Top 10 Causes for Bedwetting in Children

There are several reasons why kids wet the bed at night. These include medical and psychological issues, hereditary factors and lifestyle choices.

Bedwetting in children is very common and in most cases it will go away on its own (sometimes a little patience is required) without any medical treatment. However, if your child is over 6 years old and bedwetting is becoming a serious issue, you should consider treating it.

There are 10 main reasons why bedwetting occurs in kids:

1. Underlying Medical Condition

Urinary tract infection, diabetes, kidney issues, chronic constipation, rare birth defects and sleep apnea are all diseases that can cause bedwetting. Even though there’s a small chance your child’s bedwetting has to do with any of these conditions, speak to your family doctor or to your pediatrician

2. Small Bladder Capacity

Kids with a small bladder capacity are also prone to bedwetting due to the fact that the bladder cannot hold a large volume of urine. One way of determining if the size of the bladder plays a role in bedwetting is to see how often the child needs to urinate. Kids with a small bladder capacity use the potty more often during the day. Some children also feel an urgent need to urinate, which is also a sign of a small bladder.

3. Too Much Urine Production During Nighttime

Some kids produce an excess of urine during the night due to low ADH (antidiuretic hormone). The ADH has the purpose of sending signals to the kidneys to reduce the amount of urine produced during night. Bedwetting occurs when the body does not produce enough ADH, or the kidneys don’t respond to the hormone’s signals.

4. Psychological Issues

Studies show that bedwetting is also caused by emotional problems, such as stress. However, it’s extremely difficult to recognize emotional issues in kids.

As a general rule of thumb, starting school, a new brother or sister, moving to a new house or sleeping away from home are events that may trigger bedwetting. Also, children who are physically or psychologically abused are also prone to wetting the bed.

One of the most common reasons associated with involuntary urination in kids is the late development of the nervous system and bladder control. This means that children do not wake up to urinate because they cannot recognize when the bladder is full.

5. Hereditary Factors

Several studies have shown that bedwetting is hereditary. If both parents were experiencing the condition when they were younger, there is a 77% chance their child will also wet the bed. If only one parent was wetting the bet, there is a 40% chance the child will also become a bedwetter.

6. Deep sleepers

Some deep sleepers don’t recognize the need to pee while being asleep because they are very active during the day and have no energy left to wake up during the night.

7. Poor Daytime Potty Habits

A lot of children with poor or unusual potty habits also experience bedwetting. Studies show bedwetting incidence increases if children use the potty too often or if they feel the need to go quickly (because of “holding it in” too long) during the day. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s difficult for children to continue with the same behavior during night. It’s hard to wake up several times to urinate and it’s also impossible for kids to “hold it in” while they sleep.

Another factor that increases the chance of wetting the bed is not getting all the urine out during the day. The remaining urine causes the bladder to fill up faster which can lead to bedwetting.

8. Dehydration

Drinking water before bed is another cause of bedwetting in children. A full bladder drastically increases the chances of accidents. One way of solving this problem is not to allow any drinks before bed. But what if the child is really thirsty? Ideally, you need to keep the child well hydrated during the day, so they are not dehydrated at night. This is especially important if they play any sports later in the day.

9. Constipation

Constipated kids are also prone to bedwetting because the stool puts pressure on the bladder. Constipation means less than one bowel movement a day or a hard, large and painful bowel movement. However, even if the child does not have any of the previously mentioned constipation symptoms, their colon may be clogged with stool.

10. Diet

There are no studies that show a direct between diet and bedwetting. However, carbonated drinks, sugar, spicy food and caffeine are all considered bladder irritants, so they should be avoided.