Handling Bedwetting

Staff Writer
Columbus Parent
Cheryl G. Baxter

Q:Bedwetting has arrived in our household, and my son is terribly embarrassed about it. What can I do to help, and when will this end?

A:Waking up wet in the morning is common for many children. Bedwetting is not a serious medical condition, but a normal part of childhood. Although it is frustrating, try to be patient with your child while working through this experience.

While bedwetting has no cure, simple steps such as making sure your child uses the bathroom before bed and limiting the amount of liquid your child drinks before bed can help to reduce the amount of bedwetting in some children. Bedwetting usually goes away on its own, but until it does, parents should provide support and positive reinforcement during this process. Reassure your child that bedwetting is normal and that it won't last forever.

In rare cases, bedwetting can be a sign of an underlying condition, such as a urinary tract infection, constipation, bladder problems, diabetes or severe stress. Call your child's pediatrician if your child suddenly starts wetting the bed after being consistently dry for at least six months, begins to wet his or her pants during the day, or is drinking or eating much more than usual.

-Cheryl G. Baxter is a Nurse Practitioner in the Section of Pediatric Urology at Nationwide Children's Hospital.