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Bedwetting causes: Genetic reasons

Dr. D. Preston Smith
Author Dr. D. Preston Smith
Submitted 27-08-2007

The Potty Trainer

Parents can pass on a tendency for their children to have smaller bladders, which may increase their risks. However, not all children with smaller bladders are bedwetters. Nighttime antidiuretic hormone (ADH) levels may also be lower in certain families. Not only would this be extremely rare, but low ADH hormone levels have not been convincingly linked to families with bedwetting problems. Sleep patterns could possibly be an inherited trait, but again, not all deep sleepers are bedwetters. It is possible that several of these factors are inherited (although very unlikely), and together they may increase a child’s chances of becoming a bed wetter.

Lifestyles and personality traits are commonly similar within families, which in turn can affect daytime potty habits and sleep patterns. In other words, if a parent tends to be anxious or highly motivated then their children are likely to inherit or acquire these traits. If a parent is depressed or has psychological problems then these traits can be passed on to their children. Situations like divorce or hardships can be more common in certain families than in others. All of these lifestyles and personality traits, both good and bad, can be “inherited” and affect the way children live, use the restroom, and sleep.

Lifestyles and personalities can influence how and when a child uses the restroom throughout the day. For example, busy and distracted children and those with emotional or psychological problems commonly have abnormal daytime potty habits. These “bad” potty habits may lead to bedwetting in some children. Also, children and families that are stressed or very active during the day are more likely to burn more energy and become deeper sleepers at night. Some believe deep sleepers are more likely to wet the bed. This will be discussed in-depth later.

Physical traits, personalities and lifestyles are important factors to consider when explaining why bedwetting is more common in certain families. There are certain risk factors that can be passed from parents to their children, but nothing specific and directly linked to bedwetting has been shown to explain the increased family trends that are known to exist. Why bedwetting is more common in certain families remains a mystery.


Dr. D. Preston Smith


Dr. Smith is board certified and he has authored or co-authored many articles, papers, chapters, and books in Urology and Pediatric Urology. His research has been presented throughout the world. Dr. Smith’s dedication to helping children with urologic problems inspired him to establish PottyMD.


Potty Monkey