Bedwetting: The Truth & What To Do About It

With the rush to potty train toddlers for nursery, urine infections are rife amongst primary school children.  16% of five year olds may also wet the bed, usually because of reduced bladder capacity or an inability to wake up.  As the parent of a child with a disability I can certainly relate to the second part of that.  Children with ASD will often not feel hunger/thirst/the need to toilet until the need is truly urgent, then that snack/water bottle/toilet must be found IMMEDIATELY.  At night the sensation of toilet need is so buried during sleep that they may not be dry at night until long after their peers.

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, is an uncontrollable leakage of urine while asleep.  Contrary to popular belief, it has nothing to do with bad behaviour, and is not caused by a psychological problem.  Bedwetting is a common childhood condition that can be treated.  Don't be ashamed to bring the issue up with your doctor if it persists beyond the preschool years.

Bedwetting can have a detrimental effect on a child's self-esteem, emotional wellbeing and day to day functioning, including school and social performance, so it is better addressed than ignored.  The condition is often trivialised and its effects on children and their families ignored.  But bedwetting really is nobody's fault, so do have an open conversation with your doctor if you are concerned.

Brenda Cheer, Paediatric Specialist Continence Nurse and ERIC (The Children's Bowel & Bladder Charity) nurse says:

"This year’s World Bedwetting Day message that this common childhood condition can and should be treated is one that we echo at ERIC. Left untreated, bedwetting won’t necessarily go away on its own and not all children ‘get dry in their own time’. Dealing with bedwetting can have a serious impact on a child’s well being and selfesteem. Half of parents whose children wet the bed don’t seek medical advice. We want all parents and carers of children and teenagers who are wet at night not to delay but to seek the help that is out there."

Have a look at this handy infographic for more facts about bedwetting.  You can find further information on the World Bedwetting Day website.  For more information, visit:, and

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