Childhood ADHD and bedwetting do not cause the other per se, but research shows that children with ADHD are more likely to suffer from these little nighttime accidents. A study in the Southern Medical Journal states that children with ADHD are 2.7 times more likely to suffer from nighttime enuresis (bedwetting) and 4.5 times more likely to experience daytime enuresis. If your child is five years old or younger, try not to worry – it’s normal for kids this age to have little control over their bladder. Enuresis only becomes a problem when it happens regularly at age six or older. Still, there’s a lot you can do to reduce incidences of nighttime bedwetting. Here are a few tips.
Be supportive and reassuring
A urine-soaked bed might mean more work, but try to remember that your child doesn’t wet the bed on purpose. Don’t get mad at your child in the hopes that this will stop the habit; if anything, this will make your child more anxious and stressed. Bedwetting is very normal and it eventually goes away in most cases. Tell your child that he or she won’t wet the bed forever and that there are ways to overcome this condition.
Ask your child’s help
If your child is old enough to reason with you, ask for his or her help in finding a solution. What makes him or her wet the bed? Is there anything he or she can do to stop? Think of a plan together. Drinking less in the evening and avoiding caffeinated drinks is a good first step. You can also set an alarm clock that will ring in the middle of the night so your child can get up to pee. By involving your child in the process, he or she will become more confident and eventually develop better bedtime habits.
Use positive reinforcement
Praise your child when he or she wakes up on a dry bed. You can set up a calendar in a bedroom and mark dry days and wet days to keep track of your child’s progress. If your child has accumulated a certain number of dry days in a row, offer a small incentive like a new book. If you child wets the bed, remain supportive. To keep your child’s confidence up, show how much he or she has improved and try not to dwell on the accident too much.
Involve your child in the clean-up
On days when your child wets the bed, your child should help you change the sheets and clean the mattress. Make sure your child understands that this is not a punishment – just a natural consequence of bedwetting. The idea behind involving your child in the clean-up is to make him or her more aware of the bedwetting without scolding.
Bedwetting can be reduced by using the bathroom before bedtime, but children with ADHD tend to forget this. Help your child develop this habit by providing reminders, like a post-it note on the bathroom mirror.
When to ask for professional help
If your child still wets the bed at age 7, there may be a medical problem behind the enuresis. Consider asking the help of a chiropractor. Chiropractics have discovered that many cases of enuresis are due to a pinched nerve on the spine. Bedwetting usually stops when this nerve has been freed up. Also set up an appointment if your child wets the bed after being dry for over six months.