Daytime voiding and drinking has no effect on bedwetting

Traditionally, when a parent brought up bedwetting to their health care provider, they were given bladder training advice as first line therapy. This advice focused on regular voiding, sound voiding posture and sufficient fluid intake during the day. It was recommended that the family try this before any other treatment was initiated.

A new study looked at whether this advice influenced the number of wet nights and/or improved the success of subsequent bedwetting alarm therapy. Forty children with bedwetting were randomized into two groups: one group to receive bladder training advice for one month, then alarm therapy and the other group just to start bedwetting alarm therapy immediately.


Basic bladder advice, by itself, did not reduce the number of wet nights and the end result of alarm therapy did not differ in those that had waited a month to start, while practicing the bladder advice.


Based on the results of this small study, the recommendation that all children with bedwetting practice bladder training can no longer be supported. There is no reason to wait to begin bedwetting alarm treatment. This can be offered as first line therapy to children with bedwetting.

Although the healthy patterns of fluid intake and regular urination during the day can be encouraged in any child, according to the results of this study, parents should not be given false hope that just doing this will resolve bedwetting.

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Tips for Wetting at School

The start of the new school year can bring about unexpected surprises, such as wetting or leaking in the underwear in a child who has been dry. The most common cause of new wetting is not noticing the need to use the bathroom until it’s too late. A few drops of urine in the underwear are something you begin to notice, especially when doing a few days of laundry.

Here are a few tips to help stop wetting at school:

Talk to your Child
• Ask about bathroom policies at school. Are they asked to “wait” frequently? Are there assigned toileting times for the class or do they go individually?
• Ask about the bathroom specifically. Some children voice concerns such as “It’s too dirty. It smells funny. It’s dark and I can’t reach the light.”
• Is your child worried that they will miss something important while in the bathroom and won’t be following the “rules” if asking to go?

Talk to the Teacher
• Learn about the rules, location of bathroom, ask teacher for suggestions she has used in the past.
• Inform her/him that your child is having a problem. A busy teacher may not notice wet clothes unless it’s a large spot or even know your child is having difficulty staying dry.
• Allow child to have a water bottle in the classroom. Just because a child needs to urinate frequently or urgently, it does not mean they are drinking too much.

Associated Problems
• Constipation can contribute to wetting problems. The goal should be a soft stool every day or every other day.
• Urinary tract infections or vaginal irritation can cause frequent voiding, discomfort, and leaking. If suspected, have your doctor rule this out.
• Is your child fearful, embarrassed and hiding evidence? Reassure them that you will work on a solution to this problem together and getting soiled clothing washed is the best action. Kids don’t smell themselves so reasoning that they will address this because of the bad smell is not the case.
• Not drinking enough during the day. Concentrated urine can be more irritating to the bladder. Dilute urine and voiding regularly and frequently is healthier.

• Make sure your child takes their time in the bathroom. Girls should spread their legs and wipe from front to back. Make sure their clothing is easily removed, zipped, or buttoned. Dark colors show less stains.
Daytime waterproof, washable underwear can prevent embarrassing accidents.
• Arrange with the teacher to have unlimited bathroom privileges and access to enough fluids. Try to improve bathroom usability.
• Start a timed voiding program. This is when a child uses the bathroom every 2 hours, even if they don’t feel like they have to go. Use a discreet vibratory reminder watch, such as the Rodger Vibrating Watch, to remind kids of this. Don’t expect a busy teacher to do the reminding.
• Be patient. Know that support, and not punishment is more helpful. Regular bathing and laundry can help kids stay odor free.

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3 Reasons Why You Should Treat Bedwetting

Bedwetting affects confidence and self-esteem

The development of confidence and a positive self-esteem includes being able to perform activities that most other children in your age group can perform. Many children continue to hear that they will “outgrow” bedwetting at each yearly doctor visit but are given no tools or information to help with this. (That is like telling your teen with severe acne that they will “outgrow” it and not giving them any help along the way).

Embarrassment can lead to silence, or acting like they don’t care. Seeing younger siblings who are dry at night or hearing parents comment that you should “do what your younger sibling does” further erodes self-esteem. Frustration over having no control to change the pattern of sleeping through the entire wetting episode becomes apparent. Treatment with a tool like a bedwetting alarm gives the child the opportunity to learn a new behavior—getting up precisely when the wetting is happening.

It may be many years before your child spontaneously stops bedwetting

Research suggests that each year 15% of bedwetting children spontaneously become dry. That means that 85% are still wetting the next year. There is no way to predict which % your child will be in. Although the incidence of bedwetting decreases as children get older, there is no reason to wait years for it to end, especially since using bedwetting alarms effectively end it within a few weeks. Puberty does not cure bedwetting.

Bedwetting interferes with normal social activities

School age children with bedwetting have to make allowances for every sleep over situation that comes up, whether it’s with grandparents, cousins, close friends, not-so-close friends or camp and school activities. The freedom to accept all kinds of sleep over invitations allows your child to develop independent social skills. They should be free to sleep away from their parents when they are ready, without having to consider their dry night status.

Treating bedwetting in a school-age child is just as important as teaching a child to swim or ride a bike. With patience, persistence and the right bedwetting alarm, a few weeks of getting up to help your child respond can pay off in permanent dry nights.

Posted in About Bedwetting, Bed wetting Girl, Bedwetting Boy, Parental assistance, toilet training | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment