5 things to tell your kids when they have night time accidents (or wet the bed)

This summer, I’ve been talking a lot about bed wetting and night time accidents, as well as other areas of toddler and preschooler development. Moms often ask me, “what do I do when ____?”  It’s important to remain positive . Don’t tell them they did something wrong or that it’s their fault. That’s the  number one rule, because you don’t want them to feel that they failed at something they simply have no control over.

So. What do you do? Here, 5 things to tell your kids when they wake up with a wet bed:

  • It’s okay. You’re child knows that something happened that didn’t. She’s uncomfortable. She’s embarrassed. Your number one responsibility right now, no matter how frustrating it is that you were awoken by the scream of a drenched child, is to reassure your child that he’s fine, nothing is wrong, and it’s okay. You’re not mad. You aren’t angry. We’re all tired, so waking up to take care of a wet bed isn’t easy. But it’s okay.
  • I love you. This is, of course, a natural follow-up to it’s okay, but it deserves it’s own bullet. A room full of frustrated and tired parents and children often leads to anger and distress. So remind your child that, no matter what, you love them. Tell them that often, as he or she is upset about a wet bed. It’s reassuring to her to know that your love for her stretches beyond a urine stench and damp sheets.
  • There’s nothing wrong with you. Bed wetting is normal. Some kids need to hear this again and again, and you’ll need to reassure them. Some children will actually be comforted hearing bedwetting statistics like “1 out of every 9 kids wets the bed.” But tell them in a matter that they will comprehend:
    • You’re only 5 years old! There are plenty of other kids that have accidents at night. In fact, some of your friends may still have them. People don’t talk about them, but I know that they have them. Did you know that one out of 9 kids wets the bed?
  • I’m here to talk… and to listen. One of the most important things you can do is listen to your child. Pick up some puppets or an activity sheet and let the conversation flow, or just cuddle in bed. Perhaps your child has other night time issues that worry him. Perhaps something about your night time routine isn’t working for him. By being a supportive listener, you’re opening the conversation for him to tell you what’s on your mind, and to answer his concerns, be them bed wetting or otherwise. There are great conversation starter activities on the Goodnites Print & Play Activities page.
  • Let’s talk to someone. If you’re really concerned about bed wetting or if it’s adding stress and pressure to your child’s life, and possibly your own, it may be time to seek help. Start with your pediatrician, or ask friends for a referral to a family or child therapist. Bed wetting is normal for children. Time and patience will cure it when the child’s body matures, but stress and anxiety can be helped. Choosing a therapist is something not to be taken lightly. Take care to get referrals, and try to meet with a therapist first to find how well you mesh, before introducing your child.

Then, tell your child you love him again.  With a hug.

As a GoodNites® Ambassador, I’m sharing tips to get you through the ups and downs of nighttime accidents and child development. Check out the NightLite Panel, hosted by GoodNites®, where professionals share more information about bedwetting in their expert panel. This post is sponsored [E1] [E2]  by  GoodNites®, as I am a GoodNites Blogger Ambassador, but I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments toward the product.

mom of 3 and wife living in the Philadelphia suburbs, Julie is a former elementary school teacher and a Public Relations manager. She is the owner/editor of Julieverse, a merchandiser with Chloe + Isabel (jewelryverse.com) and founder VlogMom and Splash Creative Media. A marketing strategist and freelance education and parenting writer by trade, Julie attempts to carve out time to enjoy playing with her kids, PTO, cooking and exercise.

© 2011, Julie Meyers Pron. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    I have a 7 yr old who still wets at night occasionally. These are great tips. I’ve thought about talking to someone about it but I get the standard response “some boys just take longer” so I let it be. It is hard though financially since I have one in pull ups at night, one in diapers full time and another in diapers at night.

    • says

      It IS hard financially. And it is normal for some kids. In fact ages 6-10 there are still kids who have occasional bedwetting. I’d be more likely to talk to someone if it was effecting him emotionally.

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