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Tips for Dealing with Wetting the Bed

Tips for Dealing with Wetting the Bed

Bedwetting affects approximately 5 million children in the United States, but it’s a common issue that many kids outgrow as they get older. While most children become potty-trained between 2 and 4 years old, some may struggle with wetting the bed for a while longer. By age 15, fewer than 1% of children still wet the bed.

Understanding the reasons behind bedwetting can help families address the issue more effectively. Here are three common causes:

  • 1. Communication between the brain and bladder: Bedwetting often occurs when there’s a disconnect between the bladder signaling the brain that it’s full of urine, and the brain either not receiving or not responding to this signal, especially during deep sleep.
  • 2. Stress or trauma: Children may experience episodes of bedwetting during times of stress, illness, or constipation. These short-term bouts are usually temporary and resolve once the underlying issue is addressed.
  • 3. Medical concerns: In rare cases, bedwetting may be a symptom of an underlying medical problem. It’s essential to consult a doctor if bedwetting persists despite other interventions or if it suddenly reoccurs after a period of dryness.

Managing bedwetting requires patience and understanding from both parents and children. Here are some tips for families:

  • Provide support, not blame: It’s important for parents to reassure their children that bedwetting is not their fault and to offer encouragement rather than punishment.
  • Open communication: Be honest with your child about bedwetting and reassure them that many children experience the same issue, which they will likely outgrow.
  • Be sensitive to feelings: Avoid making a big deal out of bedwetting, as this can cause embarrassment or shame for the child. Encourage involvement in changing sheets to promote responsibility.
  • Protect the bed: Use a plastic cover under the sheets to protect the mattress and make cleanup easier.
  • Set a no-teasing rule: Ensure that family members, especially siblings, understand the importance of not teasing the child about bedwetting.
  • Monitor habits: Keep track of your child’s urine and bowel habits to identify any patterns or changes that may be contributing to bedwetting.

In cases where bedwetting persists despite these measures, additional interventions such as bedwetting alarms or medications may be considered. Bedwetting alarms can help awaken children when they begin to wet the bed, while medications may be prescribed for older children experiencing persistent bedwetting.

It’s important to remain positive and patient throughout the process of managing bedwetting. While it can be frustrating, your child will eventually outgrow this! If you feel concerned that bed wetting is occurring outside of normal bounds, talk to your doctor. 


For questions or any other concerns, Augusta Pediatrics can be reached at (706) 868-0389. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images and information, contained on or available through this web site is for general information purposes only.


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