Bedwetting (also known as nocturnal enuresis) is the unintentional passing of urine whilst asleep. It can happen on a regular basis or occasionally
Bedwetting can be difficult and frustrating for you and your child but there are ways of dealing with it. Your child is not the only one who “wets the bed”.

It affects:

  • 16% - five year olds
  • 14% - seven year olds
  • 9% - nine year olds
  • 1-2% - teenagers

There are three common things that could contribute towards bed wetting:

  • Excessive production of night time urine
  • Bladder over activity or small capacity
  • Failure to wake in response of bladder signals (lack of arousal).

The exact cause of bedwetting in individual children may be linked to one or more of the above and may involve factors such as family history, fluid intake and any associated problems such as constipation.

There are a variety of reasons why children wet the bed and here are a few helpful hints and tips:

  • Aiming to be dry is a learning process. Children do not wet the bed if they could avoid it so never punish a child for a wet bed.
  • Encourage drinks regularly throughout the day and encourage regular toileting to pass urine.
  • Avoid fizzy drinks and drinks that contain caffeine such as tea, coffee and chocolate at bedtime as these can irritate the bladder.
  • Ensure your child goes to the toilet at bedtime before going to sleep.
  • Give plenty of vegetable and cereals to avoid constipation. Exercise is also helpful.
  • Encourage your child to have a thorough wash in the mornings, if he/she has had a wet bed.
  • Rinse wet bedding and clothes in cold water before washing.
  • Achieving dry nights can take time, so be prepared and be patient. There are no magic cures; however, a positive attitude and encouragement will help your child overcome enuresis.

Speak to your school nurse or GP if: 

  • You've tried things you can do at home and your child keeps wetting the bed
  • Your child has started wetting the bed again after being dry for more than 6 months

First line management of nocturnal enuresis consists of advice on fluid intake and toileting.

If you have concerns about your child’s bed wetting you can call our school nurses on 01895 891 302 for advice

School Nursing Enuresis Clinics are based at Westmead Clinic and Laurel Lodge Clinic. Please contact your school nurse to arrange an appointment.

For more information visit the ERIC website. They are a children's bowel and bladder charity.