetting does run in families so that if this is the case then a more confident attitude can be adopted and conveyed to the child that the condition will eventually clear up just as it did in the case of the parent.
Treatment involves first of all a caring and reassuring attitude. Under no circumstances should the child be allowed to lie in a wet bed. The bed clothes should be changed with a minimum of fuss and the child allowed to go back to sleep without mention of punishment. Rewards perhaps but no punishment.
Large amounts of fluid should not be drunk before bed but fluid restriction doesnít help. Some parents do find that getting the sleeping child up to the toilet before they retire can encourage a dry night, others donít. Hopefully, the child will get into a dry pattern before long and this waking up procedure will not be necessary.
There are buzzer alarms where the child sleeps on an electric pad which raises the alarm at the first drop of urine. This should condition the child to wake up immediately and gradually dryness is achieved in a large percentage of cases.
Patience should be shown until control is achieved. This usually occurs at least by the end of the 4th month, if not earlier.
Your doctor should be able to arrange for you to hire this equipment and is also in a position to refer you to a paediatrician who specialises in such problems so that you get expert help.
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