How to Tackle Bedwetting in Kids?

Though there is no one single reason for bedwetting, a combination of reasons can cause it. Don’t do the mistake of asking your child directly what is wrong with him or why is he peeing in the bed at night. It is difficult for them to understand what is happening with them. They aren’t doing it on purpose or because they are lazy to get up from bed and go to the washroom. It is mostly a developmental issue and will proper care and attention it goes away. Bedwetting is generally passed through generations. Over 5 million children suffer from bedwetting. The boy to girl ratio is 1:2.

Tackle Bedwetting

Bedwetting or nocturnal enuresis is of two types – primary and secondary. Primary bedwetting starts in early childhood and the child hasn’t been dry for a long length of time. Secondary bedwetting starts in childhood but only after has a dry session for six months.

What causes primary bedwetting?

Cannot hold urine for a long time once the urinary bladder is full

Bedwetting mostly occurs till the date of 5 years or sometimes in extreme cases till 10 years. Since in toddlers and young children, the bladder capacity is too small, it gets filled faster which they don’t realize while sleeping. They are sometimes unable to wake up to go to the washroom.

Poor daytime toilet habits

Since children are still learning various stimuli, they often ignore the urge to pass urine and hold it as long as they can. Parents should be aware of certain gestures such as face straining, leg crossing, squatting, holding the groin, and leg crossing which indicate that the child is holding back urination.

Tendency to produce large amount of urine in the evening and night time

It is involuntary and involves genetics. Parents should here limit water intake after 5 pm.

What causes secondary bedwetting?

Secondary bedwetting is usually caused due to an underlying emotional or medical problem.

Urinary tract infection

This medical condition causes irritation while urination resulting in a higher urge to urinate. Urinary tract infection isn’t common in children and if it occurs, it signifies some anatomical abnormality.

Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Diabetes mellitus is a condition in which blood sugar increases. One of the first three symptoms of diabetes is nocturia, which means excessive urination during night time.

Neural issues

Any neurological issue can result in impaired signalling. The child’s brain is unable to identify the signal which can upset the neurological balance.

Pinworm infection

It causes excessive irritation around the anus and in the anal tract.

Sleep apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea which causes choking or breathlessness while sleeping, can be a cause of bedwetting.

Emotional or mental troubles

Living in a dysfunctional family, child abuse, rape, ignorance at school, moving into a new house, and birth of a sibling are causes of mental and emotional stress and can cause your child to urinate while sleeping.

Bedwetting is inherited i.e., if your child is wetting the bed you were doing it too when you were little. It generally stops during the same age you did.

Seven ways to tackle bedwetting

Usually bedwetting disappears as the child grows up but it should be tackled and stopped as soon as possible. It can be embarrassing for the child but very exhausting and torturous to the parents.

Bedwetting in Kids

Regular toilet breaks

Encourage your child to take regular toilet breaks throughout the day. Inculcate it as a habit, so that after a few days you won’t have to tell him/ her to use the toilet. Children learn easily and if reinforced properly, can help them greatly in future.

Motivate them

An effective way to encourage to not wet the bed at night is by rewarding them every time they wake up dry. Chart their progress and every week show them what they’ve achieved.

Reduce drinking of water after 5 pm

If your child’s bedtime is 8 pm, reduce water intake 3 pm onward. At the same time, encourage your child to drink enough water in the morning. In your own words, explain them about how water helps the body function and why you shouldn’t drink much water in the night. However, always keep a glass of water by their bedside, in case they feel thirsty in the middle of the night.

Encourage bathroom break just before going to sleep

When the bladder is empty, there’s less chance that your child will urinate in the night. While taking them to the bathroom, you can also give them a pep talk about bedwetting and also ask if anything is troubling them.

Invest in a moisture alarm

This technique can be used only for kids 8 years or older. A moisture alarm is a type of alarm that rings as soon as the bed gets wet. The brain rewires itself and helps in better bladder control so that sleep isn’t interrupted. Research proves that this technique is 75% effective.

Waterproof mattress

This might not be the best of options but if your child is suffering from excessive bedwetting due to some illness or mental disturbance, this can help. Children who have trouble mentally find it difficult to get over bedwetting and take longer time to stop it.


Keep this as your last resort. Visit your child’s pediatrician and discuss this issue with her/ him. Doctors might prescribe medicines that reduces urine production in the night. This ensures sound sleep in the night and no embarrassing moments.

Time and patience is required from your side as well. Getting mad at your child will only worsen the situation. Most children grow out of the bedwetting phase; some take a little longer time. You can also try complementary therapies such as hypnosis, homeopathy, Ayurveda, and chiropody.

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