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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2005 Dec;159(12):1129-34.

Bed-wetting and its association with developmental milestones in early childhood.

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  • 1Centre d'étude du sommeil et des rythmes biologiques, Hôpital du Sacré-Coeur de Montréal, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.



To evaluate the relationship between bed-wetting and various developmental milestones in a large and representative sample of young children.


A randomized 3-level stratified survey design.


Data were collected by questionnaires, and interviews were scheduled at home with the mother.


A representative sample of children born from 1997 to 1998 in Quebec. A complete set of data on bed-wetting was obtained for 1666 children at the ages of 29, 41, and 53 months.


Percentage of children who bed-wet and developmental factors associated with bed-wetting.


Approximately 10% of the children were bed-wetting at the age of 53 months. Bed-wetting cessation occurred for most children studied between the ages of 29 and 41 months. Motor skills were achieved by fewer boys who bed-wet compared with boys who did not (had sat up without support for 10 minutes at 5 months, P = .05; and had started crawling at 5 months, P<.01). More girls who bed-wet were prematurely born and had hyperactivity and inattention (P<.01 for all) compared with those who did not. Language milestones were achieved by fewer children who bed-wet compared with those who did not (boys: P = .04; girls: P = .02). No between-group difference was found for physical growth and sleep variables.


These findings show an association between bed-wetting and developmental milestones in early childhood. This study supports that bed-wetting could be indicative of a possible delay in the development of the central nervous system and could act as a noticeable indicator for parents and pediatricians.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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