Read our recent bedwetting blog: When to See the Doctor About Your Child’s Bedwetting
Approximately 10 percent of children who are ten years old continue to intermittently wet the bed at night. In fact, I’ve had 17-year-old patients who complain of intermittent bed-wetting episodes. Most often these patients are socially and physically capable of remaining dry through the night, however their bladders are not quite as mature.
Fortunately, most bed-wetting will improve and cease over time. The goal of treating the condition is to have dry nights. This will allow for less anxiety at sleepovers and, hopefully, help build your child’s self-confidence.
There are several ways to address treatment. The first is to focus on the overall bladder and bowel behavior. It is important to discourage your child from holding their urine until there is an emergency. Regular voiding can help to build healthy bladder function. Also, regular daily bowel movements help to reduce pelvic pressure.
It is important to limit evening fluid intake and reduce fluids that can stimulate the bladder and increase urine production, such as soda. Make sure your child goes to the bathroom at bedtime. This should be a routine done after brushing their teeth.
The reported treatment with the most success is the use of a nighttime wetness alarm. Even though it is reported as an excellent treatment, I’ve found it’s better at waking up parents, the dog and the neighbors than the child who continues to sleep though the night.
I’ve found the best success with using the pill or nasal spray form of DDAVP (desmopressin acetate). This medication works by producing less urine at night and therefore less urine leakage. This medication does not create a dependency and will not delay natural progression to dry nights. It is safe and often very effective.
Parents should always remember that bed-wetting is accidental. The best thing you can do is to be understanding and let your child know you are there to help. Also, be sure to work with your doctor as a team so your child feels secure and gets all the help needed to overcome their nighttime bed-wetting.