Enuresis (medical term), also known as ‘Bed-wetting’ can be distressing for both the child and the parent. Some children are unable to achieve dryness at night even after being potty trained.

The psychological implication of bed-wetting on older children can results in poor academic performance and behavior. Many of these children suffer physical, verbal and emotional abuse; from adults and even their peers. Remember that girl in boarding school that was consistently teased by her mates and no one wants to be her friend? These abuse has been traced to be the trigger for depression in some teenagers.

As a mom, you probably wonder why your child bed-wets, here are five probable causes for bed-wetting and what you can do about them:

1. Genetics: Bed-wetting is hereditary, a child has about 30% chance of having enuresis if a parent had it and about 70% when both parents do. Well until the child starts wetting the bed, many spouses probably didn’t know the bed-wetting “history”. So mama, keep calm. Also, if none is found in the immediate family, how about that distant cousin that always pees when y’all visit grandma for summer.

Solution – Ask your partner if he or any of his close relative had bed-wetting issues as children, well after you have dissected your family too. If YES….Then that’s a probable cause.

2. Physical health conditions: Some physical health condition can make a child wet their bed. A child with constipation that puts pressure on the bladder can have enuresis. Other physical health condition include: Diabetes, Obstructive sleep apnea, overactive bladder etc.

Solution – Take your child to the physician to rule out any possibilities

3. Hormonal Issues: The anti-diuretic hormone also known as the ADH or arginine vasopressin is responsible for water conservation. It is made in the hypothalamus and stored in the pituitary gland…sorry if this sounding too scientific. But this hormone basically tells the kidney how much water to conserve. Low secretion of this hormone during sleep or at any time can cause enuresis.

Solution – Take your child to the physician to rule out any possibilities

4. Medications: Is your child on drugs? No! not druuugs! I meant medications. Some medications can relax the bladder or increase urine production. These drugs are not routine medications for children so few children fall in this category. Also it is noteworthy that caffeine can cause enuresis. These drugs include, Diuretic medications, alpha blockers.

Solution – If your child is on any long term medication ask your physician or pharmacists for possible side-effects to rule out root cause.

5. Psychological distress: Children may not be able to describe their emotional troubles in words but may begin to show signs for psychological distress in academic performance, behavior or regression in already achieved milestones, an example of such regression is Bed-wetting. Many children who start wetting their bed all of a sudden may have psychological distress triggered by abuse, parental death, near death experience, bullying, parental separation, domestic abuse, sudden life transitions, amongst many other adverse childhood experiences.

Solution – Again you would require a professional for this. A personalized therapy session will be developed to help your child heal the emotional pain they may have. Reach out to a child mental health professional or send me an email. 

Then there are unknown causes…the ones no professional can seem to find. However in all cases, these children can outgrow the bed-wetting and treatment is available.

Do you know that your child can achieve dryness in 7days? Send an email to to join an online class.

As written by Ruqoyah Ogunbiyi, founder of Sane Mind Advocacy organization. A mental health advocacy created to fill the paucity of information and services around mental health in Nigeria. She became passionate after her internship as a pharmacist at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Yaba, Lagos Nigeria. She proceeded to the University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria to obtain a Master’s degree in Child and Adolescent Mental health. Where she got 5 awards of excellence.

She has with her wealth of knowledge created online parenting courses - School mental health programs geared towards building resilience and promoting mental health in children. Get a copy of her free eBook on Stress-Free Parenting 

When she’s not reading, discussing mental health researches, she coils up on a sofa watching DIY videos on YOUTUBE in a cold room

Author: fabmomma

Young and quirky momma of two, sharing my experiences as I trudge through life...

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