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My four year old daughter has not wet the bed in about a year. A few nights ago (on an unexpectedly cold night) she did. There are several questions here about bed wetting and regression, but I'm specifically wondering about being cold at night being a trigger for bed wetting. A web search reveals a couple of message board anecdotes, but I was hoping for something more concrete.

Can being cold at night cause a child to wet the bed again?

  • If it's just a one-off, I wouldn't consider it regression. At 4 it's common to have the occasional accident. – user1751825 Mar 23 '16 at 23:17
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    Did this also happen around a time change? My twins, one fully trained, the other partially, had accidemts after the switch to dst. – mkennedy Mar 24 '16 at 4:37
  • I... wet my bed the last time when I was... uh, 34. The previous time before that was... 28... I don't think I'm regressing, but it does happen lol... – Nelson Mar 24 '16 at 7:17
  • @mkennedy You may be on to something! It was after the time change, and the last time she did it, she had massive jet lag. – Doppelganger Mar 25 '16 at 11:55
  • Thanks for the help, everyone. It hasn't happened again, so I'll just (happily) let it go. – Doppelganger Mar 28 '16 at 12:45
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In my experience, things that contribute to my children wetting the bed are primarily one of three things:

  • Drinking more before/during bedtime
  • Sleeping more soundly
  • Barriers to getting up to go in the middle of the night

(Plus of course forgetting to go right before bed.)

How could cold affect these?

  • When it's cold outside, it's also dry. That means the child may be thirstier, and thus drink more before/during bedtime.
  • Some children may sleep more soundly in the cold, though it's more common that sleep is sounder in warmth. But, your child may have dressed more warmly and/or put on more covers than usual, and thus ended up sleeping more soundly.
  • Having all of those covers on would be a substantial barrier to going to the bathroom in the middle of the night. It also would be cold getting out of them - another barrier.

All that said, given the n=1 nature of this occurrence, I wouldn't read too much into it. Yes, it's possible it's related to the cold. It's also possible she just had an accident. That's entirely normal and to be expected until 6 or so, from what I recall (and some kids, even older than that). I wouldn't see it as regression at all.

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My son, age 6, consistently wets himself when we ski. I've tried making him go to the toilet right before we change into ski gear, restricting liquids, a combination of both and threats. I genuinely believe the cold itself is the trigger. He's been fully toilet trained and dry through the night since age 2 but something about the extreme cold means he can't even feel himself wee.

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