It is important to remember that kids dont wet the bed because they’re lazy, naughty or have emotional problems. Bedwetting is not a learning or behavioural problem. Kids who wet the bed aren’t doing it on purpose and they can’t try harder to make it stop. Punishment is not a useful tool in managing bedwetting in kids.
There are 4 common causes of bedwetting:
1. Family History
Surprisingly, bedwetting can run in a family. If one parent wet the bed as a child, there’s a 43% chance that their child will have night time accidents. If both parents wet the bed, the odds can rise to 77%.
2. Arousal from Sleep – Bladder to Brain Connection
With many children who wet at night, their urinary control centre in the brain does not respond to the signal that their bladder is full. Their brain should wake them up to go to the toilet and empty their bladder. This has not happened yet in these children. See more about the physical causes of bedwetting.
3. Small Functioning Bladder Capacity
With some kids their daytime bladder capacity is quite small, so when they go to sleep their bladder will empty when it reaches the same small daytime volume. Bladder training can help to increase their daytime capacity and expand their bladder at night as well. This means that their bladder will be able to hold all the urine produced overnight and they will not have to get up to go to the toilet at all.
Each night when we go to sleep the pituitary gland secretes an antidiuretic hormone (ADH) that slows down the production of urine by the kidneys so we don’t have to wake up to urinate. Some children who wet the bed are in a stage where they produce too little of this hormone.
Any of these things could be happening to your child. Bedwetting is nobody’s fault. There is no way to force a child’s kidneys to make less urine, to hold more urine or to increase their arousal from sleep. They are things a child cannot control right now, but with support, encouragement and if necessary treatment, they will be well on their way to dry nights.