Coping and support

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Children don't wet the bed to irritate their parents. Try to be patient as you and your child work through the problem together.

  • Be sensitive to your child's feelings. If your child is stressed or anxious, encourage him or her to express those feelings. Offer support and encouragement if your child has anxiety about stressful events. When your child feels calm and secure, bed-wetting may become a thing of the past. If needed, talk to your doctor about additional strategies for dealing with stress.
  • Plan for easy cleanup. Cover your child's mattress with a plastic cover. Use thick, absorbent underwear at night to help contain the urine. Keep extra bedding and pajamas handy. However, avoid the long-term use of diapers or disposable pull-up underwear.
  • Enlist your child's help. Perhaps your child can rinse his or her wet underwear and pajamas or place these items in a specific container for washing. Taking responsibility for bed-wetting may help your child feel more control over the situation.
  • Celebrate effort. Bed-wetting is involuntary, so it doesn't make sense to punish or tease your child for wetting the bed or reward him or her for staying dry. Instead, praise your child for following the bedtime routine and helping clean up after accidents. Use a sticker reward system if you think this might help motivate your child.

With reassurance, support and understanding, your child can look forward to the dry nights ahead.

Oct. 11, 2014