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BED-WETTING or ENURESIS is not always as difficult to solve as we imagine. Remember that though most kids master dry nights by 5 years, some kids take upto 6 or even 7 years. Bed-wetting is considered a PROBLEM only if it shows after 7 years of the child's life. It has a LOT to do with how much time, emotional attention and consistency surrounding adults are giving the child.
It is definitely not about your child being stubborn or lazy. Kids don't wake up from sleep because they have burnt up all their energy and/or are in deep sleep, which is such a great sign! Why would we want to change that? Hence, no more judging or criticizing your child. No child loves to be spanked, screamed at, punished, woken from sleep or have a wet cloth on their skin. They don't do it to be difficult, they do it because they have a genuine problem.
Kids have either Biological or Emotional reasons for Bed-wetting or a combination of both. Your answers lie in understanding the problem. Once you have ruled out other factors and understood the REAL REASON, make the changes to eradicate that reason.
1. Bladder control, small bladder, inf lammed bladder or urine infection.
2. Constipation, digestive problems, food allergies. Get these 2 points checked by your pediatrician or general physician.
3. Drinking any liquids or EATING a meal within an hour of sleeping. No water before sleeping. Keep an alarm one hour before sleeping to remind them to drink water.
4. Inconsistency from the parent in developing good toilet habits. You want to ensure that the child has a REGULAR eating, sleeping and toilet routine. Even erratic sleep or wake times can cause bed-wetting. More so, kids that are not reminded to go pee before bed DAILY, have higher chances of accidents. If you are too busy with your meetings, outings or too tired to implement this, it is definitely not the child's problem.
5. Sudden or premature transition from diapers or pull ups to none. No SHOCKERS please. Keep it slow and steady. Remember to transition only when the child has MASTERED the previous stage. Only when your child is great with peeing in the toilet seat each time during the day, can you introduce no diapers at night. Once the day habit is mastered, start with no diaper for one hour of sleeping. Keep the same one hour each night. After ONE SUCCESSFUL WEEK, move that to 2 or 3 hours. After another successful week, go to 5 hours and so on.
Hence, the alarm at night would be for you, not for the child. I personally, do not advocate alarm units. Rather just wake the child and let them sleep walk while you hold them than have something go off on their body or ears!
PSYCHOLOGICAL FACTORS: Emotional stress as caused by -
1. A stressful home: Arguments at home, bitterness hanging around at home, highly critical parents or adults create emotional distress. The child cannot overpower the parents or do anything about the discord amongst adults at home, hence the child 'RELEASES' that at night.
2. Life-Changes: Major life changes can cause unconscious emotional stress. Some examples are: new sibling, a new family member staying or someone leaving, death in the family, changes in the family dynamics like stay at home mom working or financial changes, etc.
3. School Demands: Difficult subjects, difficult teachers or peers can cause fear and stress which are suppressed. Suppressed feelings are best released during 'sleep' and so it comes out that way.
4. Abuse: Is your child being physically, EMOTIONAL or sexually abused in any way? Even unpleasant, forceful 'hand shakes' or hugs are considered harassment. One immediate sign of abuse can be that the child who normally was okay talking about his or her body and private parts with you, no more feels okay or complains consistently about pain while going to the bathroom, etc.
Emotional abuse is being around highly 'demanding' and / or 'critical' people which can include behaviors like harsh punishment, taunts, aggressive speech, blackmailing, criticizing, shaming, etc.
If you are SURE of emotional stress and reasons, I recommend visiting a CHILD PSYCHOLOGIST and appropriate social support. Know who your child's friends are, how the teachers are and the overall environment your child is in while she or he is away from you.
Hope this helps.