Wetting the bed is a common occurrence in young children. Before the age of seven, your child may have not yet developed the necessary bladder control to make it through the night. In most cases, protecting your child’s mattress with a plastic cover and treating the situation calmly and patiently are your only necessary steps. When does bed wetting become a concern? Keep reading to find out when you should look further into your child’s bed wetting and when you should contact your child’s primary care provider for help.
When to Take Notice
If your child continues regularly wetting their bed after they turn seven, you should start paying further attention to the behavior. It’s important to accept that your child is not choosing to wet the bed and that punishing them will not change the situation and may even lead your child to develop low self-esteem. Another sign that there could be underlying issues is if your child has kept their bed dry for several months, but then returns to regular bed wetting.
Things to Try
There are a few simple strategies that may improve an older child’s bed wetting. The first is to limit liquids in the few hours before bedtime as your child may simply be drinking too many liquids too close to bedtime. Second, make sure that it is easy and safe for your child to access the bathroom at night. Installing nightlights in your hallways and in the bathroom can make it easier and less scary for your child to go to the bathroom if they wake up in the night and feel the urge.
When to Seek Help
If bed wetting persists or if you notice any of the following signs, you should contact your primary care provider:
- Hard stools
- Unusual thirst
- Painful urination
Any of these symptoms in conjunction with bed wetting can be a sign of an underlying medical issue that will require treatment. Ultimately, most bed wetting is a stage that your child will eventually move past, and your primary care provider can help you know if there are any further issues.