Bed Wetting Problem In Children

Health Information

Disclaimer: The information provided here is intended for general health care information purposes or educational purposes only, and should not be considered complete or used as a substitute for consultation or advice from a physician and/or healthcare provider. It should not be used to diagnose and treat any diseases. Individuals are encouraged to contact their own private physician or healthcare provider regarding continuation or changes in their symptoms. If you have a serious health problem or should you have any questions about the information found on this site, please call or consult your physician or healthcare provider before taking any action.


Most children begin to stay dry at night around three years of age. When a child has a problem with bedwetting (enuresis) after that age, parents may become concerned.

Physicians stress that enuresis is not a disease, but a symptom, and a fairly common one. Occasional accidents may occur, particularly when the child is ill. Here are some facts parents should know about bedwetting:

Approximately 15 percent of children wet the bed after the age of three

Many more boys than girls wet their beds

Bedwetting runs in families

Usually bedwetting stops by puberty

Most bedwetters do not have emotional problems

Persistent bedwetting beyond the age of three or four rarely signals a kidney or bladder problem. Bedwetting may sometimes be related to a sleep disorder. In most cases, it is due to the development of the child's bladder control being slower than normal. Bedwetting may also be the result of the child's tensions and emotions that require attention.

There are a variety of emotional reasons for bedwetting. For example, when a young child begins bedwetting after several months or years of dryness during the night, this may reflect new fears of insecurities. This may follow changes or events which make the child feel insecure: moving to a new environment, losing a family member or loved one, or especially the arrival of a new baby or child in the home. Sometimes bedwetting occurs after a period of dryness because the child's original toilet training was too stressful.

Parents should remember that children rarely wet on purpose, and usually feel ashamed about the incident. Rather than make the child feel naughty or ashamed, parents need to encourage the child and show faith that he or she will soon be able to enjoy staying dry at night. A pediatrician's advice is often very helpful.

Parents may help children who wet the bed by:

Limiting liquids before bedtime

Encouraging the child to go to the bathroom before bedtime

Praising the child on dry mornings

Avoiding punishments

Waking the child during the night to empty their bladder

In rare instances, the problem of bedwetting cannot be resolved by the parents, the family physician or the pediatrician. Sometimes the child may also show symptoms of emotional problems--such as persistent sadness or irritability, or a change in eating or sleeping habits. In these cases, parents may want to talk with a child and adolescent psychiatrist, who will evaluate physical and emotional problems that may be causing the bedwetting, and will work with the child and parents to resolve these problems. Treatment for bedwetting in children includes behavioral conditioning devices (pad/buzzer) and/or medications. Examples of medications used include anti-diuretic hormone nasal spray and the anti-depressant medication imipramine.

Suggestions for Further Reading

Source: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP)

Translate the Page

Search Hinduwebsite

Follow Us