Bedwetting and Nighttime Poop Leaks

Some providers believe that nighttime bedwetting can be categorized as "normal" until the age of seven. However, it is important to look at the whole body and other symptoms a child may be experiencing. Yes, bedwetting can be normal, and a child may grow out of it. But letting children try to grow out of it, and then waiting until they are older and realizing there is a problem, leads to a more challenging recovery.

Often a child who has difficulty staying clean and dry at night may also present with abdominal pain, constipation, or difficulty with gross motor skills (think: skills useful in physical education class). For example, a child may have limited coordination and also be struggling with bedwetting. Although it may not seem so, from a physical therapist's point of view, these two things can be extremely related to each other!

There are a variety of different reasons why a child may wet the bed (or have poop leaks) during their sleep at night. Constipation may be a contributing factor to why a child may have nighttime incontinence (look at the constipation services page for more information about why this is!). A child may also have any degree of sensory dysregulation. Normally a person senses something happening to or inside of their body. However, when a child has sensory dysregulation, that sensation is altered or decreased, which can lead to a child not knowing they need to use the restroom or being unaware of a leak that they had.

Physical therapists with specializations in pediatrics and pelvic floor therapy are able to identify when sensory dysregulation may be contributing to incontinence, and how to help a child improve their ability to sense their bodies appropriately to lead to an improved ability to stay clean and dry during the day, and at night!

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