What is nocturnal enuresis?

Nocturnal enuresis is the fancy medical term for bedwetting. No more, no less.

For some parents, using the medical term nocturnal enuresis is more comfortable than bedwetting. It lets them talk openly about their child’s issues. The child may not know what is being said about them. If a child overhears a parent talking about his or her bedwetting, they may feel ashamed and embarrassed. Using “big words,”the child may not understand.

Children may have enuresis or bedwetting for a variety of reasons. First, they may simply have a small bladder. Second, they may lack the physical maturity to sleep through the night without wetting. Also, they may just need more time to mature and learn to stay dry.

If a child is wetting during the day it is sometimes called diurnal enuresis. If a child is experiencing both nocturnal and diurnal enuresis, the child is effectively incontinent. This is more common in babies and toddlers and is less common in children over the age of three.

Many doctors simply shorten nocturnal enuresis to just enuresis. This is because diurnal enuresis is more common in younger children, since it tends to mean the child is not yet toilet trained during the day. Nocturnal is used to add clarity in those cases where the child may or may not be trained during the day.

So What Is Nocturnal Enuresis

Whether you use the term nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting, your child is not staying dry at night. They may not be ready to sleep through the night without wetting. If your child has never been dry, consider the use of disposable underpants until they are ready. If your child is wetting the bed again after being dry, you should see a doctor to rule out anything physical. The doctor may recommend treatment or for your child to simply wear disposable underpants until the wetting stops on its own.