Saturday, December 5, 2009

How Bladder Capacity Affects Nighttime Potty Training

Another factor consistently found in youth with bedwetting problems is a small functional bladder capacity. How does a small bladder capacity make it harder to get dry? Think of potty training as a learning process. Learning of any kind is more difficult when they are distractions. Its harder to concentrate on a book when the TV is on. Likewise, we can't expect children to pay attention for an impending bladder contraction, thats is, to monitor their feelings or urgency, while they are engrossed in a TV show or a computer game.

Small bladder capacity can be consider an additional distractor. Children with small bladder capacity have less forewarning of the need to use the potty, they feel more urgency and cannot hold more that a small amount of urine, learning dryness is harder.

The functional bladder capacity in children who do not bed wet usually increases as the child gets older. In general, children who do not bed wet have a normal bladder capacity for their age, roughly calculated in ounces by adding two to their age in years. So for example, a normally functioning seven year old girl would be expected to have a bladder capacity of nine ounces.

This measurement is important because if your child's bladder holds less urine on average than that of other children her age and size, she may have problems staying dry at night. It is also possible that she may have trouble holding enough urine to get to the potty during the day.

Some children who bed wet may also experience day time symptoms of urgency, increased frequency, and damp underpants. About 25 percent of children who bed wet show these three day time symptoms that go along with a reduced functional bladder capacity. Small bladder capacity makes it harder for children to stay dry because it leaves them with a smaller margin for error.

Although small bladder capacity is not the primary cause of enuresis in most children, its is found so commonly that your doctor likely will evaluate and consider it in judging to what extend it is contributing to your child's bed wetting.