Busting Bedwetting Myths

Myth 5 - There is nothing you can do to treat bedwetting

In this last post of our myth-busting series, we deal with one of the most important misconceptions about bedwetting: that it can't be treated.

Throughout this series, we've discussed a number of ways that parents and children can manage bedwetting. One of the more common ways to treat bedwetting is by using an alarm.

This teaches your child to become aware when their bladder is full during the night and to wake to go to the bathroom naturally. When the alarm goes off (when the child starts to wet), the child must wake up and go to the toilet to empty their bladder fully.

The alarm method often requires a sustained effort of up to three months or more to achieve a prolonged period of dryness – a casual approach generally doesn’t work. If your child is a deep sleeper, you may have to help them wake up when the alarm sounds, particularly when they first start using it. Ask your healthcare professional about the most suitable alarm for your child and for advice about how to use the alarm properly.

The alarm method aims to have your child use the alarm as independently as possible. It can even help your child feel a sense of control and involvement in the management of their bedwetting, and counteract any embarrassment or guilt they may feel. Your ongoing support and encouragement as parents throughout the process is vital.

If your child’s bedwetting doesn’t improve, speak to your doctor or continence healthcare professional to determine other options for your child. Prescription medications are also available to treat bedwetting, and these are usually reserved for children who don’t respond to the alarm method or for whom the alarm method may not be appropriate.

The Continence Foundation of Australia can provide you with further information including a referral to your local continence service. Contact the Continence Foundation of Australia’s helpline on 1800 33 00 66.

We’ve also created a checklist to help you discuss bedwetting with your doctor. Please complete the checklist and take it with you to your next appointment.


  1. Continence Foundation of Australia. Bedwetting alarms and medications. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/bedwetting-alarms-and-medications.html (Last accessed 16 Nov 2016)
  2. DryNites. About bedwetting. Available online: https://www.drynites.com.au/about-bedwetting/solutions-treatments/bedwetting-alarms/ (Last accessed 16 Nov 2016)
  3. Sleep Health Foundation. Sleep health facts: Bedwetting in children. Available online: http://www.sleephealthfoundation.org.au/pdfs/BedwettinginChildren-1013.pdf (Last accessed 21 Sept 2016).
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*ranked by Healthcare Professionals for the management of bedwetting in children1
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1. Myint M et al. J Pediatr Urol 2016;12:112e1-112e6