Bed-Wetting - Treatment Overview
Most children gain
bladder control over time without any treatment.
Bed-wetting that continues past the age that most
children have nighttime bladder control-typically at 5 or 6 years of age-also
will usually stop over time without treatment. If not, home treatment may be
all that is needed to help a child stop wetting the bed. For more information, see the Home Treatment section of this topic.
If home treatment is unsuccessful, if the child and parents
need assistance, or if the bed-wetting may be caused by a
medical condition, medical treatment may be helpful.
Medical treatment may help your child wet the bed less often or help him or her wake up to use the toilet more often.
If a child relapses after stopping a
successful therapy, that same therapy usually is repeated.
Treatment for bed-wetting is based on the:
- Child's age. Some treatments work better than
others for children of a specific age group.
- Child's and parents' attitudes about the bed-wetting. If gaining bladder control is seen as a normal process, it is
usually easier for the child to stop bed-wetting.
- Home situation. If the child shares a bedroom with
other children, certain techniques to arouse the child, such as
dry-bed training or some moisture alarms, may not be
Treatment for bed-wetting may include:
Treatment for bed-wetting may be helpful if
bed-wetting is affecting a child's
self-esteem, performance in school, or relationships
The best solution is often a combination of
treatments. Below are some suggestions for treatment options according to the
age of your child.
- Ages 5 to 8: Help your child understand that
wetting the bed is a normal part of growing up. Encouragement and praise may be
all that is needed to help your child wake up before wetting. Children in this
age group should be praised for dry nights and should take an active role in
cleaning up after wetting.
- Ages 8 to 11: If your child still wets
the bed, a moisture alarm may be a successful treatment option. It can be used
in combination with occasional use of a medicine such as desmopressin, which
can be helpful for social events such as camp or sleepovers.
- Age 12
and older: There can be significant emotional effects if bed-wetting persists
at this age, so treatment can be more aggressive. If consistent use of moisture
alarms does not work, the doctor may suggest medicine.