It’s very important for a child’s general good health that they drink plenty of fluids during the day. Some children, especially when they are embarrassed about bedwetting, try to reduce their fluid intake during the day because they think it will help them stay dry at night. It isn’t a good idea.
Potentially, if they drink less during the day, it will end up meaning that their bladder can hold less urine because if is used to holding less. This is likely to make bed wetting worse if anything. It can also cause day time problems:
- Dehydration symptoms like headaches
- Needing to go to the toilet very frequently during the day
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)
- Overactive bladder
It’s good practice to make sure for all children that their bladder is allowed to fill during the day and that when they go to the toilet, they fully empty their bladder. If you think bladder capacity might be an issue you can get your doctor to arrange a bladder capacity check. You can also think about ways to increase your child’s fluid intake. For instance, my son doesn’t seem to drink much at school, so I am thinking of paying extra for him to have a fruit juice at break time to encourage more fluid intake.
That said, water based drinks are generally better than other drinks. Drinking certain drinks especially close to bed time can have a diuretic effect. Drinks that can have this effect include:
- tea, coffee and drinking chocolate
- blackcurrant squash (and other dark squashes)
- fizzy drinks
Six to eight glasses is a good daily fluid intake to aim for and these drinks should be spread throughout the day. Obviously if a child is exercising a lot they will need more fluid and individuals do vary in their fluid intake needs.