I have heard that it is a good idea for the child to be involved in changing the sheets if they wet the bed in the night. However, our daughters share bunk beds, and the idea of trying to change the sheets in the middle of the night, without waking the other child and with the "assistance" of a less-than-competent child never appeals.

At the moment we change PJs, put a dry towel on top of the wet patch and turn the duvet over or upside-down if needed, the aim being to get back to sleep as soon as possible. Then I change the sheets the following day while they are at school.

My girls are 5 and 7, and they both still occasionally wet the bed. Would they stop if I got them to change the sheets?

What do other people do?

What works?

asked 27 Oct '09, 13:11

Meg%20Stephenson's gravatar image

Meg Stephenson
accept rate: 7%

+1 Really good question!

(27 Oct '09, 13:23) Emi

Sorry I'm so late to this party!

Both of my sisters had kids who wet the beds. So a lot has been discussed, and researched, and tried, and cried over, and then done all over again.

Bed-wetting is usually either a sign of illness, like Emi said, or that the poor kid just isn't physically capable of making it all night without going pee, and has a sleep pattern that is too deep to allow them to wake up when their bladder is full. It's also genetically linked, if you or your partner wet the bed, chances are so will at least one of your kids. Or all of them.

Making them change the sheets seems like punishment to me, and it really isn't their fault so punishing them just seems mean. It's a laundry problem, not a lazy kid, or bad kid, or anything kid problem. Nobody wants to wet the bed, it's uncomfortable, and it's embarrassing and nobody does it on purpose.

The thing that finally saved my oldest sisters sanity (both of her kids did it a lot until they were pre-teens, and so had their Dad) was to buy 3 waterproof mattress protectors, and three sets of sheets for each of her kids beds and then layer them. (Mattress, liner, sheet, liner, sheet, liner, sheet.) So, when one of them had an accident, she just had to strip one layer off and wash it the next day. (Yup, there were nights when they went through more than one layer, usually when they were sick.)

My other sister spent years doing what Emi does, getting up at 1 a.m. to take her daughter to the bathroom while she was asleep, and that almost completely solved the problem at their house. Almost, once in a while she still wet the bed before morning.

I'd guess that if you think about it, your girls are having accidents when they are especially tired or stressed, and if it's just an occasional thing, and changing jammies and putting down a towel gets everybody back to sleep the fastest don't worry about it.

It's not their fault, it's not your fault, it's just something that happens sometimes, and is kinda a hassle, and thank God we have automatic washers and driers.


answered 28 Feb '10, 17:26

Neen's gravatar image

accept rate: 30%

edited 01 Mar '10, 12:44

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Rich Seller

Wow, that's a tough one. I'll give you a couple of obvious solutions, but I'd guess you're already practicing them:

  1. Nothing to drink at least 1 hour before bed (or a time of your choosing)

  2. Required bathroom break just before bed

Other than that, the sheet changing routine sounds like a good one, but I can see why you're hesitant to enact it. You could invest in some "Goodnites" and require the girls to wear them every night until they stop wetting the bed. You could also offer a reward of new bedding they'll get to pick out once they've gone a certain length of time (one month? three months?) without an accident.


answered 27 Oct '09, 14:01

Artemis's gravatar image

accept rate: 11%

We only have one child, and no bunkbeds, but we have the occasional "wet bed" incident. Our daughter now tends to wet the bed only when she is ill and has fever now, so I wouldn't expect her to be able to help when she is ill but normally, letting them help change the sheets is a good idea in my opinion. Perhaps it could even help eradicate the bed wetting totally. I will give that a go.

We normally remind her to go to the toilet after she has brushed her teeth before going to bed, regardless of if she has already been or not. Although she can sometimes wake up thirsty I tend to leave a half filled glass of water rather than a full glass of water in her room.

Sometimes when we have been out and she has needed to go to the toilet, and only if we really were not in a position to take her, we say, "Do you think you can hold on a little bit?" For example if we are out and are on our way to the car to head back home, or in the cinema and its towards the end of the film, or somewhere really busy and where I am not too happy with the condition of the public toilets. By doing this, we somehow helped her develop some kind of bladder control :)

Finally if we know that she drank plenty just before bedtime, and she does not go to the toilet, we take her while shes asleep, sit her on the toilet and quietly tell her that she should go to the toilet, my husband normally runs the tap for a few seconds too! Then voila, she goes. Then we carry her back to bed.

This is not something to do if you have a bad back, and are alone, my 5 year old feels so much heavier when she's asleep.

This is what seems to have worked for us so far!


answered 27 Oct '09, 14:07

Emi's gravatar image

accept rate: 19%

edited 14 Dec '09, 01:55

Tammy's gravatar image

Tammy ♦♦

According to wikipedia approximate bedwetting rates are:

  • Age 5: 20%
  • Age 6: 10 to 15%
  • Age 7: 7%
  • Age 10: 5%
  • Age 15: 1-2%
  • Age 18-64: 0.5%-1%

so it seems quite normal. Also note the quote "It is often the child's and family member's reaction to bedwetting that determines whether it is a problem or not.".

I remember hearing some years ago about a doctor or psychologist that in the treatment of a boy asked him to wake up at night, stand up in his bed, pee all over it and then go to sleep again. Apparently it was successful, on the basis that it removed the shame element from peeing in the bed. I tried to search a little, but I did not find any reference to that. I found a book called Getting to Dry: How to Help Your Child Overcome Bedwetting though that seems relevant.


answered 02 Mar '10, 21:59

hlovdal's gravatar image

accept rate: 0%

edited 02 Mar '10, 23:02

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Tammy ♦♦

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Asked: 27 Oct '09, 13:11

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Last updated: 02 Mar '10, 23:02