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How to Cope with Daytime Wetting and Bedtime Wetting

By HERWriter
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 daytime and bedtime wetting methods of coping Alena Ozerova/PhotoSpin

What is Enuresis?

According to WebMD, “[n]octurnal enuresis, or bed-wetting…is the most common type of elimination disorder. Daytime wetting is called diurnal enuresis. Some children experience either or a combination of both.”

The Canadian Pediatric Society defined primary nocturnal enuresis or bed-wetting as “the involuntary discharge of urine at night by children old enough to be expected to have bladder control….”

The CPS said further that parents should view involuntary bedwetting as a variation in the development of normal bladder control. A child is considered to have secondary enuresis if he/she has experienced a minimum six-month period of continence before the onset of the bedwetting. (4)

The International Children’s Continence Society uses the term enuresis only when it applies to nighttime wetting in children over 5 years of age, and only if a child experiences more than two wetting episodes per week. (1, 2, 5)

Factors that may contribute to enuresis include :

• A small bladder

• Persistent urinary tract infections

• Severe stress or anxiety

• Developmental delays that interfere with toilet training

• Genetics

• Heavy sleep habits

How Common is Nocturnal Enuresis?

Dr. C. Carolyn Thiedke of the Medical University of South Carolina said that nocturnal enuresis affects an estimated 5-7 million children in the United States and occurs three times more often in boys than in girls.

She said, “At five years of age, 15 to 25 percent of children wet the bed. With each year of maturity, the percentage of bed-wetters declines by 15 percent. Hence, 8 percent of 12-year-old boys and 4 percent of 12-year-old girls are enuretic; only 1 to 3 percent of adolescents are still wetting their bed.”

Enuresis can have a significant effect on a child’s self-esteem. She may be punished or chewed out by her parents. She may be afraid to talk about it with her friends for fear of being ridiculed, or simply think poorly of herself for doing something so “baby-like”.

Add a Comment2 Comments

Although many young children wet their beds, most stop by the time they are 4 or 5 years old. Bed-wetting that persists can lead to embarrassment and teasing by peers. If your child is 6 or 7 and still can't stay dry through the night, you should consider speaking to a doctor about bed-wetting treatment. One treatment that helps many children is a bed-wetting alarm.


January 8, 2014 - 8:21am
HERWriter (reply to Mike Johnson)

Thank you, Mike.

I actually wrote an article on bedwetting for older children. My research said bedwetting is quite common up to about age 7 and that prior to age 7, parents shouldn't really be all that concerned and that most times treatment isn't required.

January 14, 2014 - 12:03pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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