Bedwetting can cause a lot of anxiety and worry particularly to children aged 7 years and older. This is an age where they are expected to be dry at night. Bedwetting in this age group can prevent them from doing normal activities such as sleepovers with their friends. Here I will look at the different ways and offer some solutions on how to stop your child bedwetting at age 7 or older.
So what can you do to stop bedwetting at night at age 7. Solutions include drinking adequate fluids, avoiding fizzy pop, blackcurrant juice, and caffeinated drinks. Keep your child to a constant bedtime routine, ensure easy access to the toilet and praise your child for any positive behavior. Reaffirming messages and self waking may also be helpful. The next line of active treatment involves using an enuresis alarm and/or medications.
These tips will help achieve night-time dryness or at the very least reduce the frequency of bedwetting at night. They also aim to avoid the anxiety and emotional stress that bedwetting causes in children and their caregivers.
It’s important that your child has been examined by your doctor to rule out any physical causes to the bedwetting. Once this has been established there are basic supportive treatments that can prove effective in stopping bedwetting. These supportive treatments are suitable for young children and can also be effective for children 7 years and older.
It’s important that your child drinks most of his daily intake of fluids during the earlier part of the day. This will prevent his bladder from becoming too full when it’s near to bedtime which will result in more trips to the bathroom!
Never restrict fluids as this could actually have a negative effect on your child wetting the bed. The bladder adjusts to taking in fewer fluids and as a result, will hold less urine before feelings of fullness occur. It’s also important that your child recognizes the feeling of a full bladder.
Types of Fluids
It’s best to avoid fizzy drinks, blackcurrant (contains tartrazine), or drinks containing caffeine. These drinks can stimulate the kidneys to produce even more urine during the night making it more likely for your child to wet the bed.
Keep To A Constant Routine
Bedtime should be kept at the same time each evening. Ensure that your child always goes to the toilet before getting into bed.
Easy Access To The Toilet
Your child may be more reluctant to go to the toilet if it is located downstairs or a distance away. Suggest putting a potty beside the bed to make it easier for your child. Use a bottom rather than a top bunk bed. If your child is afraid of the dark, keep a night light switched on in the bedroom.
Praise Your Child
Praise your child for any dry nights they have achieved, or if he wakes by himself to use the toilet during the night. Try not to show your frustration if the bed is wet. Never punish your child as this will more likely make your child feel more anxious and even ashamed.
Helping your child feel they have some control over this issue can have a positive effect on how they feel about themselves and make them feel more empowered to overcome wet nights. Ask them to look in the mirror at the same time each day and choose a positive statement to say such as I want to be dry and I am going to be dry.
It may be helpful for children aged 7 or older to wake up during the night and use the toilet by setting an alarm clock or watch. Choosing a time around midnight and 1-2 hours before the usual waking time in the morning would be suitable. This could take a few months to work or it may even not work at all.
Next Line Treatments For 7 Year Olds To Prevent Bedwetting
Enuresis alarms are the next line of active treatment for children aged 7 years and older. It’s important that they are motivated and show interest in wanting to be dry at night. If your child does not upset or annoyed with bedwetting this may not be the right time to start active treatments such as an alarm and medications if necessary.
Night time alarms are suitable for children aged 7 years and older. It has a high level of success in this age group. An alarm is suitable for children who have never had a dry night and for children who have already been toilet trained but have had a reoccurence. Motivation is required for this to be successful.
Alarms mostly come in two forms:
Body alarms usually have 3 settings with you can choose from. This includes sound only, vibration only, or sound and vibration combined. The best results usually occur with the sound and vibration setting. The sensor is placed onto your child’s pajamas or nightdress. A small wire is joined to a small piece of metal called a mini detector or sensor. The sensor needs to come in contact with a wet patch to set off the alarm.
The aim of the alarm is to ensure your child will learn to wake up before the alarm sounds or that he will learn to stay asleep through the night without wetting the bed.
This alarm can be more useful to those who find it uncomfortable to use the body worn alarm and also tends to be louder. The noise box of the bedside alarm is larger and is put near the bed. A wire is joined to a plastic mat. The mat is put on the bed underneath your child’s bottom and the alarm will sound once it detects moisture. It’s best to place the mat under a plastic lining like a drawsheet so it can be easily cleaned.
Whatever type of alarm you decide to use for your child there are some steps to follow that will make it easier for your child.
- Make sure to have a routine for your child before going to bed
- When the alarms goes off, it’s essential that your child wakes up every time. If waking does not occur it is unlikely that this treatment will succeed.
- They need to get out of their bed before turning off the alarm
- Once they get out of bed they need to go straight to the toilet
- When they go back to bed the alarm will need to be reset
- The alarm needs to be used every night
- It’s important to complete the voiding chart each morning. This will be monitored by your doctor or nurse at your next appointment to assess what progress has been made and to put in place the next plan of action.
This medication has been shown to be effective for the treatment of nighttime bedwetting. When taken at night desmopressin works by increasing water reabsorption in the collecting ducts of the kidneys. This results in your child urinating less during the night. It can also be used in children with daytime symptoms along with nocturnal enuresis. It has a rapid onset of action however symptoms often recur after treatment has been stopped.
According to the UK NICE Guidelines Desmomelt is mostly used
- in combination with an alarm if the alarm alone has not been successful
- alone if continued use of the alarm is not acceptable to the child or his caregivers
- alone if there has been a partial response to a combination of an alarm and desmopressin following initial treatment with an alarm
There has been some evidence to show that desmopressin taken intermittently after an initial 3 month treatment period or continuously over 12 months may prevent relapse.
Also known as anticholinergics these medications are used for those with an overactive bladder. Due to bladder contractions, an overactive bladder gives your child an urge to pass urine immediately. These medications may be suitable when
- Used along with desmopressin for children with daytime and nighttime symptoms
- Used along with desmopressin for children with nighttime symptoms only but who have not responded to an alarm and/or desmopressin. This includes those who have only partially or not responded at all to desmopressin. It also applies to those who have not responded to a combination of an alarm and desmopressin.
Success rates can be difficult to predict with these medications but it has been beneficial in many cases. Your healthcare provider will assess your child on an individual and determine what dosage and what is necessary when taking these medications. Some children can react with side effects such as dry mouth, nausea, facial flushing, itching, constipation and/or abdominal discomfort. Here are some other tips in preventing bedwetting in other age groups.
Should you wake your 7 Year Old Child to pee at night?
Waking your child may keep him dry in the short term but it will not address the problem. This method will prevent your child from reacting to the sensation of a full bladder which is either to wake up or hold on. If you feel you need to wake your child during the night as a short term strategy make sure that he is fully awake. If you find that your child has already wet the bed continue to bring him to the toilet. Also, wake your child at a different time each night.