When to seek advice

Nov 02, 2022 | 3.5 minutes Read

When To Seek Advice

When Should You Reach Out For A Helping Hand On Your Road To Dry Nights?

If your child is between 5 and 7 years old and has always wet the bed, it is likely that they will become dry at night on their own without the need for treatment or outside intervention. Most cases of primary enuresis are nothing to worry about and simply require your love, support, and time.

As your child gets older, it is more and more likely that they will need outside support and treatment to get through this phase, but the good news is that by the age of 12, 97% of children will have stopped wetting the bed.

If your child has previously been dry at night for 6 months or more in the past but has started to wet the bed again, this is medically known as Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis.

When it comes to secondary enuresis, there is a range of physical, emotional, and psychological causes, so seeking outside support and expert advice is essential.

When Should You Seek Advice For Primary Nocturnal Enuresis?

If a child has always wet the bed, it is usually a sign that their bladder and their nervous system simply needs more time to develop. It is perfectly normal for children to continue to wet the bed years after they have successfully completed their daytime potty training.

This said, it is recommended to consult your doctor if:

  • Your child is older than 6 years old and wets the bed twice a week or more
  • You notice that bedwetting is starting to have a negative impact on their relationships, self-confidence, and overall emotional wellbeing
  • Your child is visibly distressed or disturbed by wetting the bed
  • They begin to wet their pants during the day
  • You notice any other physical or emotional disturbances of any kind
If in doubt, it is always recommended to see your doctor for advice. Even if it is just for peace of mind. Once you have gotten the all clear from your doctor, a successful management plan is the next phase.

Although it can be a challenging time for children and parents, with your loving support, reassurance, and some practical tools to stay dry at night, your child will see that bedwetting is just a common phase that they will naturally grow out of.

When Should You Seek Advice For Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis?

If your child is experiencing secondary bedwetting, it is recommended to book an appointment with your doctor right away.

Although the majority of cases of secondary bedwetting are caused by emotional stress or a psychological trauma, it is important to first rule out any physical causes.

There are several medical conditions that have been known to cause secondary enuresis including constipation, urinary tract infection (UTI), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and juvenile diabetes.

Symptoms For These Conditions Include:

  • Urinary tract infection (UTI): your child may report an uncomfortable, stinging, or burning feeling when going to the toilet, their urine may be cloudy or have taken on a strong odor or they may be urinating more frequently during the day as well as night. Other symptoms include fever, chills, pain in the back or side, severe tiredness, and vomiting.
  • Diabetes: frequent urination is also a symptom of type 1 diabetes. Other symptoms include excessive thirst, tiredness, blurred vision, and weight loss even though your child may have a healthy appetite.
  • Constipation: your child complaining that it hurts when they poo, showing signs of holding on, tummy pain, crossing their legs, or avoiding going to the toilet. Other symptoms include not having taken a poop for seven days and/or soiling their pants.
  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea: loud snoring, pauses in breathing, and difficulty breathing during sleep. Your child may be tired, have headaches throughout the day, or show a loss of appetite.

A secondary bedwetting phase can also be triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, or a one-off event that has unsettled your child. So, once you have ruled out any physical conditions, it is wise to seek support from a doctor, child psychologist, or behavior specialist to identify any emotional or psychological factors that may be the cause.