Enuresis, also called bed wetting, is involuntary urination in children over five years old that occurs either during the daytime or nighttime. Bed wetting is very common among children, including those with an FASD. There are many reasons a child might wet the bed. It could be physical, emotional, caused by a change in sleep, or occur because the child’s brain has not yet learned to respond to the signal that the bladder is full.
Punishing the child or doing nothing are not effective strategies to stop bed wetting. A few strategies that might help reduce or stop your child’s bed wetting include:
• Making sure your child uses the bathroom several times a day
• Reducing the amount of liquid your child drinks before bed time
• Purchasing a mattress pad with a liner to help protect furniture (available at most department stores)
• Rewarding your child for dry nights
• Using a bed wetting alarm to signal your child to wake up at night and use the bathroom
• Consulting your family doctor about medications
While trying to figure out a strategy to stop the bed wetting, consider getting night time pull ups for your child. In some cases Medical Assistance will pay for them if your child is over age seven and you have a prescription from your child’s pediatrician. You can also use funds from a waiver or Family Support Grant to purchase pull ups, mattress covers, and alarms.
For more information: Visit the Come Over to FAS website.
“Some kids cannot feel the urge to go to the bathroom. My daughter was not able to control her bladder until she was 13. My son is 9 and still wears diapers to bed each night. He is completely toilet trained, but he moves constantly all day long. When he goes to sleep he is a sound sleeper and inconsistently stays dry at night. More nights are wet than dry right now, but it’s getting better gradually. As part of their morning routines, they each dispose of their wet stuff and take a shower. There is no shame or blame. During the day, we have a regular bathroom schedule. Still, accidents happen, but we make sure that the kids are able to take care of their own wet clothes and don’t feel bad about something they can’t control.” -Anna, parent