Bedwetting in children - enuresis

The pressure from the outside is great: as soon as they come to the kindergarten, the little ones should be able to do without their diaper at least during the day. If, in spite of all attempts, pants or bed are always wet, the parents' panic often grows. But usually patience and a sense of serenity suffice - and the topic gradually settles on its own.


To calm down, first of all a few figures: In Germany, every fifth 5-year-old child and still every tenth 7-year-old child regularly or nights at night. Lack of bladder control, especially at night, is still normal up to a certain age.

Doctors of enuresis speak only when a child is not dry after his 5th birthday - and more than 3 months at a time and me with a certain regularity. Does it wet during the day ("Nipple"), the doctor speaks of enuresis diurna, the whole thing takes place at night ("bedwetting") of enuresis nocturna.

By the way: An occasional mishap is completely normal even with older people. Most children manage to control their bladders for their 3rd birthday, with girls being able to control them on average faster than boys. Many children easily manage to be dry during the day, but still wet weeks to months (sometimes years) at night.


The most common cause of childhood bedwetting is the "antidiuretic hormone" (ADH), which slows down urine production during sleep, and whose day-night rhythm has to settle down first. It's faster for one child and longer for the other. Hereditary influences also seem to play a role here. Often children are affected who have a particularly solid sleep and therefore do not wake up from the signal of the filled bladder.

Today, it is known that psychological factors play a rather minor role in becoming non-dehydrated. Inadequate wetting of the bladder during the day may be caused by inadequate bladder control - bladder and muscles may not function properly. As a result, the urge to urinate very suddenly and strongly, so that the affected children just can not make it to the toilet in time.

What can you do?

If your child has already celebrated his 5th birthday, you should discuss the situation with your pediatrician. In isolated cases, pathological causes such as a malformation of the urinary tract or a diabetes mellitus may be behind it. These must be excluded by a thorough investigation. Maybe you should then create a micturition protocol in which you write down for at least 24 hours how much and when your child drank, when it had to go to the toilet and when it was soaked.

Organic disorders are treated, insufficient bladder control is treated with a special pelvic floor training and possibly medication. Almost always, however, there is a "simple bedwetting". It does not matter if and which of the following ways to deal with the situation: Almost all children get dry over the years. With a bit of patience you will make sure that simple bedwetting does not become a difficult psychological burden.

  • Stay calm, even if it's hard sometimes. Your child does not want to annoy you, but probably also suffers from the situation. Therefore: do not scold or punish, but talk. Explain to your child that there is no reason to be ashamed, but that his body just needs some time to learn everything. Otherwise do not fuss over the mishap, put a waterproof pad under the bed sheet and offer your child a diaper at night. However, do not force it to wear them - some children do not feel relaxed, but are not taken seriously.
  • Urination and wake-up: A strict ban on drinking from the late afternoon brings nothing, after supper, the fluid intake should be limited. It is not proven whether it is helpful to wake up before going to bed, nor is it the effect of the much-publicized nocturnal wake-up call and toilet flushing. Relaxing, the latter is neither for the parents nor the child.
  • Bell-type pants or doorbell: These trigger alarm in the event of moisture and, if used consistently, should train the child's brain to recognize the full bladder in time. They are worth a try after several months without improvement - however, require the motivation of both child and parents.
  • Medicines: Desmopressin is a prescription substance that works in a similar way to the body's hormone ADH and supports it until its rhythm has stabilized. It is taken as a tablet for several weeks and then slowly reduced. In addition, it can - temporarily taken - enable the child to participate in school trips or overnight stays with friends.
  • Medicinal plants: worth a try: The regular evening tea of ​​fennel, lavender, linden, lemon balm (50 g each) and orange blossom (10 g). Pour 1 tsp. With ¼ liter of boiling water and leave for 10 minutes; Add a warm foot bath and rubbing your child's thighs and groin with St. John's wort oil before going to bed.
  • Homeopathy in bedwetting: Recommended is at most a constitutional therapy under the care of an experienced therapist.
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