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Is your child still wetting their bed? Bedwetting is a normal part of potty training that usually occurs between the age of 3-5. It takes a child some time to be able to differentiate between voluntary actions of needing to go to urinate and involuntary actions that occur when they’re asleep.
That’s why many parents tend to reduce the liquid a child drinks for a few hours before bedtime as well as wake them up in the middle of the night to pee when they’re between the ages of 3-5. However, after that and especially after the age of 7, there could be more reasons behind your child wetting their bed that you should address.
Types of bedwetting:
Bedwetting is also referred to as nocturnal enuresis. There are two main types of bedwetting: primary and secondary nocturnal enuresis.
Primary nocturnal enuresis
When a child has been wetting their bed every single night for the past six months, this condition is known as primary nocturnal enuresis.
Secondary nocturnal enuresis
When a child has started bedwetting again after stopping for over 6 months or more, this is known as secondary nocturnal enuresis. In most cases, secondary nocturnal enuresis occurs as a result of a medical or psychological condition.
Causes of bedwetting in children
With primary nocturnal enuresis, the main cause is usually related to family history. Children who have parents or family members who used to wet their beds are more likely to suffer from the same condition.
If your child is suffering from constipation, the extra pressure of the stool inside the rectum can mess up with the nerve signals that the bladder sends or even decrease the amount of urine that the bladder can hold during the night.
Reduced bladder capacity
Some children have small functional bladder capacity that misleads them into feeling they can no longer hold any more urine. This causes them to feel the urge to urinate more frequently during the day and can cause more accidents during the night.
Not understanding the bladders internal signals
When a child is asleep, the bladder sends a signal to the brain once it is full. However, when a child is still unfamiliar with these signals and does not wake up, it results in bedwetting accidents. This takes time for the child to understand the signals that the brain is sending and wake up during the night to pee. However, by the age of 5, most children can completely comprehend these signals.
When a child faces trauma, emotional stress, or any disruption to their routine, it can lead to bedwetting. This can be from changing their setting such as moving to a new home, parents getting divorced, or even being bullied at school. This is especially true for children over the age of 7 and should be taken into consideration.
If your child is over 7 and there haven’t been any other disruptions to their routine or causes of emotional distress and they have started to show signs of bedwetting, then keep an eye out for these signs:
- Urinary tract infections
- Vaginal pain
- Unusual discharge
- Sexually transmitted diseases.
When these symptoms occur together, this could mean that your child is the victim of sexual abuse.
There are also several medical conditions that are related to bedwetting which include diabetes, sickle cell disease, sleep apnea, neurological problems, or kidney and bladder abnormalities. If bedwetting occurs after your child has been dry for over 6 months, see a doctor for possible medical conditions.
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Sources used in this article:
- Bedwetting – Cleveland Clinic
- Psychological Problems in Children with Bedwetting -Journal of Pediatric Psychology
- Bedwetting – Child and family psychological services
- Could stress or anxiety be causing your child’s bedwetting? – Web MD