Children's Hospital Colorado

Daytime Wetting

What is daytime wetting?

If your child has wetting accidents in his or her underwear after potty-training age, he or she is likely experiencing daytime wetting.

What causes daytime wetting?

Daytime wetting is most commonly associated with dysfunctional voiding. Daytime wetting can occur for several reasons:

  • If a child is not urinating enough and is holding on to his or her urine during the day
  • If a child is constipated  
  • If a child has a urinary tract infection
  • If a child's control mechanism and bladder muscles are not working properly

Who gets daytime wetting?

Any child who is potty trained can have daytime urinary wetting if they are not taking the time to empty their bladder fully, not voiding on a regular schedule or are not having coordinated pelvic floor musculature, which is required for holding and releasing urine.

What are the signs and symptoms of daytime wedding?

Signs and symptoms include damp underwear, urine accidents during the day and irritation and/or redness around the genitals.

What tests are used to diagnose daytime wetting?

Witnessing any of the signs or symptoms indicates that your child may suffer from daytime urinary wetting. Seek medical attention when you become aware that daytime wetting is occurring.

How do doctors at Children's Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

A visit with a member of the urology group is necessary to rule out any underlying problems with the control mechanism and muscles of the bladder. Often, uroflow and bladder scan tests are performed during the visit.

  • The uroflow is a test that provides information about the urine flow and how the bladder and sphincter muscle work together. The uroflow test simply requires your child to void into a special toilet.
  • A bladder scan, performed after the uroflow, evaluates the amount of urine left in the bladder after voiding.
  • An abdominal X-ray may also be performed to identify any stool burden contributing to the condition.

Further evaluation of the urinary tract is done by our Urology Department on an individual patient basis.

How is daytime wetting treated?

The  Bedwetting and Enuresis (BE) Program is a clinic that addresses daytime and nighttime wetting and its causes. Your child will be placed on a strict bowel and bladder program to help retrain the bladder. This includes using the toilet regularly (every 2 to 3 hours), taking enough time on the toilet to fully empty their bladder and drinking appropriate amounts of fluids to avoid constipation.

Why choose Children's Colorado for your child's daytime wetting treatment?

The BE Program has been designed to address dysfunctional voiding using behavioral modifications, such as motivating techniques to help obtain success.

The Department of Pediatric Urology works with the gastroenterology team to address any constipation issues that may be contributing to dysfunctional voiding, and with a clinical psychologist to help with the motivation and resistant behaviors that can accompany dysfunctional voiding.

Our group is committed to helping you and your child attain success to improve bladder function and eliminate leaking of urine, irritated voiding and/or recurrent UTIs, which are all symptoms of dysfunctional voiding.

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