Toddler Bed Wetting

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Toddler bed wetting is very common, even in children fully potty trained during the day. Learn more about why toddlers wet the bed and what steps can be done to encourage nighttime dryness.

What Causes Bed Wetting In Toddlers?

There are many reasons young children (even those who are potty trained) have accidents at night:

  • Still Learning to Control Bladder Muscles: Full bladder control can take time.
  • Heavy Sleeper: Children who are very deep sleepers may not be able to wake to use the bathroom when needed. Often as they get older they will wet the bed less often.
  • Small Bladder: It’s hard for a toddler or preschooler to hold urine all night if s/he has a bladder that fills up more quickly.
  • Nervous System Still Growing: Some children may not get the signal that their bladder is full.
  • Stress: Stresses like moving or a new sibling can sometimes cause bed wetting as well.
  • Severe Constipation: When the bowels are compacted it can cause pressure on the bladder and it’s nerves, increasing bed wetting.

Is Toddler Bed Wetting a Medical Problem?

No. In fact, bed wetting is often not treated by a doctor unless the child is over 7 or if it is greatly affecting the child’s life.

A toddler or preschooler will gain greater control over his/her bladder as he/she ages, and so wetting the bed as a tot is not seen as a medical problem, unless a bladder infection is suspected.

Bed-wetting also has a lot to do with genetics. If you or your toddler’s other parent wet themselves at night as a young child, your child is more likely to have bedtime accidents. If neither parent wet themselves at night growing up, your toddler or preschooler is less likely to have night-time accidents as well.

What Can Be Done To Encourage Night-Time Dryness?

There is no true way to night-time potty train a toddler. Staying dry at night has a lot to do with your child’s physical development, and will often improve as s/he gets older. There is not much that a child can do to prevent toddler bed wetting besides just growing out of it. Luckily, there are things you can do to encourage dryness:

  • Limit caffeinated drinks and other forms of caffeine. (Toddlers and preschoolers don’t need these anyway!)
  • Have your child go to the bathroom before bed.
  • Put a toddler potty in your child’s room at night
  • Don’t allow your tot to become overly tired.
  • Don’t allow bed wetting to become a stressful thing for your tot. Allowing your tot to wear a pullup or diaper to bed may ease the tension.
  • Give the majority of your child’s fluids in the morning and afternoon. By allowing your child to hydrate more during the day, you can taper off the amount s/he drinks an hour or two before bed. (Of course, give drinks when needed)
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