Proven and Safe Bedwetting Treatments
This can be a stressful and worrisome time for the whole family. Wondering if your child is ok or if there is a medical issue you need to be concerned about. These feelings are common despite the low number of families talking about their struggles. There are 5 to 7 million kids in the U.S. struggling with this right now. You are not alone and there are solutions. Below are the top bedwetting treatments you can do at home that are safe and proven to be extremely effective.
Your course of action might depend on how old your child is, how much it peeing the bed bothers them and if there are any medical concerns. There are NO cures for urinary incontinence only treatments that can help shorten the length of time your child wets the bed.
Bedwetting Treatment Options
These are very effective when used correctly. Bedwetting alarms are the first place to start your child’s journey towards dry nights. There are several types of bedwetting alarms, the best of which we have reviewed for you.
Bedwetting alarm mats are a cordless option in which the child lies on top of it and the alarm will sound or vibrate upon detecting moisture.
Clip-on alarms are attached to your child’s shirt or pants and then a wire clips to the underwear. When moisture is detected, the alarm will sound or vibrate waking the child up.
Both types of alarms are very sensitive and will go off at the slightest amount of wetness, waking your child and stopping the urine stream.
In some cases, the child may sleep so deeply that they don’t hear the alarm. You may need to come in and help them wake up fully and get to the bathroom.
With some alarm models, you can adjust the tones and volume so the child doesn’t get used to the sound and stop waking up.
When using alarms at night, it is helpful to layout extra sheets, blankets, underwear and pajamas they can easily change while you fix the bed back up.
Or, you can make the bed in layers. Put a mattress pad down first, then a top sheet, then another mattress pad followed by another top sheet and so on. This way when your child wets the bed in the middle of the night, all you have to do is to rip off the top layer while they change.
• Nighttime bladder charts
Starting 1 hour after your child falls asleep. Go in and check for wetness. Do this every hour throughout the night and write down what time of night or early morning your child is peeing the bed.
Most bedwetting occurs during the first two hours or the last two hours of sleep. This is a difficult task and losing sleep is hard, but it is a short amount of time (typically 1-2 weeks) and is helpful information for the doctor when you choose to make an appointment.
• Limit the amount of liquid they have before bedtime
This seem obvious I’m sure but it can be hard with older children that might be involved in sports later in the evening. Do your very best. Just be sure they get plenty of water throughout the day. In addition, avoid all caffeinated drinks at any time of the day as caffeine stimulates the bladder.
• Miralax to cure constipation
Consult your doctor first, but using Miralax or Natural Calm to clear up any constipation issues can also fix urinary incontinence.
Having too much poop in the rectum can reduce the bladder capacity and can interfere with normal bladder functions. Refer to Dr. Hodges book for this treatment plan.
• Develop a reward chart or system
A reward (even just a sticker) can go a long way in building confidence in your child. Just remember to not punish or shame your child when they are wet. This can cause stress and low self-esteem ultimately making the problem worse.
As a last resort, your doctor might suggest medicine. However, these medications are only used sparingly (sleepover or outdoor camps) and rarely do they help in the long term. Keep in mind they don’t always work as in our personal family case, so test it out at home first.
Imipramine, an antidepressant relaxes the bladder. Desmopressin mimics the release of a hormone that tells the kidneys to produce less urine at night. Ditropan may reduce bladder contractions and increase its capacity to hold urine through the night.
• Wearing a moisture watch to encourage using the bathroom often during the day
Have your kid use the bathroom at least every two hours throughout the day if not more. A watch is very useful for kids who are busy at school and forget, or who are prone to holding their pee too long.
With these discreet watches, you can set up to 8 different alarms to either sound or vibrate at any interval you please. Start with every 45 minutes to 1 hour and work your way up to every 2 hours.
You can speak with your child’s teacher if needed to let them know they need to use the bathroom whenever they please.
This isn’t really a bedwetting treatment, but instead an option when you need a break. Pull-Ups can save you loads of money on detergent, water and cleaning the mattress but they can also be a crutch for your child. Sometimes knowing they have a backup just in case they wet, might enable them to not try as hard to stay dry.
However, we get it. And if you kid is still bedwetting at age 10 for example, and you are DONE washing sheets every night, putting them back in Pull-Ups for a time is a good break for everyone. When you are ready, begin a new treatment option from the list above.
• Physical Therapy
Pelvic muscle exercises including kegels and “start and stop” peeing can be very effective for bladder control.
Biofeedback is also an option your doctor might recommend that helps to retrain the necessary muscles to work together and in the correct order.
This might include incorporating simple bladder training. Training the child to go to the bathroom every two hours during the day is important. Potty reminder watches are very helpful in this case.
Bedwetting Treatments to Avoid
• Waking your child at night
This does not help your child learn to wake up naturally by recognizing the urge to go. Chances are, they will not remember you woke them up in the first place. However, if you are working on a time chart for your doctor during a 1 or 2-week period this is necessary, but not a long-term solution.
• Punishing your child
This is not an effective method as they are not peeing the bed on purpose. They don’t know why they can’t wake up at night and it is not their fault. Keeping your cool in the middle of the night can be difficult, but try to put yourself in their shoes. Think about how you would feel if you were punished for doing something you had no control over.
Other Urinary Incontinence Treatment Options
• Bedwetting Hypnosis
• Chiropractic Therapy
• Herbal Therapy
Whatever method you choose, be sure to give it plenty of time. You might start to see dramatic results right away if you’re lucky, but a reasonable timeframe for improvement is 3-5 months.
Stay positive and try not to get discouraged if something isn’t working. If your child is still bedwetting at age 11, know that this is ok and they might not be fully developed yet. (Our child is 12, and we still use an alarm every night.) In most cases, nocturnal enuresis eases up with age and development all on its own. You got this!