When to bring it up
Bedwetting is normal in children as they are potty-training and in the pre-school age child. Your doctor may ask how toilet training is going during yearly visits, but not focus on nighttime dryness until your child is 5 or 6. At this age, 15 out of 100 (15%) still have not achieved dry nights.
If your child is one of the 15% who has never had a dry night, mention it during your child’s annual check-up, even if your doctor doesn’t ask.
If your child has had 6 months of dry nights, then suddenly starts having nightly accidents, make a special appointment to rule out new medical conditions such as diabetes or urinary tract infections.
Preparing for your visit
Your doctor may ask these questions so be prepared with your answers.
-Any medications-any new or seasonal medications, both prescription and OTC, including vitamins and allergy meds, especially if new bedwetting occurred after starting a new medication
-Family history-genetics play a role in bedwetting; children may stop bedwetting at about the same age as their affected parent
-Frequency-are there any dry nights, if so, are dry nights becoming more frequent?
-Daytime-any urgency, frequency or leaking noted
-Any patterns observed-wetting with being overly tired, drinking sugary drinks in the evening, not urinating before bed
-New bedwetting after more than 6 months of dryness-secondary enuresis may have a more complicated cause, any major changes in the family
-Anything unusual about urination-pain, straining, dark or red color
-Stool patterns-observe your child’s stool patterns for a week before the visit, are they daily, does your child withhold or stain underwear?
What they might suggest
Wait-especially if your child is not bothered by wetting and is only 5 or 6
Move fluids to earlier in the day-have your child drink more during the day so they aren’t so thirsty after school and in the evening
Wake your child-this is a temporary measure that your child does not learn from, but it usually results in one less urination in the bed
Medication-usually reserved for older children who have special sleepover situations, does not cure bedwetting, decreases the urine produced the night it is taken
Bedwetting Alarm-the most effective cure for bedwetting, requires participation from child and parents, takes a few weeks but usually permanently dry after they develop the ability to wake up in response to the feeling of a full bladder