Limiting contributing factors can help reduce the incidence of bed-wetting during childhood.
For a potty-trained child, waking up to damp sheets can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. According to the National Sleep Foundation, approximately 15 percent of children still wet the bed at the age of 5. Although bed-wetting generally resolves with age, some children may still have nighttime accidents when they’re older.
Why Bed-Wetting Happens
Children may wet the bed for a variety of reasons, including:
- Bladder size—The smaller a child’s bladder, the more likely it is that they will urinate during the night simply because enough space was not available to hold the urine produced when sleeping.
- Constipation—If the bowels are too full, they can crowd and push on the bladder, making it diﬃcult for a child’s body to hold urine.
- Genetics—If a parent had accidents during the night as a child, their child may, as well. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 75 percent of children who have accidents during the night have a parent or another ﬁrst-degree relative who had the same experience.
- Underlying medical conditions—Bed-wetting can stem from having diabetes, a hormonal imbalance or a urinary tract infection.
To reduce bed-wetting, limit your child’s intake of ﬂuids one to two hours before bed. Parents can also use plastic mattress covers in the event an accident does occur.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends talking to your child’s pediatrician if they have been fully potty trained for at least six months and begin wetting the bed regularly and for no apparent reason, or if bed-wetting persists as they gets older.
Encouraging a Good Night's Sleep
Sleep hygiene is important at every age. To help your children rest soundly through the night:
- Establish a routine. A bedtime ritual like taking a warm bath or reading a calming book can help your child get into bedtime mode.
- Go screen-free in the bedroom. Lights from computers, phones and televisions can make the brain think it should be awake.
- Set a schedule. Make sure your child gets to bed and wakes up at the same time every day.
Paul B. Hall Medical Group offers behavioral health services close to home. Greg Horn, APRN is accepting new patients of all ages. He offers in-office as well as Telehealth visits from the comfort of your own home. To schedule an appointment, call 606-789-3188.
Sources bettersleep.org, healthychildren.org, sleep.org, urologyhealth.org, nafc.org, ptsd.va.gov, womenshealth.gov