Seven to ten percent of kids may continue to wet the bed all the way to the age of 7. Three percent of boys and two percent of girls still wet the bed at age 10.
But sometimes, kids – most commonly boys – can continue to wet the bed right up to the age of 12 and beyond. That can be very embarrassing for the child and frustrating for parents.
However, both should take comfort in knowing that it is a well-documented issue, known as enuresis, for which there are treatment options.
Causes of Enuresis
Doctors aren’t entirely sure why some people wet the bed beyond the typical age or why it mostly occurs in males. Some theories blame:
- A deficiency of the anti-diuretic hormone that tells the body to produce less urine at night.
- A small bladder
- Frequent urinary tract infections
- Deep sleep patterns that prevent waking up when it’s time to urinate.
- Excess caffeine consumption
A doctor can evaluate your child’s case and take into account factors such as those above to decide if your child has enuresis.
There are currently no medications on the market that work to cure bedwetting entirely.
There are hormonal treatments and bladder relaxers used to treat other conditions that can be of temporary use, but they are typically not recommended by doctors, especially in light of the positive prognosis many natural bedwetting remedies and solutions have.
Natural Treatment for Bedwetting
#1 – Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, traditionally known as amla, is an ancient remedy for bedwetting.
A mixture of two crushed Indian gooseberries, one tablespoon of honey and a pinch of turmeric should help your child’s body regulate his or her urination.
You can also give your child one teaspoon of the pulp from an Indian gooseberry mixed with a pinch of black pepper powder.
#2 – Cranberry Juice
If your doctor determines that your child’s enuresis is due to frequent urinary tract infections, cranberry juice can be a major help.
Cranberry juice works to prevent bacteria from developing into a urinary tract infection.
You’ll want to avoid the high-sugar options. Stick to natural, unsweetened cranberry juice. Mix it with honey to taste.
Some parents have found that cranberry juice also works even when bedwetting is not caused by a urinary tract infection. It’s unclear why this may be the case.
#3 – Avoid Certain Foods & Liquids
There are certain foods and drinks that irritate the bladder and can provoke bedwetting. These foods are known as diuretics, meaning they make people urinate more often.
These foods include:
- Chili Peppers
Have your child avoid these foods and drinks as the end of the day approaches.
#4 – Bladder Retraining
Walid Farhat, staff urologist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, says that behavioral modification and retraining works 75% of the time for kids who wet the bed frequently.
During the day, have your child take bathroom breaks roughly every two hours. Farhat says to think of it as physiotherapy for your child’s bladder.
Consider getting your child a watch that beeps every two hours to remind him or her it’s time to head to the bathroom.
While you might think that teasing your child might help your child become more determined to stop his or her enuresis, it doesn’t work. In fact, it tends to make the problem worse.
I know, I know. It can be frustrating to have to do the laundry so often. But be as positive with your child as you can.