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Staying Dry at Night: Talking to Family and Friends about Bedwetting

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Last Updated: 2/22/2021
Read Time: 2 minutes

Potty training is all about daytime control. But staying dry at nighttime is a totally different process, mostly dictated by your child's physical development. About 20% of kindergarteners use nighttime protection[1], and a surprising number of kids still need it into first grade, second grade and beyond.

When children have trouble staying dry at night, there's usually nothing to worry about. It’s a normal part of going through the child development stages. The inability to master nighttime dryness simply means that their bladder and brain are developing at different speeds. It’s often hereditary[2] and there’s nothing they can do about that. In fact, pressure, teasing and shaming children will just make matters worse! Support is the key word here. As long as your child is healthy, there isn’t anything you can do to speed up the process.

Bedwetting Support from Family and Friends

Now that you understand that nighttime dryness is totally different from daytime potty training, how can you help Grandma, Grandpa, Aunties, Uncles, and even big sister and brother be as supportive as possible?

If you have a bedwetter, chat with those who may be able to support you — especially those who may be made aware of the issue because they’re babysitting or hosting sleepovers. Tell them you need the entire family to be supportive.

Keep in mind that some of your friends or family may not have experience with bedwetting, and they may not understand that it’s common and that there’s nothing your child can do to make it go away before their body has developed. They may have heard some common bedwetting myths and need to be educated about the topic a little — respectfully, of course.

These conversations can be stressful, so here are some strategies for you to try: scripts for success, if you will. Practice talking through them a bit — tailoring them to your own family and situation, of course — and soon you’ll be ready for a chat about how everyone can support your child who is using nighttime protection.

Script 1: Talking to Grownups About Bed Wetting

“Thanks for asking about [child’s name]’s nighttime dryness. They’re potty trained! But their doctor explained that nighttime control is a totally different process. The age of nighttime dryness mostly runs in the family, and their doctor says [child’s name]’s healthy, so we just need to quit worrying about it. I’m so glad we have Goodnites® NightTime Underwear to help make things easier. Most important, we all can help [child’s name] feel confident about the way they’re growing.”

Script 2: Talking to Kids About Bed Wetting

“Hey guys. [Child’s name] still uses Goodnites® NightTime Underwear to stay dry at night. [Child’s name] is potty trained and doing great, and they’ll become dry at night when their body is ready, just like you did. Teasing hurts their feelings, just as it hurts yours. Let’s help [child’s name] feel supported and confident. That’s how we treat each other as a family.”

Of course, you can tailor the conversation as it makes sense in the moment. Just be repaired for questions — and maybe even a little pushback or questioning if a family member or friend doesn’t understand that bedwetting is common and natural. Keep a positive attitude, and let them know that you’re speaking about the topic because you want their support and that asking for support means you care about them. And, most important of all, you care about the child that needs everyone’s understanding and kindness right now!


[1] Bedwetting (Copyright © 2006 American Academy of Pediatrics, Updated 4/2013)

[2]  "Bed-Wetting - Symptoms & Causes." Mayo Clinic, Accessed 19 December 2019