Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

Any tips to help kids realise that they need to go to the toilet when they’re asleep?

Managing children’s bedwetting can be incredibly tricky, partly because we often do not understand the underlying cause and partly because there are so many mixed messages out there about how best to proceed. It is often helpful to keep in mind nighttime wetting is mostly unconscious and therefore the kinds of techniques we used in training children during the day (like sticker charts and rewards) do not apply to the nighttime situation. There are a number of reasons why children continue to wet at night. Some do so because their body produces larger than normal amounts of urine overnight and their bladder is unable to store it until morning. This usually continues until the amount of urine produced decreases or children learn to wake-up in response to a full bladder. Others do so because they are unable to wake in response to the signals that their bladder sends to their brain telling them to wake-up and go to the toilet. 'Time' is typically the best form of treatment - children will continue to wet at night until either they learn to wake up or their body becomes capable of storing the amount of urine their kidneys produce. Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine