Overcoming Bedwetting: Understanding and Supporting Children with Nocturnal Enuresis

Bedwetting, or nocturnal enuresis, is a common issue many children face during their developmental years. It is a condition that can significantly impact both children and their families. Therefore, overcoming bedwetting is crucial and needs immediate action.

In this blog, we will explore the different types of enuresis, the emotional toll it can take on children, the challenges parents face, and the importance of early intervention and treatment.

Two Types of Childhood Enuresis

Childhood enuresis is classified into two main types: primary and secondary. Primary enuresis may have been present from birth, possibly as an extension of normal infantile incontinence. 

On the other hand, secondary enuresis may develop after a period of acquired bladder control. To diagnose secondary enuresis, there should be a period of continence lasting between two months to a year or more.



The Emotional Impact on Children

One of the most challenging aspects of nocturnal enuresis is its effect on a child's self-esteem. Bedwetting can be a source of embarrassment for children, causing them to withdraw from age-appropriate activities like sleepovers and camps. This emotional burden can weigh heavily on their young shoulders.

Children with enuresis often fear being discovered and teased by friends or siblings. The shame and guilt they experience can lead to feelings of failure and isolation, especially if younger siblings are dry at night. It's crucial to understand that psychological problems do not cause primary nocturnal enuresis, but emotional stress can trigger secondary enuresis.

Stressful situations like moving to a new home, the birth of a new sibling, changing schools, or losing a loved one can contribute to bedwetting. Fortunately, bedwetting tends to resolve when the underlying stress diminishes.

The Parental Perspective

Parents play a pivotal role in dealing with bedwetting. They are often responsible for cleaning up after accidents and searching for a cure. This role can be emotionally draining, and parents may experience various emotions, from worry and frustration to sadness and anger. Children can sense these emotions, which may make them feel even more responsible for the situation.

Parents and children should work together as a team to address enuresis effectively. Finding ways to reduce feelings of failure and encourage positive feelings while seeking a sustainable solution is essential.

The Importance of Early Intervention and Treatment

Early intervention and treatment for bedwetting are crucial for children's and their families' well-being. Children with enuresis have lower self-esteem and face restrictions on their social activities. Without support, they may be at risk of physical and emotional abuse.

Adults who experienced bedwetting in their childhood often report higher rates of depression and lower self-esteem. The condition can also have a significant impact on education and career choices.

Additionally, bedwetting carries financial costs, such as the expense of washing and drying bed linens. One study estimated this cost to be around $1,500 USD per year.


Childhood enuresis is more than just a physical issue; it has profound emotional, psychological, and financial implications. Understanding the different types of enuresis, the emotional toll on children, and the challenges parents face is essential for providing effective support. 

Early intervention and treatment can make a significant difference in improving a child's self-esteem, reducing family stress, and ensuring a brighter future for those affected by bedwetting. Let's work together to raise awareness and offer the help and understanding these children and their families need.