Bed-wetting — also called nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis — is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected. Soggy sheets and pajamas — and an embarrassed child — are a familiar scene in many homes. But don't despair. Bed-wetting isn't a sign of toilet training gone bad. It's often just a normal part of a child's development.Generally, bed-wetting before age 7 isn't a concern. At this age, your child may still be developing nighttime bladder control.
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.
No one knows for sure what causes bed-wetting, but various factors may play a role: • A small bladder. Your child's bladder may not be developed enough to hold urine produced during the night. • Inability to recognize a full bladder. If the nerves that control the bladder are slow to mature, a full bladder may not wake your child — especially if your child is a deep sleeper. • A hormone imbalance. During childhood, some kids don't produce enough anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) to slow nighttime urine production. • Urinary tract infection. This infection can make it difficult for your child to control urination. Signs and symptoms may include bed-wetting, daytime accidents, frequent urination, red or pink urine, and pain during urination. • Sleep apnea. Sometimes bed-wetting is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the child's breathing is interrupted during sleep — often due to inflamed or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Other signs and symptoms may include snoring and daytime drowsiness. • Diabetes. For a child who's usually dry at night, bed-wetting may be the first sign of diabetes. Other signs and symptoms may include passing large amounts of urine at once, increased thirst, fatigue and weight loss in spite of a good appetite. • Chronic constipation. The same muscles are used to control urine and stool elimination. When constipation is long term, these muscles can become dysfunctional and contribute to bed-wetting at night. • A structural problem in the urinary tract or nervous system. Rarely, bed-wetting is related to a defect in the child's neurological system or urinary system.