Bedwetting: When to consult a doctor

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Bedwetting is an issue that millions of families face every night. There can be numerous reasons for bedwetting and, in most cases, children will grow out of bedwetting – but there are certain cases that will need medical attention.

Bedwetting can be very stressful for the whole family, and often the children feel embarrassed or guilty about wetting the bed. Bedwetting can also cause anxiety when spending the night at a friend’s house or going away to a school camp. This is a problem experienced by an estimated 10% of South African children aged between four and 15 years of age. In most cases, it’s linked to delays in physiological development. Children are unique and each child develops at a different pace.

“Dr Michael Mol, Brand Ambassador for DryNites® Pyjama Pants, sheds some light on when parents should consult a healthcare professional when it comes to bedwetting and which specialist would suit the situation.”

It could also stem from being in a very deep sleep or be the result of a bowel issue like constipation. Bedwetting could also be caused by psychological problems related to issues at school or a change in family dynamics. Whatever the circumstances, the question remains: When should I start being concerned about bedwetting?

Dr Michael Mol, Brand Ambassador for DryNites® Pyjama Pants, sheds some light on when parents should consult a healthcare professional when it comes to bedwetting and which specialist would suit the situation.

The signs that parents need to look out for when their child is bedwetting include: 

  • Signs of bladder or kidney infection. These signs will be evident when your child cries or complains when urinating, when there is pink urine or bloodstains, or when your child visits the toilet more frequently than usual.
  • If your child is over the age of five and cannot control their bladder.
  • When your child, who in the past was able to control their bladder, has begun to wet the bed with increasing frequency.

“There are several healthcare professionals who can help deal with bedwetting. These specialists can also provide you with the relevant advice you need to assist both you and your child,” says Mol.

A General Practitioner

If your child is five years old or over but is still wetting the bed at night, you should consult your GP on the subject, especially if the bedwetting persists beyond the age of seven years. It is also advised to consult your GP in the case of secondary enuresis (when a child starts to wet the bed again after a period of at least six consecutive months of nighttime dryness).

A Paediatrician

Your GP can refer you to a paediatrician if the initial treatments are unsuccessful.

A Paediatric Urologist

This specialist may be consulted only by referral from your GP or Pediatrician. Referrals will be made in the case of daytime bladder leakage caused by a recurrent urinary tract infection.

A Psychologist

If your child is suffering because of regular bedwetting in terms of a loss of confidence, feelings of guilt or embarrassment, a tendency to isolate themselves, etc. you are advised to see a psychologist. Visible symptoms in children include depression, anxiety, hyperactivity, behavioural issues and lack of concentration. A psychologist may also be referred by your GP in cases of secondary enuresis. An appointment with a psychologist can be arranged by your GP or paediatrician.


You cannot stop your child from wetting the bed. You can, however, help to manage their bedwetting by making them feel more comfortable. One way of doing this is to introduce them to DryNites® Pyjama Pants. DryNites® Pyjama Pants are available for boys and girls and come in two different sizes: 4-7 years and 8-15 years. These age-appropriate disposable pyjama pants are super absorbent and thin enough so that children can discreetly wear them underneath their pyjamas, helping them to feel more confident and independent.For more information on DryNites® Pyjama Pants, or to ask Dr Mol a personal question or to request a free sample, visit  www.drynites.co.za. DryNites® Pyjama Pants are currently available at selected retailers nationwide.