When Will My Child Stop Bedwetting?
One of the most common questions I hear in my practice with patients is "When will my child stop bedwetting?" This often results in unnecessary stress and hand-wringing from parents who blame themselves for not knowing how to fix the situation.
First of all, take a deep breath and relax. Bedwetting, also commonly known as nighttime wetting, is perfectly normal and goes away naturally. The reality is there is no specific age when all children stop wetting the bed. In fact, your child may stop all of a sudden, or it could be a gradual process over a few months with a few nighttime accidents in between.
Though many children stay dry at night by age 5, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry found that nighttime wetting remains an issue in about 15% of children. Nighttime wetting can affect anyone, but it’s more common in boys than girls. And if both parents wet the bed as children, their child has an 80% chance of wetting the bed, according to the Mayo Clinic.
There are many factors that contribute to nighttime wetness. Most often, it’s due to the fact that bladders are not fully developed and the nerves that control the bladder and brain relationship are still maturing and forming important connections. It’s not uncommon for children who are heavy sleepers to not recognize or feel a full bladder at night, so they don’t wake to go to the bathroom. Also, your child’s bladder may not be big enough yet to hold all the urine that they produce during the night hours.
Another thing to consider is chronic constipation — it may also cause nighttime wetting by pushing on and decreasing the size of the bladder, making it important to treat constipation if this is an issue for your child. In addition, if there is any pain during urination, increased frequency of nighttime wetting, or daytime wetting, it is important to schedule an appointment with your pediatrician for tests to detect problems like urinary tract infections.
The most important thing to remember is bedwetting is a common occurrence and nothing to lose sleep over. All children are different and on different schedules. Your child will stop wetting the bed when their bodies say they’re ready.These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, consult your doctor as needed.