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Most children learn to use the toilet between 2 and 4 years of age. Even after children are toilet-trained, they may wet the bed until they are older. It's even common for 6-year-olds to wet the bed once in a while. Some children still wet the bed at age 12.

What to Do About Bedwetting

Bedwetting usually goes away as your child gets older. Talk with the doctor if you or your child are worried about bedwetting. These tips can help in the meantime.

Try These Tips

Tell Your Child

Using a Star Chart

Try using a calendar and star-shaped stickers to keep track of your child's "dry" nights. Each morning, check your child's bed. If it stayed dry all night, praise your child. Let him or her put a sticker on the calendar for that day. (You can also make a chart that shows the days of the week. See the chart above.)

For many children, just seeing the stars add up is enough. Other children may need a reward. For example, do something special with your child after a whole week of dry nights.

If You Need More Help...

Try the tips on the first page of this handout for 1 to 3 months. Then, talk with your child's doctor if bedwetting is still a problem. The doctor may suggest one of the following:

A Bedwetting Alarm

You can use a bedwetting alarm. The alarm goes off when it gets wet. Then the child learns to wake up to use the toilet. Over time, this helps a child stay dry at night. But don't give up. It can take weeks or months to work.

Bedwetting alarms tend to work best for children who have some dry nights. Ask your child's doctor what kind of alarm would be best for your child.


There are some medicines for treating bedwetting in older children. They almost never cure bedwetting. But they can help your child go to a sleepover or camp. Ask your child's doctor about them.

Reasons for Bedwetting

We don't always know what causes bedwetting. Here are some possible reasons:

Signs of a Health Problem

Talk with your child's doctor if:

These 2 things together may mean that your child has a health problem.