To stop or manage bedwetting children should be seen by a health professional. Children can be seen by a doctor or nurse for enuresis from the age of five. Ask your GP or school nurse to refer your child to the special bedwetting or enuresis clinic in your area. This may be run by the school nurse or be part of your local continence service.

The clinic will be able to assess your child’s bladder and bowels to work out why they’re wet at night and help you choose the best treatment.

Bedwetting is complex so they should also offer on-going support to you and your child. If the first treatment you try isn’t working, then something else should be offered instead, or in addition. As there can be more than one factor causing wetting at night, combined treatment is often needed.

Good bladder and bowel habits

Before your child sees a health professional, encourage them to get into good bladder and bowel habits:

  • Make sure they poo regularly (at least four times a week) and treat any underlying constipation.

  • Assess and treat daytime bladder problems first (wetting accidents or urgency for example).

  • Drink plenty during the day – six to eight glasses of water-based fluid is best, but only have a small drink before going to bed if necessary. Ideally, stop drinking an hour before bedtime.

  • Fully empty their bladder before they go to sleep.

  • Move to the bottom bunk from the top if they share a room and have a night light and bucket to help if they wake in the night for a wee.

  • Reward your child for drinking well during the day and for helping change wet bedding rather than for keeping their bed dry, which is beyond their conscious control.

  • Think positively; they can try repeating the phrase "I can be dry!" as they get into bed.

Further help

Call or email our helpline advisors to discuss any aspect of your child’s bedwetting. They will offer practical ideas on how to manage the problem.

Wetting at night is not as big a problem if you can find ways to manage it. We stock lots of products in the ERIC shop which will help, for example mattress protectors, duvet protectors, pillow protectors and waterproof sleeping bag liners for hassle-free sleepovers and camping trips.

Our shop also sells a range of bedwetting alarms, which are effective in helping children who don't wake up when their bladder is full. Our 10 tips for bedwetting alarms is useful reading if you've bought, or are considering buying, an alarm.

Read ERIC's Guide to Night Time Wetting and Bedwetting alarms - your questions answered supplement for more information.