When Will My Child Stop Bedwetting?Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg
One of the most common questions I hear in my practice with patients is "When will my child stop bedwetting?" Parents are usually upset and blame themselves for not knowing how to fix the situation.
The reality is there is no specific age when all children stop bedwetting, also commonly known as nighttime wetting. In fact, your child may stop wetting the bed 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.
Remember that stress can make bedwetting worse, so when dealing with bedwetting, it’s important to make nighttime a bonding time.
Consider the following:
- Create nighttime routines and traditions that reassure your child that you are there for support and encouragement.
- Make sure your child knows nighttime wetting is not his fault, and will go away eventually.
- Be patient and help ease stressful nights by offering GoodNites® Bedtime Pants, which have unique protection zones, putting protection where your child needs it most.