Bedwetting is a common problem many parents and young children face, especially kids under six years old. But when is bedwetting a sign of a larger issue? We spoke with Dr. Russell Horton, DO at Banner Health Center Queen Creek to learn when bedwetting should be considered normal, the underlying conditions leading to bedwetting and when to see your pediatrician if your child’s bedwetting becomes a habit.
Why Does My Kid Wet the Bed?
Bedwetting is a natural, normal part of early childhood development, with the majority of children growing out of it in their adolescence or pre-teen years. Most of the time, bedwetting is not a sign of a larger medical or psychological condition.
“Wetting the bed can be frustrating but it is physiologically normal,” Dr. Horton says, “Wait until age 8 or 9 years before taking serious steps to prevent bedwetting. Treatment may include medications or seeing a specialist.”
This said, even when bedwetting is not a sign of something larger, it can still be an embarrassing and uncomfortable experience for your child. As parents, it is important for you to reassure your child that bedwetting can be normal and that many children, maybe including yourself, wet the bed as a child. The most important action you can take is to never yell or punish your child for wetting the bed.
When to Call the Doctor
If bedwetting begins suddenly, frequently or happens with a variety of other symptoms including a fever or nausea, it is time to call a doctor. Severe bedwetting is often a sign of:
“Wetting the bed can be a sign of a larger issue, especially if it starts all of a sudden after being dry at night,” Dr. Horton says, “Oftentimes persistent bed wetting is a sign of constipation. It can also be a sign of stress or anxiety caused by external factors. But, more often than not, bedwetting is completely normal.”
If you believe your child is suffering from symptoms that go beyond normal bedwetting or if your child is wetting the bed more than usual, meet with your Banner pediatrician.