Don’t be discouraged if your child wets the bed every night. It is a challenge that you and your child can overcome through diligence and patience.
Children under six years old do wet the bed; this is not abnormal or a cause for concern. However, if your child continues to wet the bed after the age seven or eight, then consult with your pediatrician.
Nighttime bladder control is a physical and developmental process, so be assured that with support and guidance, your child will outgrow the bedwetting and will eventually master dry nights.
Young children need their parents to help them make the transition to dry nights. Do not hold high expectations for a process that they have little or no control over.
The key to an easy transition is for parents to be well informed. Children may wet the bed because:
- Their bladders have not fully matured. This lack of muscle strength is causing them to wet the bed.
- Stresses in children’s lives can cause bed-wetting. The stress could come from the presences of a new baby, divorce, moving, transition into a new school, or getting a new teacher, death, family crisis, or physical changes such as diabetes.
- Severe discipline, abuse, threats, and inconsistent caregiving can be an emotional cause for bedwetting—parental yelling and fighting and sudden emotional instability can cause serious psychological strain.
- The kidneys of some children produce more urine than a normal-sized bladder can hold.
- There is a hormone that is not yet developed in children that causes the kidneys to slow its production of urine during the sleeping hours. Studies have shown that children who wet the bed simply cannot wake up in time to go to the bathroom.
Here are some helpful steps to deal with bedwetting:
- Never punish, bribe, use rewards/sticker charts, or demand that your child stay dry during the night.
- Listen to the concerns of your child. Children rarely wet the bed on purpose. Take the time to listen to their fears and concerns.
- Assure your child that you are there to help and support him. Always be matter of fact so that he doesn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed.
- To avoid putting your child in a pull-up, wake him up in the middle of the night before you go to bed for one last bathroom visit. It took us six months of waking our son up before his own body was ready to wake on its own—and it was right before he turned seven years old.
See a doctor if your child has had long period of dryness and then suddenly begins to wet the bed again. A lot of patience and little knowledge can help you and your child understand and deal with bedwetting.