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Bed-Wetting

As most children transition from diapers to potty training, they learn to hold their urine overnight. Some kids take longer. By the age of five, if they have bouts of nighttime incontinence, kids are considered “bed wetters.” Bed-wetting is far more common in boys, and it runs in the family. In rare cases, the problem can persist into adolescence.

Besides the stress of excessive laundry, bed-wetting is a problem only to the extent that it may embarrass Jimmy, although his embarrassment could be a reflection of yours.

In the end, there’s little you can do. Bed-wetting eventually resolves itself when Jimmy’s bladder gets more mature. You can buy alarms that ring when the bed is wet, but they’ll only wake you up; Jimmy will continue to sleep, drenched in blissful ignorance. Medications have proven ineffective so far. There is one expensive hormonal medication named DDAVP, which I have found to be just as useless as other bed-wetting medications, despite the company’s claims. To control the problem, limit your child’s pre-bedtime fluid intake. You might say, “Nothing to drink after 8:00 P.M.” You can also teach him to change the bedclothes and run a load of laundry. The less of an issue the bed-wetting is for you, the less it will be for him.

If bed-wetting recurs after Jimmy has been dry for a significant time, it could be a reaction to a stressful event such as moving, starting a new school, or witnessing parents fight. When the stress subsides, the bed usually dries out again.