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Bedwetting and the Food Connection: How Diet Can Impact Your Kid's Bedwetting Problems‍

Updated: Sep 8, 2023

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As the old saying goes, you are what you eat. And that's just as true for children as it is for adults. In fact, diet plays a major role in your child’s health and well-being.

Different factors can lead to bedwetting, and you'll want to have your doctor rule them out, but there's also an interesting connection between bedwetting and diet.

It's not uncommon for kids between 4 and 11 years old to experience bedwetting. It can be difficult for parents to cope with managing their child's bedwetting and embarrassing for kids who are having these problems. Fortunately, there are ways to help reduce the risk of nighttime accidents and improve your child’s sleep hygiene at the same time.

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What is Bedwetting?

The medical term for involuntary urination is enuresis. Also referred to as urinary incontinence, bedwetting is experienced by many kids at some point in their childhood. Bedwetting is when a child urinates during sleep and is not aware of it. Bedwetting is more common in boys than girls.

Some common medical causes of bedwetting are issues with the sleep-wake cycle, urinary tract infections, central nervous system function (often maturational delay), or issues with the digestive system. Bedwetting can also be due to anxiety, stress or other emotional challenges.

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Foods That Cause Bedwetting

Certain foods can irritate the bladder for various reasons and contribute to bedwetting. While every child is different, some foods that may be problematic include chocolate, dairy products, artificial dyes, sugary foods, soda, and acidic fruits including berries and tomatoes. When these foods are avoided, particularly in the evening, it may help to reduce the chance of bedwetting during the night.

Foods That May Help Reduce Bedwetting

There are a few foods that can help to reduce the risk of bedwetting. Foods that are high in fiber help the body to process nutrients and waste products more efficiently. Fiber also helps reduce the risk of constipation, which is a common cause of bedwetting.

Some foods that are high in fiber include whole-grain bread, crackers, or pasta, oats, barley, broccoli, apples, carrots, peas, nuts, and seeds. Encouraging your child to eat more fiber-rich foods can help to reduce the risk of future bedwetting problems.

Bedwetting is not uncommon in childhood and most children typically outgrow it by age 10. While bedwetting often is not a serious medical condition, it can be embarrassing for your child and frustrating for you as a parent.

Paying attention to your child's diet can be an important key to addressing bedwetting. If your child is consistently wetting the bed and you're not sure of the cause, talk to your doctor for support and suggested treatment.

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Want to learn more about how food affects our kids? Check out these HealthSmart Kids! posts:

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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