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Child's feet and pee on a mattress.

How to Help Your Child Overcome Bedwetting

Author: CHKD Medical Group, Beverly Moors, FNP-C, IBCLC
Published Date: Monday, January 11, 2021

By Beverly Moors, FNP-C, IBCLCCoastal Pediatrics

Wetting the bed at night is a common problem among children that can be stressful for kids and parents. It’s important to remember that wetting the bed is not abnormal for children under age 3. When it happens to children who are old enough to control their bladder, it’s called enuresis. While it can be frustrating or embarrassing, make sure your child understands that it is not their fault.

In many cases, enuresis is not considered a serious medical issue. Many children are able to stay dry throughout the night as they get older.

If you’re worried about your child’s bladder control, always consult your child’s healthcare provider for advice. There might be an underlying medical problem such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection.

Other reasons children have enuresis:

  • Deep sleep. Some kids who are deep sleepers do not wake up when their bladder becomes full.
  • Development. A child’s ability to hold urine and fully empty the bladder may still be developing. Their bladder may also be small.
  • Constipation. Constipation can put pressure on the bladder.
  • Stress. Stress or changes at home can cause a child to wet the bed.
  • Hormonal imbalance. Some children produce too much urine at night because their bodies don’t create enough antidiuretic hormone (ADH). ADH causes the body to make less pee at night.

If necessary, your child’s pediatrician may recommend medication to calm the bladder or raise their ADH levels.

There are many things parents can do at home to help their children with enuresis. First, make sure your child isn’t eating or drinking anything with caffeine such as chocolate, soda, or tea. Try giving your child less fluids in the evening before bedtime. Another method is to wake your child up one to two hours after they go to sleep so they can use the toilet.

Make sure other family members, especially siblings, do not tease your child. If you don’t make bedwetting a big issue, your child may not either.

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About CHKD Medical Group

About CHKD Medical  Group Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters has been the region’s most trusted name in pediatric care for more than 50 years. As members of CHKD Health System, our pediatricians work closely with CHKD’s full range of pediatric specialists and surgeons. They also share a commitment to quality, excellence and child-centered care. With 18 practices in 29 locations throughout the region, a CHKD pediatrician is never far.

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