|Why Does My
Child Wet The Bed?
children wet the bed until they
are 5 years old, or even older. In
most cases, the cause is physical
and not the childís fault. The
childís bladder might be too
small. Or the amount of urine
produced overnight is too much for
the bladder to hold. As a result,
the bladder fills up before the
night is over. Some children sleep
too deeply or take longer to learn
bladder control. Children donít
wet the bed on purpose. Bedwetting
is a medical problem, not a
behavior problem. Scolding and
punishment will not help a child
may run in the family. If both
parents wet the bed as children,
their child is likely to have the
same problem. If only one parent
has a history of bedwetting, the
child has about a fifty-fifty
chance of having the problem. Some
children wet the bed even if
neither parent ever did.
may be caused by an infection or a
nerve disease. Children with nerve
disease often also have daytime
A child who
has been dry for several months or
even years may return to wetting
the bed. The cause might be
emotional stress, such as loss of
a loved one, problems at school, a
new sibling, or even training too
How Can I Help My
Child Stay Dry?
is rarely easy. Try skipping
drinks before bedtime. Avoid
drinks with caffeine, like colas
or tea. These drinks speed up
urine production. Give your child
one drink with dinner. Explain
that it will be the last drink
before going to bed. Make sure
your child uses the bathroom just
before bed. Many children will
still wet the bed, but these steps
are a place to start.
may feel bad about wetting the
bed. Let your child know he isnít
to blame. Let her help take off
the wet sheets and put them in the
washer, but donít make this a
punishment. Be supportive. Praise
your child for dry nights.
Most children grow out of
bedwetting. Some children just
take more time than others.
I Take My Child To The Doctor?
child is younger than 5, donít
worry about bedwetting. Many
children do not stay dry at night
until age 7. Most children outgrow
wetting the bed. A single episode
of bedwetting should not cause
alarm, even in an older child.
child is 7 years old or older and
wets the bed more than two or
three times in a week, a doctor
may be able to help. If both day
and night wetting occur after age
5, your child should see a doctor
before age 7.
will ask questions about your
childís health and the wetting
problem. Your child will likely be
asked for a urine sample. The
doctor uses the sample to look for
signs of infection. By testing the
reflexes in the childís legs and
feet, the doctor can check for
nerve damage. Sometimes bedwetting
is a sign of diabetes, a condition
that can cause frequent urination.
child has an infection, the doctor
can prescribe medicine. In most
cases, the doctor finds that the
child is normal and healthy. If
your child is basically healthy, a
variety of ways are available to
help your child stop wetting the
Treatments Can Help My Child
your doctor about ways to help
your child. Many choices exist.
Let your child help decide which
ones to try.
Bladder training can help your
child hold urine longer. Write
down what times your child
urinates during the day. Then
figure out the times between trips
to the bathroom. After a day or
two, have your child try to wait
an extra 15 minutes before using
the bathroom. If the child usually
goes to the bathroom at 3:30 p.m.,
have him wait until 3:45. Slowly
make the times longer and longer.
This method is designed for
children with small bladders. It
helps stretch the bladder to hold
more urine. Be patient. Bladder
training can take several weeks,
or even months.
A small moisture alarm can be put
in the childís bed or underwear.
The alarm triggers a bell or
buzzer with the first drops of
urine. The sound wakes the child.
Your child can then stop the flow
of urine, get up, and use the
bathroom. Waking also teaches the
child how a full bladder feels.
Two kinds of medicine are
available for treating bedwetting.
One medicine slows down how fast
your body makes urine. The other
medicine helps the bladder relax
so it can hold more urine. These
medicines often work well.
Remember wetting may return when
the child stops taking the
medicine. If this occurs, keeping
the child on medicine for a longer
Points to Remember:
healthy children may wet the
Bedwetting may be a sign of
infection or other problems.
children are dry at night by the
time they are 5 years old.
Others take longer to stay dry.
and punishment do not help a
child stop bedwetting.
- If your
child is 7 or older and wets the
bed more than two or three times
a week, a doctor may be able to
Treatments include bladder
training, alarms, and medicines.
children grow out of bedwetting