Bedwetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) is a common childhood problem. The number of children affected by bedwetting varies by age. Recent statistics show that at five years of age, 16 percent of children have some difficulty staying dry at night. By 15 years of age, only 1 to 2 percent continue to wet the bed. Also, boys are twice as likely to wet the bed as girls.
Why does bedwetting occur?
Bedwetting often runs in families but there’s not always a good explanation as to why some children wet the bed and others don’t. Some possible reasons may be:
- Your child produces more urine than their bladder can cope with
- Your child has an overactive bladder, meaning it can only hold a small amount of urine
- Your child is a very deep sleeper, so they don’t react to the signals telling their brain their bladder is full
Most children grow out of bed-wetting as they mature, but in the meantime there are a few things you can try:
- Make sure your child has enough to drink during the day but avoid giving drinks at least an hour before bedtime.
- Make sure that your child empties their bladder before going to bed.
- Make sure your child has easy access to the toilet at night. For example, if they have a bunk bed, they should sleep on the bottom bunk. You could also leave a light on in the bathroom and put a child’s seat on the toilet.
- Use waterproof covers on your child’s mattress and duvet.
- Avoid waking your child in the night or carrying them to the toilet, as it’s not likely to help them in the long term.
- Older children may want to change their own bedding at night, so make sure they have clean bedding and nightclothes handy.
Very rarely, bedwetting can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as:
- constipation – if a child’s bowels become blocked, it can put pressure on the bladder and lead to bedwetting
- a urinary tract infection (UTI) – your child may also have other symptoms, such as a fever and pain when they wee
- type 1 diabetes – other symptoms of this include tiredness and feeling thirsty all the time
With time and patience, bedwetting is a phase that can be easily resolved. However, if you are concerned about your child’s bedwetting, or if your child has previously been dry and begins bedwetting, you can speak to your GP who can offer a range of treatments, including medication. A choice of bedwetting alarms are also available for children experiencing nocturnal enuresis.
B&M Supplies stock a number of products to help you cope with your child’s bedwetting. We have a range of pull-ups and diapers to suit older children as well as younger ones. Click here to view the range.
If you would like more information about bedwetting, you can visit: ERIC, The Children’s Bowel and Bladder Charity – a UK charity for families affected by bedwetting, daytime wetting, constipation and soiling. Their website has useful advice for both children and parents. For advice about which products will suit your circumstances, chat to a member of our team who will be happy to assist you.