Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

Dear Elena, unfortunately there are no simple answers when it comes to understanding children’s bedwetting. The most common causes of bedwetting include a larger than normal production of urine overnight, difficulty in responding to a full bladder as well as a family history of bedwetting. Children usually become dry when their ADH hormones stabilize and they produce less urine overnight or they learn to wake in response to the signals sent from their bladder to their brain telling them to wake-up and go to the toilet. You can help your daughter by making sure she drinks plenty of water throughout the day. Good drinking patterns will help her bladder to learn to store more urine and reduce the risk of bedwetting. Do not restrict drinks in the evening and make sure she empties her bladder just before going to sleep. Don’t allow her to become overtired, as this will make it even more difficult to respond to a full bladder. Make sure that she feels comfortable getting up through the night – sometimes a nightlight adds to children’s comfort and confidence. While bedwetting is considered to be developmentally 'normal' up to the age of 7 years of age, it would be worthwhile having her assessed by your doctor just to make sure there are no underlying medical issues. You can use this opportunity to discuss treatment options - with the best success rates being experienced with conditioning alarms. The success of the alarm does depend on how emotionally 'ready' children are to become dry, as they do take a significant amount of commitment and effort during the early stages of conditioning. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine