5 causes of bedwetting

We have listed 5 causes of bedwetting. Did you know that 75% of a child’s body is water? Water is essential for proper functioning …

Does your child drink too much water? Then the chance of an accident increases. If your child does not drink enough water, he or she may develop a urinary tract infection!

Fluid intake and bed-wetting

If your child suffers from bedwetting, your doctor will advise you to keep track of his or her fluid intake for a few days to learn more about your child’s behavior pattern. If your child drinks a few full glasses of water before bedtime there is a higher risk of bedwetting.

Fluid intake and bed-wetting

1. Bladder capacity

Below you will find the rules of thumb to estimate the bladder capacity of your child.

2. Urine flow

Normally, urine flow starts slowly and gradually becomes stronger until there is only a small amount of urine left in the bladder. The flow then slows down until the bladder is completely empty. Children (and adults) can develop abnormal patterns due to health problems. We have listed a few below.

Feel free to ask your child which of these patterns corresponds with their own! This can be valuable information for further diagnosis.

Urine flow child

3. Fluid requirement

Research shows that a child’s fluid requirement depends on age and weight. Below you will find a useful overview you can use to calculate the fluid requirement for your child.

Important: Children get about 900 milliliters of fluid from food. Subtract this from the total fluid requirement!

Example: Anne is 5 years old and weighs 19 kilos. She needs to drink almost 1 liter of water to meet her fluid requirement, which comes down to 8 glasses of 200 milliliters.

1000ml + (50ml x 19) = 1.95 liters

Child's fluid needs

4. Liquid intake frequency

Ideally, a child drinks regularly throughout the day. In practice, this does not always happen.

Help your child develop the habit of drinking a glass of water with each meal to make sure he or she drinks enough water during the day.

5. Checking your child’s hydration level

As a parent you know it is important that your child drinks enough, but he or she is obviously too busy playing outside. We cannot blame them for that!

You can check whether your child is sufficiently hydrated in two ways.

Colour of urine

The most straightforward method is checking the colour of your child’s urine. Most people know about this rule of thumb: the lighter the urine, the better hydrated your child is. When your child is not sufficiently hydrated the kidneys retain more water, resulting in a higher concentration of waste in the urine.

Below you will find an overview of hydration levels!


When your child is a certain age, it may be less practical to find out what colour urine he or she has. We have another trick for you.

Squeeze your child’s back with your index finger and thumb. Does the pinched skin bounce back immediately? This means your child is sufficiently hydrated! If it takes a while for the skin to return to its original position, it is a good idea to drink a few glasses of water.

The scientific term behind this trick is called “turgor pressure.” The ability of your skin to return to its original state is a direct result of how hydrated it is. The suppler the skin is, the better its condition and moisture balance!

Bladder diary

A bladder diary is very useful to gain more insight into the urination pattern of your child!

We have created a useful list of things you can monitor to get an idea of possible causes that might disrupt the toilet behavior of your child. Go to the article with the downloadable file here!

To summarise

On the whole, it can be very valuable to be aware of signals that indicate what problems your child may experience. You should pay attention to: bladder capacity, liquid intake frequency, pattern of discharge and of course the colour of the urine.

When in doubt, consult your doctor!