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General advice for bedwetting in children

Bedwetting is a common issue that affects 1 in 10 children at the age of 7 years.

One of the most important things to check is whether your child is drinking enough during the day. 6 to 8 drinks or around 200mls each, of clear fluids evenly spread through the day are important to make sure bladder capacity is sufficient to hold all the urine made overnight.

Reduce drinks of any sort in the 2 hour period before bed, but do not let your child go thirsty. Try to avoid fizzy, caffeine or blackcurrant drinks.

Lifting your child to go to the toilet while still asleep may not be a good idea as it may be training them to wee while asleep.

Waking them to have a wee a couple of hours or so after they have gone to sleep may be enough to keep them dry by morning but its best not to do this for long periods. Their bladder needs practice to grow to hold all the overnight wee.

Encourage your child to take control of weeing during the day, especially if they are leaving it to the last minute and are often caught short while playing or in lessons. Planning ahead is a good thing to learn and increase their focus on their bladder that is going to help at night.

Encourage your child to wee 2 at bedtime, once before getting ready for bed and again before going to sleep.

If your child is in pull-ups, try to go without them for a week or so every 3 months, especially if they are becoming drier.

If your child is dry for around half of their nights, reward charts for dry nights can be helpful for short spells. Do not continue if there are no signs of progress.

If your child is still frequently wet at night by the age of 7, it is still worth seeing if other forms of treatment will help, such as various medicines or enuresis alarms. See your GP or school nurse to discuss this.

Further information

Visit Eric – children’s bladder and bowel charity for more information and resources to help.

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: CON5

Resource Type: Article

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