When do I begin to help my child stop wetting the bed?

by Karen Radford 3 min read

We are frequently asked by parents when they should begin to help their child stop bed wetting. Often parents worry that their child has not stopped bed wetting at the same age as an older sibling or friend’s child , or that a younger child is dry before the older one. Generally, as a rule of thumb, we would recommend 6 years of age for girls and 7 for boys (sorry boys, you take a bit longer) but there is no reason to rule out younger children if you think they are ready and suitably motivated. The age at which health professionals recommend treatment for bedwetting varies slightly from country to country. 

Another indicator is that the child is dry during the day, and you are aware that they are likely to have sufficient bladder capacity.

Emotional impact of bed wetting

It is important to aim for dry nights if your child shows signs of being emotionally impacted, stressed or embarrassed by their bed wetting. Ideally a child will be dry at an age before they need to go on sleepovers or school camps. There is the potential for a child to become socially isolated if they are resistant to situations that might lead to social embarrassment.

Another important factor to consider is the often understated impact on other family members. For example, working parents or school age children might suffer the effects of disrupted sleep if they are inadvertently disturbed, especially with multiple bed wetting incidents during the night.

Motivating your child

An important factor in the success of bedwetting training is that your child needs to be motivated and engaged. If you are ready to start the training but your child is resistant, you can use resources like ERIC’s Guide to Night Time Wetting written by ERIC, The Children's Bowel and Bladder Charity, and talk it through with your child. Also you can offer rewards for milestones on a progress or sticker chart (motivational therapy). Make it clear that it is something you are doing together - a family project.

Just give it a go!

If your child is ready and you have the emotional space and time, just give it a go! Be prepared with waterproof bedding and changes of night clothes. Try without diapers for a few nights during the holidays and see what happens, you might be surprised!. You might also want to check out our quick wins to see if any of those help. Please let us know if you have any success or tips for other parents.

Getting support

Getting support from a clinical professional is a good idea if you are concerned or anxious about the possibility of underlying medical or developmental issues. If you are in the United Kingdom, many NHS School Nurses run Enuresis or Continence Clinics, and worldwide many school councillors or medical clinics offer advice or loan alarms. A visit to your child's doctor to rule out medical causes may help relieve any concerns you have, particularly in older children.

If you decide to buy your own alarm, consider our highly effective wireless alarm, the DRI Sleeper eclipse. Our alarms have up to a 90% success rate.

Enhance training

An additional alarm placed in your bedroom enhances training as you can quickly get up and make sure your child gets out of bed and goes straight to the toilet. This will help reinforce your child's learning. 

Because the extra alarm really helps children who are deep sleepers or are slow to respond to their own alarm, we offer a heavily discounted package for parents, including the extra alarm.  

Hint: put  your child's alarm out of their reach so they have to get up to turn it off!!  

A bedwetting alarm helps children to learn when their bladder is full.

Time frame

To set expectations of time frame, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to 3 months. After that time support from a clinical professional is worthwhile, but often it is just a case of perseverance.  After 3 months a visit to the Doctor is recommended to rule out medical issues.

We're here to help.

Good luck! If you would like to speak to our bedwetting advisor or need more information on our alarms, please contact us

You can find further detail in a previous post ‘What age should I expect bedwetting to stop?'

Thanks for reading!

If you have got this far then have 10% off your order this weekend!
Discount code: BeagleKnowsBest

Thanks for reading!

Bedwetting Beagle Mascot in Canadian team uniform
If you have got this far then have 10% off your order this weekend!
Discount code: BeagleKnowsBest

Disclaimer: For information only. This communication is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professionals regarding any medical questions or conditions.

Karen Radford
Karen Radford


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It’s been fantastic

Hello, I have a dri sleeper bedwetting alarm I have been using with my seven year old son for ten weeks now. It’s been fantastic as except for the first two weeks we haven’t had a single wet bed.

Well done - that is a terrific effort!
We have seen a massive improvement

Hi Karen,

We have been following all of the advice in your email for the past five weeks and we have seen a massive improvement. After the second week he was dry for six nights in a row, the following week the alarm went off four times (only once during the night) and his underpants were only wet a small amount. The following week the alarm only went off once and again only his underpants were wet. We are currently in a stretch of six nights dry and hoping for this to continue.

Thank you so much for your assistance, any advice is greatly appreciated.
Kind regards

Natalie

That’s great news. Yes keep using the alarm until he has achieved 14 consecutive dry nights then he can stop using the alarm.
this alarm has already worked after about 2 - 3 weeks usage!

Hello Karen, I can confirm that this alarm has already worked after about 2 - 3 weeks usage! Can’t rate this highly enough and our 6 year old boy has basically gone from being wet every night (without fail) to now getting up on his own accord and going to the toilet in the night and being dry (pull up free!) in the morning! Even held wee in till the morning on a couple of occasions over last week! Incredibly effective product and will obviously be giving 5 stars on Amazon shortly (which says something as very rarely leave product reviews!)

Kind Regards

Richard
Sent from my iPhone

Congratulations Richard! Thanks for the feedback.
Cured!!!! Thank you.

Cured!!!! Thank you. I was dubious as to whether it would really work. It took a while to persuade our 5y/o to try it as she was VERY attached to the night nappies. The first 2 weeks were very hard. Up every night. But I could see some small progress in the second week as she began to wake up. Week 3 a lot better. Week 4 we started having dry nights. We’ve only had one bed wet since she was dry and that was at 9pm and we think due to a bad dream. Now she gets up to go to the toilet or waits till morning. So happy. It was well worth the perseverance and all the extra washing. No more nappies for us! She still won’t give up the alarm yet, but that’s no issue.

Perserverance is the key. Well done Deb!
He is the happiest and proudest kid on earth. I'm still pinching myself.

My 7 year old son has NEVER been dry in his life. Every night he was SATURATED and leaked through pull ups through the bedding.

It was his decision to order his alarm from your website as he was desperate to be dry and 'normal'. We ordered the DRI Sleeper excel.

From the first night he was dry he has NEVER had an accident since. He raced around the house with joy, saying 'my brain has woken up, my brain has woken up!!!!'.

It's now 6 weeks since his first dry night. He is the happiest and proudest kid on earth. I'm still pinching myself that it worked. In reflection I wish I'd gotten the wireless version but it still did a great job.

Words can't express how this has changed our sons life and ours. We have given away all his pull ups and we are all well slept. I can't thank you enough.

Thanks for sharing your story with us. This will be very encouraging for other parents.