Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

My son 6 in November is still wetting the bed of a night. Seems when he is extra tired this happens. He hadn't wet for around 3 weeks then bang has wet the bed the last 3 nights in a row. We limit his water intake - his last drink is with tea. I do think however we have gotten into a bad habit of taking him to the toilet when we go to bed....help please :)

Hi B.J., I completely understand your frustration with the situation. Just as you think you’ve got it all under control – bang – your child starts wetting the bed again. As challenging as this appears I assure you this is completely normal and very common- and a really positive sign that his body is capable of storing urine overnight! As children move toward achieving permanent nighttime continence it is quite common for them to waiver between periods where they are dry then return to wetting. You can try and reduce his urine output by limiting the amount of caffeine-, sugar, or citrus-based drinks he has as these are known to stimulate the kidneys. When it comes to fluid intake, children his age should be drinking approximately one litre per day, this needs to be consumed at regular 2-hourly intervals throughout the day. Avoid restricting fluids in the evening as this can lead to dehydration and constipation. It is not surprising that he seems to wet when he is overtired as, when children do eventually get to sleep they tend to sleep more soundly making it more difficult to wake in response to the signals sent from their bladder saying I’m full and need emptying. If you do take him to the toilet during the night make sure he is awake. Lifting children to the toilet while they are still asleep does not help train the bladder nor does it teach children to learn to wake on their own. Lifting at night means children do not get the chance to get used to the signals that the bladder sends to the brain telling them to wake-up and empty their bladder nor does the bladder have the opportunity to stretch and develop. Most importantly, hand in there; patience and time are often the best forms of treatment when it comes to bedwetting. Regards, Dr Cathrine