Bed-wetting: Why is it happening?


Most children stop wetting the bed at the ages between 2 years to 4 years. But often it can become a problem that lasts past that age. However, it’s more of a common problem than you might think. About 15% of the children wet the bed around 5 years of age. This drops to 5% between children 8-11 years. So why is your child wetting the bed? And what can be done about it?

There are two types of bed wetting:

  • Primary bed-wetting

When your child has never stopped wetting the bed. There is no significant dry bed period.

  • Secondary bed-wetting

When your child stopped wetting the bed for a significant amount of time but has started up again.

Why is my child wetting the bed?

There are a number of reasons why children might be wetting the bed:

  • UTIs: some Urinary Tract Infections can cause children to have weak control over their bladder.
  • Weak sleep: If your child’s sleep is easily disturbed by sounds such as cars passing or the TV, they can end up wetting the bed while they sleep
  • Stress: if your child is going through something emotionally disturbing, such as a parent divorce, the loss of a loved one, changing schools, etc, it can lead to bed-wetting.
  • Late developing bladder control: Sometimes the issue is just that your child needs more time to develop the control over their bladder that comes with age.
  • Genetics: Often this problem carries on through genetics. If it runs in the family, your child is likely to have a bed-wetting problem.

What NOT to do:

Before we get into solutions, its best to establish what are things that will only make the problem worse.

Do not yell at your child

This will leave your child feeling scared and emotionally disturbed. This will only add to the instability that might possibly be the reason for the bed-wetting reason.

Do not talk about it in front of others

Doing this will cause embarrassment to your child. It can greatly contribute to self esteem issues and be the root cause of other problems your child might encounter.

Do not compare your child to other children

In Pakistan, often our go to is comparing our kids to others. This breeds feelings of inadequacy, embarrassment, and even resentment, either towards you or towards the children you are comparing them to. This will not solve the problem.

What to do:

  • Keep drinks before bedtime to a minimum.
  • Have your child go pee before bed. Wake your child in the middle of the night to empty bladder again.
  • Reward your child. you can give a special reward for dry nights and a smaller reward for wet nights for trying.
  • Consult your pediatrician.
  • Be patient. Your child will get there. Let them have enough space and time to develop proper control over their bladder.

Good luck! And remember: bed-wetting is normal!

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