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Tips for preventing bed wetting

Tips for preventing bed wetting

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Most parents look forward to a time when they no longer need to get up with their children during the night. However, if you’re a parent of a child who often wets the bed, you’ll know that sometimes this can take years rather than months to achieve.

You’re not alone

While it’s not generally something that parents of older children speak about, partly due to respect for their child’s privacy, you might be surprised at how many kids have issues with bedwetting. A recent study suggests that one in 10 five-year-olds still wet the bed most night. So it’s definitely not an uncommon concern, you can rest in the knowledge that there is nothing out of the ordinary with a child who often wets the bed.

Why does it happen?

There are many reasons why a child may wet the bed. These can range from sleeping too deeply to realise the bladder is full, to having an overactive (small) bladder or even anxiety issues. Experts believe that bedwetting may be hereditary and run in families, so if you or your partner used to wet the bed then your child may have similar issues.

Limit drinks close to bedtime

If your child is wetting the bed because her bladder fills quickly or she is a deep sleeper, limiting drinks before bedtime might help. After dinner, only offer sips of drinks and avoid your child drinking in the hour before bedtime. Bear in mind that drinks containing caffeine, such as cola, stimulate the production of urine so it’s best to steer clear of these.

Encourage your child to get up

In some cases, children’s bodies haven’t yet developed enough for them to wake up when their bladder is full. However, sometimes they do wake but don’t get up for the loo during the night for another reason, such as being scared of the dark. If you suspect this may play a part in your child’s bedwetting, it might be worth investing in a couple of night lights to light her way to the bathroom.

Tips for preventing bed wetting

Emotional problems

Being worried or anxious about something can lead to children starting to wet the bed. Changes in family circumstances, bereavement, bullying or starting a new school can all play on a child’s mind. If your child has started wetting the bed after being dry through the night for a period of six months or more, it may be a sign of emotional problems. Rather than focussing on the bedwetting, deal with the source of the anxiety and the bedwetting will usually sort itself out.

Health problems

In rare cases, bedwetting can be a result of a health problem. It could be a sign of Type 1 diabetes, which makes the body produce more urine, or it could be down to a urinal tract infection (UTI) or damage to the nerves controlling the bladder. It’s also worth noting that constipation can cause bedwetting, if your child has difficulty going to the loo that might be a contributing factor.


While you work on getting to the root of the problem and finding a way to resolve it, there are some practical tips that can make life a little easier. Firstly make sure you have plenty of sheets and nightwear that you can change easily. This minimises the time you both need to spend up and out of bed in the middle of the night. A protective mattress cover will also help make night time bed changes much easier, stopping the mattress from needing to be cleaned so often.

Be patient

Recognising that bedwetting is not your child’s fault – or yours for that matter – will help you keep your patience as you’re changing the sheets. In the vast majority of cases, children will grow out of bedwetting. It may take some time to get to the source of the problem and find the right solution, but you and your child will get there in time by working together.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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