Facts about bedwetting in children age 5‑7
Accidents at night when you’re 5 or over can feel all kinds of stressful! The positive news is there’s loads you can do as a parent to help and support your child. A good start is to try and understand some of the facts around bedwetting, why it happens and what it means. With this knowledge, you can set about making a plan of action.
Did you know?
Fact 1: Bedwetting in children aged 5‑7 is not uncommon
There’s nothing unusual about four to seven-year-olds having accidents at night. Many children are having dry nights by the time they go to school, but around 15% of five-year-olds still wet the bed.
Fact 2: Bedwetting doesn’t happen on purpose
Children don’t wee in the bed on purpose. The most common cause is a neurological developmental delay. In other words, the child’s brain and bladder aren’t yet fully connected: their nervous system is slow to process the feeling of a full bladder and they don’t wake up in time to go to the toilet. It is a developmental stage that most children will grow out of.
Fact 3: Bedwetting anxiety gets worse as the child gets older
The older the child, the more anxious they will feel about wetting the bed, and the more anxious the parent will feel about trying to help.
What are the best ways you can help?
With love, patience, kindness and reassurance. It goes a long, long way to help. Just remember: it’s not their fault. In fact, it’s very common, with
15% of kids age 5-7 wetting the bed at night. Although it is considered a medical condition from age 5 and older, most kids will grow out of this—and if you’re at all worried, it’s worth
speaking to a GP.
In the meantime, your child just needs time, and your support.
How to talk to your child about bedwetting and night-time accidents
It’s not always easy to talk to your big kid about such a big topic. Here’s a few tips which may help:
- It’s important not to avoid the issue – open up the conversation.
- Let them know they are not alone and it’s not their fault.
- Explain it’s just a phase and they will grow out of it. Like losing their teeth!
- Compare this to growing tall – kids do everything at different rates. Their body is just playing catch-up.
- Empower them to take control. Let them decide between staying dry with DryNites® Pyjama Pants and DryNites® Bed Mats or other options to help them manage.
- Normalise the action plan by letting the family know
- ● Keep the conversation going, encouraging them to tell you how they are feeling by sharing your own experiences (if you have any).
For a comfortable night's sleep, try DryNites®
Clinically proven for a better night’s sleep, keeping your child in DryNites® Pyjama Pants will keep them comfortable even if they do wee while asleep. Staying dry will help their self-esteem and confidence (and help with washing overload!).
Your action plan for bedwetting children aged 5‑7
Here’s a ready-made action plan to help you beat bedwetting!
- Encourage your child to drink water regularly throughout the day (taper off at night)
- Limit sweet and bubbly drinks, especially ones containing caffeine
- Avoid foods high in salt and dairy products at night
- Make sure your child goes to the toilet before bed
- Use DryNites® Pyjama pants to help keep your child and their bed dry throughout the night.
- Use DryNites® Bed Mats mattress protector to keep the bed fresh and dry.
- Increase dietary fibre to prevent constipation
- Don’t lift sleeping children to take them to the toilet during the night as this reinforces to the child that it’s ok to wee in their sleep.
A final bedwetting tip…
Don’t get angry or punish your child for wetting the bed and never make fun of them—no matter how light-hearted you think it may be.
Still struggling with your 5‑7 wetting the bed? Try making some changes
Talk with your child about what they should do if they wake up in the night and need to go to the toilet. Should they go to the toilet on their own or call out to you?
It’s also a good idea to create a clear and well-lit path between their bed and the toilet. A small night light and your support is the best solution for a child who is scared of the dark.
When to ask for help with bedwetting
- Your child is older than 6 years old and wets the bed twice a week or more
- You notice bedwetting is starting to have a negative impact on their relationships, and emotional wellbeing
- Your child is visibly distressed or disturbed by wetting the bed
- They begin to wet their pants during the day
- You notice any other physical or emotional disturbances of any kind
- If in doubt, it is always recommended to see your doctor for advice. Even if it is just for peace of mind.
See a doctor if you suspect secondary nocturnal enuresis
Secondary bedwetting is when your child has been dry at night for a while – six months at least – and then starts to wet the bed again. There may be an underlying reason that needs addressing. Causes may include: a urinary tract infection (UTI); diabetes; a physical abnormality; sleep apnoea; stress.
If your child is experiencing secondary bedwetting, book an appointment with your GP. Although most cases are caused by emotional stress or a psychological trauma, it is important to first rule out any physical causes.
In the meantime, the best thing you can do is support your child through the bedwetting phase. Together, you can get there!