Most children are fully potty-trained by age four.  However, some children who are perfectly potty-trained during the day still have difficulty staying dry at night.  According to researchers at the Mayo Clinic about 15 percent of children over the age 5, still wet the bed.  The percentage drops to 5 percent for children between the ages of 8 and 11.

Typically, children out-grow bet-wetting behavior without any medical intervention. However, for a few children, bed-wetting can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, sleep apnea, hormone imbalance, or a urinary tract infection.

Consult Your Doctor

Consult your doctor if:

  • Your child is age 5 or older and still wets the bed.  This is particularly important if the child feels stressed or embarrassed about the behavior.
  • Your child suddenly starts wetting the bed.
  • Your child wets the bed and experiences painful urination and unusual thirst.

Information to Give Your Doctor

Once you’ve made a doctor’s appointment, prepare the following information to take with you to the doctor.

  • Family history of bed wetting.
  • Date bed-wetting began and the family circumstance at the time of the onset, if this is a sudden appearance of bed-wetting.
  • Amount of liquids child consumes during a 24-hour period.  Measure the amounts and types of liquids for a 24-hour period.
  • Number of times the child urinates during a 24-hour period.


A number of treatments are available for bed-wetting. Your doctor will consult with you as to what is the best choice for your child.  Treatments range from a wetness-monitor to medications.

In the Meantime

In the meantime, parents can make some simple lifestyle changes to help make the child more comfortable.

  • Limit evening liquids to about 8 ounces.
  • Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods in the evening.
  • Use a plastic cover over your child’s mattress.
  • Give the child underwear or pajamas that have extra padding to absorb wetness.


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