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Bed wetting is generally very common. It generally goes away on it's own.

Bed wetting is very common in children under 5. This generally goes away on its own.

Some children are 3-4 years old before they are dry at night. Some children still wet the bed at five or six years old. This is considered normal. A lot of children grow out of wetting the bed by the time they start school, but some primary school-aged children still wet the bed.

Children who wet the bed may sleep more heavily and be harder to wake than other children. They are not able to wake themselves when they need a wee. Some children have bladders that just can’t hold a lot of wee.

Your child might have been dry at night and then starts wetting the bed again.  This might happen if they are worried about something like a family break-up or starting school.  Or it may happen if they’re not well. The bedwetting will usually stop when your child feels more secure.

You might find the following helps:

  • Remind your child to use the toilet before bed. 

  • Let your child know that you’ll help them in the night if they wake up needing to go. 

  • A night-light or potty in their room may help if they are afraid to get up at night. Or leave a light on in the bathroom. 

  • Protect the mattress with a waterproof cover or pad. 

  • Make sure your child drinks plenty of fluids (e.g. water) during the day and eats enough fibre, (found in fruits and vegetables) to stop them getting constipated.   If your child is constipated it can irritate their bladder at night and cause bedwetting. 

  • Reassure your child that bed wetting is normal and they will grow out of it.

What won’t help:

  • Cutting down on the amount your child drinks won’t help.  Your child’s bladder will just adjust to hold less. Let your child drink around six or seven cups of water during the day.

  • Don't give them drinks with caffeine, such as tea, cola and chocolate, before they go to bed. These can cause the kidneys to produce more urine (wee).

  • Don’t punish, criticise or tease your child if they wet the bed.  Your child is not doing it on purpose. It isn’t caused by your child being lazy or to get attention. Some children don't wake up when their bladders are full or have bladders that can’t hold a lot of urine.

  • Don’t offer rewards because your child isn’t able to control their bedwetting.

If you are worried there might be a problem ask your health visitor or GP.

It might comfort you to know that bed wetting is perfectly normal in children under 5.