Reviewed by Dan Brennan on April 14, 2016
Jan E. Drutz, MD; Naiwen D. Tu, MD. Patient Information: Bedwetting in Children (Beyond the Basics). UpToDate. 2012Hansa Bhargava, MD WebMD Pediatrician
© 2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: Fact. 15% of 5-year-olds actually have it! So you are not alone. And in fact it takes awhile for the child's bladder to mature. Most kids are aware of their bladder in the daytime by the age of 4, but a lot of kids aren't aware of their bladder in the nighttime till they are about 7 or so.
Narrator: Myth or fact? Bedwetting is more common among boys than girls.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: Fact. Boys unfortunately are affected much more -- in fact twice as much. He will most likely outgrow it. Very few teens actually have bedwetting.
Narrator: Myth or fact? Bedwetting is my child's fault.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: Absolutely not. That is a myth. So it is not your child's fault, and any kind of negative reinforcement or punishment or feeling even the frustration will project on your child, and it's not going to be good. It's not going to help him, it's not going to help you, and it's certainly not going to solve the problems.
Narrator: Myth or fact? Constipation can cause bedwetting.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: Fact. A full bowel can actually impact the ability of the bladder to retain urine or have bladder control at night. So more water, more fruits and vegetables, will help the constipation and then, of course, help the bedwetting as well.
Narrator: Myth or fact? Medication is the easiest solution for my child's bedwetting.
Hansa Bhargava, MD: That is a myth. You know, I think everyone would love a magic bullet, but there really isn't one. Medications can fix the issue for a short period of time, but the majority of kids actually relapse as soon as they are taken off the medications. What you want to do is either wait for the child to outgrow it, or if your child's older, consider motivational therapies, where the child takes ownership of this issue along with you. So know that your child will outgrow this, help your child, and help the child help themselves.