Published: 17 April 2023

Bed wetting (nocturnal enuresis) is a common problem with up to half a million children between the ages of 5 and 16 wetting the bed. This can vary between wetting every night, a few times a week or less frequently.

It is important to understand that bed wetting is not the child’s fault and is not linked to laziness or poor toilet training.

Why does bed wetting happen

  • Your child not waking to bladder signals
  • A lack of vasopressin (children not producing a hormone)
  • Bladder over activity
  • Constipation
  • Family traits
  • Anxieties


  • Bed wetting alarms
  • Medication

How to get help

  • You can contact your local school nursing service on 0300 021 8997 for advice and support
  • You can contact your GP
  • ERIC provide information and support to parents and children


  • Remain calm
  • Involve your child in decisions to seek support
  • Ensure adequate fluids in the day
  • Encourage your child to use the toilet throughout the day and at bedtime.
  • Ensure your child can get to the toilet easily at night
  • Have a good bedtime routine with clean bedding and nightwear to hand