: behavioral guidance (reward chart,
bed wetting alarm, ...), medication (DDAVP)
Only 1% of
has an underlying medical condition. All others
simply need some more time to develop the ability to stay dry at night,
typically by the age of 6-8. It is not due to laziness or
willfulness: it is
So it is mostly outgrown
and harmless, meaning you can simply be patient and do
What can happen though, is that it makes your child feel bad, and harm
That's why you may decide to do something about it. Of course, any
treatment should be very careful and focus on gently guiding without
reason for treating
is mainly to build self-esteem and also for practical reasons such as
when the child goes on sleepovers. Or to leave us moms and dads with a
bit less sheets to wash.
Behavioral bedwetting solutions
This type of solution is all
about encouraging or conditioning your little one to stay dry at night.
Even if it is developmental,
increases your child's motivation and this can effectively impact
1. A simple thing you can do is
the amount she drinks
in the 1-2 hours before
bedtime. Do not stress it by telling her "you will wet the bed if you
drinks too much". Simply make sure she drinks enough during the day
and don't make extra drinks part of the routine in the evening.
2. A very effective gentle method is to work with a reward chart.
is extremely useful with children aged 5-8. You can try it for a month
or so. If it works, continue for another month if necessary. If you see
no improvement after a month, it is better to let it rest, and then
give it another try later on.
Make or print out a nice looking monthly calendar chart -
download one for free
reward chart page
. Each morning
after a dry night, you praise enthusiastically and give him a cool/fun
No sticker after a wet night
but also no reprimanding and not much paying attention to it (since you
definitely want to avoid that it becomes a psychological
One of the solutions often seen as a bad idea, it is an option to wake your child after a
few hours of sleep and take her to the bathroom - probably all sleepy
and maybe not even waking up fully.
Why?! Although this will not help speed up the staying-dry ability, it can be
a good trick to work on self-esteem. It is also helpful in specific
situations like when staying at a hotel or with visitors around.
are a good idea. Wearing a dry-night diaper takes a lot of pressure of
both the child and yourself. They make a wet night less of an issue and
are ideal to keep you both relaxed while awaiting the necessary physical development.
A special diaper is perfect to combine with the above solutions.
bed wetting alarm
wakes up your child when wetting herself at night. The idea is to
condition her to wake up when she starts peeing.
Quite controversial but possibly successful, your doctor may advise
this alarm in specific situations.
6. In very specific cases, you doctor may advise
After a thorough examination, your doctor/urologist may suggest
medication therapy. DDAVP is a drug that
replaces the vasopressin hormone
(responsible for regulating urine production at night).
Although you may want to avoid any drug unless absolutely necessary,
this treatment can give good results. However, it is no miracle
solution and gives no 100% guarantee for your child.
Alternatively, when there is no underlying medical cause, you may
. Such treatments aim at reducing nervousness and
help improve confidence, which can effectively help reduce bedwetting, for example Be-Dry Tablets from Native Remedies. Even if you consider a homepathic or herbalist remedy, always consult your pediatrician to make sure it's absolutely safe to use for your child.
Urethral enlargement is the surgical treatment also used for some adults in certain cases. Needless to say also here it is your
doctor/urologist who will decide after thorough examination.
As discussed on the
main page about bedwetting
, up until the age of 6-8, it is
usually not worrying
and it mostly self-resolving
. With the above bedwetting solutions,
especially the effective
behavioral solutions 1-4, you can guide your child in a gentle yet very effective way.
Heidi Holvoet, PhD, is the founder of the Baby Sleep Advice website and movement, an award-winning author, baby & toddler sleep consultant with 15+ years experience as well as a certified lactation counselor.
Over the years, Heidi has received several awards inluding a Mom's Choice Award (MCA) and National Parenting Awards (NAPPA) for her Baby Sleep Advice website, programs and books. Also, Baby Sleep Advice was awarded "Most Trusted Infant's Sleep Solutions Company 2023" in the Benelux Enterprise Awards 2023.
Heidi continually conducts personal research and participates in continued education and in that way stays up to date with current scientific and pyschosocial infant care.
She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants of which she was one of the earliest contributors. She obtained her PhD degree in physics at the University of Ghent in Belgium.
Heidi is passionate about helping babies and their parents sleep more and better, with her trademark approach that has been proven and praised time and again by parents worldwide to be effective and truly no-tears. Respect for you as a parent and your baby, is at the heart of Heidi's warm and kind support. Her approach always keeps in mind a baby's needs and abilities at any given age, is based on pediatric science and the most up to date knowledge in infant care and sleep science.