Few children are totally dry at night before the age of three because the development of bladder function control is one of the slower processes, and it’s not uncommon for children to still be bed-wetting up to the age of seven or eight.
When should you be concerned about your child bedwetting?
The short answer to that is never! Because if you’re concerned, then you will pass it on to your child, and they may start to think there’s something wrong with them, in which case, the bedwetting may either worsen or continue.
Research shows that bedwetting (also known as enuresis) beyond the age of seven is more common than we’re aware of, and this is probably because most families will keep it ‘secret’ because they view it as shameful or embarrassing, and are worried that their child might be teased or bullied.
What’s the best course of action?
* Remain relaxed and calm within yourself, and take on the attitude that there’s nothing wrong with your child.
* TALK with your child. Far better to talk openly about the situation rather than pretend it’s not happening.
* Gently explain that bedwetting is quite NORMAL and you know they will very soon have DRY beds. This is important, as the subconscious mind always stores the words we use, so the more you use ‘wet beds’ or ‘bedwetting’, the more you are emphasising there is a problem, and the longer it may continue.
* Reassure your child that you know they are not doing it on purpose and there is NOTHING WRONG WITH THEM. Use of words such as ‘Safe and Secure’ and constantly telling them you love them is important.
* Ask if there is anything they are worried about? Talk about what’s going on at school and if there are any problems there, either with other kids or perhaps a teacher. It may take time for them to open up to you, and if you have reason to believe there may be something they’re not telling you, find someone else who you know your child trusts – perhaps a grandparent or aunt or uncle – and ask them to have an informal chat.
* Kids like to talk when they’re doing something else, like going for a walk, or doing a puzzle, so talking whilst doing a shared activity can be more productive than putting them on the spot.
* If something shows up because of talking, then do take it seriously. What may be a very small fear or concern to an adult can be enormous to a young child.
* If you have reason to believe there may be an underlying physical cause that is treatable, then you should visit your GP. However, please do reassure your child that you are doing this just to make absolutely sure there isn’t anything like an infection that may be causing them difficulties with bladder control.
* Assuming no infection or treatable cause is found, PRAISE your child, and say ‘Isn’t it wonderful, because now we know (just like I’ve always said to you), THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU! So now we can work together to help you to have DRY BEDS EVERY NIGHT’.
* Adopt a pragmatic approach and recognise that it may take time, patience and a lot of loving care to help your child.
Practical steps you can take for Bedwetting
* Put a waterproof sheet on the bed, preferably a fitted sheet to avoid slippage or seepage.
* Always have dry, clean bed linen to hand so you can whisk of the sodden linen and replace it with the minimum of fuss.
* Make sure your child urinates just before getting into bed.
* If you are able to do so, pick your child up around midnight (even if it means using an alarm to wake yourself) and carry them into the bathroom. They probably won’t completely wake, but with your encouragement, they will urinate again and you can then return them safely to bed. Keep your voice soft and encouraging whilst doing this.
* Once this routine is established, you can slowly delay the toilet trip by around 15 minutes a week, so the time between going to bed and using the toilet gradually increases.
* PRAISE your child every time they have a DRY BED in the morning.
* PRAISE your child every time they don’t have a dry bed by telling them they are doing really well and you know they will very soon have a DRY BED!
* Enuresis alarms can help some children but are not a cure-all. If your child likes the idea and is willing to give it a try, then give it a go.
* Avoid prescription medication if you can, unless there is a treatable cause. All medication has side-effects and provides only temporary relief.
My Child is still Bedwetting – what now?
Hypnotherapy for bedwetting in children (also Adults) has been shown to be very successful.
There are many hypnotherapists who are trained to work with children. Kids love being hypnotised and are wonderful subjects, responding very quickly to the suggestions given to them whilst in hypnosis. The number of sessions will vary, as every child is unique, but normally around 3-4 sessions should suffice.
Your child will be more calm, relaxed and confident after enjoying a few sessions of hypnotherapy. The results may come immediately or they may occur gradually, once the child is empowered with the knowledge that THEY ARE IN CONTROL.
Niki Cassar DCH DHP MAPHP(ACC)
Hypnotherapist & Past Life Regressionist – London and Surrey