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What should I do if my child has a bedwetting problem?

Endocrinologist, WebMD Medical Expert
Medical Editor, WebMD

First, if your child was dry for a while, try again the methods that got them dry before. If bedwetting alarms, behavioral changes, getting your child up at night to go to the bathroom, or a combination of these worked before, try them again. Urologists and experts at the American Academy of Family Physicians also offer these tips:

  • Always be supportive of your child.
  • Make sure they know that bedwetting isn’t their fault.
  • Don’t blame or punish your child for wetting the bed.
  • Let your child know bedwetting tends to run in families.
  • Encourage your child to use the bathroom at night, and then provide nightlights to make that easier.
  • Urge your child to do the same things other kids do, like going to camp and sleepovers. . If your child is older. ask your doctor if medicine might help to reduce the number of times your child has to use the bathroom on these occasions.
  • Reward your child not for dry nights, but for following their bedwetting treatment plan.
  • When bedwetting accidents occur, praise your child for trying to stay dry, and for helping to clean up.

That last point confuses some parents. Won’t it add even more stress or embarrassment if you ask your child to help change their bed and do laundry? To the contrary, says Martin Scharf, author of Waking Up Dry: How to End Bedwetting Forever. Sharing responsibility for wetting the bed helps a child feel they’re actively tackling the problem. It can even give them a sense of pride because they’re able to handle an aspect of bedwetting on their own.