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Bedwetting Q&A

We get parents’ concerns about bedwetting all the time.
Why is scolding/punishing ineffective when it comes to your child wetting the bed?

Nighttime bedwetting is often a physiological symptom of the simple fact that many kids’ bladders are not large enough to hold urine throughout the night.  Children who are naturally lighter sleepers often awake to use the toilet in the middle of the night, while naturally heavier sleepers sleep through and awake to wet sheets (or pull ups) in the morning.  Kids who wet the bed don’t realize what they’re doing and CANNOT CONTROL IT. Any scolding or negative discipline will just add to any shame or embarrassment they’re already feeling, and could possibly contribute to psychological issues around toileting.  The vast majority of children naturally grow out of bedwetting as their bladders grow up with them. Patience and pulls ups are the best strategy.

How can a more regular bathroom during the day make bedwetting less likely through the night?

A regular toileting schedule helps maintain overall good bladder and bowel health.  It’s important that children learn to listen to their bodies and go to the bathroom “when their body first tells them” instead of waiting until the last possible moment, making accidents much more likely.  Constipation especially can disrupt the ability to completely empty one’s bladder, which has implications for both daytime and nighttime accidents. Soft painless daily stools should be the goal.