The Continence Foundation of Australia hosted a webinar during the World Continence Week in June 2022 on the topic “Supporting Bedwetting in Kids”.  The presenters were Janine Armocida, NCS MCHN RN, and Caroline Walsh, NCS RN, both nurses with a vast experience on the topic. The main purpose of the webinar was to increase the knowledge and understanding about bedwetting to allow you, as a parent, to feel more confident about bedwetting and know when and how to seek help.  You can watch the webinar here

A few notes from the webinar:

A nurse does not give it the name bedwetting until the age of 5, prior to that it is classified as normal child development.

Bed wetting can affect up to 20% of 5 years olds, 10% of 10 years olds, and 3% of 15 years olds.

Children wet the bed because of 3 medical reasons:

  1. Lack of sleep arousal
  2. Lack of anti diuretic hormone
  3. Overactive bladder

Familial History

  • One parent - 35% chance
  • Both parents - 75% chance

Bedwetting – 1st line management

  • Adequate fluid intake during the day
  • Treat constipation
  • Empty bladder before turning off the light at night
  • Take product off for a week or two

Bedwetting – what will a health professional do?

  • Accurate history
  • Bladder & bowel diary
  • Abdominal palpation
  • Urine test
  • Lower back/spine check
  • Bedwetting Alarm
  • Medication

Constipation – if it is possible to treat chronic constipation it can resolve 63% of bed wetting and 89% of day wetting cases.

When to start treatment using a bedwetting alarm

Children respond well to bedwetting alarms at the age of 7. Do not wait, assuming the child will grow out of it.  Trying a bedwetting alarm at the age of 7 is recommended and can help the child’s confidence.

Motivation, motivation, motivation

When you start the treatment using a bedwetting alarm It is important that the child wants to become dry and that the whole family is motivated to achieve success. If the family is involved it is easier for everyone to understand that they might all wake up, but the child undergoing treatment might sleep through the alarm in the beginning.

Bedwetting alarm treatment tips

The best alarm for the child is one that is comfortable for the child so that they are eager and motivated to use it.

It is helpful to try the alarm before going to bed to tune in the child to the sound of the alarm.  And if the child is a heavy sleeper, sleep with the child and wake them up as soon as the alarm goes off, and make them turn off the alarm themselves. It is then important to go to the toilet so that the child can completely empty the bladder.  It helps the child to go to the toilet to train the brain how to empty a full bladder at night, even during sleep.

Use the alarm every night for 8 weeks.  The first two weeks will be the hardest. Persistence will pay off.

Bedding protection is important to make life easier for parents and children.


Tips for school camp is to make sure the teacher is informed and aware that the child is a bedwetter. A continence advisor can help you decide which product is most suitable.  (Pjama is one product that can help the child during camp. Pjama protects the bed and is discreet for the wearer).
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