If as a parent you can answer yes to more than one of the following questions then it might be time to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician to discuss options in regards to treatment for bed wetting. The questions in no specific order are:
-Is your child past the age of five or six and frequently wets the bed at night?
-Did you toilet train your child at a younger age than most? (Most doctors recommend that a parent begin potty training a child somewhere between the ages of two to three years.)
-As a child did you ever have a problem with bed wetting? Did the child’s other parent or any other family member’s that you are aware of?
-Is your child going through a particularly stressful time in his or her life right now? (such as for example the recent death of a loved one, a family crisis, problems with school or friends or the birth of a sibling)?
Upon taking your child to the doctor he will need to answer a variety of questions of the parent to arrive at what could be the source of the recurring bed wetting problem. Your doctor should discuss with you the difference between primary nocturnal enuresis and secondary nocturnal enuresis and feel free to ask about anything you do not fully comprehend.
Your doctor will explain to you that there is often a genetic link when it comes to bed wetting and he will therefore he you if there is any history of bed wetting in your family that you are aware of. This goes for both the mother and father’s side as well. If both parents were bed wetters when they were young, a child has a seven in ten chance of being one as well. If only one parent was then a child has a four in ten chance of becoming a bed wetter.
The doctor will ask about your child’s toileting habits throughout the day. How often does your child use the toilet and approximately what times of the day does he do so? The doctor may also ask about the child’s bowel movements, as constipation is sometimes a cause of bladder control problems at night.
The doctor will want to know as much as he can about the circumstances under which your child wets his bed. Is it on weekends, weekdays? Is it on certain nights or does it happen haphazardly? Does it happen on a night in which the child was very active the day before? Is the child anxious, upset or bothered by a problem when the bed wetting episodes take place?
What are your child’s habits regarding the liquids he consumes? Does the bed wetting take place on nights when he drinks a lot of water before bed? What about nights when he fills up on carbonated beverages such as soda pop, chocolate milk or citrus (such as apple or orange) juices?
Does your child suffer any discomfort or pain when he urinates? Does the urine have an unusual color (for example is it extremely dark and concentrated) or does it smell particularly bad? If yes then the doctor will probably send your child for a urine test and/or x-rays because the cause of the bed wetting could be medical.