Bedwetting and Your Child

The medical term for bedwetting is enuresis. Enuresis refers to the “involuntary voiding of urine” after an age by which bladder control should have been established. Developmentally speaking, most children gain bladder control by the age of four or five. Most children who have enuresis have nocturnal (nighttime) type. In other words, they wet the bed while asleep. Bedwetting is stressful for parents and children alike. A child who wets his bed may feel embarrassed or experience feelings of failure or inadequacy. For parents, there may be a mixture of frustration and anger. The most common causes of bedwetting involve poor bladder control, urinary and other infections, increased fluid intake, stress, and trauma. Additionally, there may be a genetic component to this behavior as well. For example, if one or both parents wet the bed at night when they were younger, than it is more than likely that their child will do the same. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about bedwetting.

“As a parent, what should I do when my child wets the bed?”

Keep in mind that this behavior is not the child’s fault. Punishments are not recommended as they can only worsen the problem. Parents are encouraged to refrain from harsh reactions. Instead, let the child know that you understand what he is going through and you are there to help.

“Will my child outgrow bedwetting?”

Bedwetting is a different problem for different children. Some will outgrow it, while others will need professional interventions.

“How can we help our child’s bedwetting problem?”

There are several things parents can do at home to resolve this problem. First, limit the amount of fluid intake two hours before bedtime. Second, make it a routine that the child visits the bathroom before going to bed. Third, for cases where bedwetting occurs on a regular basis, parents can awake the child once each night (apx. 3 or 4 hours after bedtime) and take him to the bathroom.

“Are there any medication treatment options for bedwetting?”