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Why do children wet the bed?

Why do children wet the bed?

 

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is a common issue that affects many children. While it can be distressing for both the child and parents, it's essential to understand that bedwetting is not a behavioural problem, and it is usually not a sign of any underlying medical condition.

 

So, what causes bedwetting in children?

There are  many factors that can contribute to bedwetting in children. Some of the most common causes include:

Developmental delays

Some children who wet the bed may have developmental delays that affect their bladder control. A developmental delay is not always an issue as children all develop at different rates but if you are concern, consult your GP.

Genetics

Children with a family history of bedwetting are more likely to experience the issue.

Image of DNA helix

Small bladder

Sometimes we forget that children simply have smaller bladders than us adults and children with smaller bladder capacity may not be able to hold urine for an entire night, leading to bedwetting.

If your child suddenly starts wetting the bed and there are no obvious causes, it may be worth taking a trip to the doctors.

Hormonal imbalances

Some children may not produce enough of a hormone called antidiuretic hormone (ADH), which helps the body retain urine while sleeping.

If this hormone is in short supply then your child may need to urinate more often, which can lead to nighttime accidents.

Constipation

Chronic constipation can cause the rectum to press against the bladder, leading to involuntary urine leakage. If your child has been suffering with chronic constipation, you may want to visit your doctor.

Image of child struggling to poop on the toilet

Urinary tract infections

UTIs can cause bedwetting in children, as they can cause irritation and inflammation in the bladder but be aware, this isn’t likely to be the issue if your child wets the bed on a regular basis.

If your child suddenly starts wetting the bed and there are no obvious causes, it may be worth taking a trip to the doctors.


So how can you help your child overcome bedwetting?

bedwetting is usually a temporary issue that resolves on its own.

Well fortunately, bedwetting is usually a temporary issue that resolves on its own. However, in the meantime there are several things that parents can do to help their children, including;


Manage fluids before bedtime

Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids during the day and avoid drinking too much before bedtime as a full bladder and a tired child may result in an accident.

Caucasian boy drinking a glass of water

Reassure your child

Bedwetting can be distressing and embarrassing for a child so be sure to reassure them that it is common and nothing to be ashamed of.

Getting enough sleep

If your child is overly tired they may not wake up from the feeling of needing to pee, so make sure your child is well rested and getting enough sleep at night (easier said than done, we know)

Your child is likely not wetting the bed on purpose 

Reward your child for dry nights

Consider creating a reward system for your child if they manage to stay dry throughout the night. Whilst this may not directly impact your child's bedwetting, it can help lift their spirits about the situation if it has been getting them down.

Black family with dad giving daughter a high five

Use night time nappies

If your child wets the bed more than twice a week, it may be worth putting them in night time nappies. Whilst you may be concerned that this will encourage them to continue wetting the bed, this is not the case.
Your child is likely not wetting the bed on purpose so putting them back into nappies will simply save your household from the hassle of washing bedding on a daily basis.

Use waterproof bed pads

Waterproof bed protectors such as our Piddle Pads will stop your child's mattress from getting stained and smelly, it’ll also make those midnight bedtime changes fast, so that everyone can get back to sleep in no time at all.

Image of bed with Tinkaly Piddle Pad on it

Bedwetting is normal and common and is likely not something to worry about.

In conclusion

Bedwetting is normal and common and is likely not something to worry about.

With patience and support, most children outgrow bedwetting and learn to stay dry throughout the night.