Wetting the bed

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Updated: 4/11/2007 5:45 pm
Even after a child's been toilet trained, it's common for him to occasionally wet the bed, even as much as two or three times a week. This is a natural part of toilet training, so don't scold the child or put him back in diapers. The child's bladder may not be large enough yet to last a full night, or he may not have fully developed the response to wake up when his bladder is full. Avoid giving children lots of water and other fluids before bedtime, especially drinks that contain caffeine. Encourage them to get up during the night to go to the bathroom. After age five, most bed wetting is by boys, and a few have daytime wetting problems. Sometimes, extensive stress or an emotional upset can trigger a period of bed-wetting. This problem often runs in families, so be sure to consider that factor. There may be an external cause, such as an infection or an irritation from chemicals found in bubble bath or detergents. Frequent urination (yur-uh-NAY-shun) also could be a symptom of diabetes (dye-uh-BEE-teez). If you suspect a problem, or the child doesn't outgrow bed wetting, contact a pediatrician, who can evaluate a urine sample.
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