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Bedwetting myths debunked

Written by Dr Michael Mol • Online since 15.01.2018 • Filed under Feature • From Sixteen - January to March 2018 page(s) 33-34
Bedwetting myths debunked

Dr Michael Mol, brand ambassador for DryNites® Pyjama Pants, debunks seven common myths about bedwetting to help parents support their affected children.

Bedwetting is a common occurrence. Research has shown that up to 25% of children at the age of four, and an estimated 10% of South African children aged between four and 15, experience bedwetting. Even though bedwetting is common, it is often not spoken about openly because of feelings of embarrassment. This embarrassment and a lack of communication has contributed to many myths surrounding bedwetting.

Myth 1: Bedwetting is caused by drinking too much fluid before bedtime

This is not true. The medical term for bedwetting is Nocturnal Enuresis, which means the involuntary discharge of urine after the age at which bladder control should have been established. The word to take note of is involuntary, which means that the child does not know that they are wetting the bed. There can be numerous reasons for bedwetting. In most cases it’s linked to delays in physiological development. Children are unique, with each developing at a different pace. It could also stem from being in a very deep sleep or a bowel issue such as constipation. It is suggested that you limit your child’s intake of sugary or caffeinated drinks a couple of hours before bedtime but that they should always be allowed to drink water as this doesn’t affect whether or not your child will wet the bed.

Myth 2: Using an absorbent product enables bedwetting

Bedwetting products, such as DryNites® Pyjama Pants, have been shown to improve sleep quality, boost confidence and reduce stress, which can be a causational factor in bedwetting, because it makes wetting the bed less of a big deal. DryNites® Pyjama Pants also give your child some control over the situation, especially if they have reached sleep over age.

Myth 3: If your child is properly toilet trained, they shouldn’t be wetting the bed

If your child wets the bed it doesn’t mean that they haven’t been properly toilet trained. Urine control during the day is completely different to what goes on when your child is sleeping. In most cases it will rectify itself in time and is nothing to worry about. Never blame yourself or think that you didn’t finish the job properly when you were toilet training.

Myth 4: Children wet the bed when they are too lazy to go to the bathroom

This is false and, if believed, could lead parents to blame their child for wetting the bed, which will only exacerbate the problem. There are several reasons why your child may be wetting the bed. These are the most common problems associated with bedwetting:

• Delay in bladder reflex development, meaning your child’s bladder is not signalling the brain to wake up

• Their body may not be producing enough anti-diuretic hormone, which slows down urine production at night, so we don’t have to wake up as much

• A delay in bladder development can result in lower bladder capacity

Myth 5: Punishing your child for wetting the bed will help their progress

Remember that your child has no control over the situation and probably feels incredibly bad about it. Being punished for something they can’t help will only cause self-esteem to decrease and stress to increase. The best thing a parent can do for their child in this situation is to remain calm and supportive while helping him to manage his bedwetting. Understanding the problem goes a long way in terms of maintaining his confidence levels.

Myth 6: Bedwetting is a sign of psychological problems or anti-social tendencies

There is no evidence suggesting that primary bedwetting has anything to do with psychological issues. It is true that if your child begins wetting the bed after a period of six months or more of being dry at night (secondary bedwetting), it could be due to stress or an emotional issue, such as grief. If this is the case, then you should talk to your child about what’s on his mind and flag the issue with your GP, play therapist or psychologist.

Myth 7: Waking your child in the middle of the night for a bathroom visit will end bedwetting

It is common practice for parents to wake their children in the middle of the night and encourage them to use the bathroom to prevent bedwetting. This is often referred to as ‘lifting’ and can seem like a good strategy if it helps keep the sheets dry. The reality is that this will not improve your child’s bladder control and could frustrate them, especially if they don’t need to urinate when you wake them up. If your child is over five years old it may also cause him to feel discouraged, which will have a negative effect on his self-esteem.

DryNites® Pyjama Pants are a discreet, comfortable and absorbent form of bedtime protection. They can be worn under pyjamas or a nighty, and come in designs suitable for age and gender to make them look and feel just like underwear. DryNites® Pyjama Pants are available for boys and girls and come in two sizes, 4-7 years and 8-15 years. These products have trusted absorbency and leakage protection to ensure a good night’s rest. And, because they’re discreet and underwear-like, children can feel more confident and independent at bedtime, either at home or on nights away. DryNites® Pyjama Pants allow your child to sleep on their usual sheets to ensure that both you and your child enjoy a much better night’s sleep.

For more information about DryNites® Pyjama Pants, or to ask Dr Mol a personal question, or to request a free sample, visit www.drynites.co.za.

Sixteen - January to March 2018

Sixteen - January to March 2018

This article was featured on page 33-34 of Babys and Beyond Sixteen - January to March 2018 .

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