When to let the doctor know
Although you may be tempted to see if your child will ditch his bed-wetting habit on his own, it's a good idea to talk to her pediatrician after the third or fourth time it happens. Many parents are embarrassed to discuss the problem with the pediatrician, but together you can figure out how best to help your child stay dry. Your child's doctor will:
- Do a urinalysis to be sure there's not a kidney problem, which, though not common, can lead to bed-wetting.
- Consider your child's nighttime breathing pattern, since studies have shown a link between bed-wetting and sleep apnea. This partial airway obstruction, sometimes due to large tonsils, interferes with the sleep cycle and can trigger bed-wetting.
If these potential triggers are ruled out, it's safe to assume that the bed-wetting is a normal immaturity of the bladder-brain communication system. Explain to your child that she's not to blame, and then take steps to help ease her out of this harmless phase.