People donâ€™t talk about bedwetting a lot, which has allowed some weird and even harmful myths to persist. Weâ€™re here to set the record straight.
Here are the 7 most prevalent bedwetting myths and the truth behind each of them.
1. Bedwetting Past Age 5 Is Abnormal
While itâ€™s true that most children naturally stop bedwetting by age 5, 20% do not. Thatâ€™s 1 out of every 5 kids. It may not be the majority, but itâ€™s hardly abnormal. Unfortunately, the spontaneous remission rate for bedwetting then drops down to 15% per year. That means if a child aged 6 or above wets the bed, thereâ€™s an 85% chance theyâ€™ll still be wetting a year from now.
2. Boys and Girls Are Just As Likely to Wet the Bed
Nope. 70% of bedwetters are actually male.
3. Bedwetters Grow Up to Be Serial Killers
This is by far the strangest bedwetting myth. It goes back to 1963 when forensic psychiatrist J. M. Macdonald published a paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry called â€œThe Threat to Kill.â€ In it he outlines what has become known as the Macdonald Triadâ€”three behavioral traits that when present together could indicate sociopathic tendencies. The three behaviors were hurting animals, setting fires, and bedwetting. Researchers now acknowledge thereâ€™s no link between bedwetting and sociopathic behavior, but the myth has continued.
4. Some Children Wet the Bed on Purpose
Children donâ€™t want to wet the bed, and itâ€™s not something they can control. It occurs due to developmental or medical issues and is not done willfully or out of laziness.
5. Potty Training Will Take Care of Bedwetting
A child may know when and how to use the bathroom in the daytime, but when heâ€™s asleep itâ€™s a completely different scenario. His subconscious mind still has to learn to respond to the feeling of a full bladder and either hold the urine in until morning or wake him up to go urinate. Generally, this takes place a few years after potty training.
6. To Cure Bedwetting, You Should Restrict Fluids
Children donâ€™t wet because they drink too much. They wet because their body hasnâ€™t figured out how to respond to a full bladder during sleep. Whether or not your child drinks before bed, his body will keep producing urine at night. In some cases, restricting fluid actually makes the problem worse as highly concentrated urine is more irritating to the bladder than low concentrated urine. Plus, dehydration causes constipation which also makes bedwetting worse.
7. Thereâ€™s No Cure for Bedwetting
Many parents think they simply have to wait for their child to grow out of bedwetting. This is perhaps the most prevalent myth, and detrimental to both parents and children. If a child is still bedwetting at age 5 or 6, they can use a bedwetting alarm to help them overcome the problem. These alarms sound and vibrate as soon as they sense urine, thereby waking the child up. This speeds up the bodyâ€™s natural process, teaching a childâ€™s brain when and how to respond to a full bladder. Within a couple months the problem should be solved.