Bed Wetting. What is it and How to Help your Child.

Last Updated on 3 August 2022 by Dott. Sandro Cantoni

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Many kids wet the bed, but what causes it? And more importantly, how can you help your child stop wetting the bed? In this blog post, we will explore some of the possible causes of bed-wetting and offer tips on how to help your child stop wetting the bed.

What is bed-wetting?

Bed-wetting, also known as enuresis, is a bladder control problem that many children experience. It is the involuntary release of urine during sleep.

Why do kids wet the bed?

There are a few different reasons why kids wet the bed. One reason is that they may have over-active bladders. This means that their bladder muscles contract too often and cause them to leak urine.

Another reason is that they may not be able to control their bladder muscles because they don’t have enough of the hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH). This hormone helps the kidneys to reabsorb water from pee back into the body, so that less urine is produced.

Some kids wet the bed because they can’t wake up in time to go to the bathroom.

Some children wet the bed because they are constipated and their stool puts pressure on their bladder. A urinary tract infection can also cause bed-wetting.

Other kids wet the bed because they drink too much fluids before bedtime or they have a medical condition that causes them to wet the bed, like diabetes.

And finally, some kids wet the bed because they’re anxious or stressed about something.

How can you help your child stop wetting the bed?

If your child is wetting the bed, it’s important to be supportive and understanding. Bed-wetting is common in children and it usually goes away on its own. In the meantime, there are things that you can do to help your child.

First, make sure that your child is going to the bathroom regularly during the day. This will help to ensure that they are not holding their urine for too long, which can lead to bed-wetting.

Second, limit your child’s intake of fluids before bedtime. This will help to ensure that they do not have to go to the bathroom as often during the night.

Third, you might want to tell them when they need to go to the bathroom before they go to bed.

Finally, reward your child for staying dry at night. This will help to motivate them to continue to try and stop wetting the bed.

You can also help your child stay dry by waking them up during the night to go to the bathroom. This will take some time and patience, but eventually, your child will learn how to wake themselves up when they need to go to the bathroom.

There is another method that can be used to help stop bed-wetting in kids. The child can use a moisture alarm, which will sound when it detects wetness. This will help the child become aware of when they are wetting the bed and will help them to start waking up sooner.

If these methods don’t work, you may want to consider seeking medical help. Your child’s doctor can help determine if there is an underlying cause for the bedwetting, and they may prescribe medication or other treatments. With patience and treatment, most children are able to stop wetting the bed.

When do kids stop wetting the bed?

There is no one right answer to this question. Every kid is different and will stop wetting the bed at a different time.

Some kids stop wetting the bed when they are around 5-7 years old. But some kids keep wetting the bed until they are 12 years old or older.

If your child is still wetting the bed at an older age, it’s important to seek medical help. There may be an underlying cause for the bedwetting that can be treated. With patience and treatment, most children are able to stop wetting the bed.

What to do if bed-wetting persists?

If your child is still wetting the bed, despite following the tips listed above, you may want to consult with your pediatrician. Bed-wetting can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection. The doctor can help rule out any potential medical causes and suggest further steps to take if bed-wetting persists.

Conclusion

If your child is wetting the bed, it’s important to be supportive and understanding. Bed-wetting is common in children and usually goes away on its own. In the meantime, there are things that you can do to help your child. If your child is still wetting the bed, despite following the tips listed above, you may want to consult with your pediatrician.

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About the author

Hi. My name is Sandro Cantoni. I’m a Pediatrician. I work in the General Pediatric Clinic. Hospital of Neuchatel, Switzerland.

References

Caldwell PHY, Codarini M, Stewart F, Hahn D, Sureshkumar P. Alarm interventions for nocturnal enuresis in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2020, Issue 5

Arda E, Cakiroglu B, Thomas DT. Primary Nocturnal Enuresis: A Review. Nephrourol Mon. 2016;8(4):e35809.

Kiddoo DA. Nocturnal enuresis. CMAJ. 2012;184(8):908-911.

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