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Understanding bedwetting

Tuesday, 11 Jan 2022

It's a problem every parent faces at some stage. Find out why children wet the bed and expert tips on preventing little nighttime accidents.

Three reasons children wet the bed:

  • Deep sleeping – they don’t wake up to the sensation of a full bladder.
  • Overactive bladders – these children will usually wet the bed more than once through the night and may experience urgency during the day.
  • Low antidiuretic hormone – meaning they will make a lot of urine overnight.

Tips to help

Regulate their fluids

Give them a warm drink with breakfast, as well as milk on their cereal, and send them off to pre-school or school with a drink bottle. Have them drink plenty during the day so they don’t need a drink at bedtime, and always have them go to the toilet before bed.

Avoid constipation

Did you know that constipation can contribute to incontinence? A full, overstretched bowel can take up so much space in the abdomen that it compresses the bladder and has the potential to cause other bladder issues.

Use alarms

Set an alarm during the night and help your child get out of bed and use the toilet. This will help train them to do this independently as required.

Seek professional support

In the majority of cases altering your child’s drinking patterns and avoiding constipation, will improve or stop bed wetting. If your child is still wetting the bed at the age of six or seven, and their self-esteem is affected, contact the National Continence Helpline (1800 33 00 66) or visit the Continence Foundation’s website, for advice from health professionals.