Medbroadcast  Powered by MediResource

 Browse alphabetically
Family & Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Seniors' Health
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Arthritis (Rheumatoid)
Atrial Fibrillation
Baby Health
Back Health
Bladder (Overactive)
Brain Health
Childhood Vaccinations
Crohn's & Colitis
Cold and Flu
Cosmetic Procedures
Depression NEW!
Digestive Health
Ear Health
Eating Disorders
Eye Health
Flu (Seasonal)
Healthy Skin
High Blood Pressure
Kidney Health
Low Testosterone NEW!
Lung Health
Medications and your Health
Mental Health
Multiple Sclerosis NEW!
Natural and Complementary Therapy
Oral Care
Osteoarthritis of the Knee NEW!
Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA)
Seasonal Health
Sexual Health
Sleep Health
Stroke Risk Reduction
Weight Management
Workplace Health
Yeast Infection
All health channels

Ask an Expert
Clinical Trials
Find a Specialist
Health features

Condition Info Drug Info Tests and Procedures Natural Products Ask an Expert Support Groups Clinical Trials
Home Bookmark Page Send to a Friend Sante Chez Nous Subscribe
Bedwetting > Dealing with bedwetting > Bedwetting treatment
Why your child wets the bed
Bedwetting: The emotional consequences
Dealing with bedwetting
Bedwetting tools and resources
Bedwetting treatment
Questions for your child's doctor
How families live with bedwetting
Bedwetting resources
Health features
Related conditions
Related channels
Discussion forums
Ask a NiteLite® Panelist

Bedwetting treatment

Bedwetting alarms: Bedwetting alarms work on the principle that although bedwetting is a physical problem, your child can be trained to recognize the feeling of a full bladder. Alarms consist of a moisture sensor and an alarm such as a buzzer, bell, or vibrator, which goes off when your child begins to urinate during the night. Alarms can be effective, but they do require the child and parents to be highly motivated. They also require a supportive family environment.

While most children who use alarms to treat bedwetting don't start wetting again once treatment ceases, it can take weeks or even months to see results. Bedwetting alarms have a high dropout rate, with 30% of families abandoning this method after only 3 weeks, which is before this method reaches its peak effectiveness.

Behavioural therapies: A reward system, where your child receives a star on a chart or a prize, has been helpful in many cases. Motivational therapy involves keeping track of how your child has progressed, usually with bigger rewards for longer periods of dryness. The reward should be agreed upon by you and your child ahead of time. Motivational therapy can be an effective treatment for younger children.

Other coping techniques: There are other techniques for coping with your child's bedwetting problem. Try these recommendations:

  • Protect the mattress by using waterproof sheets.
  • Diapers may reduce the mess of bedwetting, but they can still leak and can cause an uncomfortable diaper rash due to moisture near your child's skin. The Canadian Paediatric Society classifies a child as a bedwetter when regular (more than twice per week) bedwetting persists beyond the age of 5 years. Part of their recommended strategy to help children achieve continence includes taking them out of diapers.
  • Tell your child to go to the bathroom immediately before bedtime.
  • Limit beverages before bed.
  • Limit caffeine.
  • Bladder training, where your child learns to hold their urine during the day to increase bladder capacity at night, may be effective and can be tried.

Medications: Desmopressin is a copy of the same messenger your child's body makes to control the amount of urine produced as they sleep. Desmopressin is taken by mouth before bedtime. It helps bedwetting children reduce the volume of urine they produce at night to that of a non-bedwetting child. The effect from desmopressin lasts from 7 to 9 hours after your child takes the medication. It is recommended to be used along with other non-medicinal therapies such as motivational counselling. Side effects from this medication can include headache, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Imipramine, belonging to a group of medications known as tricyclic medications, is sometimes used to treat bedwetting. The exact mechanism of how it works isn't clear, but it's believed to either change your child's sleeping and waking patterns or affect the amount of urine in the bladder. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, irritability, insomnia, drowsiness, reduced appetite, sensitivity to the sun, and personality changes.

Talk to your doctor about whether medication treatment for bedwetting is right for your child.

Alternative therapies: While there are claims that treatments such as acupuncture, hypnosis, and massage can help prevent bedwetting, there is no evidence they are effective.


Did you find what you were looking for on our website? Please let us know.

Hot Topics - Bedwetting, Depression, Flu (Seasonal), Healthy Skin, Incontinence, Multiple Sclerosis, Psoriasis, Stroke Risk Reduction

Condition and disease information is written and reviewed by the MedBroadcast Clinical Team.

The contents of this site are for informational purposes only and are meant to be discussed with your physician or other qualified health care professional before being acted on. Never disregard any advice given to you by your doctor or other qualified health care professional. Always seek the advice of a physician or other licensed health care professional regarding any questions you have about your medical condition(s) and treatment(s). This site is not a substitute for medical advice.
© 1996 - 2015 MediResource Inc. - MediResource reaches millions of Canadians each year.