A mother and child making a heart of victory over a sunset

How To Stop Bedwetting Permanently

It is entirely possible to stop bedwetting permanently. While some struggle with bedwetting longer than others–even into adulthood–that does not mean that they can’t retrain their brains and achieve dry nights.

Wetting the bed is normal for children up to anywhere from 5-7 years old. If your child is keeping dry during naps and able to stay dry for 2 hours at a time during the day, he or she is ready to work on nighttime dryness. To stop bedwetting permanently for them, some of the simple solutions below will likely be enough to start them on the road to dry nights.

For children over 7 years old, the solution may not be so simple. But there is hope. Anyone can stop wetting the bed permanently with the right answers.

In truth, most bedwetting after the age of 7 is caused by myriad reasons, known and unknown. Nonetheless, the question of how to stop bedwetting permanently has an answer.

For all ages and more tips, check out my article that includes 20 Bedwetting Solutions.

Please note that checking for an underlying medical condition may be the answer for some. If you suspect a medical condition like a urinary tract infection or diabetes, seek medical help.

My Road to Ending Bedwetting in Our Home

I searched in vain for solutions to bedwetting in my pre-teen son. Researchers and experts offered countless suggestions and possibilities. While some purported to help, none of them promised to end bedwetting permanently.

Ultimately, after extensive research on the subject, I concluded that I needed to use my professional training as a special education teacher and experience as a mother of eight to write my own solution.

You can read my story here and learn more about My Bedwetting Victory here.

What I can tell you is that My Bedwetting Victory works. It has worked on every child that I’ve used it with, including two of my sons. And after minimal relapses just after ending the program, there have been no relapses ever again.

It can give a boost to young children just learning to stay dry, and it can be used by adults to retrain their brains. Yes, it takes commitment and consistency. But yes, our brains learn and relearn all the time.

My Bedwetting Victory retrains the brain using a combination of techniques that professionals recommend for ending bedwetting. None of those techniques seem to be powerful enough on their own. But synthesizing them, adding others, and creating a straightforward actionable system works.

Understanding The Causes of Bedwetting

Understanding the causes of bedwetting can potentially help us emotionally. It can also help us as we puzzle out a solution if we find the cause is straightforward, like a urinary tract infection or other medical issue.

Most often, the cause of bedwetting in an individual is a combination of factors not easily discerned. In the end, habit reinforces the behavior making it difficult to stop. But it’s not impossible. Our brains are elastic and able to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

It is not necessary to know the exact cause of bedwetting to stop the behavior permanently, unless, as mentioned, it is caused by a medical factor. For our purposes here, let’s assume the bedwetting we’re stopping is not from a medical condition.

Bedwetting, also known as nocturnal enuresis, can have various underlying factors that contribute to its occurrence. For young children under the age of 5, the primary cause is an underdeveloped bladder control system. Children develop at different rates, and just as one child learns to read earlier than another, one child may stop wetting the bed earlier than another. Professionals agree that there is no cause for concern if a child is still wetting the bed as late as 5 years old. Most professionals put that number at 7 years old.

Hormonal imbalances, genetics, and psychological factors such as stress or anxiety can also play a role in bedwetting.

Even when the stressors are removed, bedwetting continues. And for a child who for reasons of genetics developed bladder control later, bedwetting continues. In these cases, no matter the root cause of the bedwetting, the brain has made some faulty connections and bedwetting has become a habit. This, I believe, is the most common reason for bedwetting in older children and adults. Changing things up in routine and providing a new system for the brain to learn can stop bedwetting permanently.

Simple Solutions to Stop Bedwetting Permanently

These solutions can work for young children who are just learning to stay dry at night. For older children, while each of these answers are important pieces of the puzzle of how to stop bedwetting permanently, a more dynamic solution is likely needed.

Creating A Consistent Bedtime Routine and Bedtime

Creating a consistent bedtime routine and bedtime will support the natural body clock, or circadian rhythms that all humans have and thereby help to stop bedwetting permanently. The body clock is not a mindset; rather it is a brain structure that includes about 20,000 neurons. Amazing!

Changes in body temperature, hormone secretion, blood pressure, and urine production are regulated by our body clocks.
We need to cue into this to stop bedwetting permanently.

By establishing a regular schedule, your child’s body will clue in that it’s time for bed. This routine can be very simple or include activities that promote relaxation and signals that it’s time for bed, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, practicing deep breathing exercises, even brushing teeth. In addition, discourage active, excitable play, including rough-housing or video games.

For younger children (5-7 years old and younger), establishing a regular bedtime with a consistent getting-ready-for-bed routine will encourage dry nights and possibly stop bedwetting permanently.

For older children, teenagers, and adults, a consistent bedtime and routine is an important component to stopping bedwetting permanently, but it may not be enough on its own. If you try this, but realize you need more help, check out My Bedwetting Victory to learn the system I designed to help my children stop bedwetting.

Limiting Fluids Before Bedtime

Limiting fluids before bedtime can also be an effective strategy in preventing bedwetting. If getting a sip of water before bed has been a habit, this is one bedtime routine to change.

In addition, by reducing the amount of liquids consumed in the hours leading up to bedtime, you can help minimize the chances of your child waking up with a full bladder during the night.

Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids earlier in the day, gradually tapering off as bedtime approaches. And as bedtime approaches, you can follow the bedtime routine established with the first tip above.

Additionally, avoiding beverages with diuretic effects, such as caffeine or alcohol (in the case of adults), can also contribute to better bladder control throughout the night.

By implementing this simple yet impactful habit, you may see a significant improvement in your younger child’s ability to stay dry while sleeping.

Again, as is the case for establishing a nighttime routine, this tip is a good one, and a part of the formula for staying dry at night, but on its own, it may not be enough for an older child, teenager, or adult.

Encouraging Regular Bathroom Breaks Throughout The Day

Implementing regular bathroom breaks throughout the day strengthens the natural body clock, using the body’s circadian rhythms to promote bladder control.

You want the circadian rhythms to be on schedule for daytime urination and nighttime dryness.

By establishing a routine of visiting the bathroom at set intervals, you can train your child’s brain to hold urine for appropriate periods of time and empty the bladder at appropriate times throughout the day.

During the day, no more than two hours between bathroom breaks is a good interval to shoot for while learning to stop bedwetting.

As with bedtime routines and limiting fluids before bed, providing consistent bathroom breaks throughout the day may help a young child reduce nighttime bedwetting episodes, but additional solutions will likely be needed to stop bedwetting permanently for older children.

Using Bedwetting Alarms For Reinforcement

Bedwetting alarms are all over the internet as the solution for bedwetting. However, they have a dropout rate of up to 30% or more. In addition, while bedwetting may stop for a time, the alarm may not end bedwetting permanently. The relapse rate for bedwetting is 40% for those who have used bedwetting alarms.

While bedwetting alarms have the highest success rate of all the common solutions available, they still do not provide a consistent answer.

Moreover, bedwetting alarms incorporate negative reinforcement to stop bedwetting episodes. An alarm sounds when it detects moisture which is supposed to wake the child before he or she fully wets the bed. The child then gets up to go to the bathroom. Adults who used alarms as children report the treatment period as the worst of their lives. That’s pretty intense.

I believe learning to stop wetting the bed can be a positive experience for both children and parents. I do not believe the alarm is the best option out there.

Implementing Positive Reinforcement And Rewards

Implementing positive reinforcement and rewards can be an effective strategy in helping to stop bedwetting permanently. Praise your child for dry nights and offering rewards for consecutive nights without accidents. Rewards can include a sticker chart, a small toy, or a special treat.

Positive reinforcement helps boost your child’s confidence and self-esteem, making them more determined to overcome bedwetting. It is important to be consistent with giving out the rewards and maintaining a positive environment which promotes learning.

As a side note, some have called positive reinforcement and rewards a form of bribery, and they don’t want to bribe their kids. The truth is, if the reward is established ahead of time, and it’s reasonable, then there’s no bribery. A reward reinforces and establishes a desired behavior. If a reward is bribery, then getting paid to work is bribery. Everyone needs an incentive to accomplish a difficult task.

Rewards often work for young children. In fact, a sticker chart or chocolate chip for a dry night, coupled with a bedtime routine, monitoring fluids, and regular bathroom breaks during the day, stopped bedwetting permanently for most of my children. And it worked before the age of 5.

But 2 of my children needed more help as the grew older and continued to struggle with wetting the bed. As noted, that’s when I created My Bedwetting Victory. And it worked.

Seeking Professional Help If Needed

In a small number of cases, bedwetting in older children is caused by a medical condition. In that case, seeing your child’s doctor will be the answer. While the odds are slim, if a medical condition like diabetes or a urinary tract infection is causing your child to wet the bed, treatment is imperative.

Conclusion

If you or your child have tried multiple strategies to stop bedwetting with no success, it’s time for a more dynamic approach.

More often than not, bedwetting is caused by a variety of factors. While one factor may have set off the bedwetting, another may have prolonged it. And now, as the child has lived with it for so long as his or her normal, a habit may have formed inadvertently.

Retraining the brain by relearning how to stay dry at night can usher in a whole new season: no more bedwetting!