Unfortunately, simply mastering potty training during the day does not mean that your child will stay dry at night. In fact, while most kids become potty trained by the time they are 3 to 4 years old, about 15% of kids wet the bed when they are 5 years old, and 7 to 10% of 7 year olds and 3% of 10 year olds are bedwetters. After that, about 15% of bedwetters outgrow wetting the bed each year so that by the age of 15, only about 1% of teens still wet the bed.
Bedwetting FactsAlthough most parents blame their child's bedwetting on the fact that their child is a deep sleeper, bedwetting is actually a very complex problem with multiple medical, physiologic, behavioral, and environmental causes. Genetics plays a very important role in bedwetting, with most studies showing that if one or both parents were bedwetters, then there is a very good chance that their children will wet the bed too.
Keep in mind that there is no good, single explanation for why most kids wet the bed.
Diagnosis of BedwettingTesting is rarely necessary for children with primary nocturnal enuresis, who have never been dry at night. You should talk to your Pediatrician if your child was previously dry at night for at least six months and then began wetting the bed again, which is called secondary nocturnal enuresis, or if your child also has accidents during the day.
Initial testing, when needed, usually includes a urinalysis and urine culture. More detailed testing might include a renal ultrasound, voiding cystourethrogram, and/or uroflowmetry.
Coping With BedwettingMost importantly, reassure your child that bedwetting isn't his fault and never punish your child for wetting the bed. A visit to your doctor, even if you aren't interest in treating your child's bedwetting, can be helpful to reassure your child that this is a normal part of development and that there is a good chance that he will eventually outgrow it.
Although younger kids can wear pull-ups, for older bedwetters, it can be helpful to use waterproof mattress pads and overlays, zippered vinyl mattress covers, and/or a waterproof mattress overlay that you can put over your child's sheets.
It can also help to have your older child help change the bed and clean the bedding, although this shouldn't be viewed as a punishment.