They may be unusual for their age, but there's no need to panic. Almost all children wet the bed because their brain hasn't yet learned the feeling of needing to pee means wake up. Find out more about what causes bedwetting.
Children become less likely to stop bedwetting without help as they get older. Age 5 to 8 is perfect to start helping with night toilet training and a bedwetting alarm.
How is bedwetting different at ages 5 to 8?
They've mastered daytime bladder control
At this age children have usually mastered controlling their bladder during the day. They're taking themselves to the bathroom without you having to watch for squirming.
Although your child is likely using the loo without help, it's important to keep being frank and open about toilet matters.
Tip: Make sure your son or daughter knows the words for bodily functions and their private parts, so they can more tell you about any problems that make bedwetting worse, like a bladder infection or constipation.
Life outside the family grows
At 5, 6, 7 and 8 children have a growing sense of self. The world outside their family begins to matter more. They want to fit in and feel included by other children.
They may notice they're different from other children if they're still in diapers (nappies) at night. They're eager to keep up with other kids.
Learning is fast and fun
Learning usually includes a lot of creativity and movement for children of this age, alongside reading, writing and numbers. With the right help from adults, they learn quickly.
If they're still wetting the bed at night, now is the best time to begin night toilet training and using a bedwetting alarm because they:
want to learn
get into new routines easily
learn faster than older children.
Their imagination is wild
Children at ages 5 to 8 are often drawn to fantasy characters and stories, from fairies to superheroes.
Their vivid imagination can help them stop bedwetting. Here are some ideas:
When they need to use the bathroom during the day, ask your child to first lie down on their bed and close their eyes. Ask them to think of a picture to go with the feeling of a full bladder. Kids come up with all sorts of things, from footballs to fish tanks. Having a picture for the feeling can help them 'see' their full bladder when they're asleep, and wake.
If an exciting event is coming up, like a sleepover or vacation, ask your child to imagine how much more they'd enjoy themselves if they didn't have to worry about wetting the bed.
Parents have more control at bedtime
Parents are usually still in control of bedtime routines with children ages 5 to 8. This means there's a lot you can do to make it calm and predictable.
Our recipe for bedtime with the best chance of beating bedwetting:
Make sure they don't get too exhausted - overtired kids find it harder to wake in the night to a full bladder.
Avoid drinks before bed.
Make sure they use the toilet before bed. Watching a YouTube video or reading for a minute helps your child relax so they can get it all out.
If you already have a DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarm:
Relaxing listening helps them unwind and fall asleep. Our Mindfulness MP3 recordings help reinforce messages around ending bedwetting while helping them drift off.
It's the perfect time to start phasing out night diapers (nappies) too. If they use night diapers much longer, they may become 'diaper dependent', which is difficult to treat. Saying goodbye to night nappies, and hello to a Brolly Sheet in their favourite colour, is another step that builds confidence.
Their diet may change
At this age children are eating outside the home more. It's important you know what they're eating and drinking. Sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine worsen bedwetting because they dry the body and interfere with sleep.
Use their new daily routines to help make sure they're drinking enough water to make their bladder stronger. Aim for 6 glasses of 8 fluid ounces (250 mL) a day, using waking up, coming home from school, meals and snacks as reasons for a glass of water.
The DRI Sleeper excel bedwetting alarm is great for this age group. It clips to their pyjamas and connects by cord to the moisture sensor. It's also our least expensive bedwetting alarm, so you're not just saving money on diapers by starting right away!
Next steps to end bedwetting at age 5 to 8
It's the ideal time to help your child stop wetting the bed with night toilet training and a bedwetting alarm.
If used as directed, a bedwetting alarm helps up to 9 in 10 children stop wetting the bed. It's the fastest and most effective solution.
Parents breathe a sigh of relief at knowing they can stop buying expensive night diapers. There's even better news for your child. When they stop bedwetting, the way their confidence grows is worth its weight in gold.
Bought this for our son. It’s very sensitive and alarm goes off immediately. He doesn’t mind wearing the wire but says it’s a bit uncomfortable in some sleeping positions. We haven’t experienced success yet but will keep using it
Please get in touch if you would like to discuss strategies that could be helpful.
I just recently posted a review about using this product with my 7 year old son, and I'm happy to say it has now also worked with my 4.5 year old daughter. It took less than 1 week for her to become completely night dry after being a heavy night wetter. The first few nights the alarm went off several times throughout the night when she wet and I had to wake her up each time and take her to the toilet to finish off. We also had the alarm fall off a couple of times and her intentionally set it off a couple of times. I had started to think maybe it wasn't going to work with her and that she was just too young, but I was determined to try stick it out a bit longer. So glad I did, because a few days later the amount of times the alarm went off reduced to just once a night. Then the next night she actually woke up herself before the alarm went off and called out to me to help take her to the toilet! She did this for a couple of nights and she now usually just holds on all night without even needing to get up and go to the toilet. Amazed at how quickly it worked for her and also that it can also work for younger children too. So great to finally be completely done with nappies!
What a great team effort! We wish you all the best for the future..
The alarm has made such a difference to my son's bed wetting. After 1 week of use, he went from 3 episodes in a night to his first dry night! Almost 8 weeks on, he hasn't quite got to 14 consecutive nights, but I'm sure it will only be a matter of time - we have more dry nights than not now. So glad we decided to give it a try!