Bedwetting: everything you need to know
What is bedwetting? If a child is the age at which he/she should have good control over the bladder, but still wets the bed, we call that bedwetting. In practice, this happens in children from five and six years old.
Bedwetting occurs in many children and is not as extraordinary as you might think. About 20% of children around six years old suffer from it. Because it is often not talked about much, children (and parents) get the impression that they are on their own. We will change that! We consider the question ‘what is bedwetting’ to be something of the past, and quickly.
Why do children pee the bed?
Specialists are not yet exactly sure why one child wets the bed and the other child does not. The processes behind putting an end to peeing in bed are not yet completely figured out either. We do know that bedwetting is a natural part of the development whereby the body gets to know itself better and better. Little by little, the body gets better control of the bladder and the brain learns better to recognize messages from a full bladder.
Since bedwetting can be passed down genetically, you will see that certain families are more affected than others. If both parents have suffered from bedwetting in the past, there is a 77% chance that the child will suffer from it too!
How do you deal with bedwetting?
It is important to realize that you are not alone! Every night millions of children suffer from bedwetting. Children often feel guilty and powerless. It is important that you explain to your child that this happens to a lot of children and that it will pass. By being able to answer the question ‘what is bedwetting’ in a proper way, you can also clearly tell your child that he or she is not alone.
In many cases your little one finds it difficult to go out for a sleepover because there is a chance that other children will notice that he or she peed the bed. This is very normal and depending on your child, you can determine whether you want to give a little nudge forward or leave it for now.
If your child has an accident in the evening, it is important not to get angry or frustrated. In almost all cases, the child is unable to do much about the situation. However, you can ask your child to help change the bed so that he or she becomes more aware of the consequences. Make it absolutely clear that it is not a punishment, but that this just happens to be part of the process!