When should you reach out for a helping hand on your road to dry nights?
If your child is between 5 and 7 years old and has always wet the bed, it is likely that they will become dry at night on their own without the need for treatment or outside intervention. Most cases of primary enuresis are nothing to worry about and simply require your love, support and time.
As your child gets older, it is more and more likely that they will need outside support and treatment to get through this phase, but the good news is that by the age of 12, 97% of children will have stopped wetting the bed.
If your child has previously been dry at night for 6 months or more in the past but has started to wet the bed again, this is medically known as Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis.
When it comes to secondary enuresis, there is a range of physical, emotional and psychological causes, so seeking outside support and expert advice is essential.
When should I talk to my doctor about bedwetting?
The majority of children between the ages of 5 and 7 years with primary nocturnal enuresis will become dry on their own without the need for treatment.
Treatment is recommended if:
(a) your child is older than 6 years of age and wets the bed at least twice a week or more,
(b) is visibly upset or disturbed by their bedwetting, or
(c) their bedwetting begins to impact on their everyday functioning or social relationships.
In deciding what treatment to recommend doctors will consider the age of your child, the frequency of the bedwetting as well as the motivation and needs of your child and your family.
Additional factors that may impact on the choice of treatment include whether your child has easy access to the toilet, as well as your child’s sleeping arrangements.
If a child has always wet the bed, it is usually a sign that their bladder and their nervous system simply needs more time to develop. It is perfectly normal for children to continue to wet the bed years after they have successfully completed their day time toilet training.
This said, it is recommended to consult your GP if:
If in doubt, it is always recommended to see your doctor for advice. Even if it is just for peace of mind. Once you have gotten the all clear from your doctor, a successful management plan is your next port of call.
Although it can be a challenging time for children and parents, with your loving support, reassurance and some practical tools to stay dry at night, your child will see that bedwetting is just a common phase that they will naturally grow out of.
When should you seek advice for Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis?
If your child is experiencing secondary bedwetting, it is recommended to book an appointment with your GP right away.
Although the majority of cases of secondary bedwetting are caused by emotional stress or a psychological trauma, it is important to first rule out any physical causes.
There are several medical conditions that have been known to cause secondary enuresis including constipation, urinary tract infection (UTI), obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and juvenile diabetes.
Symptoms for these conditions include:
A secondary bedwetting phase can also be triggered by stress, anxiety, depression, or a one-off event that has unsettled your child. So once you have ruled out any physical conditions, it is wise to seek support from a GP, child psychologist or behaviour specialist to identify any emotional or psychological factors that may be the cause.