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Help with Bedwetting Pauline Shannon





Bedwetting Overview

Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, refers to the unintentional passage of urine during sleep. Enuresis is the medical term for wetting, whether in the clothing during the day or in bed at night. Another name for enuresis is urinary incontinence.

For infants and young children, urination is involuntary. Wetting is normal for them. Most children achieve some degree of bladder control by 4 years of age. Daytime control is usually achieved first, while nighttime control comes later.

Bedwetting is a very common problem.

Parents must realize that enuresis is involuntary. The child who wets the bed needs parental support and reassurance.

Bedwetting is a treatable condition.

  • While children with this embarrassing problem and their parents once had few choices except waiting to “grow out of it,” there are now treatments that work for many children.

  • Several devices, treatments, and techniques have been developed to help these children stay dry at night.


Integrating retained reflexes can be a very quick and easy way to improve incontinence.  INPP offers a drug free non invasive treatment for these issues.

What Causes Primary Bedwetting?

The cause is likely due to one or a combination of the following:

  • The child cannot yet hold urine for the entire night.

  • The child does not waken when his or her bladder is full.

  • The child produces a large amount of urine during the evening and night hours.

  • The child has poor daytime toilet habits. Many children habitually ignore the urge to urinate and put off urinating as long as they possibly can. Parents usually are familiar with the leg crossing, face straining, squirming, squatting, and groin holding that children use to hold back urine.

Integrating reflexes can improve the child's ability to sense when they need to go to the toilet.  Encouraging them to waken automatically when necessary when asleep and allowing them enough time to find a toilet when awake.

How Common is Bedwetting?

Nocturnal enuresis, the medical name for bedwetting, is a common problem in kids, especially children under the 6 years old. About 13% of 6-year-olds wet the bed, while about 5% of 10-year-olds do.

Bedwetting often runs in families: many kids who wet the bed have a relative who did, too. If both parents wet the bed when they were young, it’s very likely that their child will.

The fact that bed wetting runs in the family is not a reason not to treat.  It may be that the parents also had retained reflexes.

Symptoms of Bedwetting

Bed-wetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected.

Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but there’s really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.

This is a contributing factor to social exclusion where the child does not feel able to stay overnight with friends and fully join in.  

Risk factors of Bedwetting

Several factors have been associated with an increased risk of bed-wetting, including:

  • Being male. Bed-wetting can affect anyone, but it’s twice as common in boys as girls.

  • Family history. If one or both of a child’s parents wet the bed as children, their child has a significant chance of wetting the bed, too.

  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Bed-wetting is more common in children who have ADHD.

Retained reflexes can contribute to difficulties with day time and night time incontinence.

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