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Understanding & Managing Bedwetting in Older Children

Bedwetting in older children is quite common.

While not usually related to serious medical conditions, it can cause significant emotional upsets. Find out how as a parent you can help your child manage their bedwetting.

Bedwetting in older children is called enuresis, and it’s more common than you think! It affects around 3% of children over the age of six and is more common in boys than in girls. Bedwetting in older children can be broken down into two types; primary and secondary enuresis.

Primary enuresis is when a child has never been dry at night, while secondary enuresis is when bedwetting begins after the child has been dry for at least six months at night.

As a parent, it can be very concerning to us that our child has begun to wet the bed again or is still wetting the bed at night. However, before you freak out, it’s not usually related to any serious medical conditions. Instead, bedwetting is often due to 3 things:

  1. Your child makes a large quantity of urine at night

  2. Your child has a small bladder or a bladder which contracts a lot at night

  3. Your child is a heavy sleeper and doesn’t wake up when they have a full bladder

Today we’re going to share with you some ways you can manage bedwetting in an older child and where you can get extra help if needed.

Tips on Managing Bedwetting in Older Children
An older child who wets the bed can be very embarrassed by what they’ve done. As a parent, it’s our job to make sure that they feel supported and that they know that you’re there to help them.

If you’re at all concerned, you’re best to have a chat with your doctor first and follow any advice they give. Some other tips to consider on managing bedwetting in older children include:

  • Reminding your child to go to the toilet before bed. 
  • Encouraging them to drink lots of water throughout the day. 
  • Consider using bedwetting alarms

  • Providing extra absorbent underwear or pull-ups

  • Limiting the amount they drink right before bed, especially drinks containing caffeine

  • Use a waterproof mattress cover

  • Keep extra clothes and sheets close by for night time changes

It’s also important to recognise that an older child who still wets the bed may have high levels of anxiety. It may be necessary to seek professional help to assist them in managing this anxiety.

At home, spend time talking with your child about their feelings on bedwetting, and you could also try using essential oils as part of the bedtime routine to reduce their anxiety levels.

If you are the parent of an older child who wets the bed, you’re not alone. Please join our Facebook support group to reach out and find other parents who have similar issues and to be able to give and receive support to each other.

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