Bedwetting isn't a problem I have had to face in bringing up my two boys. We have either been remarkably fortunate, or did something right (finally, yippee), because they both moved out of nappies with only a handful of accidents and have never used pull-ups night.
While I have struggled with my 'Big Issue' of a fussy eater, enviously watching my friends' kids tucking into plateful after plateful of anything, they have envied my ability to not have to change soaked sheets through the night and every morning, because their big issue is bedwetting.
Bedwetting is a problem which affects an estimated 46,000 Irish children over the age of five - a statistic which will no doubt be surprising to many, but a relief to those parents who think this is only happening to their child.
A new survey conducted on behalf of Bedwetting.ie among parents of children aged five and over has revealed that many children who wet the bed have low self-esteem as a direct result and won't have sleepovers at a friend's house, or have friends to stay in their own house because of the issue. If my child is anything to go by, sleepovers are a big deal when you're five, a kind of 'rite-of-passage' - which puts just one part of this problem into some sort of context.
Like any part of child-rearing which becomes 'an issue', bedwetting can also place a huge strain on the parents, affecting sleep patterns and work life. Most parents affected by bedwetting however are not aware that it is a treatable medical condition, with 58% of those surveyed commenting that nappies were the main source of treatment for their child.
The results of the survey were launched recently as part of the ‘No More Nappies’ campaign by bedwetting.ie with the support of Clinical Psychologist, David Coleman, who spoke at the launch. “If left untreated, bedwetting can be a distressing condition for your child. Putting them in nappies, or pull-ups, and hoping that the problem will disappear is not the best way to address the issue and could lead to your child suffering from low self-esteem as a result. Lifestyle choices such as ensuring your child goes to the toilet before bed and reducing acidic or caffeine drinks before bedtime may help considerably. It can also really help to talk to your GP because there are medical treatments that you can consider too."
Specialised website www.bedwetting.ie features a range of information on bedwetting including a detailed questionnaire for parents to fill in and bring to their GP in order to help determine whether their child needs further treatment. The new and improved site also hosts a ‘Dry Nights Diary’ in order for parents to keep a close eye on any patterns that may be emerging.