They may be unusual for their age, but there's no need to panic. Almost all children wet the bed because their brain hasn't yet learned the feeling of needing to pee means wake up. Find out more about what causes bedwetting.
Children become less likely to stop bedwetting without help as they get older. Age 5 to 8 is perfect to start helping with night toilet training and a bedwetting alarm.
How is bedwetting different at ages 5 to 8?
They've mastered daytime bladder control
At this age children have usually mastered controlling their bladder during the day. They're taking themselves to the bathroom without you having to watch for squirming.
Although your child is likely using the loo without help, it's important to keep being frank and open about toilet matters.
Tip: Make sure your son or daughter knows the words for bodily functions and their private parts, so they can more tell you about any problems that make bedwetting worse, like a bladder infection or constipation.
Life outside the family grows
At 5, 6, 7 and 8 children have a growing sense of self. The world outside their family begins to matter more. They want to fit in and feel included by other children.
They may notice they're different from other children if they're still in diapers (nappies) at night. They're eager to keep up with other kids.
Learning is fast and fun
Learning usually includes a lot of creativity and movement for children of this age, alongside reading, writing and numbers. With the right help from adults, they learn quickly.
If they're still wetting the bed at night, now is the best time to begin night toilet training and using a bedwetting alarm because they:
want to learn
get into new routines easily
learn faster than older children.
Their imagination is wild
Children at ages 5 to 8 are often drawn to fantasy characters and stories, from fairies to superheroes.
Their vivid imagination can help them stop bedwetting. Here are some ideas:
When they need to use the bathroom during the day, ask your child to first lie down on their bed and close their eyes. Ask them to think of a picture to go with the feeling of a full bladder. Kids come up with all sorts of things, from footballs to fish tanks. Having a picture for the feeling can help them 'see' their full bladder when they're asleep, and wake.
If an exciting event is coming up, like a sleepover or vacation, ask your child to imagine how much more they'd enjoy themselves if they didn't have to worry about wetting the bed.
Parents have more control at bedtime
Parents are usually still in control of bedtime routines with children ages 5 to 8. This means there's a lot you can do to make it calm and predictable.
Our recipe for bedtime with the best chance of beating bedwetting:
Make sure they don't get too exhausted - overtired kids find it harder to wake in the night to a full bladder.
Avoid drinks before bed.
Make sure they use the toilet before bed. Watching a YouTube video or reading for a minute helps your child relax so they can get it all out.
If you already have a DRI Sleeper bedwetting alarm:
Relaxing listening helps them unwind and fall asleep. Our Mindfulness MP3 recordings help reinforce messages around ending bedwetting while helping them drift off.
It's the perfect time to start phasing out night diapers (nappies) too. If they use night diapers much longer, they may become 'diaper dependent', which is difficult to treat. Saying goodbye to night nappies, and hello to a Brolly Sheet in their favourite colour, is another step that builds confidence.
Their diet may change
At this age children are eating outside the home more. It's important you know what they're eating and drinking. Sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine worsen bedwetting because they dry the body and interfere with sleep.
Use their new daily routines to help make sure they're drinking enough water to make their bladder stronger. Aim for 6 glasses of 8 fluid ounces (250 mL) a day, using waking up, coming home from school, meals and snacks as reasons for a glass of water.
The DRI Sleeper excel bedwetting alarm is great for this age group. It clips to their pyjamas and connects by cord to the moisture sensor. It's also our least expensive bedwetting alarm, so you're not just saving money on diapers by starting right away!
Next steps to end bedwetting at age 5 to 8
It's the ideal time to help your child stop wetting the bed with night toilet training and a bedwetting alarm.
If used as directed, a bedwetting alarm helps up to 9 in 10 children stop wetting the bed. It's the fastest and most effective solution.
Parents breathe a sigh of relief at knowing they can stop buying expensive night diapers. There's even better news for your child. When they stop bedwetting, the way their confidence grows is worth its weight in gold.
The Excel is the original DRI Sleeper alarm and has been used successfully for decades by hundreds of thousands of children worldwide to solve bedwetting. This is a clip on alarm with a plug-in sensor. Ideal for younger children.
Purchased and used for about 6 weeks for my daily, heavy bedwetter (4years 9 months). Slightly less than a month of use, and she was dry every night. Unit is wireless, slim and discreet, and so sensitive that it triggers at the slightest hint of moisture. We used carefree panty liners to hold the sensor, and towards the end of her training these were enough to even catch those few drops before she woke. Dry PJs! Between this sensitive unit and the Brolly sheet I saved so much washing - a definite bonus! I was worried as the alarm didn't even wake her for the first two weeks (very deep sleeper), but we persisted and the hints in the books really helped. Don't hesitate, do it! Ignore google, your mums group and the mother-in-law ;) Listen only to the book and not all the conflicting advice to keep yourself sane.
Thanks for the great feedback. We are so glad you found the book helpful.
We had quick success using the alarm with our 12 year old and are so grateful to have found this product! Now we will begin to help our next child who struggles with bed wetting. Thank you for a great product that works!
So pleased 12yo is sorted! We wish you continued success with your next child.
Fantastic product - finally something that worked! My son has just gone 28 days straight with no accidents at night. He has been wearing the alarm for 2 months. So glad this product was recommended to us from our doctor.
We bought this for my 7 year old who was wearing pull ups and a very heavy sleeper. We tried all different techniques but nothing was really working. When I suggested the idea of an alarm to wake them, they were open to try. After only 2 weeks of wearing the alarm to bed, they started waking up on their own to go to the toilet with very few accidents. Oh and I don’t have to buy pull ups any longer. Highly recommend this alarm, works for even the deepest of sleepers. Cheers!
Purchased for a Grandie. It has been amazing to see the change in our little person as his confidence has grown since using the dri Sleeper alarm. The results were noticeable after just a few days. Thank you for a wonderful product. I will definitely be recommending it.