Bed wetting can cause considerable stress for both parents and children
Many children will wet the bed until they are five years or older. The cause is usually physical, such as the bladder being too small. Some children sleep too deeply, or simply take longer to learn bladder control.
Bed wetting may run in the family, but some may wet the bed even if neither parent did.
Bed wetting may be a sign of infection or other problems. If they are seven years or older and wet the bed two to three times a week, then a doctor may be able to help with treatments, such as bladder training, alarms, and medicines. A single episode of bed wetting should not cause alarm, even in older children. Sometimes bed wetting can be a sign of diabetes, which can cause increased urination.
Tips to support your child
- to help them stay dry - try to skip drinks before bed time, avoid caffeinated drinks, and make sure they go to the toilet before bed
- be supportive of your child if they wet the bed, they may feel bad about it. Let them know they aren't to blame. Let them help change the sheets, but don't make it a punishment. Praise them for their dry nights
- a child may return to bed wetting after dry months or even years. This can be caused by emotional stress such as losing a loved one , problems at school or even a new sibling
- it is not the child's fault - scolding and punishing them will not help them stay dry. Once emotional causes have settled down, the bed wetting should solve itself
- be patient, most children will grow out of bed wetting. Some children just take more time than others
- if your child is having 'accidents' more than twice a week or these events are distressing for them, and is over the age of five years, please consult a health professional.