Why Do Older Children Bed-wet?

What is Bed-wetting?

Bed-wetting, as we would discuss here, is also called nocturnal enuresis or nighttime incontinence. It is involuntary urination while asleep after the age when it is expected to stay dry at night.
Really, before age 7, bedwetting isn’t anything to worry about because nighttime bladder control is still being developed. At age 5, many kids are reportedly in full control of urination, mainly when they are not sleeping, but may not have full bladder control while they sleep. Nevertheless, it may not be so much of a problem as you have thought. Remember that all these aren’t fixed. They vary by children and the environment.

When bedwetting does not stop when expected, what are the reasons?

So, for instance, your 11-year-old still bed-wets when they sleep, you are left to wonder what the cause might be.

Hormone Imbalance

One of the very first culprit to blame for this situation is a hormone imbalance in the child. Some children find it really hard to produce enough anti-diuretic hormone (ADH) to reduce nighttime urine production.

Urinary Tract Infection

It is common knowledge that this particular infection makes urination control almost impossible.
Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is some sort of sleep disorder that breathing consistently stops and starts. Tiredness and thunderous snores during a full night’s sleep are symptoms of sleep apnea. This health condition is usually caused by enlarged or inflamed tonsils or adenoids. This condition also causes bedwetting.

The Nature of the Bladder

The capacity and level of development of a child’s bladder may also be why they still bed-wet. Their bladder may not have adequately developed to contain urine produced in the night.
Inability to Recognize a Full Bladder
If there is a really slow maturity of nerves that manages the bladder, then there is a possibility that a child may not wake up when the bladder gets filled, especially if they deep sleepers.

Chronic Constipation

The muscles used for controlling urine are those used to control stool as well. When constipation is, however, long term, these muscles can become dysfunctional, then cause bedwetting.

Stress and Anxiety

Some events are naturally stressful; hence they tend to get kids emotionally worked up. It can be a real pain sometimes being a big brother or sister, sleeping away from home, starting a new school, since some of these are factors likely to trigger bedwetting.


Diabetes comes with several signs in children. Bedwetting is definitely one of these symptoms.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
ADHD, too, can be a cause of bedwetting.

Family History

If any of a child’s parents bed-wetted as kids, there is a high tendency such a child will bed-wet.

Crazy Myths and Facts about Bed-Wetting

At some point, everyone speculates on the reasons children bed-wet, and in the cause of these speculations, a lot of myths have been generated. Regrettably, kids react to what their guardians and parents based on these long-believed myths. Well, let us try to debunk them. Unlearn all you have learned about bedwetting, will you?

Myth 1

The reason for bedwetting is the same for all children.


There are natural causes of bedwetting; however, reasons differ from one child to another. Some other causes are a delay in bladder development and the insufficient production of anti-diuretic hormone. Some kids also experience unusual causes such as stress and grief.

Myth 2

Your child will finally grow out of bedwetting, so you may just ignore it


Since some children stop bedwetting at the very end, children are not supposed to be left to stop bedwetting whenever. In fact, bedwetting should not be ignored. Nonetheless, a fuss should not be made over it. This phase is a time when your kid needs your support and advice. Help them overcome whatever society has made them feel about it. It’s essential to help them come to terms that it is not their fault. As a parent, you also need to develop a management plan to help them curb it. Most times, getting professional support from a medical practitioner is critical.
For children who just began to bedwetting after a while of not doing it, you might want to investigate specific environmental changes that might have triggered it.

Myth 3

Properly toilet-trained children don’t wet the bed.


Urine control during the day is entirely different from that of the night while sleeping because the play factors aren’t the same.

Myth 4

Children bed-wet when they are too lazy to go to the bathroom.


This belief makes parents blame their child for wetting the bed, leading to scolding cum embarrassment. In many cases, it isn’t true. Especially when it’s recurrent.

Myth 5

Punishing your child for bedwetting will help them stop the act.


Naturally, if you remember that your child has no control over the situation, be sure that punishment won’t be sufficient. It’ll only reduce the child’s self-esteem. Reward the child for not bedwetting; on the other hand, indulging in such acts won’t help the situation because when a child bed-wets, they will feel bad about not meeting the expectation, hence missing the reward.

Myth 6

Prescribed medication will help in ending bedwetting.


No doubt, such prescriptions may be useful for short sleepovers and school camps, but it is not a cure, really. Well, there have been reports of children who start bedwetting again shortly after stopping such medications.

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