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How to stop bedwetting in children age 9 to age 12

At age 9, 10, 11 or 12, fewer than 1 in 20 children are wetting the bed. Your child may be unusual for their age, but with your help, they'll overcome the problem faster.

It's important to do something about their bedwetting as soon as you can. Your help now will mean a great boost to their confidence and independence as they move into their teens.


  1. Why is my child wetting the bed at this age?
  2. How is bedwetting different in older children?
  3. Next steps for parents of bedwetting preteens
  4. Contact us for help

Why is my child wetting the bed at this age?

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?

How common is bedwetting? at 3 years old, 1 in 2 children are wetting the bed. At 5 years old 1 in 5 children wet the bed. At 8 years old 1 in 20 still wet the bed. 15 years of age only 1 in 50 still pee the bed.
One third of kids wetting at age 5 still wet the bed at 12 years old

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.

A bedwetting alarm is the best and fastest way to end bedwetting in preteens. Most parents of kids age 9 to 12 go for the DRI Sleeper eclipse because it's wireless, comfortable and easy to use. Kids like that it's high-tech, and want to take more responsibility for using the device.

They want more privacy

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.
  • practising the alarm response four times each night for the first seven nights.
  • placing the moisture sensor and switching the alarm on.
  • 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:

  1. limit stimulants like sugar, artificial sweeteners and caffeine in their food and drink, and make sure they're drinking enough water.
  2. limit exhausting activities. If they're overtired, they're less likely to wake to a full bladder.
  3. 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:

  1. practicing the alarm response before bed without being reminded
  2. waking to the alarm and responding without help
  3. 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.

The ideal alarm for children age 9 to 12 is the DRI Sleeper eclipse as it is discreet to wear. Try our Bedwetting Questionnaire for suggestions specific to your child.

Read next: How to stop bedwettting using an alarm