What is Bedwetting?

Bedwetting (also called nocturnal enuresis) is when children urinate while they are asleep.

Is Bedwetting Normal?

Yes, bedwetting is normal in children age 7 and younger. Many children under age 7 wet the bed at least once a week. After age 7, many children stop wetting the bed without treatment. Almost all children stop wetting the bed by age 18.

What Causes Bedwetting?

There are many reasons your child might wet the bed, including:

  • Children can sleep very deeply and can be hard to wake up. They sleep through times when they need to use the bathroom.
  • Children have small bladders (the body part where urine is held).
  • Bedwetting can run in families. If you or another family member wet the bed as child, there is a good chance your child might also wet the bed.
  • They might be scared to go the bathroom in the dark. They might also have trouble finding the bathroom in the dark.
  • They might not know if it is okay to use the bathroom at night.
  • A very small number of children have medical problems in which they cannot control when they urinate.

Rev. 1/2019. MassGeneral Hospital for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.