When Will My Child Stop Bedwetting?
Last Updated: 3/26/21
Read Time: 3 minutes
After “Why do kids wet the bed?” the next most common question about bedwetting is probably “When will bedwetting stop?” Parents often experience unnecessary stress by blaming themselves for not knowing how to put an end to bedwetting. However, nighttime wetting is a normal part of development for many kids and, like yours, countless families each year are working through it.
So take a deep breath and know that by taking steps to develop a better understanding of bedwetting, you’re doing the best for your child!
When do kids stop wetting the bed?
For most kids, nighttime wetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is normal and goes away naturally with time. About 30% of 3-year-olds – and 3% of 12-year-olds – experience bedwetting. That’s about 1 in 6 children.
Children stop wetting the bed at different ages. It depends on their body’s unique development, so it’s hard to predict when bedwetting will stop. For some, it ends without warning or build-up, but for others, it’s a gradual process over months or years with dry nights and periods of reoccurring wetness. Many children are dry by age 5. 72% of kids grow out of nighttime wetting by age 11, and 99% by age 15.
Since there are several factors that play a part in bedwetting, it’s often impossible to know when the end to nighttime wetting will come, but there is research showing that if a parent experienced this themselves, their children’s dryness may come about around the same age
Who does bedwetting affect?
Bedwetting is more common in boys than girls. In fact, boys make up about two-thirds of children who wet the bed. If one or both parents wet the bed as children, their child has an increased chance of having nocturnal enuresis.
If you wet the bed as a child, sharing your own bedwetting experiences with your child can be a big source of comfort and normalize the process they’re going through a bit more. And even if you didn’t go through it yourself, be sure to have empathy. Your support is critical in swaying their feelings about bedwetting, and in turn, their self-esteem. Remember that nighttime wetting isn’t your child’s fault. A distraught or frustrated child is highly motivated to stop wetting the bed.
Why is my child wet at night? What causes bedwetting?
There are many reasons, but some of the most common factors for bedwetting are:
- Bladder may not yet be large enough to hold the urine produced while asleep.
- Bladders aren’t fully developed; like all parts of our bodies, our bladders grow until maturity.
- Nerves controlling the bladder-to-brain relationship may still be forming key connections.
- This gap between the bladder and brain means the brain doesn’t receive signals that your child should wake up and use the bathroom.
- Your child’s bladder may also not be receiving the signals from his or her brain to relax and hold more urine until waking.
- These gaps in communication close over time and, in most cases, your child becomes consistently dry at night.
- Heavy sleeping can also cause children to not feel a full bladder; deep sleepers may not wake up to use the bathroom in time
Short of a treatable underlying condition, there’s no solid answer on how to help your child stop wetting the bed. Most children simply grow out of it, so don’t sweat it!
What are medical reasons for bedwetting?
Possible underlying causes of bedwetting include, but are not limited to:
- Chronic or frequent constipation. Symptoms like pain and straining while using the bathroom, stomach discomfort and few bowel movements (less than three a week) can push on and decrease bladder size leading to bedwetting
- Urinary tract infections (UTI).With symptoms of pain during urination, increased bed wettings and daytime wetting (in a child normally dry during the day) can also be a factor behind nighttime wetting
- Emotional stress. Things like moving to a new home, changing schools or loss of a loved one can trigger bedwetting, but it usually resolves once the stress has passed. In children who have wet the bed since early childhood, psychological problems aren’t usually a factor in whether they stay dry at night.
Speak to your child’s pediatrician or pediatric urologist for bedwetting help, especially if you think an underlying issue is causing nighttime wetting.
What can I do about nighttime wetting?
If you’re wondering how to stop bedwetting, you’re not alone. And it’s not just parents. Kids, of course, want to know how to stop peeing the bed. Unfortunately, there isn’t an easy answer. There are steps you can take though:
- Support your child. For many, their self-esteem can easily get tied up in their ability to stay dry at night. That’s why it’s important to help them when an accident happens without frustration. A little bit of patience will go a long way – after all, you’re in this together!
- Ensure they have an appropriate support network in their closest friends and family.
- Provide supportive bedwetting supplies, like Goodnites® Nighttime Underwear.
- Talk to your child about how these supplies can help.
- Ensure their pediatrist is aware of and monitoring nighttime wetting, especially if it’s consistent.
The most important thing to remember is that bedwetting is common and nothing to lose sleep over. All children are different and on different schedules. Your child will stop wetting the bed when their body says they’re ready.
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, consult your doctor as needed.