Skip to Content

Nocturnal Enuresis


Nocturnal enuresis is a condition that causes your child to wet the bed while he sleeps. Nocturnal enuresis occurs in children who are 5 years or older. Your child may wet the bed at least 2 times each week. He may never have had a dry night. He may have dry nights for at least 6 months before beginning to wet the bed again.



  • Medicines can help your child's bladder hold more urine, or decrease the amount of urine his body makes at night.

  • Give your child's medicine as directed. Contact your child's primary healthcare provider (PHP) if you think the medicine is not working as expected. Tell him if your child is allergic to any medicine. Keep a current list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs your child takes. Include the amounts, and when, how, and why they are taken. Bring the list or the medicines in their containers to follow-up visits. Carry your child's medicine list with you in case of an emergency. Throw away old medicine lists.

  • Do not give aspirin to children under18 years of age. Your child could develop Reye syndrome if he takes aspirin. Reye syndrome can cause life-threatening brain and liver damage. Check your child's medicine labels for aspirin, salicylates, or oil of wintergreen.

Follow up with your child's PHP as directed:

You may need to keep a log of your child's wet and dry nights. Bring the log with you to your child's follow-up visits. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Help manage your child's nocturnal enuresis:

  • Use a bedwetting alarm to wake your child if he begins to urinate during the night. Use the alarm for at least 2 months, or until your child is dry for 14 nights in a row.

  • Remind your child to do the pelvic muscle exercises. The exercises will help improve his bladder control.

  • Give your child a reward for each dry night. If your child is old enough, have him help you change his sheets. Never punish or shame your child for wetting the bed.

  • Remind your child to urinate every 2 hours , or at least 3 times during the school day. Your child should also urinate right before he goes to bed each night. Encourage him to have a bowel movement every day.

  • Limit the amount of liquid your child drinks in the late afternoon and evening.

Contact your child's PHP if:

  • Your child has stomach cramps, no appetite, or a bad taste in his mouth.

  • Your child is not sleeping as well as usual.

  • Your child seems depressed or angers easily.

  • You have questions or concerns about your child's condition or care.

Return to the emergency department if:

  • Your child's face, lips, tongue, or throat swell.

  • Your child seems confused, sleepy, or hard to wake during the day.

  • Your child suddenly gets a headache, has an upset stomach, and vomits.

© 2015 Truven Health Analytics Inc. Information is for End User's use only and may not be sold, redistributed or otherwise used for commercial purposes. All illustrations and images included in CareNotes® are the copyrighted property of A.D.A.M., Inc. or Truven Health Analytics.

The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Nocturnal Enuresis (Aftercare Instructions)