Bedwetting is a common thing for many children, especially at a certain age. When your children are older, though, bed wetting can become a problem.
How can you get your 10-year-old to stop wetting the bed? There are many techniques that help, but first, you must understand the reason why your child is wetting the bed, in the first place.
If you feel like you have tried everything to help your 10-year-old stop wetting the bed, and you are at the end of your rope, these tips and techniques may help you. Each child is different, so you may have to try a few different tricks to help your child, but ending bedwetting is not impossible.
What Is Normal and Not Normal In Bedwetting
Most parents worry when their child is still wetting the bed after they have been potty-trained during the day. This should not be cause for concern. Most children are potty-trained between ages three and four, but one in five kids wet the bed after age five. One in ten children wet the bed after age 10.
Waiting for children to outgrow bedwetting only works about 14 percent of the time, and only one-third of parents take their child to a doctor about bedwetting. If your child is over age ten and wetting the bed more than one time a week, you should be concerned and seek professional help for them and yourself.
Bedwetting often has a simple cause, or a few causes, and a few simple solutions, if you seek help in time. Waiting until your child is 10 years old and still wetting the bed is often too late, but even 10-year-olds can still get help with bedwetting.
Why Does a 10-Year-Old Wet The Bed?
Before you try any tips on ending bedwetting, you need to understand why the bedwetting is occurring. For younger children, bedwetting is common, but as children get older, bedwetting can be an embarrassing and frustrating problem. There is a reason it is happening, though.
DNA- about 75 percent of bedwetters got it from their parents. If it is genetic, think about your own childhood- when did you stop wetting the bed? Do you still wet the bed? The answer is most likely “no” which means that your child will eventually stop, too.
Delayed bladder maturation- the child’s bladder and brain are delayed in communicating with one another, so they cannot make it to bathroom in time. The bladder may also be smaller than normal.
Low anti-diuretic hormone (ADH)- this hormone tells the kidneys to make less urine, so if they are making more than normal, bedwetting occurs.
Deep sleepers- If a child’s brain cannot wake them up to go to the bathroom, they will wet the bed. Most children have to outgrow this.
Constipation- full bowels will press on the bladder, causing bedwetting. It is often hard for parents to know when their child is constipated after the child is “potty trained” because the parent won’t keep up with bowel movements. If you worry the bedwetting may be due to constipation, have your child keep a diary of when they have a bowel movement. Frequent constipation can be due to medications, diet, or an underlying health issue.
UTI- a urinary tract infection can cause bedwetting, and it’s easily treatable.
Diabetes- this can cause frequent urination and make it hard for your child to get to the bathroom in time.
Sleep apnea- children with sleep apnea have a hard time waking up, especially to go to the bathroom.
Abuse- kids who are sexually or physically abused will wet the bed out of fear. IF you fear your child may have been abused, talk to them or take them to a professional.
To determine if your child has any of these underlying issues, you should seek the help of your child’s pediatrician. All of them are treatable and have different methods of treatment. For some, your doctor may prescribe medication or other medical treatments.
Remember- bedwetting is not caused by laziness or ignorance. Going to the bathroom is a normal function almost all children learn and children do not like being wet at night. That means that there is a real cause to why a 10-year-old is wetting the bed. And that means there is a real solution.
What to Tell The Pediatrician
To get the best help possible for your child, be sure to note:
If there are any problems with daytime accidents or if it all happens at night
- How frequent your child experiences accidents and bedwetting
- How severe the bedwetting is and how it impacts your child
- If your child snores- this could be a sign of sleep apnea
- If there is a family history of bedwetting
- If you have tried treatments or techniques, and what you have done to stop the problem
- If there are any family issues that may be impacting your child
How To Stop A 10-Year-Old From Wetting The Bed
There are many tips and tricks to ending bedwetting. Some of the most encouraged include:
- Don’t allow children to have liquids within an hour before bedtime. This cuts down on a full bladder at bedtime.
- Schedule bathroom breaks during the day. This helps to train the brain and bladder.
- Have children go to the bathroom right before bed. This empties the bladder before sleep.
- Slow down on junk foods and sugary foods. Both sugar and salt can interfere with proper bladder function in a developing bladder.
- Do not wake children to go to the bathroom- their brain needs to learn this on their own.
- Talk to your child- letting them know this is normal can help them feel relieved. This will help them feel more positive about ending bedwetting. It will build their confidence and help them feel like this is a problem they can tackle.
- Immediately clean the bed and have your child help- this establishes responsibility and shows them you are there to help.
- Motivate your child with visuals and rewards- this helps them want to be dry at night, so when they go all night without an accident, reward them to keep them motivated.
- Be patient. Sometimes you just have to wait until your child’s bladder and brain get the hang of it.
A combination of these methods is always the best approach, as bedwetting usually has several causes. For example, if a child is used to bedwetting and has a small bladder, getting them out of the habit while also not overloading their bladder is the key to helping them to stop bedwetting.
What Not to Do
Just as there are things you should do to help your child end bedwetting, there are things you should not do. For example, you should not blame your child, belittle your child, spank them, or otherwise punish them for bedwetting.
- Staying dry at night is a milestone almost every mentally and physically sound person reaches- unless they cannot help it. Punishing your child for something that is out of their control can actually have the opposite effect.
- When your child is stressed about bedwetting because they are afraid of being punished, they can lose sleep. That means that they may be dry one night, because they are awake enough to go to the bathroom, but the next night they can fall into a deeper sleep from exhaustion and can go back to bedwetting.
- Children who are afraid of their parents will shutdown to protect themselves, and that means they are not open to what you are teaching them. This will not help the bedwetting problem.
- Furthermore, do not make your child sleep in their soiled bedding and clothing. That is unsanitary and can lead your child to resent and mistrust you.
- Do not blame yourself. You are not failing as a parent, and that thinking can lead to frustration, which your child will pick up on.
- Do not keep it a secret from other adults who need the information. For example, if your child is going to a sleepover, the parent at that house needs to know so they can help your child in case of an accident.
The Impact Of Bedwetting
In many studies, children have described the stress of bedwetting to that of taking a big test. Bedwetting has a larger impact than just doing piles of laundry, although that is a big one, too, considering that it costs $1,000 a year for a frequent bed wetter to have clean clothing and bedding.
Bedwetting can also have a severe negative impact on your child’s self-esteem. This can lead to social issues and isolation, and can lead to poor academic performance. Bedwetters often have trouble focusing in class.
Bedwetting can lead to various behavior problems and children may lash out from embarrassment or feeling like they have no control over their own body. Older children who suffer from bedwetting exhibit more aggressive behaviors than their peers.
Bedwetting children have a lot of stress and live in fear of being found out, and that fear can lead them to be emotionally unstable. This can also lead to them having a poor self-image and may lead to self-harm.
Products To Assist
If you have tried it all, and you don’t see an underlying health issue, there are products that can help you with your 10-year-olds bedwetting and can help your child stay dry. Many of these products won’t stop bedwetting completely, but can help you have less nights of waking up to change sheets.
If your child has an underdeveloped bladder or hormone issue, medications, including a synthetic form of a hormone, are available. You should speak to your child’s pediatrician about medications.
A bedwetting alarm is often the solution clips to the child’s underwear or on the bed pad. Once the device detects moisture, the alarm goes off. This helps your child get up to go to the bathroom and get cleaned up. There are such alarms made to wake your child up at the first sign of moisture so they can go to the bathroom, but they should not be relied on to wake your child up in time.
Waterproof mats and sheets can be placed over your child’s mattress. They wick away moisture to keep your child dry throughout the night.
Bedwetting pullups and underwear can look and feel like real underwear, but work like a diaper to keep your child dry. They are especially good for using when staying overnight at a new home to keep your child from being embarrassed about bedwetting in front of peers. It should be noted that some professionals warn to only use these when a child has friends over, or is away from home, because getting used to them can make the child comfortable with bedwetting.
When All Else Fails
When you have tried all methods on this list, it may be time to seek the help of a psychiatrist. There may be underlying self-esteem issues your child needs help with, and it is best to seek the help of someone trained in these matters.
While it is important to remember that most children do outgrow this behavior with some help, there are small outlying cases where they do not. Helping your child as soon as you recognize the issue will be the best for them stopping the behavior.
In most cases, professionals recommend using the above methods for three to six months before seeking a therapist’s help.