Is ‘lifting’ a good idea to stop bedwetting?

It’s common for parents to receive advice about ‘lifting’ their children when trying to get them dry at night.

This involves taking the child to the bathroom for one final visit, just before mum and dad go to bed themselves.  On the face of it, it sounds like a good idea and if it achieves the aim of keeping the bed dry, then what harm can it do?

My concern is that, not only is it an unpleasant experience for your child – after all, would you like to be woken in the middle of the night and dragged off to the loo? – but by doing this, parents are actively encouraging their children to wee in the night.  It’s important to remember what the real goal of this exercise is – the aim is to help the child achieve night-time dryness.

By ‘lifting’, parents are actually training their children to release urine in the middle of the night when half asleep, for let’s face it, how many children that get carried to the bathroom in this way, are fully awake and conscious?

I also worry that this type of training is actually encouraging the child’s bladder to develop a need to empty, not only in the middle of the night, but perhaps when it’s only half full.  It’s common to suffer from a ‘twitchy’ bladder that gets into the habit of emptying far too often and bear in mind too, that the bladder is similar to a muscle that will grow and stretch the more it holds.

So however well intentioned the idea of “lifting” is, I would recommend parents avoid doing it as it’s simply not helpful to the process.


Alicia Eaton is a Children’s Behavioural Specialist – a fully qualified Clinical Hypnotherapist and Licensed NLP Coach based in London’s Harley Street since 2004.  She is the author of the best-selling “Stop Bedwetting in 7 days” book and video programme.  You can read more about changing children’s habits and behaviours in her latest book: “Words that Work: How to Get Kids to Do Almost Anything”.

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