Your child and bed wetting: Some tips for parents

Parenting is a tough job. Giving your child positive role models in addition to providing for them financially...

Parenting is a tough job. Giving your child positive role models in addition to providing for them financially and emotionally can seem like a daunting task. While it can feel like the challenges never end, dealing with bed wetting doesn't have to be an issue to lose sleep over.

Is bed wetting rare?

About 20 percent of five-year-old children experience a period where they wet the bed; however, bed wetting is more common in boys than in girls.

One of the root causes is simply the immaturity of the child's bladder; it just isn't fully developed yet. Another big determiner of bed wetting is genetics. If you or your spouse wet the bed as a child, there's a likelihood that your child will have the same problem.

Psychology can also play a role. If the child is abnormally stressed or experiencing difficult situations, bed wetting is often the result. Talk to your child often to see if there are worried about anything, or if there are problems at school.

What to do about it

In most cases, the best thing to do is simply to wait for your child to outgrow the accidents. As stated, it's usually a symptom of an undeveloped bladder and most kids outgrow it by age six.

In the intermediary time between those years, there are a few things you can do to aid the process:

  • Limit liquid intake before bed: Have a set cutoff time for snacks and drinks. Two to three hours before bedtime is good.
  • Use the bathroom just before bed: No more than 15 minutes before bed, have your child take a final bathroom break.
  • Establish a routine bedtime: This will help your child to develop a subconscious routine for his/her bladder.


As a last resort, you may consider medication for your child. There are several medications currently available that treat nocturnal enuresis. One of the newer and more popular drugs is DDAVP (Desmopressin Acetate), a synthetic copy of a hormone that controls urine production and concentration. DDAVP can be administered by either tablet or nasal and has about a 45 percent effectiveness rate.

Another option is Imipramine. This is an older, less expensive drug with about the same effective percentage. However, there are significant side effects up to and including death if the drug is not taken in the proper dosage.

Consult your physician before deciding on any medication and keep in mind that while it is an effective treatment method, children usually relapse if they stop taking their prescription.

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