Common Mistakes Parents Make With Bedwetting Children

Soaking sheets, sodden pyjamas and a saddened child might sound familiar to you but rest assured that bedwetting is a common childhood condition.

In fact, bedwetting is completely normal in children under the age of five and typically it is not considered a problem until after the age of seven. 

Medically known as nocturnal enuresis, bedwetting is when there is an uncontrollable passing of urine during sleep and in most cases, it is caused by an overactive bladder.

However, in some cases, it can be the result of a development problem of the bladder. While in others it can be caused by long term illnesses such as constipation, diabetes, urinary tract infections or even emotional problems. 

If your child is experiencing bedwetting it is important to remember that they are not doing it out of laziness, in fact, they most probably feel embarrassed about the whole situation 


Walking your child in the middle of the night to get the toilet in an effort to prevent bedwetting may seem like a good strategy to keep the sheets dry but in reality, it will not help them improve their bladder control. Lifting doesn't teach children to wake up when their bladder is full. 

Restricting fluids.

Many parents believe limiting fluids at bedtime to be effective as it will accustom the bladder to function better, however, a child needs to condition their body to wake up even if it's for a small amount of urine.

Common Mistakes Parents Make With Bedwetting Children
If a child is wetting the bed while younger siblings stay completely dry - don't compare the two.

Limiting their fluid intake could possibly dehydrate a child and in most cases a thirsty child will wake up, meaning their sleep is disturbed either way. 


Many parents make the mistake of punishing their children by forcing them to clean up their mess thinking it will lead to modified behaviour but in fact, bedwetting is an unconscious occurrence.

While you may be frustrated at a few extra sheets added to the laundry pile, punishing your child is not the answer.

It is not done on purpose.

Your behaviour can aggravate the problem and make the situation even more stressful than it already is. 

Don't compare siblings.

If a child is wetting the bed while younger siblings stay completely dry - don't compare the two. That attitude puts a whole deal of pressure on the bedwetter which could make them feel ashamed, embarrassed or even jealous. 


One of the biggest problems is backtracking from pants to pull-ups out of pure convenience. Not only does it suppress the motivation to stay dry, but it can also lead to low self-esteem and emotional problems. Nobody wants to feel like a baby so don't treat them that way. 


A huge deal of parents tend to ignore bedwetting issues, thinking the problem will just go away by itself, making the child feel ignored and isolated. No matter their age, children need to have someone to be able to talk to about it. 

Overall, parents need to show compassion when dealing with sensitive subjects like bedwetting and support their child while focusing on proven and effective methods to prevent bedwetting. 

Kellie Kearney

Kellie Kearney is a Dublin mammy of five kids aged newborn right up to nine. She loves coffee, cloth nappies, travel and sharing her every day true to life family moments on Instagram.

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