Most children are fully toilet-trained between ages 2-4. Boys take a bit longer but 5-6 is still OK. Bedwetting can be due to physical or psychological causes. So, if your child bedwets beyond the age of 6, you need to identify the problem – change of environment, bullying at school, family discord etc., and address it.

Before age 6, bedwetting should not necessarily be a cause for alarm and scolding the child may cause more harm than good. Don’t make fun of him and don’t let his siblings and friends know about it. Reward him for dry nights and let him know that you’re not mad at him.

Once you start toilet-training your child (around age 2), you should be consistent and disciplined about it. Children love routines. If you’re waking him up to pee at 1 am, and you suddenly stop doing that, sometimes the brain may wake up at that time while the body remains physically asleep, hence the child thinks he’s in the toilet and starts to pee on the bed.

Restrict fluids and semi-solid foods around bedtime. For example, if he sleeps at 8pm, let his last juice or water be at 6:30pm. Then, let him pay one last visit to the toilet before going to bed.

If you can afford it, buy a toilet-training device, alarm or vibrator that wakes your child up when he is about to start peeing on the bed.

Bedwetting can also be due to diseases of the urinary tract whereby the bladder cannot hold too much urine, or the valve holding back urine has lost its control. If you’re in doubt, go and see a paediatrician to help you take a look.

An odour-free home is totally dependent on your level of cleanliness. If you’re financially buoyant enough, let the child wear diapers until the problem is completely solved. Remove, wash and sundry bedclothes immediately he pees on them. Cover the bed with waterproof sheets. Opt for leather chairs if you can afford them. Opt for rubber carpet instead of woolen rugs. Above all, don’t be too hard on yourself!

©Doctor KT


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