Bed-wetting can be frustrating and uncomfortable for you and your child. But for most families, it’s a common part of childhood. Do you know when bed-wetting becomes an issue that needs treatment from a pediatric urologist? Dennis S. Peppas, M.D., and Eran Rosenberg, M.D., pediatric urologists with Norton Children’s Urology, weigh in on common bed-wetting questions and address when a child’s accidents could be a sign of something more.
What causes bed-wetting?
Kids may wet the bed for various reasons. Young children are still developing bladder control. In many cases, bed-wetting runs in families — about 70% of children who wet the bed have at least one parent who wet the bed as a child. For most children, bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis) has no anatomical or physiological cause.
When should I seek help for my child?
Most of the time, the issue will resolve itself, usually by the time a child is about 7 years old. If your child is 7 or older and still wetting the bed, a pediatric urologist can provide a treatment plan. This age is a good time for beginning treatment, because the child will be mature enough to have the desire and motivation to stop wetting the bed.
What does treatment look like?
Treatment is based on the individual needs of the child. Depending on the situation, a pediatric urologist may treat bed-wetting using a behavior modification schedule. In some cases, a bed-wetting alarm, medication, bladder control retraining or a combination of treatments may be needed.
What should I say to my child who wets the bed?
Children do not do this on purpose. It is important not to ridicule or punish your child for wetting the bed. The most important thing to understand about bed-wetting in children is that there is no “quick fix.” The best practice is to be patient and consistently follow the treatment plan developed for your child.