Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

Hello, our 7 year old son has developed an issue with wetting the bed. I would say in the last 8 months or so. Should this be a concern? I mean if he always had this problem since he was a toddler, I think it would be different. But all of a sudden? This is proabably more common than we think.

Your son is experiencing a condition known as secondary nocturnal enuresis (SNE) – this is the term used to describe a situation where children who have been previously dry for six or more months then begin wetting the bed again. When it comes to SNE the first thing you need to think about is what has caused this change – up until now your son had good nighttime bladder control, so something must be different. There are a number of possible medical causes - this can be as simple as a urinary tract infection or something more challenging like juvenile diabetes - so it is very important that you make an appointment for him to see your GP for a full medical assessment. A return to bedwetting may also result from emotional stress, which may be due to things like bullying or difficulties with friends. Talk to your son to see if there is anything bothering him. If stress is the cause, once the stressful situation has been resolved, children’s bedwetting usually stops. In the meantime reassure your son that none of this is his fault, promoting self-confidence and positive self-esteem is particularly important at this time.All the best,