Last Modified on Nov 29, 2013
What Is Enuresis?
While there is no “target date” for children to develop complete bladder control, most are fully toilet trained between the ages of 2 and 4. Even after initial toilet training has been completed, though, many young children, particularly in their preschool years, continue to have issues with nighttime bladder control. By the age of 5, however, bedwetting continues to be a problem for a small percentage of children – roughly 10 to 15 percent. This persistent involuntary nighttime urination is known as Enuresis, more commonly bedwetting.
Enuresis is qualified by a number of factors and actually can be categorized into two categories. Defined as the involuntary voiding of urine, enuresis must occur at least twice a week in succession for three months in individuals older than the age of projected bladder control, typically 5 years old. The two categories of bedwetting include nocturnal enuresis, or the passing of urine while sleeping and diurnal enuresis or incontinence, the passing of urine throughout the day. Within these categories a number of subcategories exist regarding the cause of the bedwetting.
The main symptoms associated with bedwetting include frequent bedwetting, urinating in the clothing, and wetting at least twice a week for three or more months. While no specific etiology is identified for enuresis commonly accepted causes include a small bladder, urinary tract infection, intense stress, and developmental delays.
Natural Treatments for Bedwetting
Identifying when treatment should be started is often difficult to determine as many individuals naturally outgrow the condition. However, if when the issue becomes a problem and impairs an individual’s ability to socialize and function typically, introducing different methods of treatment may be warranted. It is important to first consult a doctor as the problem may involve a higher level medical condition; however, in any case natural treatments may offer some relief and support. Dietary changes such as eliminating caffeine, cola, and chocolate or hydrating more throughout the day may eliminate the problem. Drinking a daily combination of water, honey and apple cider vinegar is also likely to mediate the underlying problems and prevent future issues.
[WARNING!] 08/02/2009: Jeremiah from San Diego, California: "For all those who have Enuresis, I can state as fact that even if you take medication to control your enuresis, Chamomile Tea will overpower that medication, and should not be taken. If you have anxiety, or need help getting to sleep, try other sources, because Chamomile Tea, at least for me, makes me really go."
Eliminate Caffeine, Cola, Chocolate
[YEA] 10/23/2009: Sweetpea from Henderson, Nv, U.S.: "The 3 C's to Stop Enuresis (Bed-wetting)
My son had a problem with Enuresis until he was about 8 years old. We tried the Moisture Detecting Electrodes and all we got was a tired and sleep deprived kid that couldn't concentrate in school (due to being tired) and the same with us parents. That went on for about 6 months and it was horrible. All he learned was how to make his bed rather quickly. For the record, I am a big fat "NAY" to that method.
Then I read about "The 3 C's to Stop Enuresis". They are Caffeine, Cola, and Chocolate. So we tried it - no chocolate milk afer 4pm, and no chocolate ice cream for dessert. Result: no wet bed. After about 2 weeks of juice (no limits, as much as he wanted) we let him have chocolate milk. Result: wet bed. Went back to juice only in the late`afternoon, but let him have chocolate ice cream. Wet bed again. If we gave him plain milk or strawberry milk, no wet bed. Same if we let him have any other flavor of ice cream than chocolate. Then he went to a birthday party; chocolate cake with chocolate frosting ~ yes, a wet bed. After 6 weeks of tracking what he ate & drank I found the only nights he was wet was if he had chocolate, caffine, or cola after 4pm. Needless to say, from then on there were no more problems."
05/25/2010: Katie from Atlantic, Pa, Usa replies: "my mum took my 13 yr old brother to a Urolagist for bed wetting he told her to take away red and yellow dyes ( in food ) the only time in 3 months he has wet is when he has had the red dye. the doctor also said these dyes are a cause of adhd"
02/17/2012: Rescuemomma from Bryan, Tx replies: "My son has wet the bed almost every night of his life and he is almost 10 years old. He's never had caffeine and rarely drinks any decaffeinated soda. He's also not a big chocolate fan, so for us that method doesn't work."
Moisture Detecting Electrodes
[YEA] 10/09/2008: Michael from tempe, Az: "Hi. our youngest son was a bed wetter for a long time - he was a very deep sleeper. We used one of the moisture detecting electrodes inserted in the front of his diaper and connected to an alarm. this worked very well... they can be perchased at most medical shops. We had to experiment with a couple of different brands before we found the right one. Sorry that its not exactly a folk remedy, but it it does mean you don't have to use any type of drugs.."Replies
04/07/2009: Lacey from Bonney Lake, WA replies: "My son is 10 yeas old and has a bed wetting problem. I was told about that moisture detecting electrodes as well, and was told it was $100. We don't have money that kind of money. Do you know of another way? And do you know of a way to get the smell out his bed?"
04/07/2009: Joyce from Joelton, Tn. replies: "To Lacey from Bonny Lake, Wa.
I have been told that 1 tsp. of honey at bedtime will stop bedwetting. Make sure the honey you buy is produced within 50 miles of your home. This is one of thosoe things that will not harm unless he is allergic to honey (don't know of anyone who is though)."
09/05/2009: Wendy from Orillia, Ontario Canada replies: "Urine smells can be gotten out of mattresses by using straight white vinegar. I put it in a spray bottle and spray it on and leave it for the day. If it is especially bad, I pour on the vinegar and leave it. It gets rid of it completely. I have 3 kids and lots of accidents ;-)"
Sleep on Your Side
[YEA] 09/06/2009: Eddie from Cape Town, Rsa: "BEDWETTING . do not sleep on your back as it creates pressure on your bladder . always sleep on your sides . apparently sleeping on your stomach is bad for your back. so sleep on your sides only . thanks for the greatest website"Replies
09/06/2009: Suzi from Missoula, Montana replies: "Yes, good advice with one caveat....never sleep on your left side, it puts pressure on your heart from the other organs."
Water or Honey
[YEA] 08/12/2008: Angela from Tonasket, WA: "I had a bad case of bed wetting as a child, until I was a teenager. I had antibiotics because of suspected bladder infections, and also a tube surgically placed in my urethra(?) that was suppose to help. Nothing did very long and now I suspect it was because of what my parents did with me at the first sign of it being a problem. . .they restricted water at bed time. I have since heard about the water cure at watercure2.org and also read about the water retaining qualities of honey that keep the bladder from getting toxic levels of strong pee in the bladder. One cure was drinking more, especially before bed time, the other was taking two teaspoons of honey to bring more water that's already in the body to the bladder. They both work on the same principle apparently. I don't remember what eventually cured me, but it wasn't sudden I know. I suspect I had many symptomless uti's and if I had've tried 2 t.apple cider vinigar and 2 t. honey, in some warm water, I could have killed two birds with one stone. I hope no child has to suffer thru bedwetting like I did. (It also goes with nervous behaviors in children, like nail biting -which I did) Hope this helps someone."Replies
[NAY] 05/10/2010: Joy from Pensacola, Fl replies: "I tried this with my 9 yr old. It only made him go alot more at night. Only made things worse. DID NOT work at all. In fact, because of the issues of urine in the bed and carpet, I told him he would have to wear pull-ups at night. (I've tried bedwetting alarms, to no avail.) Well, he certainly did not want to wear what he called "baby diapers". I told him if he was dry for a month, he wouldn't have to wear them anymore. It's been week and a half, and he's been only wet twice, whereas it's usually almost every night. It seems in my son's case, it's mind over matter."
05/11/2010: Isabelle from Garden Grove, Ca, Usa replies: "dear joy, i am so sorry for your kid difficulty. i am an retired clinical hypnotherapist, and i can assure you that if you find a good hypnotherapist in florida, in one to two sessions your kid will be cured. ask in advance how many sessions it probably will take and if it is much more don't go. means they are not honest or efficient so look for a different one. many years ago there was a very good hypnotherapist teacher in Florida, if i remember well, name gerard kein or something like that may be on the internet or you can find some of his students. take care, peace!"
03/26/2011: Been There Done That from Phoenix, Az replies: "Look for allergies. Didn't know I was allergic to feather/down pillows and bedding until I threw out my old feather pillow and got a new one. I've always had feather pillows, but when I realized that I couldn't breathe the first night with my new pillow, something clicked. Also, I noticed my son would wet the bed whenever we slept somewhere that had feather bedding. Now I can't stand the way that they smell. Also, sugar is a big culprit. Ever notice how much you have to pee after eating or drinking sugary things? Your body is trying to get it out of your system so it flushes your kidneys by making you pee."
09/17/2011: Joy from Pensacola, Fl replies: "I can't believe it has been that long since my post. So here is the update. We moved to a new house and bought him a new bed and bedroom set, and the bed-wetting only became an occasional issue. We are no longer in that house. I don't know exactly how often he still goes at night, but I have noticed one or two urine-soaked pajamas about every two weeks in his laundry. He is 10 1/2 now, and I was hoping that this would have been resolved by now.
Isabelle, before, I would have passed up the idea of hypnotherapy, but I am currently reading Instant Self-Hypnosis: How to Hypnotize Yourself with Your Eyes Open. I had no idea the reality of this form of therapy; most people (including my former self) believe it to be what is portrayed by movies and entertaining hypnotist shows. There is a chapter on doing this on others, but I will see if it works on myself first.
Been there done that, it may very well be allergies. I doubt it is atmospheric though. We have moved plenty of times with no difference, and we don't use feather pillows. If it is related to diet (sugar, dairy, wheat, etc) it would be too daunting and time-consuming to eliminate one factor at a time and wait a few weeks each. I will try to keep you posted."
01/16/2012: Kristy from Seattle, Wa replies: "Just from my family experience, my son has had issues with bedwetting. From going to the Dr several times he has been diagonosed with constipation. Keeping on top of that with childrens probiotics, clean diet, plenty of water and exercise it has improved tremendously."