National Continence Helpline

8am - 8pm Monday to Friday AEST Talk to a continence nurse

Wetting the bed


There are many reasons why a person may wet the bed at night. It's important to understand that the person is not being 'lazy' or 'naughty'. A person should never be punished for wetting the bed. Children, teenages and adults can all wet the bed.

It's important that the person you support sees their general practitioner (GP) if the bedwetting is new, so they can get the right treatment.

If the bed is wet at night

Don't leave the person lying in a wet bed or clothes. You should:

  • help them to wash so that the urine doesn't damage their skin
  • help them put on clean night clothes
  • help them change their continence pad, if they use one, and bed clothes.

How to improve bedwetting

It's important for the person's general practitioner (GP), a nurse practitioner or a continence nurse advisor to assess them and work out why they are wetting the bed. Everyone who supports the person needs to follow any bedwetting plans to stop the bedwetting from happening.

What can you do to help?

Check the person's care plan and follow any instructions, such as:

  • taking the person to the toilet at set times, e.g. just before bed
  • making sure that continence aids and bed protection is used as listed in the plan
  • checking that the person is not constipated
  • helping them to lie down with their legs up in the afternoon if they have swollen ankles during the day
  • helping the person cut down on the amount of caffeine and alcohol the drink, especially in the evening and overnight. It's better for the person to drink enough fluid during the day rather than have a lot of drink at night if they are wetting the bed.

Need more help? Call the National Continence Helpline on 18OO 33 OO 66 and talk to a continence nurse advisor.

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This information is not a substitute for independent professional advice.