Bed-wetting in older children
Bed-wetting in older children is more common than most people think. In fact, around 5% of 10 year-olds and 2% of 15 year-olds wake up in a wet bed on a regular basis. Sadly, the older the child, the more likely they are to suffer the negative effects of bed-wetting, such as:
- Shame and embarrassment
- Poor self-esteem
- Social isolation - they avoid staying at their mates' places and going on school trips
- Fear of being exposed as a bed-wetter and the teasing and bullying that may result
Your bed-wetting child or teen needs your love and understanding
Be kind. Medical experts agree that the worst thing a parent can do is give their child a hard time for wetting the bed. Like any distressing condition or situation, bed-wetting requires patience and reassurance, not punishment or shaming.
Respect your child's privacy and dignity. There's no need for your friends or workmates or even grandparents to know there's a bed-wetting problem in your family.
Gain insight by searching for and reading some of the online forums about bed-wetting in older children. Posts by sufferers give you a very clear picture of how stressful the problem can be for older children.
Learn about the causes of bed-wetting and check if any of these apply to your child.
Look for answers. There are lots of bed-wetting solutions out there, including bed-wetting alarms, DryNites Pyjama Pants and bed-wetting bed pads.
See your GP to rule out any medical conditions that may be causing the problem.
Managing bed-wetting in older children and teenagers
- Protect your child or teen's mattress with a waterproof cover
- Place towels or other absorbent material between the waterproof cover and the bottom sheet
- Use a blanket that can go straight into the washing machine and dries quickly. For now, avoid a feather or wool blanket
- Don't use an electric blanket
- Stash clean pyjamas, and sheets in your child's room so there can be quick and easy changes during the night
- Got a trundle bed or spare bed at your place? Make it up (including a waterproof sheet) so your child can jump straight into it after a bedwetting accident
- Allow your child to manage the clean-up themselves if it makes them feel better. That includes stripping and remaking the bed, and operating the washing machine. Some older children don't want Mum or Dad fussing over them.
However you end up dealing with bed-wetting in older children and teenagers, remember that this is a difficult time for them and ensure that you're always patient and understanding.
DryNites.co.nz also shares stories by parents of bed-wetting teens, and has information about the differences between boys and girls. Take a look if you need more assistance on this issue.
DryNites website specialises in bed-wetting and understands how difficult this time can be for both parents and children. Check out the website for more information on enuresis, self-esteem in children and read others bed-wetting stories.