Dealing with Bedwetting

Bedwetting is common among toddlers and some older kids. It is considered a natural part of a child’s development. Doctors are still unsure about what causes bedwetting and why it stops. Youngsters learn to "hold it in" and eventually grow out of it.

Usually, bedwetting is not symptom of any serious medical or emotional issues.

Still, bedwetting can be stressful for the whole family. Kids may feel guilty about wetting the bed, and anxious about attending sleepovers or camp. Parents may feel frustrated and powerless to stop it.

There is not cure for bedwetting since it’s not actually a disease. However, providing proper training and emotional support may help your child outgrow this issue and make him/her feel better until it stops.

How common is bedwetting?

Bedwetting usually starts when kids are toddlers. It is very common in kids aged 6 and younger. About 15 percent of 6-year olds wet the bed, while about 5 percent of 10-year olds do.

Bedwetting runs in the family. Most kids who wet the bed have a relative who (used to) wet the bed too. If both parents wet the bed when they were toddlers, it’s likely that their child will, too.

Coping with bedwetting

Until your child grows out of bedwetting, the whole family should be supporting and encouraging during the process.

Reassure your child wetting the bed is a normal part of growing up that’s going to go away on its own. To make your child feel better, you can tell stories of other family members who also struggled with bedwetting.

You can also remind your child to go to the bathroom before going to bed. There are parents who try waking up their kids in the middle of the night, but often it does not stop bedwetting.

When your child wets the bed, have him/her help you change the sheets. Explain that it’s not punishment, but is a normal part of the process. It may help your child better to know that he or she helped out.

When to see a doctor

Sudden bedwetting accompanied by other symptoms maybe a sign of a medical condition, so have your child checked by his/her doctor.

The doctor may look for signs of urinary track infection (UTI), constipation, bladder problems, diabetes, or severe stress.

Also see your doctor if your child:

suddenly starts wetting the bed after being dry for at least 6 months

starts wetting his or her pants during the day

starts misbehaving at home or at school

complains of a burning sensation when he or she urinates.



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