You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or your child's pediatrician. However, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (pediatric urologist or nephrologist).
Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.
What you can do
- Write down any symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated. It can also be helpful to keep a diary of your child's bathroom visits. Write down when your child goes to the toilet, as well as whether or not he or she felt a sense of urgency to urinate. Also make note of how much your child has had to drink, especially after dinner.
- Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that your child is taking.
- Write down questions to ask your child's doctor.
Your time with your child's doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For bed-wetting, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- What's causing my child to wet the bed?
- When might he or she outgrow wetting the bed?
- What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
- Are there any side effects?
- Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Are there any drinking or dietary restrictions that my child needs to follow?
- Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment.
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- Is there a family history of bed-wetting?
- Has your child always wet the bed, or did it begin recently?
- How often does your child wet the bed?
- Does the bed-wetting seem to be triggered by certain foods, drinks or activities?
- Is your child dry during the day?
- Is your child facing any major life changes or other stresses?
- Does your child complain of pain or other symptoms when urinating?
- If you're divorced, does your child live in each parent's home and does the bed-wetting occur in both homes?
What you can do in the meantime
Try to be patient and understanding with your child. Bed-wetting is a source of anxiety and frustration for your child. He or she isn't wetting the bed on purpose. While you're waiting to see the doctor, try limiting the amount your child drinks in the evening.
Oct. 12, 2011
- Urinary incontinence in children. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://kidney.niddk.nih.gov/kudiseases/pubs/uichildren. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Gonzales Jr. ET, et al. Management of nocturnal enuresis in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Bedwetting: Information for parents - Questions kids ask. National Kidney Foundation. http://www.kidney.org/patients/bw/BW_faq.cfm?id=par. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Brown ML, et al. Treatment of primary nocturnal enuresis in children: A review. Child: Care, Health and Development. 2011;37:153.
- Robson WL. Evaluation and management of enuresis. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;360:1429.
- Tu NW, et al. Management of nocturnal enuresis in children. http://www.uptodate.com/home/index.html. Accessed June 28, 2011.
- Shreeram S, et al. Prevalence of enuresis and its association with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder among U.S. children: Results from a nationally representative study. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. 2009;48:35.
- Bower WF, et al. Acupuncture as a treatment for nocturnal enuresis. Autonomic Neuroscience. 2010;157:63.