The National Institutes of Health states that nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence (the medical terms for bedwetting) is involuntary urination after age 5 or 6, and that more than 5 million children experience it. According to the Mayo Clinic, 15 percent of children still wet the bed by age 5, but less than 5 percent of kids do so by ages 8 to 11. Bedwetting tends to run in families and is more common among boys than girls; experts estimate the ratio as roughly 2 boys to 1 girl. Although most children eventually outgrow this phase, here are eight steps you can take to help your child keep dry through the night.
There are several reasons why a child might be a bed-wetter. For starters, it could be genetic since “about three out of four children who are wet at night have a first degree relative that had the same problem,” said Bennett, who blogs at howardjbennett.com.
Bed-wetting might also be caused by a lack of communication between the bladder and the brain. When your kid is toilet trained, he or she learns to inhibit the contractions and hold the urine back. Yet even if your child is able to do it during the day, he or she may still wet at night because “whatever learning goes on between the part of your brain that is responsible for having your bladder empty or holding your urine in, is still immature,” Bennett said.
Another culprit might be that the bladder simply doesn’t have enough room. And those children often have problems holding their urine during the day as well, according to Dr. Hubert Swana, a pediatric urologist who practices at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Fl.
If your child is a bed-wetter, here’s what you can do: