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How can I help my almost 5-year old stop wetting the bed?

My daughter will be 5 years old next month and she still has accidents while sleeping. How can I prevent this from happening?

Submitted by fosterc1987

Children's bladders mature at different times. Roughly 5% of children still wet the bed most nights at the age of 5 years and about 5% of those kids stop wetting the bed each year of age after that. So yes there are still some otherwise normal kids wetting the bed in high school. Generally there is some other family member who also wet the bed as a child and generally your child will stop around the same age. This is not something the child is doing on purpose and not something they should be punished for as it is beyond their control. Limiting the amount of fluid they drink after 7pm and taking them to the bathroom to urinate before you go to bed at night can help keep events from happening. If you child has been dry for several months and then starts wetting again you should see your doctor as it may be a sign of a urinary tract infection. Bed wetting alarms are sometimes helpful but often wake everyone in the house except the child who is having the accidents and the alarm does not make the bladder mature so when you stop using it often the accidents return. Try to stay positive and remind you child that this is normal and there is likely another child in her class that also wets the bed and it will get better with time.

The answers from our experts are for educational purposes only. Please always refer to your child's pediatrician and mental health expert for more in-depth advice.

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There are many common mistakes parents make like waking the child up, limiting liquids before bed time, punishing the child and more (you can read more about it in our website). At your daughter's age a cognitive-behavioral program combined with an advanced bedwetting alarm could definitely help to get her to complete dryness. You can find more info on our website at www.bedwettingtherapy.com Good luck! Tal Sagie Dr. Sagie's Bedwetting Clinics
Submitted by sharonsagie76
The problem here is that there are multiple reasons for bedwetting, with the Dr.'s advice on immature bladder being only one...if immature bladder is the reason, then her advice is sound...however, if there is another reason (and there are several out there) then different methods may work, like the bed wetting alarm. Her point, I believe, was to list all of the options and why some may or may not work. I myself, am the mother of three, two of which have only had the occasional bed wetting dream/episode...but my third child still wears a pull up to bed at 6 year old... I believe that the biggest point to make is that in MOST cases it is not through any fault of the child that it happens and thus they should NOT be punished for it. Just keep trying different things until either it stops on it's own or something works...Good Luck...
Submitted by generalslove2
RE: "pee pee pushups" Nighttime bedwetting is NOT due to weak muscles and stopping/starting the flow of urine routinely can cause more problems. It can put the pelvic floor muscles into spasm and 'confuse' the nervous system's control of the bladder. I a mom of 3 (my 5 yr old still soaks pullups at night, 3 yr old totally dry through the night) and a physical therapist trained in pelvic floor/urinary incontinence. Stopping the flow of urine should only be done, at most, 1-2 times/month as a 'test' of the muscle strength. This is not a recommended approach for a toddler who does not have a mature bladder. I've purchased an alarm for my 5 yr old - we used it 2 nights before she decided she didn't like it. I didn't push the issue. When/if she's ready, we'll give it another go! For now, we limit fluids after dinner (only about 4ounces, greater than 1 hr before bedtime) and use the potty right before bed.
Submitted by husseykaren
Try what my mom and I called "pee pee pushups" I know it sounds crazy, but it works! It's actually kegels, but when your daughter uses the bathroom throughout the day, have her tighten and release the muscles to where she is actually stopping herself from peeing and then going again. By strengthening these muscles it should help with the accidents. It worked for me!! Hope this helps..I know it's a pain washing sheets everyday!
Submitted by lindsrobinson86
Try what my mom and I called "pee pee pushups" I know it sounds crazy, but it works! It's actually kegels, but when your daughter uses the bathroom throughout the day, have her tighten and release the muscles to where she is actually stopping herself from peeing and then going again. By strengthening these muscles it should help with the accidents. It worked for me!! Hope this helps..I know it's a pain washing sheets everyday!
Submitted by lindsrobinson86
I completely disagree with the opinion about the alarm. My 7 yr old son was a serious bed-wetter (like a soaked pull-up every night) no matter how much we restricted his fluids, waking him up to go potty etc. We invested in an alarm and he stopped wetting completely within 2 months. He has not ever peed the bed after that. The alarm woke him up, and not his brothers (who slept in the same room) after a couple of nights. I strongly recommend an alarm.
Submitted by Melisa Anderson