Most kids wet the bed at least a few times during childhood. But for some children, bedwetting can be a more serious, long-term problem that can significantly impact quality of life. At 5 Little Monkeys, our mission is to be a resource to parents everywhere for helping kids get better, healthier sleep. And if your child is still wetting the bed and you're wondering why, we're here to help.
The Causes of Bedwetting
Medically speaking, bedwetting is referred to as nocturnal enuresis, and it's defined as involuntary urination during sleep that occurs at least twice per week past the age of 5. Enuresis is also subdivided chronologically: the initial period of bedwetting is called primary enuresis, whereas if the child has a 6-month or longer period without wetting the bed and starts up again, the second incidence is called secondary enuresis.
Bedwetting may be a normal developmental aberration that goes away on its own or it may be a sign of an underlying medical problem. What matters is the frequency of events and the age of the child: remember, bedwetting isn't even categorized as a condition until past age 5. Even after age 5, some 10% of 6-year-olds wet the bed at least twice per week.
However, if bedwetting continues to persist, it may be a sign of an underlying problem. The causes of prolonged bedwetting can vary widely: it may stem from a developmental problem in the urinary tract, something as simple as a urinary tract infection, or a different sleep condition like obstructive sleep apnea. No matter the cause, however, bedwetting is rarely serious or a sign of a serious condition. If it's a problem, the best option is to simply schedule a visit to your child's doctor to determine what's causing the problem.