Most physicians don't suggest any treatment for bedwetting before age 5 or 6. Another option is to intervene in a modest way about a year after your child has achieved daytime bladder control. Focus on the following areas:
- First: Tell your child it's okay to get up during the night to urinate. Some preschoolers can learn to get up at night if a potty chair is kept next to the bed. Whisper to your child at bedtime, "Try to get up when you have to pee."
- Second: Encourage your child to urinate infrequently during the day. If your child urinates often, sometimes encourage him to wait. This habit can increase the size of his bladder. By all means, don't remind him to use the bathroom.
- Third: Encourage fluids during the morning and early afternoon. The more fluids your child drinks, the more urine he will produce, and more urine leads to larger bladders. But discourage drinking fluids during the 2 hours before bedtime. Give gentle reminders about this, but don't worry about a few swallows.
- Finally: Praise your child for any dry nights. And keep your approach low key. Children don't like being wet. Punishment and blame have no place in the treatment of bedwetting.
If you have any questions about bedwetting, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.