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11 Reasons For Bedwetting (And What To Do About It)

Is your child wetting the bed at night? Are you struggling to help them stay dry? Maybe they were dry for a while but bedwetting started again?

You're not alone. While some kids might be dry at night soon after potty training, others might still experience bedwetting at the age of 7 or even later. 

While it can be frustrating for you and your child, it is important to remember that it is often a normal part of a child's development. Patience and understanding are the key to success. 

Most children outgrow bedwetting on their own but some need a little help. In some cases, bedwetting might be a sign of an underlying medical condition, but that is only identified in about 1% of children who experience bedwetting. 

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    11 Possible Causes For Bedwetting

    There are a few factors that could contribute to the bedwetting problem: 

    • Your child's bladder might not be developed enough to hold urine through the night.
    • Hormonal imbalance. ADH is responsible for slowing down the production of urine during the night. If this is identified, the GP might prescribe medication to regulate hormone production.
    • Nerves controlling the bladder are not mature yet so a full bladder might not wake your child up.
    • Infections might make it hard to control urination. Symptoms might include daytime accidents, painful urination, frequent urination, red or pink urine.¬†
    • Sleep apnea - bed-wetting can sometimes be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea (a condition where large tonsils interrupt a child's breathing during the sleep). Other symptoms might include snoring and drowsiness at daytime.¬†
    • Diabetes - bedwetting might be the first sign of diabetes for children who are usually dry at night. Your child can also have other symptoms like passing a large amount of urine at once, increased thirst, fatigue and losing weight without any diet change and a good appetite.¬†
    • Muscles responsible for controlling urine are also responsible for stool elimination. If your child experienced long-term constipation, these muscles might not work properly and cause bedwetting at night.¬†
    • Bedwetting can be caused by a defect in the child's neurological or urinary system. These cases are rare.¬†

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    While bedwetting can affect anyone, it's twice as common in boys than girls. Additionally, if both parents experienced bedwetting in their childhood, the child has a 70% chance of it happening to them as well. Other factors include:

    • Stress and anxiety. If your child was dry at night but there were big events in their life like moving a house, birth of a new sibling, or school anxiety, they might experience bedwetting.¬†
    • Medical conditions like autism or Down syndrome
    • Children with ADHD often experience bedwetting as well although the medical connection has not been found yet.¬†

    As a guideline, you should seek medical advice if:

    • your child still wets the bed at 7 years old
    • your child starts wetting the bed after being dry for a few months
    • your child is very thirsty, experiences pain during urination, has pink or red urine, hard stools

    Although it can be frustrating, bedwetting that's not caused by a medical issue doesn't pose health risks. Remember that your support is very important. Your child might feel guilty and experience low self-esteem especially if they start missing out on social events including sleep-overs and camps. Your child might also experience a rash on their bottom or genital area especially if they don't wake up and continue sleeping in wet pyjamas. 

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     If your child was dry but suddenly started having accidents through the night, it could have been caused by a stressful event in their life. Try talking to your child about the situation and how they feel about it. Sometimes, it is enough to solve the bedwetting problem. Do not punish your child for an accident but assure them that one day it will stop. Let your child be responsible if it's age-appropriate. They can put wet bedding and clothes in the washing machine and change their own bed. If you have a PeapodMat, it's perfect for this as one of the customers explained: 

    "PeapodMat stays put on the bed and keeps the bed dry. My 6 yr old can sort himself out during the night if he has an accident and he is happier he doesn't need his whole bed changed."¬†‚ě°ÔłŹShop PeapodMats

    Bedwetting problem and what to do about it

    10 Things To Do At Home To Help With Bedwetting

    Before choosing the best way to help your child and approach the problem, it is important to identify the type of bedwetting. Bedwetting that has been ongoing since the early years is called primary. Bedwetting that started after a child was dry for 6 months is called secondary. 

    • Encourage your child to go to the toilet 4-7 times a day, including right before bedtime
    • Use¬†safe washable bed pads
    • Make sure your child can get to the toilet by themselves at night, night-light in their room and on the way to the bathroom can help
    • Do not wake or carry your child to the toilet - this won't help in the long run
    • Keep track of wet and dry nights to motivate your child
    • Try to stop using pull-ups or nappies as the child will think that it doesn't really matter if they pee in a nappy; it doesn't feel as wet as wet pyjamas.¬†
    • Good preparation is the key - lots of ready bed changes, waterproof and washable bed pads, pyjamas
    • Don't give your child a drink after dinner time
    • Avoid giving your child caffeine drinks as they stimulate the production of urine
    • Explain to your child every step of the way. Stories about how their body works will definitely interest them. ¬†

    If you have tried everything and are still struggling, or it is getting too much, contact your GP. 

    Did we miss anything? What worked for your child?

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    Sources: mayoclinic.org, healthline.com, NHS.uk, webmd.com


    This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Always seek the advice of your doctor or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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    99 reviews

    I bought the large one for when my grandaughter came out of nappies, she is a fidgety sleeper and this has not move. I now have a second one for her little sister both are excellent. Saves my mattresses on new bed and stay in place for a comfortable sleep. Can’t Recommend enough. Brilliant!

    Peapods are an absolute life saver. I have both the large and the medium.
    With a urostomy it’s inevitable there will be leaks; just a fact of life.
    Having one of these on the bed does away with the stress of airing the mattress etc when ‚Äúa big one‚ÄĚ happens.
    It doesn’t feel clinical and thankfully doesn’t give that horrible sweaty feeling others do.
    Amazing amazing amazing!

    Hi GG, it's great to hear that you're happy with PeapodMats and that they take the stress away for you. Thank you for a great review. All the best, Team JOIZI

    Absolutely incredible! We used to buy at least 2-3 new mattresses a year! This magical matt has saved us so much money. Never leaks and lovely soft towel texture. Highly recommend for mummy's or adults with incontinence issues.

    Hi Aimee, thank you for your lovely review and recommending PeapodMats to others! It's great to hear that PeapodMat helped you save money on mattresses and you love its leakproof qualities! All the best, Team JOIZI

    I purchased 2 of the medium sized Peapods (after a personal recommendation and then reading the excellent reviews) for my partners bed, she has incontinence due to early onset dementia. I am generally pleased with their performance and they have made life easier in this situation. However, usually a small amount of urine does pass through the Peapod with the result that I back it up with two layers of normal towels underneath to absorb this small excess. This system works well and the bed sheet always seems to be dry. It is for this reason that I have given 4 stars.
    I would still say that they are worth the cost, obviously I alternate the two Peapods each night and am thinking of getting a third one as extra backup.

    Hi David, thank you so much for your review and your lovely words about PeapodMats! Because PeapodMats are breathable (but leak proof) the water from urine may evaporate, causing the sheet underneath to feel cool to touch and giving it a damp feeling. Please also be advised that we generally recommend large size of PeapodMats for adults. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us at hello@joizi.com.

    After doing loads of research, we purchased a medium sized PeapodMat for my son who is still in pull-ups at night age 5 and a half! We're two nights in and there have been accidents both nights but the mat has worked - it didn't move around in the night and the sheet underneath remained dry so the matress is well-protected.

    Hi Hannah, thank you for a great review. We're so happy to hear that PeapodMat has protected your little one's bed so well and stays in place all night. We wish you and your family all the best, Team JOIZI