Bedwetting Blues

Is your six or seven-year-old still wetting the bed?


Dr. Sears and doctor of psychology Wendy Walsh, Ph.D. discuss the pros and cons of co-sleeping and reveal how to wean your child from sleeping in your bed.

“This is actually pretty common,” pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears says. “Fifteen to 20 percent of kids this age are probably still wetting the bed at night. This isn’t an emotional or psychological problem. This is just a basic communication problem between her brain and her bladder.”

Dr. Sears suggests giving your child a bed-wedding alarm, which fits inside of the pajamas and makes a loud noise when it gets wet. Even though it goes off once the child has urinated, “it gets the brain a little bit used to waking up around the time you’re supposed to go,” Dr. Sears says. “It’s kind of like your alarm clock in the morning. After a while, you start waking up just before it goes off. That’s how this works.”

You may also try a “Sweet-Dreams Chart,” as a motivational tool that gives your child a gold star for each night he or she stays dry.

Another option is using pull-up diapers. Staying away from sugary drinks, such as soda and juice, at night can help, as well.

“Some kids just grow into it sooner, and some it’s later,” Dr. Sears says. “Children that still wet the bed are making a little too much urine, and they are such sound sleepers that they just don’t wake up. Just about every child, though, will eventually outgrow this.”