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Remedies for Nightly Bedwetting

Nightly bedwetting can be a long, frustrating battle between parents and their children. Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is the involuntary release of urine and occurs because of many underlying conditions.

While some situations require external support, however, there are a few strategies that can be tried at home. Read below for a few of our strategies that can make a big difference in how you assist your child in beating bed-wetting.

1) Diet: Some foods and beverages irritate the bladder, resulting in it emptying frequently. Here are a few examples:

  • Oranges

  • Grapefruits

  • Tomatoes

  • Spicy foods

Being acidic in nature, these foods irritate the bladder. Surprisingly, milk can also increase urinary urgency and frequency when consumed in large amounts. Changing your child’s diet, especially during their last meal of the day, can make a huge difference in how their bladder responds overnight.

2) Drinking: While it is important for your growing children to stay hydrated, try to avoid drinking before bed. It is recommended to not have a drink >3 hours before bedtime. Children sometimes ask for a drink right before bed as an excuse to spend more time together, however it is better to try reading a short book rather than drink in order to get the time together and to avoid filling the bladder.

3) Water Intake: It is best for your child to drink water throughout the entire day verses all at once. This helps maintain bladder homeostasis of regular filling and emptying. This can also help your child get into a toileting routine. A good way to help make sure your child is drinking enough water is to have water easily available. Sometimes using a fun cut/bottle or straw can help increase water drinking throughout the day.

4) Bathroom Routine: Going to the bathroom regularly helps keep the bladder healthy. Many times, our kiddos don't like going to the bathroom and will try to hold their urine which can lead to bladder leaks. If you are able to initiate a bathroom schedule like after waking up, before lunch, before dinner, and then before bedtime. This will help keep the bladder on a schedule and hopefully avoid leaks in the middle of the night.

We hope that with these tips you’ll be on your way to fewer mornings with wet sheets. Of course, there may be instances where your child will need external assistance. In these cases, physical and occupational therapy can assist in creating a treatment plan with a focus on sensory integration, pelvic floor strength/coordination, and bathroom routine training. If you feel this is your child, reach out to your child's doctor and see how therapy can help you!

*Pictures courtesy of Shutterstock and Unsplash.

Blog written by Dr. Jordan Anderson, PT, DPT


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