Why does your little child wet the bed at night?

By: - 10th May 2019

Little children wetting the bed at night is a natural occurrence. If a child is less than 7 years old, you should not think too much of this. Each child is different, so there is no hard and fast rule saying that they need to be able to control their bladder at a certain fixed age. However, if your child still wets the bed between the ages of 5 and 7 years, you need to pay a bit more attention. Approximately 15% of children wet their bed even after the age of 5 years. Boys under 5 years of age are twice as likely to wet their beds than girls of a similar age

Types of bed wetting

There are two main categories of bed wetting – primary and secondary.

Primary bed-wetting

This is where bed wetting has been common from early childhood. There are various reasons for this.

  • Inability to retain urine in the bladder.
  • Inability to wake up when their bladder is full.
  • Urinating a lot during the evening and night time when they are awake.
  • Not urinating frequently enough during the day time.
  • Ignoring the need to urinate.
Secondary bed-wetting

This is where your child’s bed-wetting at night has returned after stopping for a period of 6 months. This could be due to the following reasons:

  • A small bladder:
    • Your child's bladder might not have grown sufficiently to retain larger amounts of urine.

  • Inability to recognize when the bladder is full:
    • The nervous system related to bladder control develops slowly, therefore in deep sleep your child might not be able to recognize the need to urinate.

  • A hormone imbalance:
    • A lack of anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) can cause secondary bed wetting.

  • Disturbances in sleep:
    • When your child is in deep sleep they could urinate.

  • Genetics:
    • If the child's parents and grandparents also suffered from bed wetting at a younger age, it is likely that the child has inherited this condition.

  • Structural Abnormalities:
    • Abnormalities in muscles, organs, or nerves can result in losing control of urinating and other related urinary issues.

  • Nerve related:
    • Abnormalities in the nervous system, damages in your nerves, or nerve related illnesses can also cause this.

  • Urine infections:
    • When your child is having a urine infection, it is difficult for them to control their urination, and this causes them to urinate more frequently.

  • High sugar:
    • In the event of diabetes your blood sugar levels will be high. This causes the body to urinate more frequently to try and control the sugar levels. Therefore, the increased frequency of urination becomes a natural occurrence.

  • Mental issues:
    • Stressful events like conflicts with parents, changes in lifestyle such as moving to a new school, having a new family member, moving to a new house, and child abuse are all contributory factors to bed wetting.

  • Constipation:
    • Constipation can also result in frequent urination because the bladder will be pressed by excess motion.

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