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What causes bedwetting?


This post is sponsored by DryNites.

Bedwetting – needs a paradigm shift. Is it a nightmare to contend with? Is extra work, more beddings to clean, screaming mornings filled with frustration and tears, or is it a child that now carries emotional and sometimes physical baggage.

Are you the irritated mom who just thinks that her child is being naughty, or are you the mom caught between … life? Perhaps you are the mom who really does not know who to turn to – the mom that wishes that she could help but does not know what to do.

Well, I have good news for you. It is not a naughty child and more importantly, YOU are not alone, there’s a community to support you through this.

I recently googled everything related to bedwetting and some of the questions that parents asked were shocking, not because it is silly because I don’t think there is a wrong question in a situation like this – but because although there are so many parents around the world who are experiencing this with their kids, many have them have no idea as to what it is or why it is happening.

Common questions parents google:

  • What is causing my child to wet the bed and how can I make it stop?
  • Am I doing something wrong?
  • Is my child an attention seeker or does he or she really have a problem?
  • My child suddenly started wetting the bed again and I have no idea why.

Bedwetting can be a really emotional and frustrating journey, especially if you have no one to talk to about it. We recently hosted our second DryNites event and discussed almost everything related to bedwetting from reward charts to sleepovers. Dr Michael Mol is the person you want to speak to, and you can through the DryNites website.

Did you know that many children who wet the bed end up having depression or anxiety?

Educating yourself with the right information is key.

20% of our moms said their child is embarrassed and scared to go for sleepovers.

What is bedwetting?

The medical term for bedwetting is Nocturnal Enuresis.

Nocturnal enuresis, also called bedwetting, is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which bladder control usually begins. Source Wikipedia

Our survey results* were 54% male and 46% female which backs research that says it is more likely to affect boys than girls.

Is bedwetting poor potty training?

Bedwetting has nothing to do with potty training and is only considered bedwetting from the age of 5 years old.

What causes bedwetting and why is it happening to my child?

Some common causes:

  • A small bladder.
  • Inability to recognize a full bladder.
  • A hormone imbalance.
  • Urinary tract infection.
  • Sleep apnea.
  • Diabetes.
  • Chronic constipation.
  • Could be genetic from parents. If you wet the bed, your child is more likely to.
  • Bullying or Trauma.

It is important to note that there is something called primary and secondary bedwetting.

Primary bedwetting is when your child cannot hold urine for the entire night. It’s a recurring problem.

Secondary bedwetting is when your child has been dry for over 6 months and then starts wetting the bed again.

Does limiting fluid intake in the afternoon and evening help to stop bedwetting?       

Dr Michael Mol suggested that you stop fluids at least 2 hours before bedtime especially sugared or caffeinated drinks and limit salt intake. If your child is really thirsty, few sips of water is fine.

Should I get my child up in the night to toilet?

No. This will cause sleepless nights for you and your child which will only lead to frustration in the end.

40% of our moms wake up their child up at night to go to the toilet while 30% mention that they put a towel or linen saver under their child at night.


What is the most effective method for stopping bedwetting?

There’s no permanent solution but you can do little things that might help like scheduling bathroom breaks, shifting times for drinks, get a bedwetting alarm and the last resort would be medication but remember when you stop the medication, the bedwetting will continue.

The best is to try and manage the situation instead of screaming at your child or punishing them for wetting the bed.

42% of our moms says they feel its normal and their kids will outgrow it.

How do I reward my child for being dry at night?

Dr. Michael Mol believes in rewards, you can find out more in the video below.

DryNites has created a fun bedwetting calendar which can help your child to take responsibility for themselves through simple and enjoyable little missions.

Before going to sleep, the child can draw a symbol of their choice (a fish, a smiley face, etc.) on that day’s space on the calendar – if they have fulfilled their missions for the day! The next day, they can draw another symbol if they had a good night and did not wet the bed. The drawings represent a reward, both for dry nights and for the child’s efforts. These rewards ensure the child feels valued and their confidence is boosted. 


My child has been dry for a few weeks, does that mean they’ll be accident-free in the future?

In the majority of cases bedwetting will spontaneously stop but that isn’t always the case – 1% of adolescents continue to struggle with bed-wetting. If the season of bed-wetting is affecting your child’s self-esteem then it’s best tp pro-actively manage the condition rather than adopting a “wait and see” approach.

What kind of specialists treat bedwetting?

It is suggested you see a Paediatrician or GP first who will then recommend you to a Urologist.

What product can I use for bedwetting?

DryNites Pyjama Pants are a discreet, comfortable, and absorbent form of bedtime protection. They can be worn under pyjamas or a nighty and come in designs suitable for age and gender to make them look and feel just like underwear. The Pyjama Pants is available for Boys and Girls and comes in two sizes, 4-7 years and 8-15 years. The best part is the pants are discreet and underwear-like, so your child can feel more confident and independent at bedtime, either at home or on nights away. 


Does the brand offer samples?

Yes, you can get one by filling a form in on the website.

Where can I buy the product?

Clicks, Clicks onlineBabies R, Baby City and selected Checkers Hyper.

*50 moms shared filled in our survey.


Written by: Shanèy Vijendranath

Shanèy Vijendranath + Follow Me

Co-Founder of MomSays| Award-winning Blogger| Forbes Africa 30 under 30 List 19| Chapter Lead So Gal Johannesburg

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