Why does my child wet the bed? (and 5 tips for preventing it)

Here's how you can help your child to stop bedwetting.


When children wet the bed or have accidents during the day, it can be concerning and stressful. You might have tried all of the things to get them to the bathroom to ensure they don't have an accident, but if you're having trouble, know you're not alone, mama.

Here is what you need to know about bed wetting and other forms of pediatric incontinence (when kids can't hold their urine).

What is bed-wetting?

Pediatric incontinence is a term used to describe a child's inability to control their urine or bowel movements, resulting in the involuntary loss of liquid or stools.

Should I be worried about my child's bed-wetting?

While incontinence can occur during the day (diurnal), night (nocturnal), or both, daytime incontinence is generally diagnosed around age 4, while nighttime incontinence, more commonly known as bedwetting, is diagnosed around age 6.


Before these ages, both are considered quite normal, despite parental concerns.

One study found that most children stop wetting the bed between 29 and 41 months, but as many as 10% still do at 53 months.

What are the types of pediatric incontinence?

Urge syndrome: Children with an overactive bladder who feel the sudden need to urinate more frequently than normal.

Dysfunctional voiding: The sphincter muscles contract when the bladder is trying to empty, causing urine to be retained. This will cause your child to feel the urge to go frequently since they're unable to fully empty their bladder. This may also be associated with constipation or loss of bowel control (encopresis).

Lazy or underactive bladder: The bladder doesn't signal the need to go until it's filled with a large amount of urine and the bladder has difficulty emptying completely.

Neurogenic bladder: Bladder symptoms are associated with a neurological condition such as myelomeningocele, spinal cord injury, or other neurological disorders.

What causes bed wetting and pediatric incontinence?

Common incontinence causes include:

How can we stop bed-wetting?

When it comes to addressing pediatric incontinence, the first and most important thing to do as a parent is to support your child. Do not approach them with anger or frustration, as this could increase their stress and anxiety. Accidents are not their fault. Calmly reassure your child that everything is fine.

Then, be sure to visit their doctor. Incontinence often goes unreported with the belief that children will simply grow out of it. However, it may be caused by a treatable condition such as a UTI or may signal a significant underlying medical problem, including bladder or kidney disease, or even neurological issues.

There are a few ways to treat urinary incontinence, including treating the underlying problem if one is found, taking medications to treat the symptoms, counseling, exercises to strengthen pelvic muscles, and more. Your child's doctor can help you figure out which is the best route for your child.

Also, remember that sometimes pediatric incontinence can't be cured and can only be managed.

Another very important step involves teaching your child proper voiding techniques. It can also be beneficial to make a few simple lifestyle changes to reduce stress on the bowels and reduce symptoms:

1. Practice timed voiding.

Remind your child to use the bathroom every few hours. After waking up, after meals and before bed are also great times to go. If they don't want to stop participating in an activity, calmly remind them that the activity will be waiting for them to return afterward.

2. Clean up their diet.

There are certain foods, such as caffeinated beverages, snacks high in carbs and sugar, and spicy and greasy foods that can add stress to the bowels. Be sure to provide a diet with plenty of water or sugar-free juice, fruits, vegetables and whole grains for the right amount of fiber and nutrition.

3. Develop a system.

Set up a chart to reward your child for making it through dry days and nights. Add a sticker for each successive period and give them rewards for making it through multiple days without an accident.

4. Recruit help.

You don't have to take on the stress of managing incontinence alone. Let friends, family members and your child's teachers know so they can assist with their needs.

5. Be prepared.

Have everything your child might need in the event of an accident, such as extra diapers, a change of clothes, extra underpads, hand sanitizer, sanitary wipes and disposal bags. This will make clean-ups quick, discreet and easy.

Speak with your doctor about the monthly cost of these supplies, as you may qualify to receive a monthly shipment of incontinence supplies directly to your home. This alleviates the stress of having to buy these items in local department stores and the worry of running out.

It's perfectly natural to feel a little embarrassment and anxiety about pediatric incontinence, but there's no reason to try and keep it a secret. By recruiting help and visiting your child's doctor, incontinence will become much easier to manage, allowing your family to relax and return to their normal routine.

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14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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