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Understanding Bedwetting

Bedwetting Perspective and Advice

Most children are potty trained between their second and third birthdays, and about 95% of children are consistently dry during the day by the time they’re 4 years old. But nighttime dryness takes longer to achieve.

By age 4, most children stay dry all night, though many are still wetting the bed. At age 7, about 1 in 10 children still wets the bed at least once a week.

Mastering daytime potty use requires children to learn a new skill; however, nighttime dryness is a subconscious skill that really can’t be “taught” or “practiced.”

Take this example from two patients from my pediatric practice — I remember one 7-year-old child who was very upset that he still wet the bed. His mom said he was a sound sleeper, and she found it nearly impossible to wake him up once he was in a deep sleep. The family was reassured to learn that it was the deep sleeping that was contributing to the nighttime wetting — his own bladder could not wake him up, even when it was filled! Over the next few years he began to have more and more dry nights, and he completely outgrew nighttime wetting at about age 9. When his younger brother began to have the same concerns, he felt better knowing his brother had outgrown the condition. While waiting to outgrow nighttime wetting, the children used overnight sleep pants, such as GoodNites® NightTime Underwear, to stay dry and comfortable.

Although there are some medical conditions that can contribute to nighttime wetting, many kids who wet the bed do not have any sort of medical problem, and it’s important that parents provide calm reassurance that there isn’t anything seriously wrong. If a child who’s been consistently dry starts wetting the bed, he may have a bladder infection or another medical problem and should be checked at the doctor’s office.

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