You can win the bedwetting battle


About 5 million children in the United States wet their beds. Dr. Jeffrey Donohoe, a pediatric urologist at Cleveland Clinic Children's says bedwetting happens more often among younger children, but older kids can experience it, too.

"15-percent of 5-year-olds wet the bed and then 1-percent drop off each year until you get to about 15, until you get to the point where at 15 years of age like 1-percent of people bed wet," he explained.

Donohoe says if your child is under 5 and stays dry during the day, nighttime dryness will come eventually too, you just have to be patient. Kids usually outgrow wetting the bed between 3 and 5 years old.

However, if a child is over 5 and has nighttime wetting accidents two or more times per week for three months in a row, it's considered a problem



Donohoe recommends parents start addressing bedwetting with gentle reassurance and positive reinforcement - like a sticker chart with a reward after a certain number of dry nights.

Other things that can help as well include limiting fluids right before bedtime. If your child is thirsty before bed, water is the best choice. Donohoe says you'll want to stay away from anything with sugar in it, including milk.

It's also a good idea for kids to use the bathroom right before bedtime.

"The very last thing I tell kids to do is go to the bathroom. If at least once, and sometimes go back 10 or 15 minutes later and try again," Donohoe advised.

If these behavioral techniques don't work, Donohoe suggests talking to your doctor.

Cleveland Clinic offers more information on bedwetting, including common causes and treatment options.