How To Train Your Child Not To Wet Their Bed

How To Train Your Child Not To Wet Their Bed

Scott Cohen (Pediatrician, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) gives expert video advice on: How can I train my child to not wet his bed?

How can I train my child to not wet his bed?

In the first six years, really, there's not much intervention that you need to do. You don't want to make a big deal of it. It's very normal, and you don't want to place any blame on your child. So, really it's a laundry problem but not a medical problem. After the age of six we do start some intervention. Now, the simplest intervention is limiting fluids at nighttime, so, after dinner trying to limit fluids, and having your child try to pee before they go to sleep. Even if they don't feel like it, try, at least, to do it, and try to empty the bladder. The other thing you can try: a lot of children need help learning to hold the urine in their bladder, and so one of the things we do to train the bladder to do this is something called "nighttime wakening", and this is when you have your child pee before bedtime, and you've eliminated fluids, and then maybe a couple of hours later, about midnight, before you go to sleep, you wake them up and you have them go and try to pee again. And when they stay dry for several nights in a row, when you've woken them up at midnight, then you start waking them up at 11:45, and what you're doing is you're training the bladder to hold the urine longer and longer for the latter portion of the night until you get back, basically, to their bedtime, and it helps teach them to potty train. Now, in severe cases of potty training -- if kids are older; it's becoming a social stigma; they can't go to sleepover parties -- there are certain medications that can help. There are even some training tools like pads that go on the bed that ring a bell when the child starts to pee that wakes them up and signals for them to go to pee, but none of these treatments work great. Nor do they work close to 100% of the time. So a lot of it is a waiting game. And nocturnal enuresis and bed-wetting runs in families, so if you are a bed-wetter, your dad was a bed-wetter, it's very likely that your child will be too, and then if you were dry by the age of twelve, probably it's just going to take some time, and when your son or daughter is a little older they're going to stop as well.