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Advice for Parents

Bedwetting 101: Rest Easy, You Are Not Alone

It’s another morning and you head to work bleary-eyed and exhausted after getting up in the middle of the night to once again change your child’s sheets and clean up after another bedwetting accident. You feel all alone. But you are not.

“Bedwetting is a very common condition. It affects about 5 million children in the United States,” says pediatrician and children’s book author Dr. Howard Bennett. That’s as many as one in six kids age 4-12.

“Bedwetting is one of those ‘hidden’ problems of childhood,” he says. “Because people usually don’t talk about it outside the family, most children and parents think they are the only ones who wet the bed at night.”

This isn’t just an issue for little kids. Although bedwetting is more common among younger children, it can happen at any age—12% of 6-year-olds and even 1% of 15-year-olds wet the bed. It’s also much more common in boys. Prior to age 13, boys wet the bed twice as often as girls, although by adolescence, these numbers equal out.

Another little known fact: bedwetting tends to run in families. In fact, 75% of children who wet the bed have at least one parent or close relative who had the same problem as a child. “This information is important for two reasons,” says Dr. Bennett. “It reassures parents that nothing is wrong with their child, and by finding out that other family members wet the bed, children often feel less embarrassed about the condition.”

There is good news. Dr. Bennett wants parents to be reassured that bedwetting will end. The vast majority of children outgrow it on their own eventually, and there are things parents and kids can do to help them stay dry all night.

It’s important to educate yourself about the condition, talk to your doctor, and talk to your families. Many parents believe the myth that children can control their bedwetting if they want to, and as a result, children may be shamed or punished for being wet at night. “Bedwetting results from a combination of three factors: increased urine production at night, a small bladder capacity, and the inability to wake up in response to signals that they need to urinate. Children do not wet the bed on purpose,” says Bennett.

So give yourself a break, he says. “As both a father and pediatrician, I know it’s important to offer your child compassion and let them know it’s not their fault. Children shouldn’t feel they are being punished for wetting the bed – they need support, rest and time. When parents put pressure on themselves and their children, it just amplifies a stressful situation.”

In most children, bedwetting will resolve itself naturally, so dry nights are ahead. Dr. Bennett recommends using GoodNites® as a management solution for parents and children until the child becomes dry. “GoodNites® products are discreet and easy to use, so children can feel comfortable and confident,” says Dr. Bennett. “Parents can rest easy knowing their child will be protected at night.”

For answers to common questions about bedwetting and other information on the topic go here: https://www.goodnites.com/en-ca/bedwetting/expert-help

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