Bed-wetting must be differentiated from the situation where the child's nappy or pant is wet all the time during the day as well as at night. In such a condition your doctor would like to rule out urinary infection, any congenital abnormality of the urinary tract, diabetes or diseases connected with the nervous system.
One needs to worry about bed-wetting only if the child is constantly wetting his bed in sleep after the fourth birthday. Ordinarily, as soon as the bladder of the child aged 3 or more becomes full, he gets signals form the bladder to empty it. In some families, this system takes more time to develop. It is possible that an older child or even the father had a similar history.
Causes: Bed-wetting beyond the age of 4 is possibly due to a delay in the maturation of the nervous system that controls the bladder mechanism-for inherited reasons or otherwise.
However, it is important to take note of the child who has remained dry all through the night for a sufficiently long period and then reverts to bed-wetting. There are usually psychological factors causing such 'accidents'. Examples of these could be sibling rivalry due to the arrival of a new baby, moving to a new house, joining a new school or emotional disturbance because of a problem at home or in school.
Management: A child who wets the bed is not doing it 'to teach you a lesson', nor are you an inefficient parent. The fact is that he cannot control the bladder. Hence, he deserves to be understood rather than punished. The child should not be put to shame for this act in the presence of others, especially his friends. It appears that, in general, development of bladder and bowel control is a maturational process that cannot be accelerated by early onset and high intensity of toilet training.
Drugs may be prescribed by your doctor in resistant cases. Fortunately, most cases can be handled without drugs and with the help of a competent and sympathetic physician.
Source: Book – Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
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