How can I help my almost 5-year old stop wetting the bed?

Q: My daughter will be 5 years old next month and she still has accidents while sleeping. How can I prevent this from happening?

A: Children's bladders mature at different times. Roughly 5% of children still wet the bed most nights at the age of 5 years and about 5% of those kids stop wetting the bed each year of age after that. So yes there are still some otherwise normal kids wetting the bed in high school. Generally there is some other family member who also wet the bed as a child and generally your child will stop around the same age. This is not something the child is doing on purpose and not something they should be punished for as it is beyond their control. Limiting the amount of fluid they drink after 7pm and taking them to the bathroom to urinate before you go to bed at night can help keep events from happening. If you child has been dry for several months and then starts wetting again you should see your doctor as it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Bed wetting alarms are sometimes helpful but often wake everyone in the house except the child who is having the accidents and the alarm does not make the bladder mature so when you stop using it often the accidents return. Try to stay positive and remind you child that this is normal and there is likely another child in her class that also wets the bed and it will get better with time.

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