Bedwetting in children

Key points about bedwetting in children

  • Bedwetting at night (also called nocturnal enuresis) happens during sleep.
  • Your child can't control their bedwetting, so it's not their fault.
  • Be patient, most children grow out of bedwetting.
Young boy wearing starry pyjamas in bed with stars & moon on his wall
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Video: Day and Nighttime wetting

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 (Primary Children's Hospital, US, 2018)

Wetting the bed at night (nocturnal enuresis) is very common in young tamariki. It affects approximately:

  • 15 in 100 5 year olds
  • 5 in 100 10 year olds
  • 2 in 100 15 year olds
  • 1 in 100 adults.

Bedwetting occurs slightly more often in boys than girls.

Experts don't consider bedwetting to be a problem until children are about 7 years of age. That is a good age to introduce treatment programmes if your child wants to do something about it.

Almost all tamariki grow out of bedwetting. About 1 in 100 adults may still have occasional problems.

Find out more at KidsHealth NZ about bedwetting, the causes and what you can do to help if your child is wetting the bed.(external link)(external link) 

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Credits: Content shared between HealthInfo Canterbury, KidsHealth and Healthify He Puna Waiora as part of a National Health Content Hub Collaborative.

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