Toddlers Bed Wetting

QUESTION: Toddlers bed wetting - At what age should it stop?

ANSWER:

All around the world, millions of children and teenagers wet the bed every night. Most of them feel there is something wrong with them because of their bed-wetting problem. Parents sometimes feel the bed-wetting reflects poorly on their parenting skills.

In a survey conducted by the ICR in 1996, of the nine thousand parents questioned, 22% of them believed their 6-17 year old child wets the bed because of laziness. Although laziness is not the problem for most bed wetters, there are three main reasons that cause children to relieve their bladder during the night.
  • Some children's bladders have not fully matured. This lack of muscle strength is what disables them from holding the urine until they are fully awake to go to the bathroom.

  • Some children have small bladders that cannot hold normal kidney production through the night.

  • The kidneys of some children produce more urine than a normal sized bladder can hold. The kidneys will do this if there is too much intake of liquids before bedtime. The kidneys will function in this way if diuretic foods, such as soda and chocolate, or medicines are taken before sleeping. This also occurs if a disease is present, such as diabetes or a urinary tract infection.
  • The Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) is lower in children who wet the bed, causing the kidneys to actively produce urine while the body is at rest. ADH is higher in adults, which causes the kidneys to slow its production of urine during the sleeping hours. Studies have shown that children who wet the bed simply cannot wake up in time to go to the bathroom.

    By five years old, most children have successfully stopped wetting the bed without any intervention. Among those children who still wet the bed after the age of six, most will complete the bed-wetting stage and stay dry at night within the next year without any treatment. Two percent of adolescents still wet the bed at fifteen years old. If left untreated in the teen years, bed-wetting will become a lifetime problem for them.

    The best news is that most children who wet the bed eventually stop, and although the situation exists, bed-wetting is rarely caused by psychological disorders. Don't be discouraged if the child wets the bed every night. It is a challenge that the parent-child team can overcome through diligence, patience, and if needed, medical intervention.

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