Potty training your kid can be difficult. You think they are fully day and night potty trained, and then they have an accident and it leaves you wondering whether they are regressing. Bed wetting can happen for a number of reasons and is not necessarily a bad sign!
Why does bed wetting happen?
You can think of a bladder as a balloon. Your bladder inflates to store the urine your body produces. Once full, your bladder sends a signal to your brain letting it know its time to go to the bathroom. In turn, your brain sends a signal back to your bladder telling it to relax, that there is time. As the bladder gets fuller it will send a more intense signal to your brain letting it know the urine cannot be held any longer and that it needs to be released. Your brain then wakes you up so you use the bathroom. What happens when your brain doesn’t wake you up? Bed wetting! Usually, I recommend splitting day time and nighttime to make it easier for parents, especially as nighttime potty training is ofen achieved at a later age.
What are some reasons nighttime bed wetting occurs?
Bed wetting is common and can happen for a number of reasons.
- Family history – If your family has a history of bed wetting then your child is more likely to wet his/her bed at some point in life.
- Bladder capacity – A three-year old’s bladder is more likely to hold more urine in comparison to a newborn’s bladder. Although bed wetting is not really a concern for newborns, this example was to say that children with smaller bladders may be more likely to wet the bed than children with a larger bladder.
- Quality of Sleep – If a child is deep in sleep he/she may be less likely to wake up to use the bathroom when necessary.
- Constipation – When constipated, the rectum holds a large amount of poop causing it to expand. This can lead to pressure on the bladder that may result in an accident due to the more frequent urgency to pee.
- Travel – Your child is in a new, unfamiliar environment that may cause him/her to do things that are out of the norm (ie. bed wetting).
- Illness – When a child is sick his/her body may work in ways that are not typical of him/her and cause a regression toward nighttime bed wetting