Five Myths About Bed-wetting

Five Myths About Bed-wetting

There are so many misconceptions about bed-wetting out there that it is very easy confuse facts from myths. We want to help by sharing 5 common myths about bed-wetting.

1. Your child will outgrow bed-wetting and accidents if you wait it out.
Some children do outgrow wetting; some come to my clinic as depressed 10th graders. Do you want to find out which category your child will fall into? Many pediatricians won’t show the slightest concern about bed-wetting until a child is at least 7, and even then, many won’t take action. Like bed-wetting, pee and poop accidents are not normal in toilet-trained children and are typically caused by holding stool. Sure, during the potty-training process kids will have accidents. But children who never quite graduate to fully toilet trained are not late bloomers; they’re constipated.

2. A child who wets the bed is just too lazy to go to the bathroom.
 What most people don't realize is it's normal for a child who isn't trained to stay dry at night to have accidents up to age 7. Some children have a small bladder and cannot hold it all night long and are not aware of their body’s urge to wake up when they are sleeping.

3. Bed-wetting is caused by stress.
Bed-wetting is not caused by stress. The most common cause of bed-wetting is delay of bladder maturation, a small bladder, genetics and deep sleepers who don’t awaken to a bladder feeling full.

4. A bed-wetter simply drinks too much before bedtime. 
While it is true that drinking within the two hours of going to bed can contribute to nighttime bed-wetting, it's often not the only cause of bed-wetting. It is recommended that children who wet the bed limit evening beverages, and all children should avoid sugary or energy drinks before bed, however, this alone will not alleviate the problem. If a child’s bladder is deemed to be small then a routine of drinking water during the day and asking the child to hold off going to the toilet when they get the urge, for several minutes to start with and building up to 15-30 minutes over a period of a week can help ‘stretch’ the bladder to increase its capacity.

5. Waking a child up to go to the toilet when parents go to bed will stop the bed-wetting.
Lifting or waking a child in the middle of sleep to toilet can lead to frustration and conflict, especially if the child does not feel he or she wants to go to the toilet. Any attempt to force a child to go to the toilet before bed or during sleep will not bring any improvement in bladder control unless, fortuitously, it coincides with the sensation of a full bladder and the child is aware of this.


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