Bed Wetting and Back to School
5 min read
Last Modified 31 March 2023 First Added 21 September 2021
Adjusting to a new bedtime and morning routine as a new school year begins can be tough for your kids. You’re busy mastering the balance of life and your little one has started bed wetting. This is totally normal. There are a few reasons why your child may have started wetting the bed. It could be something as simple as diet, avoiding school toilets, or maybe they’re just deep sleepers. No matter what the reason is, you’re not alone.
Let’s find out what causes bed wetting and how to keep your little one dry and happy.
Here are three main reasons why your little one’s bed wetting may have recently restarted:
A lot of children don’t like using the toilets in schools. Not liking toilets often means avoiding them altogether. This can result in bladder and bowel issues. If their bowel is full of poo it can press into the bladder and limit space for wee. This could in turn have the effect of bed wetting. If this is the case, don’t worry, some children just need extra time to develop control of their bladder.
Children whose sleep is disturbed and those who are deep sleepers are more likely to wet the bed. A deep-sleeping child may have a harder time developing an effective signaling system that wakes them up when they need to wee. As we mentioned previously, try not to worry, as some children just need more time. Bedwetting should naturally stop as they grow up.
Related: Kid’s Beds
Along with going back to school, other big life changes can easily activate bed wetting. Maybe a recent moving house or the birth of a new sibling. Any of these things can be stressors that can lead to children wetting the bed after being dry for a long period. Research shows that children who experience bed wetting are significantly more likely to have anxiety issues.
According to the Sleep Foundation, children who struggle with bedwetting are more likely to experience panic attacks, school phobia, social anxiety, and separation anxiety.
For the period following the start of a new school year, your child’s changing sleep patterns and schedules can seriously disrupt their previous routines. Starting or going back to school can trigger bed wetting to start, long after you thought it had been conquered.
On top of this, your child may be overtired from a full, busy day and just not getting the signal from their brain that wakes them up when their bladder is full and needs to be emptied. With starting or going back to school, they may be more tired than normal and not wake up when they need to go.
Eating a high-salt diet, not emptying the bladder at night, and drinking fluids right up until bedtime are some of the things your child may be doing which are causing the bed wetting.
Dietary changes have also been linked to wetting the bed and the NHS advises you not to give your child drinks containing caffeine, such as cola, tea, or coffee. Certain foods and drinks are diuretics, which means that they cause the body to produce more urine. Some children are more sensitive to diuretics than others which can lead to wetting the bed.
Here are some tried and tested methods for how to help your child stop wetting the bed. These won’t work for everyone, and that’s ok. Only you know what’s best for you and your children. Refer to this list whenever you need some bed wetting guidance:
Along with following our methods for helping your little one stay dry. Your children will need a lot of reassurance from you at this time. Here are some tips for parents to stay supportive when bed wetting reoccurs:
A water repellant mattress can help with cleaning up after bed wetting. If your child does wet the bed, we recommend cleaning any spills as quickly as possible with warm, soapy water and a cloth. Remove dust and debris with a soft brush. We don’t recommend using any cleaning products or vacuuming your mattress.
Hopefully, it will reassure you to know that the majority of cases are not due to anatomical or biological problems. It’s much more likely that bed wetting in children will subside as they adjust to their new school routine.