Wetting in children

Children develop at different rates. This involves not only walking and talking but also becoming dry. Bladder control is a maturation and learning process that needs time and lasts up to about the age of
5 years.

Day- and night-time wetting in children - prevention

Unfortunately, prevention or precautions are not possible for childhood wetting.

Behaviour changes

In some cases, it may be possible to prevent wetting by changing the child’s drinking and toilet behaviour. This change in behaviour – also known as urotherapy – should also precede any treatment, to prevent unnecessary therapeutic measures:

  • Ensure the most of the child’s liquid intake is in the first half of the day.
  • Ensure that the child goes to the toilet regularly.
  • In the evening, children should not consume drinks containing caffeine or any carbonated drinks.
  • The bladder should be emptied fully in a relaxed manner before bedtime.
  • Ensure that your child has a bowel movement regularly.
  • By adopting the so-called "cart driver position" your child can relax the pelvic floor muscles and empty the bladder fully.

The "cart driver position"

In the "cart driver position" the feet are placed firmly on the floor or on a stool. The legs are at an angle of 90 degrees. The upper body is slightly relaxed and leaning forward and the arms are supported on the thighs. Show your child this relaxed sitting position on the toilet and practise it together a few times.

Observing holding manoeuvres

By observing the child, you can also note if there are any disorders of urination and toilet behaviour such as holding manoeuvres. Holding manoeuvres are attempts to suppress the urge to urinate. Children use these behaviour strategies to prevent wetting, for example they squeeze their legs together, hop to and fro, squat or stand on their heels. If you observe your child behaving like this, remind him or her to go to the toilet. It is not uncommon for children to deliberately suppress the urge to urinate while they are playing or to forget to go to the toilet because they are so engrossed.

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