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Toileting

Bed Wetting

Bed wetting is when children wet the bed without realising. It can run in families - if a parent wet the bed as a child, their child is more likely to.

Bed wetting can be difficult to talk about for parents and children and it can take a huge toll on family life. It can also affect your child's self-esteem and emotional well-being. There are lots of things you do to help your child get through this difficult period.

Remember, bed wetting in young children is completely normal. It can take some time for children to learn to stay dry at night.

Dive Deeper

What Causes Bedwetting?

There are many reasons why a child might wet the bed. The main reasons are;

  • Not feeling the need to wee while sleeping.
  • Making too much wee at night.
  • Stress at home or at school.

Bedwetting may also be caused by an underlying health condition such as diabetes or constipation.

What Can I Do To Help?

Try and ensure your child has a varied diet, including lots of fruit and vegetables. This prevents them from becoming constipated (having too much poo in their tummy), which can cause bed wetting.

Make sure that your child has their last drink at least an hour before bed. Avoid fizzy drinks and drinks which contain caffeine, like tea, coffee, cola and energy drinks. These can irritate the bladder.

Remind your child to have a wee before bed. You could get a waterproof mattress protector to protect the bed and have spare bed sheets to hand, in case you need them in the night. Some families find using a bed wetting alarm can help as it alerts your child to the fact they are beginning to wee.

Some children can start bed wetting as an emotional reaction to something like being bullied or being anxious about something. Talk to older children about what they think could be triggering the be wetting.

Remember - don’t tell your child off for bed wetting - it is not something they can control.

You should speak to your GP if your child has symptoms as well as bed wetting such as: a fever, pain when weeing, constipation, tiredness, or feeling thirsty all the time.

Downloads

ERIC's Guide to Night Time Wetting

Download

ERIC's Guide to Children's Bowel Problems

Download

Who can Help?

You can contact the Healthy Child Programme by calling Just One Number on 0300 300 0123 or texting Parentline on 07520 631590. Our opening hours are 8am-6pm Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays) and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

You can speak to health professionals, such as your GP, who may refer you to the paediatric continence team. They will usually ask about your child’s toilet habits, so it would be useful to keep a diary of wees and poos, day and night, for a week.

You can also contact the ERIC Helpline 0808 169 9949 (charges apply) or email helpline@eric.org.uk for support and advice on bed wetting.

To speak to other Norfolk parents and carers, you can join our online community forum below.

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