As parents, most of us go through endless nights of one (or all!) of our kids waking us up, needing their sheets changed, a quick bath and fresh PJs. Bed wetting is common in children and is due to several factors. A main factor is that children sleep so deeply and simply don't wake up. The habit of waking up to go to the bathroom is one that takes a long time to train. And nocturnal training takes the longest, especially in boys.
So if your child is 4, 5 or even 6 and still needs to wear a nighttime pullup - don't despair. Nocturnal continence training can take up to 6 years in a child without the need for intervention.
There can also be emotional reasons for bed-wetting in children. Stress, sadness or abuse can cause a child to wet his or her bed. Invention is needed, in this respect.
And a child should never be made to feel silly, lazy or bad for wetting a bed. Punishment is not appropriate. Bullying a child will not help him achieve continence; it'll do the opposite, and will also create other emotional problems that can last into adulthood.
But bed-wetting is also an adult problem (known as Enuresis) that is not spoken about very much. Because we associate it so closely with babies and children, many adults are simply too embarrassed to tell their doctors that they wet their beds. Adults may instead use rubber sheets, wear adult diapers or suffer in silence or wake up to wet sheets and embarrassing discomfort and just pray it goes away.
Night time incontinence can have it's roots in many areas. It could be neurological or due to something like diabetes or sleep apnea. In men, it could be a problem with the prostate and in women it could be due to pregnancies and childbirth. With some, the problems can be carried over from childhood or can be due to emotional, physical or sexual abuse. Others put it down to one of the symptoms of aging but this is not necessarily so and there ARE treatments for adult bed-wetting.
Medication can help - as can more natural resources. Limiting evening fluids, limiting alcohol, Kegel exercises, or using an alarm clock to get up once a night can help retrain the body. There are also special pants that can be worn discreetly, as well as special sheets.
Doctors talk with patients regularly about night time incontinence. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and you will probably not be the first time they have heard it - that day!
There are options - talk to your doctor is this is a problem for you. Adult bed-wetting is not something that someone just has to live with - nor is it shameful.
The Simon Foundation is an organization dedicated to the research of incontinence, removing the stigma of incontinence issues, and offers support and outreach. You can reach them here : www.simonfoundation.org
Have you, or someone you know, had to deal with adult incontinence? How did you (or they) cope?
All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.