Bed Wetting

Bed wetting, also called enuresis, is very common among preschool aged children. It affects about 40% of three year olds according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The most common causes of bed wetting include:

  • Your child’s bladder is not developed enough to hold urine through the night
  • Your child isn’t recognizing when their bladder is full, so they don’t wake up to use the bathroom.

It is not uncommon for children to go from being dry all night to bed wetting when they experience a change in their life. If this happens with your child, consult with your Henry Ford pediatrician to determine the cause.

Parents should also remember that you cannot force your child to stop bed wetting. A small number of children will continue to have problems bed wetting into their school-aged years. For these children it may be that they never learned to control their bladder properly and there is usually a family history of this problem.

Tips to manage bed wetting

  • A rubber sheet is useful to protect your child's mattress.
  • Encourage your child to change or help change the sheets after an accident. This will allow them to do it on their own and relieve some of the embarrassment they may experience.
  • Take steps before bedtime to limit the amount of water or juice your child drinks and remind them to use the bathroom before getting into bed.
  • Some children don’t wake up when they need to go – for these children a bed wetting alarm might be helpful. The alarm is a small device that detects when your child is a wet and makes a sound to wake them up so they can go to the bathroom.

If your child is struggling with bed wetting, remember to be supportive and encourage them that it isn’t a problem they will have forever. Try not to get angry and, never punish your child for wetting the bed. Instead you should reward them for making it through the night dry.

For more information or answers to specific question talk to your Henry Ford Pediatrician.

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