9 Ways to Stop Bedwetting
in Children

Bedwetting is a normal part of early childhood development, however there are some steps you can take to help your child overcome it and move them forward on their toilet training journey.

9 Ways to Stop Bedwetting
in Children

Bedwetting is a normal part of early childhood development, however there are some steps you can take to help your child overcome it and move them forward on their toilet training journey.

Bedwetting, also called nocturnal enuresis, happens when urine is released involuntarily while asleep.  It’s extremely common, and in the UK it’s estimated that around half a million children between the ages of five and sixteen regularly wet the bed [1].

Most children will grow out of it between the ages of four and six [2], but it also isn't uncommon for bedwetting to happen to older children - one in every twenty children aged 10 experience it, and can continue into adolescence [3].

While bedwetting isn't a life-threatening condition, it can cause a lot of emotional distress and discomfort for the child as well as frustration and worry for the parent (not to mention sleep disruptions for both).

Thankfully, there are steps you can take to help your child overcome bedwetting. Before we get into the ways to help your child overcome bedwetting, it's helpful to understand that it can be a complex problem with multiple factors contributing to it.

Some possible causes of bedwetting include [3]:

  • Deep sleeping
  • Smaller bladder capacity
  • Genetic tendency

While the above aren't of particularly urgent concern (but should be discussed with your child's doctor nonetheless), there are a few other possible causes that might require more active treatment and advice from your child's GP, such as [3]:

If your child is still bedwetting and you're looking for ways to help them at home, read on for our 9 ways to help your child regain their confidence.

1. Create A Supportive, Compassionate Environment

It's important to remember that bedwetting does cause emotional distress and low self-esteem in the child suffering with it [4]. One study found that bedwetting was ranked as the third most distressing life event by children (in a list of 11 events), being considered even more concerning than teasing or bullying by their peers [5].

This is why it's important to always be supportive and compassionate to your child, even when you may be frustrated at aving to wak eup in the night to change their sheets and clothing. Keep in mind that typically, children don't wet the bed on purpose and punishing them for it can make the problem worse [5].

To make sure you're doing what you can to preserve their self-esteem during this time, stay patient and calm with your child when it happens, and make sure all members of the family (including any siblings!) don't embarass or shame them for accidents [6].

2. Talk To Your Child About How They Feel

While keeping in mind the advice from tip #1, encourage your child to be open with you in communicating their thoughts and feelings about their bedwetting. It can be a great first step on working together to overcome it [7].

You might find out something is stopping them fro going to the bathroom during the night (like being scared of the dark), and you can work together to find a solution (eg, leaving a light on in the hallway or bathroom) for them.

3. Build A Bedtime Routine & Good Sleep Hygiene

Having a bedtime routine with your child helps create a calm, stress-free environment before sleep - which is great if your child is anxious about wetting in their sleep.

Establish a routine by getting them to go to bed at a regular time, and start the routine off by asking them to use the toilet. Help them look forward to bedtime by including an activity you can enjoy together, like reading a story of their choosing. Then ask them to use the toilet one more time right before it's time for tucking in [8].

4. Make Sure Your Child is Drinking Enough Fluid

It might seem counterintuitive, but making sure your child drinks regularly during the day can help in overcoming bedwetting in a number of ways. The key with this step is to make sure their fluid intake is spread evenly throughout the day to avoid consuming the majority of their fluids after school or in the evening [9].

Make sure they have a water bottle to take with them to school and encourage them to drink some water in the morning, too.

5. Schedule Bathroom Breaks Throughout the Day

Get your child into a regular urination schedule - between four and seven times a day is considered normal [10]. Take them to the toilet every two to three rs during the day and encourage them to urinate even if they don't feel the need to go.

Doing this with your child builds consistency, as well as allowing them to increase their attention and awareness to how their body is feeling and levels of urge [11].

6. Avoid Food & Beverages That Might Irritate
Your Child's Bladder

Sugary foods and drinks, chocolate, acidic fruits/juices (i.e. citrus) and even food or drink that contain certain food dyes can irritate the bladder, so limiting them from your child's diet or removing them completely can provide a simple solution to stop bedwetting [12].

It could be beneficial to avoid giving your child any food or drinks containing caffeine in the evening, too. Not only is it a natural stimulant, but caffeine also has a diuretic effect which causes an increase in the production of urine [13].

If your child has a Coca Cola with dinner for example, or a cup of tea soon before bed, we reommend swapping it our for a non caffeinated beverage or a glass of water instead.

7. Use Quality Continence Aids

Transitioning out of bedwetting can take time and patience, so using a product like our Magics Youth Pants at night can be a helpful way to quickly clean up after any night time accidents.

They feel like regular underwear and are made with Magical Tube technology, ensuring fast absorption and keeping your child dry for up to 12 hours, while still being comfortable and stretchy to allow freedom of movement - even if they toss and turn in their sleep!

You could also consider investing in some waterproof bedding and bed protectors for an easy way to make clean-up a breeze and keep the matress and doona protected from ay leaks or odours.

8. Celebrate Your Child's Successes

Make sure you acknowledge your child's dry nights with praise and positive reinforcement to help encourage them along the way [14].

Other than verbal praise and hugs, you could make a chart or calendar with your child and add sticks or decorate the chart togetehr to mark dry nights as a way to motivate them by being able to see their progress and feel good about it.

9. See A Health Professional

Remember, it is always a good idea to seek medical advice if you or your child are particularly concerned or upset about bedwetting. Your P or a continence health professional can provide support, insight and strategies as well as recommending any tests that could be helpful to see if there is anything extra going on for your child that might be contributing to their bedwetting.

Similarly, if your child starts bedwetting again after a period without any episodes, or the issue is still present after age eight or nine, it's best to take them to their GP for a check up.

If your child has special needs and suffers from incontinence during the day and/or night, you can read more on our 10 tips on toilet training.

A lot of children will outgrow bedwetting themselves with time, but with the above tips you can help them to overcome it!

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