As a parent you always try to ensure that your child develops well. Unfortunately, in some areas, such as bedwetting, you have little control and you just have to let it happen. The development of the bladder is an example of this. In this blog we will take a closer look at what developments you can expect according to age.
The bladder is a hollow muscle that temporarily stores urine produced by the kidneys. It is a spherical organ that in shape is often compared to a pear. The muscles around the bladder relax as more urine fill the organ up to its full capacity.
The normal bladder capacity of a child up to 10 years old can be calculated as follows: the child’s age in years x 30 + 30. For adults, the bladder capacity comes down to 350 to 500 milliliters. When it is full, the bladder sends a signal to your brain, so you know it is time to go to the toilet.
A baby’s bladder: reflexes & development
Development of the bladder basically starts at birth. In a newborn baby the bladder functions completely independently. When the bladder is at a certain capacity, the pelvic floor muscles relax and the muscle in the wall of the bladder contracts.
The baby will pee until the bladder is completely empty. Because a baby does not yet have control over its bladder, it urinates without regard for time or place.
Between 1 and 2 years old: awareness
Between the first and the second year of life, the child becomes aware that the bladder fills up until it reaches a certain capacity. In the next step, the child learns to deal with the signals better step by step (or pee by pee). It will gradually become easier for the child to hold his or her pee until the right moment.
Children 3 years and up: control & timing
Only when the child has full control over the tightening and loosening of the sphincter can you expect control over the bladder. This generally happens between the second and third year and is also an important development of the bladder.
What helps is that at this age the bladder capacity increases significantly, making it easier for the child to hold his or her pee for a while.
The fact that a child has control over the sphincter of the bladder does not guarantee that accidents are completely in the past! Like adults, the need to urinate becomes stronger as the bladder fills up. At a certain point the bladder is at its limit and the involuntary reflexes will take over!
In this period, the child will achieve more and more success by stopping urination, which is also an important development of the bladder.
Around three years old, 75% of the children are potty trained during the day.
Children 4 years and up: interruption of the flow
From this age onwards, the child will gain conscious control over whether or not to urinate. The child will also have the ability to interrupt the urine flow. This may not sound exciting, but it is the last phase before the basic elements of the system become fully developed.
Many children will be interested in sleeping without a diaper. From a psychological point of view, this is an important phase for the child because sleeping without a diaper is a huge step towards adulthood.
If you feel that your child is ready, it is good to give them that responsibility so that a dry night feels like a personal victory! So now we are not only talking about a development of the bladder, but also a development of your child itself.
By the age of four, 98% of children are toilet-trained during the day and 75% stay dry at night.
But my child still pees in bed!
No worries, no worries! The development of the bladder is going well and your child is not alone and it doesn’t have to be a problem at all! If your child is not potty trained before the age of 5, it is a good idea to look into this. Curious how Dryly® can help? Then take a look here.