Bladder Exercises for Bedwetting

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Bladder Exercises for Bedwetting

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Your child can gain bladder control by strengthening the muscle that controls the release of urine from the bladder and by increasing the amount of urine the bladder can hold.

Muscle-strengthening exercises

Exercises can be done to strengthen the muscle that controls the release of urine from the bladder. These exercises may help the child gain better control of the bladder. For example, a child can learn to tighten the pelvic muscles, hold that position for 5 to 10 seconds, then rest for 5 seconds. Usually, the child repeats the exercise 10 times, 3 times a day.

You can also help your child gain control of his or her bladder muscles by:

  • Having the child practice starting and stopping the urine stream 3 to 5 times while urinating.
  • Encouraging the child to hold his or her urine for as long as possible after the urge to urinate begins.
  • Having the child go to the bathroom every hour during the day.
  • Encouraging the child to use the bathroom just before going to bed.

Bladder-stretching exercises

Bladder-stretching exercises are done to help increase the amount of urine that the bladder can hold (bladder capacity) and to teach the child to hold urine for longer periods of time. To teach a child bladder-stretching exercises:

  • Have the child drink lots of liquids during the day.
  • Have the child practice holding off going to the bathroom for as long as possible during the day.
  • Keep a record of how long the child can wait before urinating. Encourage him or her to hold the urine for increasing amounts of time. Usually, children can increase the length of time that they can hold their urine by 2 to 3 minutes each day.

Children who are known to have small bladder capacity may stop daytime accidental wetting by using this method. For children who wet the bed, this method may reduce the number of times the child wets (or needs to get up to urinate) during the night and may help the child in the long run. But it usually won't produce completely dry nights in the short term.

It is difficult to know whether a child's bedwetting is caused mainly by a small bladder capacity, although a health professional may use tests to determine a child's bladder capacity.


By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer Susan C. Kim, MD - Pediatrics
Primary Medical Reviewer Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Thomas Emmett Francoeur, MD, MDCM, CSPQ, FRCPC - Pediatrics
Last Revised August 24, 2011

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