How to support your child through bedwetting
Trying to manage their child’s bedwetting can leave some parents feeling helpless, but don’t despair. Whether you're searching for help with your little man or lady, we’ve got a range of advice on things you can do every day to stave off the night time accidents and get a peaceful night's sleep.
Keep an eye on how much they’re drinking
Make sure your child has access to enough water to drink – that fabled six to eight glasses – during the day, including at nursery or school.
Avoid fizzy drinks, caffeinated drinks and hot chocolate, all of which can irritate the bladder.
Make toilet time a priority
Help your child avoid constipation by encouraging them to eat a healthy and varied diet.
Remind your child to go to the loo regularly, around four to seven times a day, including just before bedtime.
Check your child is able to get to the loo easily at night and has enough light to do so. For younger children, you may want to leave a potty in their room (but somewhere it won’t be upended!).
Get a little bit of extra help—just in case
Try using Huggies® DryNites® Pyjama Pants as these help your child gain confidence by reducing anxiety at bedtime. Plus, they are clinically proven for a better night’s sleep - ensuring children get a dry night sleep and wake up happy. In a survey, 80% of parents asked agree that Huggies® DryNites® Pyjama Pants help their child sleep better.
Make your own life easier and washing load lighter by fitting a water-resistant mattress protector and even waterproof covers for duvets and pillows. Huggies®DryNites® Bed Mats have a Stick & Stay Put adhesive backsheet which secures it to the mattress for extra security.
At what age should my child be dry at night?
There’s no cut-and-dried answer to this, as many children develop at different times and stages. You may find it is around the ages of three to four before they are consistently dry at night. However, don’t be too concerned if they are still having accidents up to the age of five. This is common, with up to 15% of children wetting the bed at ages 5-7. However, from age 5 it is considered a medical condition, so it’s worth talking to your doctor if you have any worries.
Much of the success of staying dry at night will depend on how mature a child's bladder is, and their ability to produce the hormone ADH—which suppresses production of wee while asleep. The best advice we can give is to keep supporting them through the bedwetting stage. Your child will stop having night-time accidents at their own pace: they just need time, and your patience.
When to seek help for bedwetting
There is no definitive answer to the question, “What age should my child be dry at night?”, but NICE guidance suggests that if a child persistently wets the bed after the age of five, it may warrant a chat with your GP.
There are instances when enuresis in children can indicate a UTI or an underlying health condition or emotional issue. Your doctor will be able to offer advice or refer you for treatment if:
- you've tried everything you can do at home and your child keeps wetting the bed.
- your child has started wetting the bed again after being dry for more than six months.
- there are other related symptoms, such as pain or discomfort while weeing, ongoing constipation or daytime wetting.
Bedwetting treatments on offer
Your GP may offer bedwetting advice, treatment options, or refer you to a specialist paediatric incontinence service. They may well ask questions about bladder and bowel habits, potty training and how much they drink and when, so be prepared. There are a few options they may recommend, including medication to help regulate the amount of wee the body makes during the night.
More bedwetting help and info
The children’s bowel and bladder charity, ERIC, runs a free helpline that is open Monday to Thursday, 10am to 2pm, and is free to call from landline and mobile numbers. Call 0808 1699 949 or go to eric.org.uk
Bowel and Bladder UK also has resources for parents and children, find them at www.bbuk.org.uk. And if you keep exploring, there are plenty of resources right at your fingertips on bedwetting, potty training and more.
Bedwetting doesn’t last forever, even if it feels like that right now
You’ll get tired of us saying this, but we really do mean it: patience and support are everything when it comes to helping your child with bedwetting. Hang in there—you and your child will get through this phase together.
To help you get there, we’ve put together expert bedwetting advice to help you get ahead of your little one’s little accidents by understanding what bedwetting actually is and why it happens. If they’re a little bit older, you can also find age-specific bedwetting help and discover how the different stresses in their life can play a part in night-time accidents too.
Bedwetting happens, and that’s okay. Let’s face this developmental phase like any other: together, and with confidence.