As a pediatrician and mom, I have spent numerous hours listening to other moms concerns around potty training and bedwetting. From what I hear, there really are a lot of misconceptions about achieving daytime and nighttime dryness in children. In fact, GoodNites conducted a survey of parents nationwide and found “43% of parents think they can train their child out of bedwetting.” I’m hoping to provide clarification and help allay the stress and anxiety that parents are feeling.
There are distinct differences between staying dry during the day and overnight. Daytime dryness is usually learned around age 3 or 4 when a child is developmentally, emotionally, and physically ready to do so, while staying dry at night often occurs years later. Actually, night time wetting is common. 5-7 million children wet the bed in the United States according to the National Kidney Foundation – that’s more than the number of children who entered kindergarten in the United States in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Education (4 million). Many parents often think that once daytime potty training is successful with their child, a similar process can be taught to prevent bedwetting. But that’s not the case. Nighttime dryness occurs when the bladder grows sufficiently in size and its nerve signals to and from the brain mature.
Parents often fear that their child is one of the only ones still wetting the bed, and are always relieved to find out otherwise. I reassure parents that it often takes much longer for nighttime dryness to be achieved, and that bedwetting is usually not a sign of emotional or psychological issues. For most kids staying dry at night develops without training, but instead with time and patience.
There are also measures you can take to help your child until bedwetting subsides. First, let them know that it’s not their fault and that you don’t blame them. Next, it is crucial to educate yourself on the topic so you can find the right solution for your child. For more information, check out the infographic below or go to GoodNites.com for more tools, and solutions for a drier night’s sleep.
Written by: Jennifer Trachtenberg MD
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