At age 5, approximately 20% of children still have regular bedwetting episodes. The spontaneous remission rate for bedwetting is 15% each year, meaning that if your child wets the bed there’s an 85% chance they’ll still be wetting the bed a year from now.
Causes of Bedwetting
Many factors can cause nighttime wetting or enuresis.
Some of the most common are:
- High Urine Production – Some kids produce more nighttime urine than others.
- Small Bladder Capacity – Children with smaller bladders are more likely to have enuresis.
- Heredity –If one parent was a bedwetter, the child has a 44% chance of bedwetting. If both parents were bedwetters, the child has a 77% chance.
- Sleep or Arousal Disorder – Children who wet the bed are often deep sleepers.
- Irregular Bowel Movements or Constipation – Full bowels can restrict the bladder’s expansion.
Common Bedwetting Treatments
Restricting fluids: Fluid consumption is usually not the cause of bedwetting, so restricting fluids only works about 15% of the time. This method also risks dehydrating your child. A better way to maintain proper hydration is to mover overall fluid intake to earlier in the day.
Waking your child or setting an alarm: This can work as a short term solution, but unfortunately does not help your child learn to wake to the sensation of a full bladder.
Punishment: Ineffective. Bedwetting is something children don’t have control over and don’t want to do. Punishment for bedwetting can lead to poor self-esteem and increased anxiety. That anxiety increases rather than decreases the chances of bedwetting.
Drug therapy: DDAVP decreases the amount of urine produced at night. Use of this drug helps stop bedwetting in about 50% of the children to take it. However, most children will begin to wet again after stopping the medication.
Bedwetting Alarms: Bedwetting alarms, sometimes called pee alarms, have the highest success rate and lowest relapse rate of any treatment. They use moisture sensors to detect when your child wets, then sound and/or vibrateto awaken your child. Bedwetting alarms such as Malem Ultimate Bedwetting Alarm are the most successful because they condition your child’s brain to respond to the sensation of a full bladder.
Get Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting by Howard J. Bennett MD FAAP – the self-help guide which is designed to assist children in conquering bedwetting. Full of practical tips and specific program for overcoming bedwetting which covers topics such as waking-up practice, bedwetting alarms, and how to handle sleepovers.