Soggy sheets and pajamas — and an embarrassed child — are a familiar scene in many homes. But don't despair. Bed-wetting isn't a sign of toilet training gone bad. It's often just a normal part of a child's development.

Bed-wetting is also known as nighttime incontinence or nocturnal enuresis. Generally, bed-wetting before age 7 isn't a concern. At this age, your child may still be developing nighttime bladder control.

If bed-wetting continues, treat the problem with patience and understanding. Bladder training, moisture alarms or medication may help reduce bed-wetting.

Symptoms Causes Risk factors Complications

Bed-wetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected.

Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but there's really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.

When to see a doctor

Most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own — but some need a little help. In other cases, bed-wetting may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

Consult your child's doctor if:

  • Your child still wets the bed after age 7
  • Your child starts to wet the bed after a few months or more of being dry at night
  • Bed-wetting is accompanied by painful urination, unusual thirst, pink or red urine, hard stools, or snoring

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