All bedwetting questions here, as well as the Wikipedia article deal with treating the problem when it occurs, after it already started.

In that aritlce is says:

Bedwetting has a strong genetic component. Children whose parents were not enuretic have only a 15% incidence of bedwetting. When one or both parents were bedwetters, the rates jump to 44% and 77% respectively

So my daughter has high chance to become a bedwetter - still didn't discuss it with my wife, so it might even be 77%.

I would like to know if there is anything I can do as parent to help my daughter "in advance"? I won't go for medical treatment of course, was thinking maybe giving more focus when potty training her on certain things and explain. This is all pretty far in the horizon as we still did not start potty training her, but better be prepared in my opinion.

If anyone has same experience or some good advice, it will be welcome.

  • Are you expecting chronic bedwetting as a condition, or bedwetting that happens when potty training? For our son, I've noticed that making sure he doesn't drink before bedtime is the biggest determinant to whether or not he wets the bed, or his nighttime diaper-- but your question suggests a more chronic (perhaps psychological?) condition than the normal potty training problems.
    – mmr
    Aug 15, 2012 at 22:24
  • @mmr I don't know what to expect - from what I read and quoted above I understand 44% chance of bedwetting but it does not say what kind. I had that problem for several years long after potty training was over most likely due to psychological reason but back then (almost 30 years ago) nobody bothered to really look into it very much. No drink sounds like reasonable tip, will keep that in mind. :) Aug 16, 2012 at 22:06

2 Answers 2


I have four kids. My youngest two (twin boys) are four, my daughter is six and my son is seven. Of the four, my youngest son (youngest by two minutes) has absolutely no problems staying dry through the night. I honestly don't remember the last time he had an accident. His twin brother is the exact opposite and always needs diapers/pull-ups at night. My daughter usually stays dry through the night, but has occasional problems. My oldest has the most problems. He has problems staying dry through the night and occasionally will have accidents during the day.

We tried everything with my oldest to try to get him to stop bed wetting. We tried alarm clocks, cutting fluids before bed, rewards, etc... We recently bought a book called, Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome bed wetting. Out of all of them, the book seems to be the most helpful, but not in the way you might thing. The book helps the child and parent understanding the underlying causes of bed wetting and make the child (and parent) realize wetting the bed does not mean there is anything wrong with you.

So, if I had to give any suggestion, I would first suggest by reading this book or some similar material. It will help give you a good understanding of the causes and techniques to prevent bed wetting. Second, I would suggest not punishing or scolding your child . I honestly and regretfully have to admit that we made this mistake. Lastly, relax. Bed wetting is normally not a serious medical condition. It is more likely to be emotionally harmful than physical harmful.

  • Thanks! I totally agree about being supportive and understanding instead of punishing or scolding. You suggest to tell my daughter of the "risk" of her becoming bedwetter even though it's just something that might happen? Or do you mean only reading the book myself? Aug 16, 2012 at 22:15
  • Could you clarify why you find this book particularly useful? What makes it better than other resources? Is there an essential bottom line that you could quote in your answer? Sep 14, 2012 at 10:21

I would recommend not stressing out about bedwetting in general because that might cause anxiety for your daughter. "Serious long-term emotional problems can result from angry scolding or punitive attitudes towards accidents or resistance" (The Baby Book, pg. 585). Prep your mind mentally in advance because accidents WILL happen. It's part of them figuring out how to listen to their body.

The best thing you can do is to limit fluids at a certain time before bedtime to help prevent an accident. If an accident does occur, be supportive and let her know that timing takes practice. Have her help you pull out the bedsheets and put new ones on to teach her to own some responsibility of it though.

  • Thanks, I'm not talking about accidents - well aware it might happen - but bedwetting every night even when fully potty trained. Your advice is good and reasonable, totally agree that there's no need to stress and of course never punish for such a thing. However this all apply to the time after bedwetting happens, if it will happen. Aug 16, 2012 at 22:10

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