What Are The Most Common Reasons Children Wet The Bed?
If you’re so sick of washing soiled sheets you could scream, this article is for you.
Some kids seem to nighttime potty train with great ease—but others take several years to master this skill. If your child is in the latter category, you may look around wondering why everyone else’s child is night-trained and what could possibly be wrong with yours. The truth is, bedwetting is common, and the reasons can be quite predictable.
Read on to learn about contributing factors and what you can do to address them.
Dr. Fran Walfish
Dr. Fran Walfish, Beverly Hills and NYC-based family and relationship psychotherapist, author, The Self-Aware Parent, regular expert child psychologist on The Doctors, CBS TV, and co-star on WE tv. Web: drfranwalfish.com
Number of possible causes
There are a number of possible causes and issues surrounding bedwetting.
The first is immature bladder where the child takes a bit longer to read her body's cues messaging her that her bladder is full and she needs to release urine.
Another issue can be anxiety. Many children who hold high levels of anxiety during the daytime often "let-go" and relax during sleep and the outcome is [a wet bed]. In some instances, I have treated a number of young boys up to even age 8 years old who still have urinary accidents. There is a belief among some professionals that this may go along with certain children who have ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
These kids do not want to stop and interrupt the activity they are involved in so they hold their urine too long. This is due to an over-focus trait of some children with ADHD. Whatever the cause, it is helpful for parents to do the following:
- Do not make a big fuss, criticize, or punish your child over bedwetting.
- Have your child participate in self-cleanup so that you are not doing all the hard work.
- Make him self-reliant. He can strip the bed of wet linens and help put clean, fresh sheets on the bed. He can also use 'wipes' to clean himself and put new PJ's on. This will motivate him to use the toilet (less work).
On occasion, I have recommended a pulsating buzzer the child wears on his pajama bottoms. It acts like the old-fashioned pagers. It buzzes at the first drop of moisture, teaching the child to wake up and pee in the toilet versus in his PJ's. This device has been successful with many of my patients.