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.
My 5 year old son is a deep sleeper and has always had a lot of wees at night, he’d wet through a huggies nappy pant at least once a week. I got sick of buying nappies so decided to give the alarm a go.
The first night the alarm went off 4 times with full wee each time. By the end of the first week we were down to one or two wakes. We’re now about 2 months in and he sleeps through without needing to wee at all! We have the odd accident but we’re about to pass it on to his 4 year old sister to have her turn.
Highly recommend the alarm, it’s been a game changer for us!
Good result! We hope it works just as well for your Daughter.
My 9 year old son is a deep sleeper and was regularly wetting the bed, so buying the alarm was a desperate attempt to get him sorted before an overnight school trip later this year.
The first week we used the alarm it went off a bit later on each consecutive night (first night 2 am, then 4.30 am, 6.30 am, 7.15 am) which was immediately motivating for him and us.
After about 3 weeks the alarm stopped going off at all as he was making it through the night completely dry (although we did continue to use it for a while after this). It has now been 8 weeks of dry nights and we stopped using the alarm about 2 weeks ago. I don't know how it works but it did for us and I'm so glad we tried it (only wish we'd have done so years sooner)!
Congratulations on getting bedwetting sorted before the school trip! We hope he has a great time.
My 12 year old son has been struggling with not staying dry at night for 4 years and we've tried literally dozens of products... Mats and timers and medications and homeopathic remedies and more water and less water and meditation and accupuncture and..... unending! Finally this worked! It's discrete and easy and worked so so well and quickly for him and he's like a new person! Thank you!
We are very pleased this product has helped your Son become dry at night. All the best for the future.
My son routinely slept through the alarm so it didn’t work for him
We can provide you with practical strategies for helping deep sleeping children. It doesn't matter if the alarm or parent wakes the child. The child still learns the full-bladder feeling means to wake up.
The alarm worked really well for our daughter who is 8 and has an overactive bladder during the daytime. The alarm trained her very quickly to wake to use the toilet and achieved 14days dryness after less than a month.
We had a few issues with sensor moving and her disconnecting the plug in the night, but the solutions provided by the company with the device worked really well to resolve them.
Thanks for your feedback! Your Daughter has done very well to achieve dryness so quickly.