Bedwetting is considered to be normal and to be all part of a child’s development process up to the age of 5 years. Their bladders are still maturing up to this point and night time dryness is always expected to take longer than the daytime. Around half a million children and young people in the UK struggle with bedwetting, and only a very small percentage of these will still be wet by adulthood.
According to the UK’s NICE guidelines on the management of bedwetting in children and young people, all children who wet the bed should be seen by a health professional (such as your GP or nurse at a bedwetting clinic) from the age of 5 years. Research shows that they earlier you seek help for bedwetting the better chance you have of getting your child dry sooner. There can be underlying ‘functional’ causes to bedwetting such as constipation or a bladder issue (including overactivity and not drinking enough) which need to be picked up and treated.
If a child is still having daytime wee accidents after the age of 5 years and they’re wet at night, then the daytime issues always needs to be treated as priority over the bedwetting.
Some children will start to wet again even after a long period of dryness which is known as late-onset or secondary bewetting The trigger for this kind of wetting could be constipation or a big life changes such as a starting school, a new baby in the family or if a child has experienced a traumatic event. It always needs to be treated in exactly the same way as primary bedwetting.