Self-Awakening for Bed-Wetting

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Self-Awakening for Bed-Wetting

Topic Overview

Self-awakening training for bedwetting involves having the child practice getting out of bed to go to the bathroom. This type of training works well for children older than 6 years of age.

Self-awakening training usually involves one of three techniques:

Method 1

  • Tell the child to lie in bed with eyes closed.
  • Have the child pretend that it's the middle of the night and his or her bladder is full and is starting to hurt.
  • The child can then pretend that the bladder is trying to wake him or her up. It's saying, "Get up before it's too late."
  • Tell the child to get up and run to the bathroom to urinate.
  • Encourage the child to practice reminding himself or herself to get up like this during the night.

Method 2

  • At bedtime, have the child lie down and count to 50.
  • Have the child go to the bathroom and try to urinate.
  • Have the child repeat the steps 10 to 20 times each night.

Method 3

  • Set an alarm clock to go off about 3 to 4 hours after the child goes to bed.
  • Place the alarm clock where the child has to get out of bed to turn it off.

Many children with bedwetting develop complete bladder control using self-awakening training. Self-awakening training works best when both the child and the parents understand the process and are motivated to succeed.


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 November 30, 2010

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