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Bedwetting and incontinence program

Treating bedwetting in children

At Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU, we understand the sensitivities of helping children overcome bedwetting. We offer treatment programs to help kids better control bladder conditions while overcoming stigma.

Why choose CHoR for your child’s treatment:

  • Our urology program is ranked among the nation’s best pediatric urology programs by U.S News & World Report.
  • Our expert, compassionate team of physicians, nurse practitioners and bedwetting specialists see many young children and adolescents each year and lead a highly successful program with incredibly positive outcomes. These outcomes help kids be kids!
  • We serve as a referral center for patients with complex needs throughout Virginia and the greater Richmond area.

What treatment options are available for bedwetting?

There are several treatment options for bedwetting. Every child’s needs are different and we tailor their care to meet their unique needs. Current treatment options include:

  • Medications: Medications may temporarily help your child stay dry, but once the medication is stopped, the bedwetting is likely to return.
  • Behavioral modification: Behavioral modification with the use of a bedwetting alarm system is a treatment option that is more likely to cure the problem. The alarm works by training the child to either wake up at the sensation of a full bladder or hold their urine through the night. The conditioning process can take weeks or months, so it is essential that both the child and parents are motivated and prepared to work together for the duration of the treatment process.
  • Motivational therapy
  • Positive reinforcement

These treatment options are only effective if used properly and consistently. Talk with our specialists about which treatment option is best for your child.

If bedwetting persists beyond 7 years of age, additional treatment options are available. In these situations, the underlying condition may need to be treated to protect the kidneys and overall health of the urinary system.

Children who experience any of these symptoms (link to bedwetting page) should be evaluated with a detailed history, physical exam and possibly urine testing. In some cases, an ultrasound of the kidneys or other imaging tests may be necessary.

Are there any at-home solutions or home remedies for bedwetting?

Fluid restriction and waking children at night may solve the problem in some instances. Bladder retraining exercises aimed at increasing the volume of urine stored by the bladder are not recommended and can do more harm than good to the kidneys and urinary system.

The majority of children who wet the bed will outgrow the problem; in fact, children have a 15 percent chance of outgrowing their bedwetting each year. Because most children with bedwetting problems become dry without any treatment, the best things to offer young children who wet the bed are patience, understanding and support.


Meet the team

View all providers
Jenna Brand, MS, RN, CPNP
Jenna Brand MS, RN, CPNP Urology Read more
John D Edmondson, MD
John Edmondson MD Urology Read more
Leigh T Hamm, MSN, RN, CPNP
Leigh Hamm MSN, RN, CPNP Urology Read more
CD Anthony Herndon, MD, FAAP, FACS
CD Anthony Herndon MD, FAAP, FACS Urology Read more
Eric D. Nelson, MD
Eric Nelson MD Urology Read more
Valre W Welch, MSN, CPNP
Valre Welch MSN, CPNP Urology Read more

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