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What causes bedwetting at night in children?

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Posted on Mon, 21 Jul 2014
Question: my grandson is almost 5 yrs old. He has never woken up dry. He wakes 2--3 times a night wet. Could there be a problem?
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Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj (48 minutes later)
Brief Answer:
Yes there could be problem

Detailed Answer:
Hi
Thanks for your query.

Most children develop bladder control by the age of 5 years. Since he is almost 5 yrs, we need to do something about it.

Firstly I need to know a few details about it.
- Does he have control during the day?
- Though you say that he has never been dry, I would still confirm if he ever developed control for sometime and then lost control again?
- Does he have any issues with the sleep?
- Does he have urine infection or other issues with urinary tract like obstruction etc?
- Has he been through some stress?

To start with, he is to be toilet trained. He should be asked every night to evacuate his bladder before sleeping. Reinforce rewards if he wakes up to pass urine. If he continues to urinate at night, we can try a bed-wetting alarm on him.

If you have any recent blood tests, urine tests and ultrasound reporst, please upload for me to review.

Dr Vaishalee

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Follow up: Dr. Vaishalee Punj (4 hours later)
Dr. Punj, Thank you for such a quick answer to my concern. In answer to your
question re: his toilet training during the day, yes he is potty trained with no accidents ever. A little background for him is: His mother died when he was 8 mos. old and his father is the sole parent. His Dad travels a lot and my grandson is left with us, his aunt or a close friend. This could be weeks at a time. My grandson is sent to these different places and does have sleep issues w/being afraid and lonesome. I have noticed that he wakes up while he is urinating and then, understandably so, is quite upset with this happening. I always change him and the bedding and take him back to his bed and usually stay with him till he falls asleep again.
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Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj (22 hours later)
Brief Answer:
Thanks for followup

Detailed Answer:
Hi again,

From your information I have gathered that your baby has primary type of enuresis and is mostly nocturnal.

The mainstay of such a condition is behavioral therapy. I would enlist below some important points:
- Child should void before going to bed
- Child cooperation is needed, so its good to enforce reward system
- An alarm to wake up after 2 hours of sleep and voiding
- Bell and pad type of alarm meant for enuresis is useful sometimes. It goes off on sensing wetness
- There should be no humiliation or punishment of any sort.
- Psychotherapy and medicines are started if the above measures fail.
- Regular change of sleeping places may be a cause. Its better that he stays with one family, when his dad is not there.

Hope it helps.

Dr Vaishalee
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Vaishalee Punj

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2003

Answered : 2659 Questions

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What causes bedwetting at night in children?

Brief Answer: Yes there could be problem Detailed Answer: Hi Thanks for your query. Most children develop bladder control by the age of 5 years. Since he is almost 5 yrs, we need to do something about it. Firstly I need to know a few details about it. - Does he have control during the day? - Though you say that he has never been dry, I would still confirm if he ever developed control for sometime and then lost control again? - Does he have any issues with the sleep? - Does he have urine infection or other issues with urinary tract like obstruction etc? - Has he been through some stress? To start with, he is to be toilet trained. He should be asked every night to evacuate his bladder before sleeping. Reinforce rewards if he wakes up to pass urine. If he continues to urinate at night, we can try a bed-wetting alarm on him. If you have any recent blood tests, urine tests and ultrasound reporst, please upload for me to review. Dr Vaishalee