Bedwetting. It’s been an issue in my home and since it’s very common for some children to wet the bed at night, I’m guessing that it could be an issue in yours, too. “Most” children are potty trained between ages 2 and 4. Of course, those of us raising children with Autism and sensory processing disorders might not have even considered tackling potty training until much later.
There are some common causes:
- the bladder is too small
- the nervous system signaling a full bladder isn’t fully developed yet
- constipation adds pressure on the bladder and reduces space
With typically developing children, bedwetting often resolves itself. With kids like mine, there could be something else going on. My daughter requires a lot of extra sensory input to alert her brain that something’s going on with her body. Stressors can play a role, as well. Typical stressors could include changes in the home, at school, or even a slight change in medication. For kids with ASD or other disabilities, sometimes the stress of keeping it all together all day at school can be enough to throw them off.
Once you’ve ruled out other conditions like a urinary tract infection or diabetes, know that there are certainly ways to manage bedwetting.
For your child:
- Try not to make it a big deal. Many kids feel guilt at the prospect of disappointing their parents.
- Let him help change the sheets.
- Explain that it’s not his fault and that other kids wet the bed sometime, too. This will help decrease shame and the stress associated with bedtime.
- Be prepared! Use a waterproof mattress pad on his bed. Place a room freshener in his room or even make your own with baking soda and essential oils. Lay out extra PJs and underwear so they’re ready for your child- especially if you’re alerted to the accident in the middle of the night.
- Limit fluids before bedtime and establish a potty before bed routine.
You can use Birdhouse to track what’s going on around the times of bedwetting. More sleep? Less sleep? Changes in mood? Dietary changes or infractions? In my own home the answer lies with poop. When I see my daughter’s constipation patterns pop up, I can almost always guarantee that there will be accidents. Thankfully, these periods are often temporary. If they’re not temporary, that could just be a sign that your child isn’t ready to sleep without protection just yet. With a little insight and some of the above tips, bedwetting can be manageable.
Do you have any tips to add? Don’t keep them to yourself!