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Any ideas on how we can get her to stop wetting the bed?

My seven-year-old daughter wets the bed almost every night.

We limit fluids around 6 p.m. and we make her try and go to the restroom before she goes to bed. At the age of 6 she didn't wet the bed for almost 7 months, but then she started wetting the bed almost every night again. She might wake up dry one night out of the week. The wet spot is not very big and she tells me the wetness wakes her up, but other times she is completely wet and clothes and sheets need to be changed.

We wonder if she is doing it to get attention, but she says no. She is asleep when it happens, so she is not wetting the bed on purpose. Likewise, she hasn't complained of pain when she goes, so she more than likely doesn't have a UTI. Any ideas on how we can get her to stop wetting the bed?


Gregory Hutteger | Family-medicine

Gregory Hutteger

Nocturnal enuresis or bedwetting is a common childhood problem that can be extremely upsetting to both parents and the child. 

It sounds like you have taken the appropriate initial steps to treat her bedwetting by limiting her fluids and having her go to the bathroom prior to sleep. Motivational therapies are often tried first in children that are capable of having some responsibility. This may include a sticker chart or some other positive reinforcement for nights that she is dry.

Having the child help with removing and cleaning the sheets is also recommended. Bedwetting is involuntary and often hereditary so any disciplinary action is unlikely to help. After the age of seven, if symptoms are not improving then medications or bedwetting alarms may be necessary.

I recommend scheduling an appointment with your daughter's health care provider to rule out any other causes and discuss treatment options. Prior to the visit, keeping a journal of fluid intake and urination may be helpful for her doctor to review.

Read more answers by Dr. Hutteger