According to this answer on Parenting.SE, Mayo Clinic says that:

Generally, bed-wetting before age 6 or 7 isn't cause for concern

What is the age when it should become a concern enough that it NEEDS to be brought up with the child's pediatrician?

This is only about health concern - assume that bedwetting itself isn't an undue problem for either the parent or the child.

Also, assume that the obvious approaches to bedwetting are already followed (no drinking right before sleep, pee right before sleep, no high-sodium/high-sugar dinner intake).

I prefer answers based on research or in-depth expert medical info, not opinions of the form "well, I or my child betwetted till age X and was fine"

  • 1
    if you want medical information, this is not a place to go to.
    – Dariusz
    May 30, 2014 at 11:51
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    Medical information != medical advice. First is ontopic. And the strong point of SE . Second is offtopic.
    – user3143
    May 30, 2014 at 12:09
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    Just as a point, it never hurts to bring it up during an appointment. Worst that'll happen is your pediatrician will say "Don't worry, it's not unusual." Many pediatricians will also let you call in without an appointment to ask a quick question like that ("My child is still having bedwetting incidents, he's 8 years old. Should I be concerned? Should I make an appointment?").
    – Doc
    May 30, 2014 at 14:07
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    fwiw my brother and i were bed wetters until puberty (15-17 y/old). No long term psychological damage for us, just a lot of dirty sheets for my mom to clean. If my child is a bet wetter, I wont take them to the doctor, im just going to get them a bed wetting alarm system (undies, or sheet that ring alarm upon moisture)
    – n00b
    May 30, 2014 at 16:04
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    I just want to point out that behavioral or emotional problems can be a kind of health issue as well (mental health is health, after all). Even if there isn't a physical problem causing the bedwetting, like an infection, it might be a symptom of a larger psychological issue. Bedwetting after age 10 is associated with increased risk for conduct problems, anxiety problems, and attention problems. Mention the bedwetting if you have a conversation with a professional about more general concerns in your child's behavior or well-being. Mar 7, 2017 at 21:20

2 Answers 2


From the same article posted in the question, the symptoms section identifies when to consult a doctor:

When to see a doctor

Most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own — but some need a little help. In other cases, bed-wetting may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

Consult your child's doctor if:

  • Your child still wets the bed after age 6 or 7

  • Your child starts to wet the bed after a period of being dry at night

  • The bed-wetting is accompanied by painful urination, unusual thirst, pink urine or snoring

The second bullet point is of particular interest because it describes the distinction between primary and secondary bedwetting:

There are 2 types of bedwetting: primary and secondary. Primary means bedwetting that has been ongoing since early childhood without a break. A child with primary bedwetting has never been dry at night for any significant length of time. Secondary bedwetting is bedwetting that starts up after the child has been dry at night for a significant period of time, at least 6 months.

Primary bedwetting is typically a developmental issue, although it can be tied to medical conditions, which is why you should check with your pediatrician if it continues beyond age 7.

Secondary bedwetting seems to be more frequently a symptomatic issue:

  • Urinary tract infection: The resulting bladder irritation can cause pain or irritation with urination, a stronger urge to urinate (urgency), and frequent urination (frequency). Urinary tract infections in children may indicate another problem, such as an anatomical abnormality.

  • Diabetes: People with diabetes have a high level of sugar in their blood. The body increases urine output to try to get rid of the sugar. Having to urinate frequently is a common symptom of diabetes.

  • Structural or anatomical abnormality: An abnormality in the organs, muscles, or nerves involved in urination can cause incontinence or other urinary problems that could show up as bedwetting.

  • Neurological problems: Abnormalities in the nervous system, or injury or disease of the nervous system, can upset the delicate neurological balance that controls urination.

  • Emotional problems: A stressful home life, as in a home where the parents are in conflict, sometimes causes children to wet the bed. Major changes, such as starting school, a new baby, or moving to a new home, are other stresses that can also cause bedwetting.

  • Children who are being physically or sexually abused sometimes begin bedwetting.

Note that the webmd article does indicate that bedwetting has a tendency to run in the family, and that most children stop wetting the bed at around the same age as one of their parents did.


Well, urine has 2 characteristics to consider:

  1. Presence of bacteria

  2. Acidity

For a long time the concept of urine being sterile in non-sick individuals has been well-known. Recent research indicates that that may not be the case. However, if you're sick, you won't make yourself more sick by being exposed to yourself. So, if things are cleaned up in a timely fashion, the presence of bacteria in the urine isn't something worth worrying about.

Unless something's seriously off balance with your urine's pH level or your skin is exposed to a non-neutral pH level for an extended period of time, concerns about acidity aren't worth worrying about either.

If the bladder cannot be controlled at any time (i.e. including during non-dormant periods), then the incontinence needs to be treated.

The act of urinating while sleeping isn't something I see there ever being a need to see a doctor for unless there are other mitigating circumstances (either physical, as discussed above, or psychological, say from regular, recurring nightmares or shame experienced by the nocturnal urination).

Additionally, it may avoid other side effects associated with waking frequently at night to urinate.

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