Bedwetting is a common problem for school-age children, usually caused by factors such genetics, bladder capacity and control, deep sleeping, constipation and hormones. Though bedwetting usually resolves on its own eventually, parents often seek solutions in order to end the embarrassment, anxiety and inconvenience that often accompany the problem. Here to the rescue are seven mom-recommended strategies for curbing bedwetting in children.
1. Bedwetting Alarms
A bedwetting alarm, which makes a noise when it senses moisture, is one of the top bedwetting cures for children. How does it work? Jennifer H. explains: “The alarm trains the child’s brain to associate the feeling of needing to urinate with waking up: As they start to pee, the alarm wakes them up, so they automatically stop peeing and get up to go to the bathroom. As this happens every night the body and brain become trained to wake up when the sensation happens.”
2. Bladder-Strengthening Exercises
Exercises that strengthen or expand a child’s bladder may help resolve bedwetting. Mother-of-three Lisa M. shared the following advice: “I was told by my doctor when my son was having bed wetting problems to make him hold it for at least 10–20 minutes longer. This helped his bladder to expand so he could get through the night without wetting the bed.” Meanwhile Kristy G., a mother of two children, recommended another bladder strengthening exercise: “When they are going to the bathroom, have them go, then stop for a few seconds, then go again, so that they are gaining control and strengthening the muscles.”
3. Late-Night Bathroom Breaks
Some moms suggest that waking a child up a few times each night can help resolve bedwetting. As Tanya S. shared: “I started waking him up when I was going to bed around 10:30–11:00 and making him go to the toilet. I think it gave him the sense of knowing to wake up and go when he had to. Before too long I would hear him getting up to go on his own. It worked great for us.” Similarly, Hilary T. found the same technique worked on both her daughter and herself: “I was a bedwetter myself as a child, whether I had a drink late or not, so my mum used to wake me up to go to the toilet. My daughter, who is now five, had a problem at one point so I used the same technique on her and it worked.”
“I finally took her to the doctor and he gave her a mild medication,” shared Jaclyn F., whose 7-year-old daughter had a bedwetting problem. “It really worked and she feels so much more confident.” While medications can resolve bedwetting, the bedwetting often begins again when the medication is stopped. Still, many moms say medications are useful for giving older children more confidence and enabling them to attend sleepovers or camps without fear of embarrassment.
5. Chiropractic Care
While the medical communitty hasn't come to a consensus on whether chiropractic care can help bedwetting, some Circle of Moms members did find that chiropractors resolved their children’s bedwetting problems, and encouraged others to give it a shot. “Try a chiropractor,” suggests Amanda M. “There was a time when my son was wetting the bed a lot and it was something to do with a nerve that was pinched and not telling his brain he had to go. It really worked well, and we never had any problems after that.”
6. Limit Evening and Nighttime Fluids
Although some argue that limiting fluids before bed isn’t an effective bedwetting cure, moms like Lianne A. assert that eliminating liquids at night does help some children get over bedwetting: “I found that when I didn’t let my son eat or drink after six, he would not have accidents.”
7. Natural Remedies
Some moms rave about the success of simple, natural remedies for bedwetting. Amy B. suggested cranberry juice, which is said to suppress urination, while Laura L. found a handful of raisins and walnuts (3 tbsp. of raisins and 1 walnut) before bed was successful: “I swear, it worked from the very first night.”
If All Else Fails...
Be patient. In the end, you may have to simply stay positive and encouraging as you wait for your child to grow out of bedwetting.
Looking for more bedtime advice? Got a great tip we missed?
Circle of Moms is packed with conversations on all kinds of nighttime topics, from co-sleeping and the Cry-It-Out method to todder beds and the drop-side crib ban. Ask advice of other moms with babies, toddlers, or school-age kids, or discuss hot parenting topics in debating communities.