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Is Your 5-Year-Old Bedwetting Suddenly? Here’s Why

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A 5-year-old bedwetting can be frustrating for the child and parents. After months of your child staying dry through the night, it becomes upsetting when they suddenly start wetting the bed again. Why is this happening now? 

Setback in consistent nighttime dryness is expected for children around 5 years old. Their little bodies are still developing bladder control. With patience and the right approach, this bedwetting phase will pass before you know it.

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Let’s dive in to understand bedwetting, its causes, and measures to support your child.

Please note that the information provided here shouldn’t be substituted for medical advice. This article is solely for educational purposes.

Understanding Bedwetting in Children  

5 year old bedwetting
Sadness and loneliness. Source: Freepik

Bedwetting, medically termed nocturnal enuresis, is the unintentional passage of urine during sleep. It occurs because a young child’s bladder is tiny. It’s developing the capability to hold larger amounts of urine for extended periods through the night. Estimates suggest bed-wetting affects up to 15% of 5-year-olds. This makes it a very prevalent issue that most families deal with at some point.

While bedwetting can be alarming for parents, it’s a normal part of a child’s physical and neurological development in most cases. Unless it persists past age 7 or is accompanied by other symptoms, nocturnal enuresis isn’t a sign of any underlying disease or condition. So it doesn’t warrant medical treatment yet.

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Common Causes of Bedwetting in 5-Year-Olds

5 year old bedwetting
Cute little girl looking at her father. Source: Freepik

Physical Development and Small Bladder Size

At 5 years of age, the child’s bladder may not be fully mature yet. Its capacity to hold larger volumes of urine produced overnight is low. The resulting wetness inevitably gets released onto the bed linens, mattress, and into the child’s underwear.

Deep Sleep Patterns

Kids who struggle with bedwetting are very deep sleepers. They may lack the ability to wake up to the urge to urinate during the night. Instead, they urinate on the bed while sleeping thinking they are having a normal urination.

Psychological Stress and Life Changes

Any significant stressors, fears, or major transitions in a child’s life could be culprits. Incidents like child bullying and starting school can sometimes trigger bedwetting again.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Does your child show symptoms like fever, pain, or burning sensation while bedwetting? This could mean they’ve got Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs). UTI causes frequent bathroom urges that make your 5-year-old bedwet. 


It’s quite rare diabetes in children can cause 5 year olds to wet the bed. Excessive urination at night is one of the symptoms of diabetes that leads to bed wetting.

There are other potential factors like chronic constipation adding pressure to the bladder. Others include attention-deficit disorder (ADHD) and a positive family history of bedwetting.  

When to Consult a Doctor

African American specialist doctor sitting at desk in hospital
African American specialist doctor sitting at desk in hospital. Source: Freepik

While isolated bedwetting is normal for 5-year-olds, there are a few scenarios when it could warrant a trip to the pediatrician’s office. Your doctor will determine if your child’s bedwetting is a medical issue.

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  • If your child suddenly has a frequent and urgent need for daytime or nighttime urination with bedwetting episodes.
  • If the bedwetting shows symptoms like pain in the abdomen, fever, or constipation that could be causing bladder pressure.  See a doctor if you notice a recent start of bedwetting after being dry for over 12-18 months.
  • If simple bedwetting routines and strategies show no improvement in solving the problem after several months.

In these cases, medical issues like bladder problems, urinary tract abnormalities, or Type 1 diabetes could be involved.  They may need to be ruled out by a pediatrician.

Read also: World Day of War Orphans: How You Can Advocate for Children’s Rights

Strategies to Manage and Support Your Child

5 year old bedwetting
Father and daughter tickling indoors. Source: Freepik

Bedwetting is an unavoidable part of childhood for many kids. But you can take steps to cut incidents and work towards nighttime dryness.

Consistency and Bedtime Routine

Maintaining a regular, calming routine in the hours leading up to bedtime can reinforce good bathroom habits. Have your child try using the toilet every 2 hours in the evenings. Then attempt one final bathroom visit right at their scheduled bedtime. This can reduce the odds of overnight accidents.

Bladder Training Exercises

You can help strengthen your child’s bladder muscles over time. Encourage them to practice “holding it” a bit longer each day during waking hours when they need to urinate. This increases functional bladder capacity.

Positive Reinforcement System

Create a simple reward system that celebrates instead of punishing or scolding them. This could be stickers or treats when they achieve dry nights. This positive reinforcement is much more effective than shaming.

Other Tips

  • Ensure your child’s fluid intake is healthy but limited in the 2-3 hours to bedtime. This reduces urine production overnight. 
  • Use disposable absorbent underwear, moisture/vibration sensor alarms, or plastic mattress covers to manage the night.
  • Consider medications like DDAVP or antidiuretics only if recommended by your pediatrician. They reduce symptoms rather than treat root causes. They also carry side effects and risks.

It’s not your child’s fault. Avoid reprimanding kids or making them feel ashamed about bedwetting. This tends to increase stress and make the issue persist longer.

Nighttime bedwetting among 5-year-olds is a common part of childhood development. At this stage, the bladder, sleep cycles, and hormones are still developing. Despite being messy and inconvenient, it’s not typically a cause for major concern unless accompanied by more symptoms.

People also read: Entitled Dependence Syndrome: 8 Visible Signs Black Families Can Detect in Children

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Abdul Rashid Sani
Abdul Rashid Sani
Abdul Rashid Sani is a former Growth and Content Manager of Spotcovery with a passion for writing and building relationships. With a strong background in SEO content writing, paid search and social, and content marketing, he possesses a diverse set of skills that make him an asset to any team. In his free time, Abdul is a huge soccer fan and enjoys writing in his spare time. He is dedicated to continually improving his skills and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and techniques in his field.


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