Enuresis (Bed Wetting)

Children with enuresis struggle with incontinence (loss of bladder control). The most common type is nocturnal enuresis or bed wetting.

When children sleep, there may be miscommunication between their brains and their bladders, causing them to wet the bed.  

Bed wetting is not your child’s fault. It can be caused a number of factors:

  • Anxiety
  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  • Obstructive sleep apnea
  • Slow physical development
  • Too much nighttime urine production

Remarkable Care for Kids

  • Compassionate care: Specialists at Rush University Children’s Hospital understand the emotional strain of bed wetting. Their compassionate and thoughtful care focuses on finding a treatment plan that gets your child back to normal sleeping and urinating habits.
  • Address emotional aspects of enuresis: You and your child have access to a dedicated team of child psychiatrists, psychologists and behavioral pediatricians at Rush who can help manage the emotional elements of bed wetting.
  • Top-ranked urology program: The urology program at Rush is consistently named among the best in the country by U.S. News & World Report.
  • Family-centered care: Rush University Children’s Hospital is committed to family-centered care. You will be involved in your child’s care every step of the way.

Enuresis: what you should know

  • Bed wetting can be an inherited problem. If you or your child’s other parent struggled with bed wetting as a child, your child is more likely to wet the bed, as well.
  • Most children outgrow bed wetting, even without treatment.
  • Diurnal enuresis (daytime incontinence) is less common that nocturnal enuresis. It is often caused by urinary tract infections or other structural problems in the urinary tract.
  • Bed wetting and daytime incontinence can have an emotional impact on your child, causing embarrassment, anxiety, frustration and low self-esteem. 

How can I get my child help for enuresis?

Call your pediatrician if your child experiences any of the following:

  • Bed wetting that begins suddenly
  • Accidents during the day
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Changes in appetite and thirst
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • A traumatic or stressful situation

Your pediatrician will review your child’s bladder habits and examine your child for other medical issues, including the following:

  • Anxiety and stress
  • Diabetes
  • Stress
  • Urinary tract infection

Care for enuresis at Rush

Specialists at Rush will create an individualized treatment plan for your child to help overcome bed wetting. Some possible treatments include the following:

  • Bladder training and exercises
  • Medications
  • Nocturnal enuresis alarm (bed wetting alarm)
  • Psychotherapy