Common Causes for Bedwetting

Bedwetting Cause

Do you have a child that suffers from bedwetting? Did you think they would just out-grow it? Do you feel like you have tried everything to stop, help, cope or survive the wetting to no avail?

The solution to the problem may need to include changing your normal routine, medicine, counseling, bedwetting alarms, or other methods. It is very important to help your child feel supported and less ashamed of bedwetting.

Here are few common causes for bedwetting that you may not have heard before…


Constipation can cause an enlarged bowel, which may press against the bladder at night and result in bedwetting.
An appointment with the doctor for an assessment and a prescription for medication is usually necessary to resolve childhood constipation.

Lack of Hormone Called Vasopressin

Some children who wet the bed may lack the correct levels of the night-time hormone called vasopressin. This hormone works on the kidneys and slows down the amount of urine produced at night. What this means is that the child produces more urine overnight than the bladder can hold.

 Indications that a child might not have enough vasopressin are:

  • Wetting occurs every night
  • Wetting occurs early in the night and more often than once a night
  • There are consistently large patches of urine that are light in color and in smell
  • The child is unable to wake from sleep
  • Lack of ability to rouse from sleep to signal that the bladder needs to empty (An indication of a lack of arousal from sleep is that the child sleeps through wetting.)
  • The signal from bladder to brain to wake up and hold on isn’t getting through at night.

An Over-Active Bladder

The bladder may be overactive and give an urgent signal to empty before it is full. An overactive bladder usually holds lower than average amounts of urine. Medication called Oxybutinin may be prescribed for an overactive bladder.

Indications of an overactive bladder are:

  • Urgency to pee during the daytime or frequency  of peeing (i.e. needing to pee more than 8 times a day)
  • Smaller patches of pee in the bed signaling that less wee is being produced
  • Wetting occurs more than once a night and the child wakes after wetting

Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

Symptoms of a UTI will be noticeable during the day and may affect a child’s ability to stay dry at night. An appointment with the doctor for an assessment is necessary to resolve a UTI.

Indications of a UTI include:

  • Fishy smelling Urine
  • Difficulty or pain when urinating
  • Constant thirst
  • Often wet or damp during the day as well as at night

Anxiety and Stress

Bedwetting can be triggered in children who were once dry at night by anxieties or stresses such as an illness, starting school, the birth of a new baby or any other big life changes.

Genetic Predisposition

Bedwetting runs in families – if a child has one parent who wet the bed there is a 40% chance the child will wet the bed. If two parents wet the bed there is a 75% chance the child will too.