It's not your fault, and it's not your child's fault. Children almost always wet the bed because their brain hasn't yet linked the feeling of needing to pee with waking. Find out more about what causes bedwetting.
You may not have known before now that a bedwetting alarm is the best way to help them stop. Don't blame yourself, but it's time to do something. Bedwetting will become harder to solve as they get older.
How is bedwetting in older children different?
Life outside the home grows
Children at age 9, 10, 11 and 12 are often spending more time outside the home with kids their own age. They're forming close groups of friends and wanting to achieve in hobbies, sport and school. Sleepovers and camps are common at this age.
They feel they belong to groups outside their family, like friends, a sports team or school class. A child who is still bedwetting as a preteen will know their problem is uncommon and may fear other kids will find out. This desire keep up with their peers can be great motivation to stop wetting the bed, with the right help from parents.
Learning new things gets a little harder
Every year, learning new things gets that little bit harder for children. That's why it's important to do something now to help your child if they're still bedwetting at age 9 to 12.
It's unlikely they'll overcome bedwetting at this age without your help - only 3 in 20 kids do each year. They could easily wet the bed into their teens or adulthood if they don't have help to stop.
At 9 to 12 years of age children have a good understanding of their bodily functions, but they may think talking about them is childish or rude. They may not tell you about a problem making their bedwetting worse, like a bladder infection (UTI) or constipation.
Try to talk about bodily functions in a relaxed, frank and open way. At 9 to 12 years old they may respond better to language that feels grown up, like urine rather than pee or wee.
They want more responsibility
At age 9 to 12, kids can take more responsibility for their bedwetting, like:
preparing a change of bed linen and pyjamas, changing the bed after any accidents and learning how to use the washing machine.
showering in the morning to make sure there's no smell.
There's no reason for diapers (nappies) at this age except for times like sleepovers and school camps. Instead, use a Brolly Sheet to protect their mattress.
Stress and anxiety may appear
School tests and exams, sports games and grading in hobbies like music, dance or martial arts take on more importance for children ages 9 to 12. Worry and anxiety may make their bedwetting harder to solve.
To help your child feel more at ease:
limit stimulants like sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine in their food and drink, and make sure they're drinking enough water.
limit exhausting activities. If they're overtired, they're less likely to wake to a full bladder.
make bedtime routines predictable and calm. Relaxing listening can be a great way for your child to unwind and fall asleep. Our Relax and remember MP3 reinforces messages around solving bedwetting while helping them drift off. There's an MP3 designed just for older children like yours.
Rewards still work
Progress charts still work well with 9 to 12 year-olds. Keep it in a private place like a bedside drawer or inside a diary or notebook. Be flexible about rewards and let them change as your child gets older.
Using a bedwetting alarm is the fastest way to end bedwetting, but progress is often slower at this age. As well as dry nights, try rewarding smaller achievements, like:
practicing the alarm response before bed without being reminded
waking to the alarm and responding without help
changing their own pyjamas and bedding.
Next steps for parents of bedwetting preteens
The best thing you can do for your child if they're bedwetting at 9 to 12 years of age is to do something about it. Without help at this stage, there's a significant risk they'll wet the bed as a teen or even as an adult.
The fastest and most effective solution is a bedwetting alarm. If used as directed, up to 9 in 10 children will stop wetting the bed. Be patient - it can take older children longer to learn to stop bedwetting. But with your help, they'll get there.
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.