Skip to content

Children's Health

Helping Bedwetters: Tips From the Trenches

Parents and doctors offer their best tips for helping your bedwetting child -- and you -- cope.
Font Size
A
A
A

Offer Support and Encouragement to Bedwetters continued...

Sometimes kids wear disposable underwear for sleepovers and camp. That’s fine as long as the child is OK with it, but don’t force bedwetting undergarments on a child.

Thinking about how difficult the problem is for them can make you more compassionate, says Susan, 49, whose son Mike, now 10, was a bedwetter at age 6 but got dry after using a bed alarm. "It's a horrible issue, and it's embarrassing [for them]," she says. "I just felt bad for him."

If there are other children in the family who are already dry at night, enforce a strict no-teasing rule about the bedwetting.

Make It Easy on Bedwetters -- and Yourself

Consider the "double bubble" method of making the bed. That involves using a plastic sheet to protect the mattress, then a regular sheet and a blanket. On top of that, repeat the layer of plastic sheet, regular sheet and blanket.

When it's age appropriate, teach the child how to strip off the top layer, our doctors say. That way, there's no fumbling for fresh linens at 2 a.m. Be sure fresh pajamas are by the bed, too, so your child can change into dry ones quickly. You might also keep disposable underwear on hand for younger children, so they can change themselves in the middle of the night.

If a child needs parental help, split up the tasks or assign it in a way that agrees with both partners. Jane's husband got up when necessary in the middle of the night when Billy was bedwetting, and she helped at other times. "My husband is always able to go back to sleep," she says, "and I'm not."

Some parents wash the sheets themselves; others ask the child, if he's old enough, to do it. It's OK to have the child take responsibility, Parker says. "But often it's [considered] a punishment: 'You wet, you clean.'" That's not advisable, of course.

Parents can ease up on themselves, too, doctors say. It's nothing they did wrong, although doctors say they sometimes have to convince parents of that.

Today on WebMD

child with red rash on cheeks
What’s that rash?
plate of fruit and veggies
How healthy is your child’s diet?
 
smiling baby
Treating diarrhea, fever and more.
Middle school band practice
Understanding your child’s changing body.
 

worried kid
fitArticle
boy on father's shoulder
Article
 
Child with red rash on cheeks
Slideshow
girl thinking
Article
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

babyapp
New
Child with adhd
Slideshow
 
rl with friends
fitSlideshow
Syringes and graph illustration
Tool