Between the ages 3 and 4, about 75% of children no longer wet the bed at night (bedwetting), but 25% of them still do, while some do it even during the day. The professional term for this accidental bedwetting is enuresis. A child who is bedwetting since birth has primary enuresis. Secondary enuresis is s term for a condition in which a child, who has learned how to control the bladder, starts bedwetting.
The cause of enuresis, especially secondary, can be psychic, e.g. stress created by the birth of a new child or separation from the mother. In a small number of cases, the discomfort may be due to some illness, infections such as spina bifida (one of the symptoms of this disease is urinary incontinence) or a diabetes, which is characterized by permanent thirst. But, in most cases, the cause of bedwetting is unknown.
Enuresis is often hereditary and can last for many years. This discomfort is somewhat more common in boys.
What to do?
At some time at night, wake up your baby to give him or her a chance to go to the toilet. If, after a few weeks, this measure has no effect and your baby still wet at night, contact your doctor to exclude the possibility of some illness. The doctor will take a sample of urine for analysis and – in rare cases – refer the child to further examination.
How you approach your child is also important. Praise your child if he did not wet his bad at night and encourage him to count the nights when he stayed dry. Never swear or punish a child, or count nights when he wet his bed. This can deeply hurt him.
If a child is seven or more years old, a doctor or pediatrician may advise you to use an alarm device that sounds loud and awakes him as soon as drops a bit of urine onto the bed. This, after some time, helps children as they will wake up whenever they need to urinate. Acupuncture helps relatively often. Regardless of the underlying cause and the measures taken, the problem almost always disappears before adolescence.