- 30% of 3-year-olds
- 40% of 4-year-olds
- 20% of 5-year-olds
- 12% of 6-year-olds
- 5% of 10-year-olds
- 3% of 12-year-olds
Bedwetting is not a serious medical condition, but it can be very difficult to live with. Wetting the bed may interfere with a child’s socialization and can lead to significant stress within the family at a time when kids should be enjoying childhood. Because parents are often uninformed about the problem, children may be shamed or punished for being wet at night. Nighttime wetting is most often a developmental issue that is not their fault. It’s also something the majority of children outgrow in time. However, by exploring and understanding the reasons children wet the bed, you and your child can make the entire process far less daunting and stressful.
Why Do Children Wet The Bed?
- Bladder size. Children who wet the bed usually have a smaller bladder capacity than their peers. This causes them to urinate more frequently during the day and their bladder has less room to “hold” urine at night.
- Hormones. The brain produces a hormone at night that reduces the amount of urine the kidneys make. Some children who wet the bed produce less of this hormone and thereby make more urine while they sleep.
- Deep sleep. Some children have trouble arousing at night. As a result, the brain may not respond when the bladder signals that the child needs to urinate.
How to Support a Stressed Child Who’s Wetting the Bed
Bedwetting is a common problem that can greatly affect children and families. It is neither the fault of the child nor the parent and is not usually caused by a serious medical disorder. By just being open about it with your child and managing the process with absorbent products, such as Goodnites® NightTime Underwear or Goodnites® Bed Mats, parents can help keep them dry and free from stress and embarrassment until their bodies work out the issue naturally in time.
Dr. Bennett is the author of Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting and Max Archer, Kid Detective: The Case of the Wet Bed.
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, consult your doctor as needed.