"Is Five Years Old Too Old to Wet the Bed? A Parenting Myth Debunked"
Meagan Francis, Mother and Blogger
As a member of the GoodNites® NiteLite™ Panel and a parenting author, I get this question all the time! Parents tend to stop talking with other moms and dads about bedwetting when their kids get past the typical potty training age, and I think that’s why we get the idea that five is “too old” for accidents. So, we have no way of knowing how many other parents and kids are going through the same thing!
In reality, many kids ages five and beyond experience occasional, or even frequent, bedwetting. In fact, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, between 15% and 30% of 6 year olds experience one episode of bedwetting (also known as enuresis) per month. That means that in your child’s kindergarten classroom, there are likely to be several other children who still have accidents.
If your child had previously been dry at night for six or more months and suddenly began wetting the bed, I would speak to your child’s physician. Occasionally the bedwetting can signal a medical issue. But, most of the time, typical developmental “bumps in the road,” or a disruption to the child’s usual routine, are the cause.
It’s very likely your child will start making it through the night, every night, within the next year or so. Every year after the age of 5, 15% of children who once experienced nighttime accidents become dry at night with no intervention at all, as noted by Dr. Howard Bennett, clinical professor of pediatrics at George Washington University Medical Center and author of Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting. In the meanwhile, I would recommend making your child as comfortable as possible with absorbent nighttime underwear like GoodNites® Underwear. That’ll make your life easier and mornings a lot less stressful, too – no more emergency laundry while everyone’s trying to get ready for work or school!
And, in general, I think we parents need to start talking more openly about bedwetting. Then we’d all see just how common it is and that would help our children – and ourselves – feel less shame and confusion. One great place to start is the Support for Parents area of GoodNites.com. You’ll find questions and comments from other parents who’ve been in your shoes and can reassure you that what your child is going through is normal and before you know it, he’ll be dry all night long!