What to Do When Your Child Wets the Bed


Millions of children wet the bed, and it is especially common in children aged six and under. The medical name for the condition is nocturnal enuresis, which refers to the fact that bed-wetting involves involuntary urination during the night. Children who wet the bed are unable to tell when his or her bladder is full and needs emptying. Often, they are deep sleepers who do not wake to use the bathroom. Some children wet the bed frequently, while others only do it on an occasional basis. What should you do if your child wets the bed?

Do not tell them off

Avoid berating your child for wetting the bed as it rarely intentional. If he or she is wetting the bed regularly, it is likely that they are unable to control his or her bladder. His or her brain does not register that he or she needs to go to the toilet. Most children will be automatically ashamed that they have wet the bed, as it is not a subject that he or she is likely to discuss with other people. Berating your child is only going to make him or her feel even worse about himself or herself. Bed-wetting usually goes away by itself, so it is not a major cause for concern.

Ban drinks before bedtime

Encourage your child not to drink in the period leading up to his or her bedtime, as this is likely to make him or her want to use the toilet more. Make sure that he or she empties their bladder before they go to bed to reduce the chances of needing to get up to use the toilet during the night.

Try bladder exercises

Doctors often recommend encouraging your child to do bladder exercises to retrain his or her brain to register when their bladder is full, and encourage him or her to wake up so that he or she can go to the toilet. This can involve increasing the time between urinating during the day to encourage his or her bladder to need emptying less often. Retraining his or her brain can take a while, but it often yields results, and helps many children to stop wetting the bed.

It is important that you offer your full support to your child as this can help him or her to feel better about the situation. Do not worry, as almost all children will stop wetting the bed as they grow out of it, and it is rarely an indication of anything serious. At worst, it is a natural development that causes embarrassment to many children.