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Wetting themselves

  • 0-1 Years
  • 1-5 Years
  • 5-11 Years
  • 11-19 Years
  • SEND
  • Peeing, pooing and toileting
Young girl sitting on sofa hugging a teddy bear looking sad

Bedwetting or daytime wetting is also known as enuresis. This is when there is an inability to control the bladder. It is most common in young children and can be caused by a variety of things including:

  • drinking too much or too little
  • constipation
  • irritant drinks
  • stress
  • a small bladder
  • urinary tract infections (UTI)


Many children under the age of 5 wet the bed at night. Bedwetting is sometimes called nocturnal enuresis. It can be an upsetting and stressful experience for children and young people.

The most common causes of bedwetting in children includes:

  • making too much pee at night
  • the bladder being unable to hold onto the pee

Struggling with bedwetting?

Speak to your GP or a health professional in our team if you have tried treating it at home and nothing is working. Or if your child was dry for 6 months and is now bedwetting.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Daytime wetting

By the age of 2 to 4, most children can stay dry during the daytime, but daytime wetting is not uncommon. And some children will experience both bedwetting and daytime wetting.

Daytime wetting is often caused by your:

  • child’s bladder being too small
  • child not understanding the feeling of needing to pee
  • child being so distracted that they don’t notice their bladder is telling them they need a pee

Do not get angry with your child as it's not their fault if this happens. 


Struggling with daytime wetting?

Speak to your GP or a health professional in our team if your child is over the age of 5 or has started daytime wetting after being toilet trained.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

How to help your child stop wetting themselves


  • give your child 6-8 cups of water during the day
  • make sure your child goes to the toilet regularly, around 4 to 7 times per day
  • praise your child and reward them to motivate them to use the toilet regularly
  • make sure they go to the toilet just before bedtime
  • use waterproof covers on their mattress and duvet
  • make sure they have easy access to a toilet at night
  • make sure boys and girls sit down when using the toilet
  • use a footstool when sitting on the toilet to help the bowels and bladder to empty completely


  • do not get angry with your child as it is not their fault
  • do not give your child drinks containing caffeine such as cola, tea or coffee
  • do not regularly wake or carry your child in the night to use the toilet as this will not help in the long term
Young girl drinking from a glass of water

Last reviewed: 1 November, 2023

Older children and teenage bedwetting

Bedwetting can be especially distressing for older children and teenagers. It can be embarrassing and lower self-esteem and self-confidence. It is important to remember that bedwetting is a medical condition and is not the young person’s fault.

Tips for helping older children and teenagers with bedwetting:

  • drink water and avoid drinking caffeinated drinks, fizzy drinks, squash or cordial, and hot chocolate
  • have regular toilet breaks, sitting to pee when possible.
  • Stop drinking two hours before bedtime.
  • Try doing pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles.

Pelvic floor exercises to help with bedwetting

Pelvic floor muscles relax when you go to the loo and tighten when you finish, which stops pee and poo leaking out. Good pelvic floor muscles can stop your leaking pee, and helps to keep the bladder healthy and strong. This in turn can help with bedwetting.

Weak pelvic floor muscles can be caused by:

  • constipation
  • lack of exercise
  • being overweight
  • heavy lifting
  • coughing a lot

Pelvic floor exercise

  1. Sit, stand or lie with knees slightly apart.
  2. Slowly squeeze inside and pull up the muscles you use to stop pee leaking and to stop passing wind.
  3. Avoid holding your breath or tightening your legs and bottom.
  4. Hold for up to 10 seconds and then slowly relax.
  5. Repeat up to 10 times.
  6. When you get really good at it you can pull the muscles quickly, hold and relax immediately.

Need more specific support for your child?

If your child needs more help or has additional needs, you can visit our specific section for extra support.

Peeing, pooing and toileting for additional needs


Who can help

If you have any questions or concerns about your child's pee, poo or toileting, a health professional in our team will be able to offer advice and support.

You can Call Us on 0300 029 50 50 or Text Us on 07520 649887 to start a conversation.

Open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm (excluding bank holidays).

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