How to Stop Bedwetting (Enuresis)?

7 MIN READ

How to stop bedwetting
Bedwetting isn’t fun for anyone — you know it, your kids know it, we all know it. The important thing to remember is that just like anything in life, with a little patience, knowledge and teamwork, you and your child can conquer this challenging (and totally normal) stage of life and get back to enjoying a good night’s sleep. While there’s no magic wand or miracle cure for bedwetting, there are a number of solutions you can lean on for help — things like bedwetting alarms, bedwetting medication and nighttime underwear like Ninjamas, or even medical treatments if your child needs them. Remember, you’re not alone in the battle against bedwetting. Entire generations of kids and parents have overcome this problem and we’re here to help you get through it too!

What Is Bedwetting and What Causes It?
When Do Kids Stop Wetting the Bed?
Bedwetting Treatment and Solutions
Tips for Parents: Handling Bedwetting With Sensitivity
The Bottom Line

What Is Bedwetting and What Causes It?

There’s nothing strange about a child who can control their bladder during the day but still struggles with bedwetting at night. While the late nights and wet sheets can be stressful, bedwetting is a very common phase of life that both you and your kid will make it through. Remember, you made it through your bangs phase in high school. This too shall pass.
So why does bedwetting happen? Unfortunately, there’s no number one suspect for this “number one” problem. There are a variety of factors that can lead to bedwetting (scientific name nocturnal enuresis for the medical geeks out there). As we said, it can simply be a phase that your kid will naturally grow out of (i.e., fidget spinners), or it may happen because of a more scientific reason, like a delay in the development of some of your child’s key organs that help control their impulses.
Slowed development of certain organs can lead to bedwetting issues for your child:
  • The bladder. A smaller bladder means less space for keeping in the pee at night.
  • The kidneys. Immature kidneys may make too much pee at night.
  • The brain. Sometimes the developing brain is not ready to wake your kid up in time for the toilet.

So, if your child seems unable to break out of their bedwetting phase, it might be time to consider talking to your child’s doctor about potential developmental causes as they get older.

When Do Kids Stop Wetting the Bed?

Every parent asks, “when do kids stop wetting the bed?” Resist the urge to roll your eyes when we say this, but when it comes to bedwetting, every child is different. No BS. Every child’s physical or emotional development happens at different stages. That means there isn’t an age when all kids should grow out of it. It’s not just little kids who wet the bed either. It’s not unheard of for bedwetting to last into a kid’s teens, especially if there are developmental factors at play.
Let’s look at some stats: In the US, around 15 percent of children still wet the bed when they’re 5-years-old, and about 5 percent of teens wet the bed from time to time as well.
So, should you worry? Definitely not. Bedwetting is natural, but if your child hasn’t grown out of it by the time they’re around 7 years old, then it’s a good idea to talk to your child’s doc to rule out anything medical or developmental. If that’s the case, it will open the door to more potential solutions, from natural ways to stop bedwetting to treatments, products and medications that can help your child (and hopefully help you cut down on early morning laundry).

Bedwetting Treatments and Solutions

You’ve been up night after night searching for bedwetting answers. Stop. Put the phone down, back away from the keyboard — we’ve got you covered. From bedwetting alarms to products like our powerful Ninjamas Nighttime Underwear, there are plenty of tips, tools and tricks that can help parents manage bedtime and make mornings A LOT smoother.

Bedwetting Pants

One of the most efficient ways to keep both kids and beds dry are bedwetting pants, or as we like to call them, nighttime underwear. Products like Ninjamas, are available both online and in stores, and can make conquering bedwetting much, much easier for you and your kid. Ninjamas absorb odor and wetness – while taking the stress out of bedtime by delivering powerful all-night protection that helps kids rest comfortably.
Nighttime underwear like Ninjamas are not made to stop bedwetting from happening, but they will quickly become your go-to sidekick as they can help defend the night (and your family’s sanity) from accidents. They can also give your child much needed confidence and comfort in your battle against bedwetting. That’s not all the relief that bedwetting pants or nighttime underwear like Ninjamas can provide. They also:
  • Look and fit like real underwear, so your kid won’t feel embarrassed about wearing them — comfort for the win!
  • Help prevent messy sheets and late-night laundry.
  • Help you and your child sleep with peace of mind and wake up feeling NINJAWESOME!
  • Can help make the transition to dry nights easier, especially when used together with other tools like bedwetting alarms.

Bedwetting Alarms

Sometimes it can help to pair a practical solution like nighttime underwear with a touch of technology. Bedwetting alarms (sometimes called moisture alarms) are small devices that clip or link to your kid’s pajamas or bedding. So, if your kid goes, the alarm goes off.
The idea behind a bedwetting alarm is that it alerts kids as soon as the moisture-sensitive pads detect wetness. An alarm sounds and wakes the kid up in time to stop the accident in progress, giving them time to get to the toilet to finish the job. For heavy sleepers, a parent or someone else in the house may need to listen for the alarm to help wake your child. In this case, teamwork literally makes dreams work.
Don’t forget to be patient. Like most things, breaking the bedwetting habit will take time! It may even take one to three months for you to start noticing a difference, and it can take up to four months to reach the dry-night promised land. With tools like Ninjamas Nighttime Underwear and bedwetting alarms at your disposal, the journey to get there will be that much easier.

Bedwetting Medication

If you’re at the end of your rope and no other option is working for your kid, then your healthcare provider may recommend bedwetting medication as an option.
Medication can help as a short-term solution to help you and your kid get through an event or period of time. For example, if you’re traveling or if your kid is going to summer camp.
This is how medication as a treatment for bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) can work:
  • Slows nighttime urine production. Prescription medication like desmopressin (DDAVP) along with limiting nighttime liquid intake works to reduce urine production at night. Less pee, fewer chances for an accident. It’s simple math.
  • Calms the bladder. One of the main causes of bedwetting is a small bladder, so medication like an anticholinergic, such as oxybutynin, could help ease bladder pressure to make for more space. Meds like this are usually the last resort, as they carry more serious side effects.
Some healthcare providers may suggest using a combination of medications, but medications like the ones described here are not a cure: They are a short-term solution. Once your kid stops taking the medication, the bedwetting will likely make a comeback. These are just a couple of examples to give you a taste of what’s out there. As with any prescribed medication, ALWAYS consult your child’s healthcare provider.

Natural Ways to Stop Bedwetting

If meds, alarms and nighttime underwear aren’t your thing and you’re looking for solutions on the natural side, rest easy, there are options for you too. Things like:
  • Have your kid drink less right before bed. What goes in must come out. Make that a golden rule of bedtime. Getting enough water is important for our health, but there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. Make sure they drink plenty of fluids in the morning and afternoon, but we’d recommend a last call for all liquids long before bed.
  • Avoid caffeine. You may need your coffee and soda, but your kid doesn’t. Caffeine stimulates the bladder, so do what you can to keep caffeine off the menu before bed at the very least.
  • The before bed bathroom breaks. Make sure your kid uses the bathroom before laying down — try twice if necessary (that’s called double-voiding, try once at the beginning of your night routine and once more at the end.)
  • Remind your kid it’s OK to use the toilet at night. Go ahead and squash any anxiety your kid might feel about getting up and using the bathroom during the night. Encourage it, celebrate it, help make it happen. Keep the hallway lights on or install some night lights so they can navigate between the bedroom and the bathroom easily.
  • Encourage regular bathroom breaks during the day. If going to the bathroom regularly becomes routine, then it might help it become less of a problem at night or anytime. This will help peeing feel casual to your kid, reducing urgency, stress or that last-minute mad dash to the toilet.

Tips for Parents: Handling Bedwetting With Sensitivity

Waking up to a wet bed is a big bummer for kids. As a parent, it’s important to stay calm and not get frustrated (save those feelings for the internet). We know this can be overwhelming for parents too, but you can help guide your child through this, and a positive attitude goes a long way. Remember, your goal is to help your child stop wetting the bed. Be there for them. Here are a few tips to help:
  • Be sensitive. Bedwetting is tough, and it might be an embarrassing topic for your kid to talk about. Creating extra anxiety and shame about it won’t do you or your kid any favors. If you notice they’re stressed or anxious, talk to them and figure out what feelings they have and if anything is worrying them. Letting them know you’re there for them and helping them calm down and feel secure may help ease some of the stress around bedwetting.
  • Make clean up easy. If you expect accidents to happen, come prepared. Nighttime underwear like Ninjamas will give your kid the all-night leak and odor protection they need to help keep the sheets dry. Don’t be afraid to double down by covering the mattress with a plastic cover just to be sure. Keep spare bedding and pajamas on deck so you can get everything and everyone changed easily and back to sleep.
  • Make it a team effort. If your kid is old enough, get them involved with the cleanup. Ask them to rinse their pajamas and underwear, or give them a specific container they can use to put them in the wash. This isn’t about punishment. Getting your child involved will make them feel more like a boss, and that they have control over the situation.
  • Celebrate the little wins. No kid wets the bed on purpose. Put some pep in your kid’s step by praising them for helping clean up or when they crush their bedtime routine. Rewards can be big-time confidence boosters and can be anything from a simple kiss and cuddle for helping clean up, to a sticker on a nighttime chart or treat the next day. As your kids get older, the reward that motivates and encourages can grow too. Be creative and build their confidence.

The Bottom Line

There’s no sugarcoating it: Bedwetting is tough. The good news is that it’s something millions of kids experience and nearly all children eventually grow out of. The even better news is there are plenty of solutions out there to help you and your kid cope with, control and ultimately conquer bedwetting once and for all. From bedwetting alarms and bedwetting medications to the all-night leak protection of Ninjamas nighttime underwear— you have powerful bedwetting allies in your corner. You’re not in this alone, and with a little research and the right solutions you can help your kid get back to dry nights and NINJAWESOME mornings.

How We Wrote This Article

The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Mayo Clinic. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.