Bedwetting is a developmental phase effecting around one million children in the UK. Although there are various causes of bedwetting, it’s important to remember your child will often grow out of it. Read up on some of the most common causes of bedwetting, to help you understand the condition and support your child.
The bladder isn’t signalling it is full
When asleep, the bladder sends a signal to the brain indicating it is full. This signal allows us to ‘hold on’, waking us up and allowing us to get to the toilet in time. For some children, this connection doesn’t fully form until later, so their brain does not respond to the signal and they do not wake up.
This connection will develop over time – for some, it just takes a little longer.
Constipation putting pressure on the bladder
Constipation can be the cause of bedwetting, particularly in younger children. A constipated bowel will lean on the bladder, causing it to empty before it is full. If you think this could be the cause, it’s important you speak to a doctor about the constipation first, as this will likely resolve the bedwetting.
Lack of hormones affecting urine production
Our bodies create an antidiuretic hormone, which slows down the production of urine in the kidneys. Whilst we sleep, this hormone is sent out by our pituitary gland. Some children don’t produce enough of this hormone at night, which can result in bedwetting. This is something their bodies will learn to do over time.
Small bladder capacity
For some children, a smaller than average bladder capacity can result in frequent trips to the loo during the day, as well as problems at night. You can help your child increase their bladder capacity by encouraging them to drink plenty of fluids during the day. Guidelines from NICE recommend children aged between four and eight-years old drink six to eight glasses of water a day.
Emotional stress can be a trigger for some, particularly in children that have been dry for over six months, then start bedwetting again.
Talk to your child to determine what might be worrying them and this may help to sort bedwetting over time.
In some cases, a urine infection can cause bedwetting. If having a wee is causing your child pain, or if they are passing urine much more frequently than usual, talk to your doctor.
How to help your child with bedwetting
It’s important you take time to understand the common causes so you can help your child manage bedwetting and effectively support them. Bedwetting is a developmental stage, experienced by one in four children, so your child is not alone.
As they learn to manage it, try using night-time protection, like DryNites® Pyjama Pants. With five layers of protection, your child will be able to enjoy a good night’s sleep, dry and worry-free.