Pediatrician offers advice to deal with bedwetting


Bed-wetting is a common problem, impacting about five million children in the U.S.

Dr. Audrey Rhee of Cleveland Clinic Children's said that even though most children are potty-trained between the ages of two and five, they may not stay dry through the night until later in childhood.

"We don't usually say it's a concern until they're about seven years of age," she said. "Then we start talking about, is there a family history of it? Because sometimes if Mom or Dad wet the bed until ten, we can say, well let's see what happens until ten."

Bed-wetting is a medical condition where the brain and bladder aren't yet communicating with each other at night.

But there are some things parents can try besides waiting for a child to outgrow the condition.

Dr. Rhee recommends fluid shifting, or drinking more fluids during the day and less at night.

She says better sleep habits such as limiting screen time before bed and going to bed earlier can also help.

Parents can also limit constipation-causing foods, especially those that contain caffeine.

And Dr. Rhee recommends cutting back on bladder irritants such as citrus, caffeine and even artificial colors and dyes.

"When the bladder is exposed to it, the bladder doesn't like it," Dr. Rhee said, "so you're more prone to bladder spasms."

She says it's important for parents to remember that bedwetting is a medical condition and children should not be punished or shamed for having an accident.