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.
9 weeks ago my 6 year old was wearing pull ups overnight and was very wet every single morning . 9 weeks later she has just completed 14 nights in a row!! I was sceptical of the product in the beginning but it actually worked, would recommend anyone struggling to give it a go!
Very happy with the bed wetting alarm. My granddaughter(7) has 2 incidence in the month that she has had it and otherwise has been dry. From a child that wet the bed every night. Very happy with my purchase.
Son still having frequent accidents but he is waking up to the alarm so hopefully it will help overtime.
It is great he is waking up to the alarm. It can be encouraging to look out for signs of improvement such as:
• Waking up before the alarm when you have a full bladder
• Smaller and smaller wet patches
• Waking to the alarm straight away
• Alarm going off later during the night
• Alarm sounding less times than usual during the night
• More dry nights
You can also find useful ideas in the Online Resource Kit, particularly the ebook 'A Plan for DRI Nights'. Please contact me if you would like some guidance.