I have asked him if he would like to wear diapers while he
sleeps again (in a very ''no big deal'' way), and he is very
vehement that he doesn't want to. We have family bed, so the
laundry is starting to get overwhelming! (Washing king sheets
twice a week really hogs up the washer.)
I was thinking of putting him on the potty at 12:30 and then
setting my alarm for 3:30 as well, and I am okay with the
interruption of sleep. I am wondering how other folks have
managed this? Specifically, I am wondering if by starting to
set the precedent of waking him up twice per night, then he will
start to get used to it and it will stick for years?
We potty-trained our son shortly after his 2nd birthday, largely because he just
hated wearing diapers. It was a struggle to change him! He has truly done well
during the daytime, but nighttime is completely hit or miss.
I have read so many things: Don't let them drink several hours before they go to
bed vs. Let them drink whenever, even as they are trying to fall asleep... Don't put
them in diapers ever again vs. Letting them pee the bed will make them become
chronic bed wetters...Wake your child up at 11p.m. and take them to the potty vs.
Don't take them to the potty, because they will never learn to take the initiative
What has worked for others? Currently, we are washing a lot of sheets but talking
with our son every morning if he woke up dry or not. If we do opt for a ''non-
diaper'' type nighttime option, are there any non-disposable options out there that
truly absorb a lot of pee?
Any wisdom, direction, even a funny story would be most welcome...
-Mama to an energetic 2.5 year old
After considering all the options, I just put him in disposable overnights and let him
(and us parents) sleep. I told him that someday his body would learn not to pee at
night, and until then he would wear the overnights -- and he was OK with that. It
never interfered with his using the toilet in the daytime. And it saved us all a lot of
stress. I don't know if there are any non-disposable options out there -- for me, I
figured the water and energy saved from sheet-washing was worth the relatively
small addition of a single night diaper to the landfill. Expedient, perhaps... I don't
Did you see the note below yours about the 5 year old still
wearing pullups? Do you really want to prolong this so that you
don't have to wake up at midnight? I can't figure out why
anyone would want their child to pee in a pullup when the child
WANTS to be potty trained.
Again, it's not a problem. It's a success.
Situation: Before she was toilet trained, she used to sleep
through the night just fine. But these days, she typically
wakes up between 2-4 times in the middle of the night
and ''asks'' us to take her to the potty. (Sometimes by the 3rd
or 4th time there's hardly any pee, only a few drops.) I
say ''asks'' because she actually tends to wake up crying or
yelling ''potty''. We would love her to go on her own, but she's
so used to our taking her that she refuses. We think
everything is set up for her to go by herself - her room is
right next to the bathroom, there's a footstool, and there's a
nightlight in the bathroom (but not her room). We tell her
when we put her down that if she wakes up, she has to go by
herself, but we still end up helping her - so thus far we
haven't really backed up our words.
Advice needed: My wife wants us to go cold turkey and not get
up to help, letting our daughter realize she has to go by
herself, even if it means a few accidents. I'm worried she
could hold it in and hurt herself, and that it may also result
in a regression in toilet training. I'd prefer to try to
gradually help her less both during the day and night, so that
she becomes completely independent, and going by herself will
become no big deal. But perhaps this might just perpetuate the
current state? Thanks in advance for everyone's help.
Before this self-initiated nighttime training began, she
consistently slept through the night since she was 9 months
I'm looking for other advice/ideas. I'm happy she wants to be
trained at night, but the 2-3 times per night is making me a
cranky mom, especially now that our 8 month old is
sleeping through the night. nap times are not as much of a
concern since she doesn't wake us and her nap usually just
gets cut short if she has to go potty. I do try to limit liquids at
night, but she does tend to be thirsty before bed.
Has anyone been successful with other incentives or
ideas? Or is this just something that time will work out?
Our best solution was to buy a very large pad, which was the
width of a regular top sheet. It was waterproof underneath,
but white sheet material on top. It took up about the middle
third of the bed. We would lay it down and tuck it in, then
if my son wet, he could easily take it off himself (your
child is probably still too young for that), put it in the
bathtub, change his pants, and go back to sleep. I made a
second one out of a waterproof mattress pad.
His issue was that he was and still is a very heavy sleeper.
We tried the bedwetting alarm and he always slept through it!!!
So, basically, his bed was all trussed up with a plastic
casing around the mattress, waterproof mattress pad, sheets,
then the special waterproof pad thingie.
try to stretch out the intervals between toilet times
during the day, maintaining success
Three is pretty early for all night success, but not
unreasonable. Different parents choose different
targets: retain all night, pee on arising; wake up and go
once during the night; etc.
Best wishes and positive thoughts -
One tip we tried (it may have helped - hard to tell), was to not put undies on
daughter at night. She would sleep commando under her nightgown. The idea
was that we didn't want her body to register panties as ''diapers'' in her
Other than that, my understanding is that they just physically have to develop
into being able to stay dry all night.
Hi everyone, I am looking for suggestions on how to help my
daughter stay dry at night. She is 3 years old (and I realize
this is on the young side for this) but has been daytime potty
trained for about a year now. She recently told me that she
doesn't want to wear diapers anymore, but wants to wear underwear
at night. She is never dry in the morning, but recently has been
going to the bathroom just upon awakening, and it is a good
amount of urine, so I know she CAN hold it when she's asleep- I'm
just not sure for how long... The second issue is that she has
always worn cloth diapers, and currently cannot undo her diaper
by herself. Does anyone have good suggestions for cloth type
pull-ups? I'm okay with washing diapers still, but she seems
ready to move on...
Have a big girl now
My 2.5 year old uses Bummi diaper covers with the velcro
flaps. She pulls the velcros off and lets the diaper drop to
the floor and then climbs up to the toilet to potty. She has
expressed the desire to wear underwear to bed, however, since
she doesn't go potty when she first wakes up (even though the
diaper is dry at the time), we've not actually done that yet.
However, we have agreed that if she can wait up two mornings in
a row with dry diapers and ask to go potty upon waking, we will
let her wear underwear to bed. We also put doggy training pads
under the sheet in case of accidents.
My son said the same thing. He said diapers were for babies so we put him
underwear at night & protected the mattress. We had some wet nights but
he got it
down pretty quickly. And then, he got up to pee for awhile and now he
the night. Another thought, maybe she's wakes up wet because she's in a
knows she doesn't have to get up. I say take advantage of her desire to
underwear now before she changes her mind! And, IMO she is not on the
young side, if
she's ready, she's ready. Follow her lead!
For the past few weeks my almost 3 year wakes at night to go pee.
He is still in a crib so we have to get up with him. He has been
potty trained since 2 1/2 except at nighttime. He goes right back
to sleep however occassionally he wakes up his brother in the
same room. It also often takes me a while to go back to sleep. We
have wondered about moving him to a bed, but still think he will
cry out for us to help him in the middle of the night. Prior to
this his diapers were almost always wet at night - now they are
dry. He generally doesn't get any milk before bed but does drink
water in the evening. Is this something he will just outgrow? Any
First, let me say that I sympathize with your sleeplessness.
The solution is simple...get him a bed and make SURE he goes potty right
before bedtime. My daughter is three and sleeps in a pull-up. She is in
a big-girl bed and we do not allow liquids within 30 minutes of bedtime.
Also, going right before sleep allows them to empty what little may be
in the bladder. You have to be strong and consistent! Good luck.
never wet at night
I know this feels like a problem due to loss of sleep, but by the books
this is GREAT that he is aware and able to initiate going to the potty
rather than wetting the bed or regressing back to diapers. Of course
you can limit liquids before bed to decrease the need but short of that,
I would actually be praising him for his ability to seek out the potty.
When he's in a regular bed he will be able to bring himself, or if he's
still scared to go to the bathroom alone you could have a child's potty
by the bed. If he then still wants assistance it may take some time and
positive reinforcement for him to gain confidence to go himself at night
A 3 year old is pretty young to be expected to get up by herself at
night without your assitance, if she has to go. If she pretty reliably
needs to go every night and you're worried about her waking the other
child, you might try waking her up yourself a bit before she usually
wakes herself, to avoid the noise. Just for comparison, my 6 year old
stopped needing help around age 4 and no longer gets up in the night,
while my ten year old still gets up, and still on occasion needs our
Each kid is different.
Wow, it doesn't sound like much of a problem that your child under three
is so well potty trained he wakes up at night to use the potty! I wish
my 4 year old did that - she sleeps so soundly, she still has to use a
pull up or she will wet the bed.
The standard advice in this situation, I believe, is to wake your child
to use the potty just before YOU go to sleep. Then there's a better
chance the child will make it till morning.
Restrict liquids before bedtime. You might also try a regular bed - your
child may learn from you how to go use the potty by himself at night.
But from my perspective, I wouldn't try to discourage night time potty
visits, because once they start going in the pull up at night, it's
difficult to get them to stop.
Don't let this window of opportunity close for 100% potty training! Get
him a bed, let him sleep in underwear. Waking you up at night for help
will probably only last for a couple of months.
Mom of a 5 year old
Our three year old twins are doing well with day-time potty
training but bedtime is becoming a circus. If they are not
quite settled down at bedtime (which happens a couple of times
a week if they happen to nap that day) they get up several
times after lights are out and tell me they need to go. These
trips drag out bedtime to 10pm as we pace back and forth to the
Like I said, once in a while they seem to need that nap and
then I have to extend bedtime a half an hour or more, past
9pm. We have a set routine that includes potty time before bed
but if they say they need to go after lights out, I feel I
always need to treat that seriously. They do go, even if just
a few trickles, about 80% of the time after lights out. Also,
if they need to go after lights out, we don't turn up the
bathroom light much, I don't allow more books, and I just put
them back into bed (as opposed to kisses and hugs which have
already gone round).
But also, because they are not night time potty trained, they
still wear a diaper to bed, so the extra trips to the potty not
only drag out bedtime but I'm putting back on diapers 3-4 times
per kid (that's eight re-diaperings in about 30 minutes). Whew
Is this a phase (to drag out the bedtime ritual) that will pass
or are there tricks I can use to get them to go potty and also
think they are done? I don't want give them a message they
cannot get up to use the potty so I'm a bit stumped.
Pullups are MUCH easier to deal with than diapers. If your kids
can get up and go at night without involving so much of your
time of attention, maybe they'll stop yanking your chain this
My son is 3.3 years old and has been out of diapers since he was
2.5 years old. He sleeps like a rock and becomes EXTREMELY
irritable when awoken ''before his time.'' When do I know he's
ready to stop wearing diapers at night/nap? How do we get him
to stop wearing diapers during his sleep? I have seen him sleep
through wet clothes and sheets so I don't think that it would
motivate him to not pee in bed. We already try to limit his
liquid intake and make him pee before bedtime. Is there any way
to train him without waking him up in mid-slumber? He now has
occasional dry diapers in the morning but they're mostly wet.
Any tips would be helpful- thanks.
My son is just a little older than yours (3 yr, 8 mo), and I
think he was in exactly the same place yours is at 3 yr 3 mo. He
was pretty much dry during the day, we'd put him in pullups for
night, and he'd sometimes have a dry one in the morning but not
usually. A few months after that he started waking up when he
needed to pee and crying, and we'd bring him to the potty. Now
he wakes up and says that he needs the potty.
We didn't do anything special... just continued with that. Today
he told me, ''Mama, Friday is the last day that I'll wear a
pull-up. AFter that I'm going to wear underwear to bed.'' We did
have a week or so where he wore underwear to bed about 2 months
ago and stayed dry, then after a night where he wet his underwear
he started asking for a pullup again. Lately though his pullups
have been dry every morning.
So I guess what I'm saying is that we've entirely left it to him
(of course, getting excited with him about being dry in the
morning, but otherwise no pushing one way or the other)... and
he's on his way to night potty-training himself.
will be happy when he can take himself to the potty though!
If your son is over three and still wearing diapers then he is
not potty trained... But don't worry! I think you just need to
stop letting him rely on the diaper for nap/bed time and just go
for it. You may have a bed wetter for a six months to a year
(the older the child, the longer it takes) but he has got to
learn to wake himself up or hold his pee. It is better now than
when he is older! The diaper is not letting him learn. Do not
use pull ups or any disposable diapers. Get him in the cotton
training pants--you can even fold a cloth diaper in thirds and
put this in the training pants if need be.
A good way to deal with the bed is to buy some extra shower
curtains. Cut them in half--and then put one on top of the top
sheet and then place a big towel on top of that. Then another
plastic sheet, then another towel. I wouls set an alarm and
check him every three hours or so at night. When he is wet
immediately wake him up or change him if he will not wake up at
all (he will cry, but he needs to learn this)--remove the first
towel and plastic sheet and put him back to bed dry. This way
you don't have to make the whold bed in the middle of the night.
Two weeks of this and you will notice him changing. Sure he'll
still have accidents, but all kids do. Try to keep positive and
just keep saying ''we need to keep you clean and dry.''
Cloth Diapers Rule
My advice for you is to just let it go for awhile. Especially at night,
probably nothing you can do with a three-year-old boy to get him to
wake up when he has to go; nor can his bladder probably hold enough
to get him through most nights. He's just going to have to grow out of it.
Everything I have read says that many kids, boys especially, may have
to wait until they are at least 6 before they can make it through the night.
My son's almost 5, and sleeps extremely deeply; he wears the ''good-
night'' kid diapers. Just in the last month or so, he's started to have more
than a very occasional dry diaper. When more than 50% of his diapers
are dry, I'll think about it. In the meantime, it's just not worth worrying
about, as it is perfectly normal.
My 3 year old has also been potty trained since 2.5 yrs. He
doesn't wear a pull-up at nap time, and has no problem with that
as long as he pees right before going down. At night he still
wears a pull-up, and I am prepared to do that until he's 5 or
It's quite common for boys to have a hard time w/ bed wetting at
night. Our other son, who's in his teens, wet his bed at night
at least once a week until he was 12. According to the Nat'l
Kidney Foundation, that's totally normal in boys. Even waking
him up at night didn't help, and other things we'd heard said
that was bad to do as you interrupt their deep sleep regularly.
Small bladders and other conditions in boys are also common, and
for older kids there are bladder stretching excersises that your
doctor should be able to teach him.
My son is almost 6 years old and is soaking wet every night.
Why? Because he sleeps deeply and is not ready to be dry at
night. Many, if not most, boys are in the same boat. Our ped.
is not even going to recommend nighttime dryness methods until
he is 8 because it just doesn't work this early.
Contrary to what someone has said, your son IS potty trained
even if he is not dry at night and he very well might not be
ready to ''learn to wake himself up or hold his pee.''
He has no control of what his body does when he's sleeping and
pushing the issue might lead to worse problems. My advice, let
it go and he will be dry at night when his body is ready to be
dry. Good luck!
Help with advice for best night time disposable for a 3.5 y/o boy
whose diaper overfills/leaks often. He pees before bed and has
milk 1/2 bfr bed. Any recomendations so that we are not waking
up at 4:30 and 5:00 with wet jammies? Thanks
Try Huggies Overnights, purple package, hard to find, look at Walgreens.
I used to use diaper doublers but the drug stores near my house don't
carry them anymore. I now just use a nighttime maxi pad and it works
great. I usually fold under the top inch or so just to give extra
coverage at the very top of the diaper.
Get the GoodNites brand of night time pull-ups. At this point diapers
and regular pull-ups won't work. Make sure his penis is pointing down
Our 2 3/4 year old daughter is potty trained, but still uses a pull up or
diaper for nap and night time. We just did this because that's what we
saw friends of ours with older children do. Recently we had some
friends over who have a 3 1/2 year old who said we should've stopped
diapers cold turkey at all times when she potty trained .Do any of you
have advice on transitioning out of diapers for nap and night time?
Thanks so much!
The process of potty-training our daughter was in phases, and I really
feel this was the best. My daughter is over three. She first became potty-
trained for everything except nap-time and night-time. Now she can get
through her nap in her panties. We still have her in a diaper at night, and
she wakes up most mornings with a very wet diaper. I talked to our
pediatrician, and she said some children simply cannot hold their
bladders all night. I would hate to think of the daily struggle of cleaning
up a messy bed every morning in an attempt to go cold turkey (both
effort-wise and my daughter's self esteem). If your child is not that wet
after nap/night-time, you could talk to her about trying to stay dry for her
naps, and then move on to night-time from there.
Also, we encourage our daughter to drink lots of water all day. We know
we will have to do a better job of tapering this off at night, but with the
heat and her high activity level, we have let her drink what she wants.
Monitoring your child's fluid intake may be something that works for you,
but I think 2 3/4 is pretty young to be completely potty trained.
My daughter was finally potty trained during the day, around her
3rd birthday. A couple weeks later she was dry all night, for a
week straight. We kept her in Pull-Ups after she was
day-trained, assuming it would take months for the night training
to follow...but it happened spontaneously, and fairly quickly.
Once she'd been dry every night for a week, she switched to
sleeping in panties, with only a rare accident once or twice
since (it's been 6 months). I don't think there's much you can do
to speed it along, it just happens...their muscles & brains have
to connect, and once they do, they stay dry all night. Best of luck!
I have been very pragmatic about this issue -- I don't see how
you ''train'' kids to do something while they're asleep. Both my
older kids eventually stopped peeing during sleep on their own --
but rather later than other kids did. Basically, when your
child is dry through the night for several nights running (or
through nap time, which ususally happens first), then you take
off the pullup. I get the kids to pee before bed and try to
limit fluids. Otherwise, what can you do?
Mom of 3
My friend did the biggest favor by lending us her absorbent bed
bads (they absorb without leaking) that were similar to lap pads
but much larger. That night we put one on my daughter's bed and
one on our bed, and have not put her in pull-ups since. She had
about 7 accidents and as soon as I figured out that her last
drink had to be one hour before bedtime, the few accidents
stopped altogether. It's been great! Good luck.
Just because it worked for their kid doesn't mean it's best for
I think 2 3/4 is pretty young to be dry at night. My boy trained
during the daytime quite early (about 22 months) but he's now 3
1/2 and just recently stopped nighttime diapers (naptime diapers
stopped at about 2 3/4). It's a big challenge and there are still
lots of accidents, and most of my friends are telling me that's
What ended up happening for us is that at naptime he was quite
often dry afterward, so we just stopped using them. Bedtime
happened when there was a miscommunication and nobody put him in
a diaper one night, and he woke up dry. After that, we used a
reward system (stay dry seven nights and get Bob the Builder
underwear) that worked just fine.
My 4 year old son wets his bed several nights a week. I realize
this is common at his age, but the problem is that we can't
find a diaper to contain the urine. He often wets through the
diaper and wets his sheets and blanket. We use Huggies
Goodnites (pull-up types of diaper). He is 42 lbs, and that is
the only brand that I have found in his size. Are there any
inserts out there to help absorb the urine? I've started
putting in maxi pads, but is there another option?
My daughter wet her bed at night until she was about 5. Here are
2 things you can do (if you don't find better diapers).
Put a crib protector on his bed over the bottom sheet (one of those
diaper pad things you put in a crib to protect the crib mattress...they
are absorbent and leak proof. Then put a large beach towel folded in
half over that. This way, if his diaper leaks it will wet the towel and
possibly the pad, but not the sheets and everything. Much easier to
change the towel and let the pad dry out (unless very wet in which case
it may also need to be washed) than to change the sheets and everything.
Make sure you put something over the crib pad...they are very cold (I
tried napping with my child once and forgot the towel...couldn't stand
the crib pad).
Also, with my daughter, she could not wear diapers at night after she
was potty trained...they tended to give her diaper rash (the doc said it
was because she wasn't wearing them during the day and her skin was no
longer as ''tough'' as it was). So, I started taking her to go to the
potty when I went to bed (around 11pm) or when I woke to go to the
bathroom in the night. I would carry her from bed to the bathroom
(still asleep), sit her on the toilet and shake her a little and tell
her to pee. She would usually wake up a little, pee then immediately
fall back to sleep. Another friend of mine who's child weighs more than
mine, walks her child to the bathroom kind of in front of her between
her legs. I did this with my child too...she is really mostly still
asleep but I could get her to walk to the bathroom usually.
You have to wait until about 2 hours after they first go to bed...if I
tried to do this with my daughter too soon, she was just too deeply
asleep to go potty. But usually, in the middle of the night, she was
able to do this.
This usually prevented any bed-wetting that night. I did this for about
1 year. I would try every once in a while to skip and see if she was
able to hold it yet. Eventually she no longer needed this.
They do have disposable diaper liners/doublers available. I usually can
find them at the Albertsons in Montclair. They are in a yellow package
(it may be an Albertsons brand) and they look a lot like maxipads. I bet
that would solve your problem.
Mom of a heavy wetter
We've had similar issues with our 3 year old, who insists on drinking a
cup of milk and a cup of water each night. What's worked for us is
having my husband change her diaper right before he goes to bed. So she
gets one diaper when she gets into her jammies at around 8:30, and a new
one when he turns in at 11:30 or 12. We've been doing this for long
enough that she usually manages to sleep through the diaper change.
Most of her pee seems to be released into the first diaper, so even
though she wears the second diaper for a longer time each night, she
rarely ends up wetting the bed. Hope this helps.
My son (almost 5) also wets the bed somewhat frequently. We no longer
use pull-ups at night, but I have another suggestion for you. Buy
saddle pads from One Step Ahead or Target. It is a waterproof sheet a
couple of feet wide that tucks in across the bed above the bottom sheet.
When the bed is wet, you simply pull this off and the rest of the sheets
are protected. No changing the entire bed in the middle of the night.
It is machine washable and dryable, but buy two so you're covered when
one is in the wash. When you want to abandon the pull-ups (I think it
helped decrease the night wetting--) I'd suggest a spare washable
blanket too! Good Luck!
Hoping for dry nights
We had the same problem. What helped, (though there are still
occasional leaks), are (1) moving up to the largest size of GoodNites-XL
and (2) using inserts. What we use are Depends incontinence pads which
are designed for use with disposable underwear. If you use maxi-pads,
make sure that the urine can flow through to the diaper - e.g. no
plastic backing. Also, with any pads, make sure that the edges are
tucked under the elastic on the diapers, otherwise the urine gets
channeled straight to the bed. Don't bother with the new Safeway
version of GoodNites - they led to quite a few wet nights.
I'm so interested in what we all may find out! I have a almost 6 year
old son. still in a nightime pull up. 42 lbs too. we wear the
goodnites also. i have to add 2 adult pads (depends, assure etc) which
can do the trick. I would love to also hear if someone has a better
idea. Wouldn't it be great if there was a nighttime pull up that is
really made for big kids. Big kids = alot of urine!
looking forward to not spending $on pullups!
You could try to wake him up at the time he usually gets wet, and put
him on the potty. I made it with my 1-year old daughter for a period and
it worked. When she anyway woke up a little bit (around 1 a.m.), I put
her on the potty and then she was dry after that the rest of the night.
After a while she was completely dry the whole night through and I
rushed to put her on the potty in the morning. At daytime she was then
You can have the potty in his bedroom, so you have not to turn on lights
that can disturb him falling asleep again.
We found the problem wasn't so much the diaper leaking -- it was that
our son would, well, play with himself at bedtime and end up falling
asleep with the tip of his penis either sticking out of, or just really
close to, the waist of the pullup. (We use the Goodnights also; as far
as I know they are the only thing available for kids this size.)
So now we wait until he's solidly asleep, and then yank his pullup back
up, making sure nothing is sticking out and his pjs aren't tucked in to
it either. No more wet sheets!
Diaper Doubles work. They come in a light blue package. I can only find them at the Safeway on Broaway and 51rst. They are tucked in between the diapers, so look hard for them. They look like a maxi pad, but without the plastic( the plastic stops urine from getting to diaper,which you want). Plus they are a lot less expensive then maxi pads.
Recently, my 4 yr old son has ''graduated'' from pull-ups at
night. For two weeks all went well. He woke up at night and went
to the bathroom if he needed to. Then all of a sudden it's been
a bed wetting bonanza EVERY single night - in our bed and his
bed (sometimes he sleeps with us). We try to make sure he pees
right before bedtime, and are no limiting how much milk he
drinks. Nothing traumatic or unusual has occurred in his life
over the past few weeks to bring about the bed wetting. Is this
normal? Should we go back to those expensive pull-ups?
Tired of washing sheets everyday
Go back to pull-ups!
my 4 year old also started wetting her bed after a few 'lucky'
days without pullups. Now I am extremely strict about not
drinking anything after 6:30 (she goes to bed at 8:30-9:00).
This includes grapes or other food high in water content. She
has to pee right before going to bed. Now she sleeps all night
without any accidents. I told her to drink as much as she can
during the day, since water is important for our bodies.
I have a 4-year-old daughter who is having a real problem with wetting
her bed at night. She is perfectly potty-trained during the day, and
has been for over a year. But she has never been able to be consistent
about not wetting her bed. Sometimes she will go for as much as a month
without wetting, and just as my husband and I are thinking she's finally
over it, she will start wetting it 2-3 times in a week. The pattern of
bedwetting is very irregular. One thing we have noticed is that she
seems to have a VERY hard time waking up in the middle of the night.
On those nights when she "wakes up" to go potty, she can't manage to get
out of bed and go potty by herself. She sits up in bed with her eyes closed
and cries until one of us comes in to get her. Then we try to wake her up
(talk to her, shake her gently, etc.) and get her to go potty. We get her
out of bed and she will start wandering vaguely down the hall in the
opposite direction from the bathroom. I've even tried using cold, wet,
washcloths to wake her up more, but it doesn't seem to work. I suspect
that her inability to really wake up at night has a lot to do with the
bedwetting, but I don't know what to do about it. My husband and I are
thinking about putting her back into diapers or pull-ups at night, but
since she hasn't worn them for over a year I am concerned that she will
somehow feel disgraced or punished by wearing them at night (our concern is
more for keeping the bed dry!). I don't want to do any psychological damage.
I am also considering taking her to see the pediatrician about this, but when
I suggested that to her she did not like the idea at all. I am really
at my wits end about this, and would appreciate any help/information I
can get! Thanks so much!!
P.S. I don't know if this makes any difference, but she is the oldest, and
has a 2.5 year old younger brother. She was not potty trained before he
was born; became potty trained about 9 months after he was born; he is
almost potty trained now (wears diapers only at night). The bed-wetting has
been going on with her, off and on, ever since she started wearing underwear.
It is not a new/recent development.
to the parent concerned about 4-year-old bedwetting:
Our daughter is four years and five months old and is often not dry at
night. We don't think of it as bedwetting, but as not being night-time
toilet trained, i.e. she's just not there yet. She wears pullups at
night and sometimes she's dry, sometimes not. It doesn't seem to make
much difference whether she goes to the bathroom shortly before bed,
drinks or doesn't drink etc.
Our pediatrician says don't worry or even do anything until she's
five--some children's bladders are just not physically mature enough to
last the night. I don't know if we're doing the right thing--I just have
my fingers crossed that she'll outgrow it. We've encouraged her to try
to stay dry and offered the reward of getting to wear panties, but
whenever we've tried the panties the bed ends up wet. Mostly we haven't
made a big deal about it, and, for better or worse she doesn't seem to
mind wearing the diaper or be embarrassed about it. We did buy a vinyl
mattress cover for her futon at Sears which simplifies life when she
wants to try panties. I know this information may not be very helpful,
but maybe you should try consulting your pediatrician by phone before
taking your daughter in. If the doctor says just wait till nighttime
dryness happens, then you might spare your daughter some embarrassment.
On the other hand, if anyone has any techniques that have helped
children this age stay dry, I'd like to hear them!
This sounds familiar in more ways than one. Both of our children took
a long time with night training, and both were very heavy sleepers. It
sounds like your daughter is highly motivated and really doing pretty
well, but consistent control might have to wait on a change in her
sleep patterns (which I think is wired in--nobody can do much about
Your pediatrician should be aware of this, of course, though it's
probably not a sign of anything serious. If s/he wants to examine her,
s/he probably should. A phone call certainly wouldn't hurt, and with
cold season coming on you'll probably have more than one occasion to
bring your daughter in anyway! Of course you could take the bull by
the horns and tell your daughter, "I know you don't want to see the
doctor about this, but this is the kind of thing we have doctors for."
Both our children, around the age of seven, licked the problem once
and for all by using an alarm (Sleep-Dry is one brand name). I want to
emphasize that this tactic has to be the child's choice--if it's
forced on them it probably won't work and will probably do more harm
than good. It's important that this be THEIR battle, project,
Another tactic that might be good is the use of "chucks"--absorbent
disposable sheets, about 2 x 3 feet, with waterproof backing; they're
used a lot in hospitals, and I think you can get them at most
drugstores. They protect the bedding but aren't as intrusive (or
humiliating) as a diaper.
My husband and I are thinking about putting her back into diapers or
pull-ups at night, but since she hasn't worn them for over a year I
am concerned that she will somehow feel disgraced or punished by
wearing them at night (our concern is more for keeping the bed dry!).
I think if you present this to her in just that light, she'll
understand it that way. I mean, you should specifically say, "This is
not a punishment or anything bad--it's just something to help you keep
the bed dry."
Good luck. Learning to keep the bed dry is a bit of childhood learning
that is consistently underrated, when you think of what we ask the
brain/mind to do: relax, lose consciousness, dream--but remember this
one thing . . . .
[My children would probably prefer that this remain anonymous!]
How do you potty train a child at night when you've missed
the window? my daughter was potty trained very easily the
minute she turned 2. At the time, her pull-ups at night
were mostly dry. She seemed so young that there didn't
seem any urgency to potty training her at night, and my
husband and I just couldn't face waking up in the middle
of the night to change the sheets, so we left the pull-ups
on at night. Fast forward two and a half years. Her pull-
ups are wet every morning and have been for at least a
year. She doesn't feel it anymore, and so when we let her
go without pull-ups, she sleeps in soaked pants and soaked
sheets without waking up. I can wake her up to pee in the
middle of the night and she will still soak the bed, and
sleep soundly through it. At this point she wants to start
doing sleep-overs and I am finally realizing that we have
a deadline here to get her potty-trained at night. How do
you potty train someone at night once you've missed the
window and they have become de-sensitized? Do we have to
go the route of getting an alarm?
You're going to have to get up in the middle of the night.
No drinking liquids after 5-6 p.m.
Go to the potty before bed.
Wake up in the middle of the night to pee
pee first thing in the morning.
No way getting around the work.
We've been dealing with the same issue with our 4 1/2 year
old son (was dry at 2, is dry during the day, pull ups wet
in the morning) and finally we decided that he was probably
just being lazy and wetting the pull up at night out of
habit more than anything else. Just last week, I decided to
take him out of pull ups for good, and committed to just
dealing with the night time bed changing ritual (similar to
sleep training or other ''cold turkey'' habit training) until
he was inconvenienced enough by the wakings himself that he
just stopped. I didn't make him clean up his own bed sheets
but he did have to change himself in the middle of the
night, clean up his underwear, etc and he was NOT a happy
camper doing any of that at 2 in the morning. I also
committed to staying calm and not getting upset (difficult,
I know!) so as not to load my own emotions on top of his,
which were already pretty defeated. If he did wet the bed, I
would say to him, ''It's okay, we'll just try again tomorrow
night.'' I wouldn't get overly comforting or too invested in
the outcome. Before bed each night, I'd say ''okay, try to
stay dry again tonight. Wake me up if you're wet.'' I should
also mention that the first few nights he slept with no
underwear or pajama bottoms so it would be easier to feel
when he was peeing. In order to avoid the total
disintegration of the mattress, I went to CVS and purchased
one of those thick linings that go between the sheets and
the mattress so the clean up was only sheets. This was
really difficult for 3 nights, but on the 4th night, he was
dry...and has been dry for the last 5 nights. One thing
I've learned in parenting is that sometimes the most simple
solutions are also the most effective, despite their
inconvenience on us parents. Having said all of that, my
doctor also swears by the bed alarm.
Do you let your child drink any beverages, even just a sip,
after 6:30/7 pm? That might be your problem. My daughter
will be 3 in March and has been potty trained for 2 weeks.
This week was a no diaper at bed and we cut out all
beverages after 7pm. She is allowed to have a sip of water
when we get on pjs, then she has to pee, then to bed. Seems
to be working fine now. This is also what we did with my son
Another thing could be sleepover discussions. Tell her she
can't have a sleep over until she can go 1 week with no pull
up at night. That might help along with no drinking before bed.
You haven't ''missed a window'' so stop kicking
yourself. :) It's *totally* *totally* *totally* normal
for a 4-5 year old to not be dry at night. And you don't
necessarily have a deadline, because you can simply send
her to a sleepover with a pull-up (GoodNights or
UnderJams, which are designed for overnight, not the
toddler-diaper type pull-up), and a small plastic trash
bag for disposal in the morning. At age 4 she's unlikely
to even be embarrassed about that.
But if you want to try for nighttime dry, then yes, get an
alarm. If your child is ready it works very quickly,
though not without some effort on your part. Lots of
We're waiting for summer, when there's no need to get up
on time for school, to use the alarm on our 5 year old
daughter. It took only a couple of weeks with her older
brother and he's been dry all but one or two nights in the
last 6+ months.
Keeping the Diaper Pail a While Longer
My daughter had same issues. Solution: made sure she went
potty right before bed (around 7:30/8:00 pm). Then before
I went to bed myself, around 11 to midnight, I'd quietly
get her out of bed (either carry, or walk her in if she
partially woke up), put her on the toilet, get her to pee,
and then take her back to bed. She did it half-asleep, but
she could then make it through the night reliably. After a
while she got into the habit of waking herself up to go at
some point. No pull-ups; I figured it was better if she
just had the accident. Of course there was still the
occasional accident, like peeing before she made it all the
way to the toilet, but that's to be expected -- she'd come
and wake me, and I'd clean it up. I don't think there's a
way to avoid being up in the middle of the night sometimes;
just part of the drill. It seemed like a pain at the time,
but now that she's a teen, what wouldn't I give to have her
small enough to carry into the bathroom again, feeling her
warm sleepy body in my arms? We forget to appreciate what
we have till it's gone.
I am really concerned about the postings I read about nighttime toilet training.
Most children are still using diapers at night for some time after they are dry
during the day. Developmentally, they are just not ready to control their bladder
and wake up when they need to pee. It is not just laziness or stubbornness or
anything else. Some children are not dry at night until 6 or 7 and that is
normal. So please, if your child is like that don't make them feel embarassed or
ashamed, it isn't their fault, their body is just not ready!
mom who had to be patient
We used an bedwetting alarm and it worked for us after a
few weeks. Having kids go to the bathroom right before
they go to bed and again in the middle of the night when
you wake them up isn't the way to do it.
They need to wake themselves up when their body notices
that they need to pee. The alarm does that. It wakes them
up right after they pee. Eventually they learn to get up
first. If anything you want to have them drink before bed
so they learn quicker.
We got the kind that attached to their undies. That works
better than one under the sheet. When it goes off, you get
up, take them to the bathroom, they change their clothes
and you change the sheets. We used two sets of sheets with
a waterproof pad in between. That way we could just take
off the wet sheets, put them in the washing machine, take
off the waterproof pad and rinse that in the tub. Then get
our kid (and us) back to sleep as soon as possible.
For one of our kids it worked after a week. Our other took
a little longer and had a couple of relapses so we had to
use the alarm again. Until they stay dry for 2 weeks with
the alarm, keep using it.
I would suggest doing it in the summer when they can go to
sleep with just a shirt and undies.
Good Luck. The alarm works.
Our 4.5 year old son (who is a deep sleeper) has suddenly
started wetting his bed at night, despite waking up once a
night to use the bathroom. He's been potty trained for a year
(daytime) and a half year (night time), so this seems strange
The only signifigant change in our lives was the birth of his
second sister (now 6 mo), and his regression seemed to last a
few months (but not now). He's very close to both of his
siblings so we don't think he's doing it to get attention.
We limit his drinks (no more after dinner, 6ish) and have him
use the bathroom before bed (8pm). We're also thinking about
waking him when we go to sleep 2-3 hrs later. Any other ideas??
My slightly over 4-year old son could not make it through the
night if he were to last pee at 8 in the evening. (As well, he
is a deep, deep sleeper.) We awaken him between 12 and 1A to pee
(''pot'') him and, then, again, in the dark of the morning around 5
or 6 (if we can get up). This seems to stop him from having
bedwetting incidents even though he has been diaperless since
about 3 1/2. Know also that it is reasonable that the diapers
not be able to contain all of the urine that a 4.5 year old can
produce. I would try ''potting'' him at least once (if not twice)
after the 8 o'clock peeing session.
When I watch/hear my son pee, I realize that he can produce and
store so much pee that it would make sense that a diaper, if he
wore one, could not contain all of his pee. You can pot your
child even if he is wearing a diaper of pull-up at night.
Take heart; by the time he is college-bound this will be a
I also know that sleeping boys are so much less responsive to
their need to pee than sleeping girls.
4 1/2 year old son is bedwetting
I know this topic has been somewhat addressed in the past and I've
read the posts, nevertheless, wouldn't mind some fresh thoughts. My
son potty-trained at about 3 years old. We were pretty lazy about the
night stuff and kept him in a pull-up until recently. He is now 4
1/2. He was the type who always got complacent as soon as he got his
pull-up on, and even if he were still awake, he would use that rather
than the potty. About a month ago, he decided he wanted to be through
with pull-ups completely. We had a week or two of accidents, then
suddenly it appeared that he "got it". For two weeks in a row, he
would wake up in the middle of the night, go pee, then go back to
sleep (in our bed, but that's another post!!). But now, for the past
week, he doesn't seem to be able to wake up until after the
accident. We are being very careful about restricting the fluids after
dinner, and making sure he goes right before bed. Yet its not
working. My husband works at night, so at first we had tried having
him wake my son up when he came home. This met with mixed results.
There was usually a lot of crying and struggling, (the poor guy was
being roused out of a sound sleep!), but often he would pee. I'm
thinking we need to go back to this method, as unpleasant as it is.
My first advice is to remember that his bedwetting in not necessarily
something your son has control over. His body needs to recognize when
the bladder is full and that it is time to get up and visit the bathroom.
You did not mention limiting his liquid intake before bedtime or whether
you require him to empty his bladder before bedtime. Do not ask him to
do something over which he may have no control.
This is for the parent who was concerned that her son wet his bed at
4.5. Don't worry! That is normal. All kids develop differently, even in
their bladder control. My daughter used a pull up until she was 6 years old.
There were a couple of her friends who did the same. She is now 7 and
doesn't need any sort of diaper. Your son will get there, he just needs more
time. His bladder obviously isn't developed enough to hold urine all night.
I would like to respond to the person who was concerned about a 4.5 year
old boy wetting the bed at night. I have two sons 9 & 11 and neither one
of them stayed dry at night until they were 6. I may be blocking this out,
but I think my oldest was almost 7!! They were both day-time potty trained
at 3 but couldn't stay "dry" all night for years more. I think it is very
early to get worried about these types of accidents. My two didn't mind
pull-ups since I didn't make a big deal about them wearing them, so maybe
if you can back off this issue a little, your son won't mind pull ups
either. It may be a while from my experience and I can imagine washing
bed clothes everyday would be awful. But I'd suggest dropping the issue
entirely for a while. I don't know whether boys mature here slower than
girls, but I don't remember my friend's sons staying dry this early either.
Relax, it will happen when he's ready and then, as mine have, go on to
bigger and better ways to make you crazy.
If your 4 year old is bedwetting at night, it his not under his
volitional control, as in the day. He probably just needs to be a
bigger boy with a bigger bladder. How he views pull-ups probably has
a lot to do with how they're presented, and if he was taken to Disney
for obstensibly giving them up, then it wouldn't be too surprising if
he saw using them as a failure. I'd suggest a low key and matter of
fact approach: "kids who wet the bed pretty regularly need pull ups,
and when you're bladder is a little bigger, you won't need them
anymore." NO shame, embarrassment or berating, just "that's the
situation for now."
My son wet through age 5 and had occasional bedwetting with once or
twice per year til 8 or so. I have friends whose kids wet past 7 and
have heard that boys especially can go up til 10 and be within normal
limits. Huggies finally started making large sizes after enough requests.
My son had a friend sleep over twice who wet the bed: my only rule was
that he put the bedding in the bathroom and crawl in to a dry bed. After
the second time, I asked his mom to provide pull-ups that he could discreetly
put on under his pyjamas, but she said he wouldn't wear them. Too
We haven't even considered taking our almost-5-yr-old out of pullups
for the night. If he's not yet dry on his own, why make the extra
fuss/discomfort/work? I understand that lots of kids aren't ready to
sleep through the night without peeing by this age -- and even later.
Their bladders may not be large enough yet, or the body control just
there isn't yet. I'd change tactics and not make it an issue anymore --
no blame, no shame. Get him back into pullups in a non-shaming way, or
get those larger, less-bulky "pretend underpants" that are advertised in
a lot of the parenting magazines.
My daughter, now 10+, had the same problem and did need to wear
pull-ups until almost 6. I understand that it can be quite frustrating,
above all when you have to change the bed every day; luckly she was ok
with pull-ups, so that made things easier.
One thing that seemed to help was that for quite a while, after we
decided to give it another shot to night without pull-up, I would wake her
up around 11:30pm or so and ask her to go to the bathroom which would
ensure that the rest of the night would be dry. And there was no drinking
from 1/2 hour before she was going to bed. It took some time (2-3 months),
but it worked.
To the parent worried about your son's bedwetting: I wet the bed
almost every night until I was twelve. It didn't have anything to
do with lack of motivation get up. Rather, I was a very very heavy sleeper.
Eventually my parents brought in an expert to diagnose my sleep patterns.
I had to be trained to wake up (at least once) during the night so that I
wouldn't wet the bed. I would recommend investigating the web or the
library for more information on sleep cycles and bedwetting. My
guess is that if you could help him wake up in the middle of the
night (or before you go to bed) until he got into the habit of waking
up on his own, that his bedwetting would diminish. I only wish my
parents had brought in the expert earlier in my life as it would have
saved me years of embarrassment. Good luck!
I would like to respond to the person who was concerned about a 4.5
year old boy wetting the bed at night. I have two sons 9 & 11 and neither
one of them stayed dry at night until they were 6. I may be blocking this
out, but I think my oldest was almost 7!! They were both day-time potty
trained at 3 but couldn't stay "dry" all night for years more. I think it
is very early to get worried about these types of accidents. My two didn't
mind pull-ups since I didn't make a big deal about them wearing them, so
maybe if you can back off this issue a little, your son won't mind pull ups
either. It may be a while from my experience and I can imagine
washing bed clothes everyday would be awful. But I'd suggest dropping the
issue entirely for a while. I don't know whether boys mature here slower
than girls, but I don't remember my friend's sons staying dry this early
either. Relax, it will happen when he's ready and then, as mine have, go on
to bigger and better ways to make you crazy.
According to my pediatrician, about 12% of children are still not dry
through the night by age 6 or 7. This is largely due to the fact that
some children are such sound sleepers. I would talk to your pediatrician.
If your child is drinking a lot however, and peeing a lot, have your
doctor check for diabetes. Those are two classic symptoms of the disease.
I wet the bed until I was 8, and so did my sister. I
really think it has to do with sleeping too heavily to
wake up when you have to go to the bathroom. I was
humiliated by my parents' efforts to cure me by playing
a song called "I Woke Up in a Dry Bed." Stress
might have something to do with it (I stopped wetting
the bed when my mom left work), but I think it is
something some kids just have to grow out of. It is
definitely not something kids can control -- what
8-year-old would choose to wet the bed?
I don't think it is uncommon for a 4.5 year old not to be dry at night.
My son, now aged 16, toilet trained himself when he was 2 years old, but he
was not dry at night until he was 6 or more. It has, in part, to do with
how soundly the child sleeps and whether or not she or he wakes up to the
need to pee. My son did wear diapers (pull-ups weren't around yet) for many
years. In fact, his younger brother (3 years younger) was dry at night while
the older still was not. I was encouraged to know that his situation was
well in the realm of normal and tried not to stress myself or him about it.
I think the key is to not consider it a problem. We did use an "alarm" for
awhile. Pinned to his underwear, it would buzz when he first started to pee.
It had the positive effect of waking me up, so that I could wake him up. He
slept right through it. Hope this helps.
Probably you will get lots of advice from experienced parents (which, as
a parent of a two-year-old, I am not) on this, but just in case you don't,
I wanted to chime in on this. I've read a far amount on this issue,
including on this list, if memory serves. As far as I understand it,
bedwetting in a four-year-old is not at all uncommon--not the norm, but I
think somewhere around 15-25% of kids this age, particularly boys, wet at
night. It's typically not "bad behavior" that's causing it, but usually very
deep sleep: the child sleeps through the bladder's "wake-up" signal. I think
it's not even considered an "official problem" until age 7 or 8. There are
all kinds of coping stratgies, from instituting a practice of "pee three
times" right before bed, to limiting fluids after seven p.m., to parent-led
awakenings during the night, to hypnotherapy, and onwards to more intrusive
measures involving electronic moisture sensors and buzzers. How about talking
with your pediatrician about this, since there is also a possibility that
there is a medical issue underlying the situation. But above all, and this is
why I decided to pipe up here, it is most important not to shame or punish
your child for his "accidents." Most likely this is something out of his
control. Try to keep the tone light, not serious, when you address the
matter with him.
About the laundry...one strategy I've read about is to make up the bed
with several layers of bedding, with waterproof layers in between. Then if
the bed gets wet, you only have to strip off the wet layer, and the clean
sheets are already ready to go. As for pajamas--how about sleeping
"bottomless," or how about poly-propylene long-johns, which stay warm even
Best of luck to you in coping with this--it will surely pass.
A friend of mine had two sons, who both kept wetting their beds at
night. She tried various methods over time, but the one that worked was the
alarm method mentioned by several people in the previous post. If their pants
were even a little wet, the alarm went off and woke them up so they
could go to the bathroom.
I've read all the answers to the mom whose child is wetting the bed at 4
1/2 and I agree with the majority of responses that said "don't worry, he's
normal." I also agree with responses about use of an alarm system for
older kids, but it my experience it's best to wait until they are much older,
7 or 8 and really motivated on their own. If you persuade a younger child to
try it and he gets upset with being awakened or the device doesn't work for
him, he may be unwilling to try it again later. I have a much longer piece
about this in Parents' Press in the next month or so (it really is a common
question!). You'll have to pick up the paper since they hold copyright
on my columns. Meg Zweiback
When my daughter was about 3 years old she began to refuse to wear
pull-ups at night. The problem was that she did not stop wetting her
bed regularly (so can you call these accidents?) for another couple
of years. In fact for several more years she would go through phases
of wetting her bed every other night or so. We talked to a couple of
pediatricians about this, and they both said that some children do not
develop the hormone that prevents people from urinating in their sleep
until quite late. Another explanation was that our daughter would
not want to miss any play during the day, so she would hold her urine in
until she couldn't possibley stand it. This trained her body to not awaken
her at night until it was too late. This pediatrician recommended having her
try to urinate every two hours during the day so that she would train her body
to feel uncomfortable before the bladder was completely full. This strategy
seems to have been the one that finally worked.
So, I would recommend that you talk to your pediatrician about your 4
year old's bed wetting. It will probably put your mind at rest, and your
pediatrician will probably have some good advice about how to deal with it
as well. Hope this helps.
I actually asked Par. Dig. readers about this issue last year. My 4/12 yr.
old daughter was wearing Pull-Ups at night and wetting during the day. She
was starting kindergarten in the fall and I was getting nervous. The advice
to just wait worked out. Without any pressure, she eventually stopped
wetting all by herself, just before her 5th birthday
I noticed a couple of parents recommended not giving their child anything
to drink after dinner to prevent the bedwetting. While I suppose that
would work, I know that my son who is 4 1/2 is so busy during the day that
he probably doesn't remember to stop and drink as often as he should. We
can't expect day care providers to keep tabs on the fluid intake of all
the kids. I think I'd rather let my kid drink in the evening and wear
pull ups than risk his not getting enough fluids. Of course, there are some
drinks which run right through their little systems, like coke etc, and
those should be avoided.
As for the deep sleepers, I have a friend whose 7 year old daughter had
this problem and repeatedly wet her bed. His doctor suggested she stop
drinking milk, as she may have some mild allergic reaction which made her
sleep so soundly. Anyway, it worked -- I'm not sure I understand why!
Waking him up is exactly the wrong thing. His body needs to recognize
when he needs to pee, and wake him up. Waking him up saves you some
laundry but doesn't help the problem. Maybe he needs to grow up some
I had a problem with my daughter wetting the bed at night- several
times. Several children in my family have had this problem. This
went on for years and the body does not learn to "wake up".
Apparently the problem is twofold. One, the body should not
produce so much pee at night, and two our children sleep too
deeply to wake up in response to the need to pee, which is
considered a sleep disorder and causes the body not to get enough
of the sleep they need. The only solution to the nightly pee
production was a nasal spray (hormone) and I did not opt for that.
I started taking my daughter to the bathroom several times a night
to avoid changing the bed - she would not wake up through these
visits to the toilet. This did not help. Then I was told (by my
sister who is a nurse and did some research on the subject for her
own children) that I actually needed to wake her up and take her
to the bathroom and that this was the way to resolve her sleep
disorder. I began to do that (not easy believe me) and she stopped
wetting the bed every night within two weeks and within a couple
of months did not wet the bed at all. When my son turned out to be
a bed wetter also, I immediately began to wake him up a couple of
times a night to go to the bathroom and his bedwetting was
resolved shortly after he got out of diapers.
My son is almost 4.5 years old and he is having accidents every other
night! I wonder if I can call it "accidents" anymore since it happens
We have tried bribing him by toys and reward for staying dry and even
took him to Disneyland when we thought he graduated from pull-ups during
the summer. but alas...
Should we go back to using pull-ups? He hates wearing pull-ups and
refuses wearing them, but I am afraid that sleeping in wet clothes may
cause a cold or other problems. besides, it is not fun to wash linens
every day. We have talked to him many times, but seems like he cannot
I am also getting a little concerned because I not seen children
over 4 with bed-wetting problem.
To the parent who asked about bedwetting -- I think this is not all
that uncommon. Our daughter wet the bed until she was about 6. It
gradually tapered off, and now, at nearly 8, she never does. I think
it was a combination of immature muscles and the fact that she is a
deep sleeper. I have also heard anecdotally of other children also up
to about 6 or 6 and a half who wet the bed. I think I had heard that
it was usually boys who had this problem, but I know of at least two
other girls like my daughter. It did help a little if we made sure she
went to the bathroom before going to bed. Other than that, I would put
her in pullups or else get a mat for the bed and a few sets of sheets!
(That, in fact, is what we did.) I think we were a little worried that
it was some deep-seated psychological problem (or an attempt to drive
us insane), but it now seems that her muscles were just slow in
Some hints about night time bed wetting: Approximately 10% of children
have night time bed-wetting, and this is normal. It's clear that even
when children are very motivated they often can't wake up to go to the
bathroom. It's not uncommon for some children to still wear pull-ups
when they are 6, 7, or 8. You just don't hear people talking about it
much. One plan that has worked for some people is to increase water
intake! You want to have your child drink lots of fluids during the
day to try and help to stretch his bladder(you can talk with your
Pediatrician about how much is ok). It's ok to limit fluids some in the
evening, but make sure to increase it during the day.This is a key
piece that can work very well for some children. Then with a child
who is older (over 6) who wants to stay dry I would try the alarm. The
problem is that most of these kids are very deep sleepers, and they
don't hear it when it goes off.Parents try it a few nights and then
give up. SO, what you can do is tell the child that you want to help
them learn to wake up.If they too want to stop bed-wetting they will
probably go for this plan. Take a mattress and put it on the floor of
your bedroom. If you have a partner you can take turns getting up each
night (this is worth doing, even though it takes work). Put the
special Enurisis alarm (different types..cost approx. $40-60) in place
after your child has gone to the bathroom. When you hear it go off in
the middle of the night wake your child up and take him to the
bathroom. DO this every time it goes off until your child learns to
wake himself up. Again, the key is to increase the fluids during the
day....their bladder can hold more so they feel more pressure...and
hopefully it will be towards early morning when they need to go and at
that time they are not in such a deep sleep.DIfferent things work for
different families...this has worked for some I know. Good luck, and
keep in mind that the worst thing of all is for a child to feel
ashamed about wetting the bed. Pay attention to your facial
expressions and tone of voice when he or she is wet in the morning. If
possible just say something like, "OK lets get the sheets off into the
washer" Some folks also just put a towel under the child in the middle
of the night so the sheets can wait to be changed till morning.
Mattresses that smell like urine can be thrown away, a child's shame
stays with him for life.
Regarding the 4 year old bedwetting. My child had this same problem
which also came with a family history of it. When he was five we asked
the pediatrician about it. He said that it is not unusual for boys to go
up to age 7 with this problem. They usually outgrow it he said. Well, 7
came and went and he didn't outgrow it. We went back for more help and
were told we had two alternatives. There is a nasal spray that somehow
helps. And an alarm pad method which alerts the bedwetter with a buzz at
the first drop of wetness. The nasal spray sounded like a drug to me so
we went with the alarm pad. Within 2 weeks the problem was solved and we
have never had the problem again. You can buy the alarm pad from your
pharmacist without a prescription. They keep them behind teh counter
and come with great instructions. Remember, the child has absolutely
no control over this problem. It is not a sign of laziness. It is
unusual at all. A large percentage of children suffer from
bedwetting and for some reason boys suffer from it more than girls.
My son's dr. said not to consider them bed wetters until the age of
six. He further stated that we should just be matter of fact and not make
a big deal, but continue using the pull-ups until he was dry 3/4 of the
time. If your son is giving you trouble with the pull-ups I would just
explain that until he is "ready" to get up and go to the bathroom at night
he has to wear them. I would stop talking about it so much and just wait
for the sign that he is ready.
My 4 year old also has "accidents", but his are during the day. We have
not yet dealt with night time issues. However, we have recently started a
reward system for him that seems to be working. One of the main
advantages is that it has been a lot easier for me to deal with my frustration
when these accidents occur. Simply, he gets stickers for peeing or pooping
in the potty. If he gets enough stickers in one day, 5 in his case, he gets
to have a special treat. He and I came up with the treats - such things as
watch a video, blow bubbles, play blocks, chocolate milk, etc. If he
has an accident, then I don't feel inclined to give a lecture, etc. He just
missed an opportunity to work toward his special treat. It has successfully
helped him take responsibility for himself in this area, and helped us
emphasize the positive results.
It may also be that your son is not ready to stay dry every night.
That your son wants to stay dry but can't despite your attractive
incentives seems to suggest that there is a physiological side to the
problem. May I suggest that you contact a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner who
can teach you how to do Baby Pose on your child. I can teach you this pose
over the phone or give you a referral.
My husband wet the bed until he was 5, and he said that
his parents got a "Wee-Alert" or something -- a pad that
sounded an alarm when wet. He said that really taught
him how to read his body's signals when he was asleep.
My son is going to turn four at the end of the year. He has day
time potty training (and naps) completely down. He still needs a
pull up at night, though. I've been trying to ease off liquids in
the evening, but so far, nothing is working. He sleeps very hard,
which is amazing (especially to me, an insomniac).
Does anyone have any tips/ideas? I haven't made it a huge
priority so far, but I do mention things that he may be able to
do when he's able to sleep in his undies. I believe they're
Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.
If he sleeps really hard, it's quite possible that nothing will work. My advice is,
the bribes, accept the pullups, wait a couple of years.
My son went from wet pullup every night to no nighttime accidents ever, in about 4
months. At age 5 1/2.
Nighttime potty training takes time, especially for boys. It's
OK to just leave him in the pull up for now. My own son nailed
daytime potty training before he was three but took much longer
to be dry at night. When talking to him about it once he started
crying and said ''maybe there's something wrong with my body.'' I
felt horrible, told him his body was just fine, and immediately
backed off. When he was ready - which was, remarkably, the night
before he started kindergarten - he woke up dry and never wet the
bed after that. (FYI, he's in college now and I still feel bad
about this!) So please try to be patient and he'll be fine.
Dry In Time
For some kids, four is just too young to expect nighttime dryness. We've had this
problem with my older son and his pediatrician explained that nighttime dryness
just really isn't in some kids' control until they're older. My son's now 7 1/2 and
starting to wake up during the night to go to the bathroom on his own, but he too
has always been an incredibly heavy sleeper and would just sleep through his
nighttime accidents before. We solved the problem for us by just taking him to the
bathroom one last time before we went to bed. He sleeps so heavily that he never
really woke up or remembered it, but it saved us from having to change sheets
during the night. It might be worth a try!
I wouldn't worry about night time potty training so much. I
think this is a much more common problem than you might expect -
at least judging by the sleepover buddies who packed ''secret
pullups'' and sleeping bag liners. My son didn't night time
train until a full year later than his sister. Like your boy,
mine is a very heavy sleeper and just wouldn't wake up when he
needed to go. It's something he grew out of on his own. (He
does fine now and hasn't had an accident in years.)
Our son was daytime potty trained at 2. However, he wore pull ups at night till he was
5! Our pediatrician explained that some kids (sounds from your post like your is
included in this group) are such heavy sleepers that they just don't wake when they
need to pee. Bribes won't work. Our son finally stopped peeing at night and could
wear underwear, but he never gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.
I think the combination of few liquids at night and a larger bladder have done the trick
for him. My advice is to have patience with him.
Our daughter, just turned 4, is finally potty-trained except she
still wears pull-ups at night. She wakes up wet 9 out of 10
times, but I suspect that she's wetting right when she first
wakes up or is about to wake. My evidence for this is that one
night she mysteriously removed her diaper (which was dry) and
when I came in to her room to change her brother, she was dry.
As soon as she started to wake up, she wet the bed. Also, when I
send her in to use the toilet in the a.m., she often doesn't
need to go. Suspicious, eh?
So, here's my question: She's still in a crib, but moving into
a ''big girl'' bed after Christmas -- do I take the diapers off,
put her on a rubber sheet and let her figure out that it's
better to get up and go? Or do I wait until she starts waking
up dry more frequently? There were a couple of times a few
months ago when she woke up in the middle of the night saying
she needed to go potty, but that hasn't happened since. I'm
afraid to misstep here and would appreciate hearing other
people's experiences with this.
Your daughter is almost certainly NOT ready to sleep through
without a diaper. Putting pressure on her will make everyone
miserable. Some people don't manage to ''bed train'' themselves
until they are quite old - even as old as onset of puberty. (Yes,
puberty.) My mother was one of those, as was my older brother,
and so was I. Now my older daughter is showing signs of not being
ready until later. This is not nearly as uncommon as we're led
Remember that YOU don't ''train'' her - she trains herself, and
nothing anyone can do will force her to do what her body is not
ready for. Four is not that old. Trust in her body's ability to
decide for itself. Believe me: nobody likes waking up wet.
The canonical determining factor for ascertaining whether a child
is ready to go diaperless at night is if she is dry every morning
for a week. Don't do a thing until that happens on its own. Even
then, expect a setback if anything upsetting or unsettling
happens in life.
Refer to those old standbys, Sears, Spock and of course Penelope
A late bedwetter
My husband's family are from England, and they have a
technique there that no one here seems to do, called
''lifting''. I learned about it while living there with him, and
now we do it with our 3 1/2 year old, with absolutely
Basically, our daughter goes to bed at 8 or 8:30, and then
we go to bed at 10 or 11. I usually am up at least once in
the night to drink something or pee, and at that point
(usually about 2 or 3) I go pick her up and carry her to the
toilet, where she basically ''sleep pees'', then I put her back
in bed and she sleeps beautifully until pretty late (no
bladder waking her up early).
If you go to bed later than that, you can simply do it before
you go to sleep. The point is that with less pee in her during
the night, she sleeps better (many nightmares are bladder-
related), she sleeps later, and she doesn't do what she
used to do, which is wake up with a bladder so full that she
can't make it to the bathroom. Somehow sleep supresses
the urge a bit, so if we don't lift her she goes longer than
she would if she were awake, which means she simply
can't hold it any more.
This method is not for everyone. Some people simply don't
wake up at night, and to be honest there are some nights
we forget to do it (and lately we are actually okay, she
makes it). But if you are someone who wakes in the night
anyway, or if you have a baby who wakes you or one of you
goes to bed late, it works wonderfully! I don't know why
more Americans don't do it.
My daughter was in night diapers until 4 and a half. What
happened at 4.5 was me instituting you have to pee before bed
time deal. Before that, I would suggest peeing, but did not make
her, and she would never go (she never much liked having anyone
else in control of her bodily functions). For a couple of weeks,
she would have to sit on the toilet before bed and I would run
water. If that didn't work, I would wake her up every hour until
she did pee. My daughter is a very deep sleeper, and I'm sure
that's why night-training took so long, although when she was
initally potty trained she would not pee at night or during nap.
Everyone said to restrict fluids at night, but my daughter often
didn't drink much during the day and was often very thirsty at
night. If your hunch about wetting her diaper right before she
wakes up is correct, maybe you could try getting her up early to
go to the toilet then.
Don't worry about your 4 y.o. who wets the bed at night.
Approximately 40% of 4 y.o.'s still wet the bed sometimes,
and this is something they grow out of. In those who wet at
an older age, it appears to be a combination of being a
''deep sleeper'' and having a smaller bladder capacity. I
recommend just continuing the Pullups, not making a big
deal, and wait till she's dry all of the time. It's not her ''fault'',
and it is generally not something these children can control
(unlike daytime potty training at this age). So save yourself
the trouble of constantly washing sheets, and your child the
embarrassment, not to mention discomfort, of sleeping in a
BTW my daughter potty-trained at 2 but wet at night
consistently until age 5yr. 4mo. After she was dry every night
for over a week, we took her out of Pullups and she's been
dry ever since. It was never a big issue for us or for her.
I'd let her stay in diapers until she's waking up dry more often
than not. It is NO fun to be changing sheets at 3 a.m. and when
you get tired of that, it might well be that going from no
diapers back to diapers could make your kid feel as if she's
failed. Some children are just heavy sleepers and need longer
to recognize those nighttime signals. I'd wait until your
daughter begins to wake up dry with some regularity. Then you
can take her to pee every night right before you go to bed. But
I know plenty of kids his age who still need a pullup. Big
deal. They all get there.
My 5 yr old daughter is still wetting her bed. Not every night, but
on average every two or three nights. She is a very deep sleeper, so
I'm certain it is something she cannot help. Does anyone know of
non-disposable underwear that will help to contain the pee? I
hesitate to use the disposable diapers like ''Goodnites,'' every
single night, and I'm also not wanting to waste time/energy washing
sheets so often. I'd like to try something like the Gerber training
pants, but seems they only make them for toddlers (up to 3T). Any
suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.
My son is 5 and stays dry a few nights, wets a few nights. We
tried the Gerber pants because he still fits a size 4T, but
they really only hold a little. We were getting him up every
night once or twice to help him to the bathroom to pee, hoping
to instill a pattern he'd catch on to. Tried that for about 3
months, didn't work. He's a really sound sleeper and barely
remembered getting up with us. We didn't want to change the
bedding every time, and our child doesn't care what he wears,
so we save ourselves the work and stick with the pull ups for
I remember wetting the bed at that age. I am now expecting a
child and have discussed this with my husband in terms of ''what
would we do'' and while considering this I realized that what my
parents did was quite smart and changed my habits. They set an
alarm for me at 2am every night on low volume. This alarm only
woke me up and I would get up and go to the bathroom. I believe
that for the first week my father did get up with me to make
sure that I went. After a time, I would turn the alarm off and
use the restroom on my own without even remembering. At some
point my parents took the alarm away and I woke up naturally,
much like I do before my alarm goes off in the morning for
work. I hope this helps.
Try the bedwetting store, www.bedwettingstore.com. They have washable bedtime
pants and various other bedwetting-related items.
You don't say why you don't want to use overnight disposables. Are you opposed to
what they do to the environment? Is it a cost issue? Because with the drought and
the cost of energy to the environment, it's almost a wash, I'd guess.
Training pants don't contain pee at all -- they are for training a child to feel the wet
and make the connection to the feeling they had PRIOR to becoming wet. At night,
there is no feeling, thus the pee in the bed. I'd say use the ''Goodnights'' every night
and on the nights when she doesn't pee in it, just save it for another night. I've
used the same one over and over again until it got wet and did this for each of my
kids. Some kids just don't get over night peeing until they are 7, 8, 9 -- and it's
physiological and not their fault. Why not make it easy for all of you?
Love my ''Good-nights''
We used cloth diapers for my son, from 4 yrs to 4.5 yrs, to avoid the constant
bedsheet washing. We had 10 large-sized pre-folds and 3 large covers that we
washed & line-dried each week. They were large enough for a 5+ year old: my son
definitely could have worn them much longer. We didn't use them all the time, the
cycle went like this: bedwetting and general lack of sleep due to sheet changing for
several nights, diapers on for 3-4 nights until we had caught-up on sleep, diapers
off & bed dry for several nights, wet bed for several nights, and on and on until he
just stopped wetting after 6 months. BTW, my son was never dry in the morning
with diapers on, but they gave us sleep to boost our hopefulness and he was always
motivated to try again after a few nights in wet (uncomfortable) cloth diapers.
my 3 year old and 5.5 year old both have cloth pull-ups for
overnight, they're available online, called Little Beetle Learners.
We had the same problem with our son, many years ago. One thing
we did was buy a pad for bedwetters. It is like a huge version of
a waterproof lap-pad. It went on top of the sheets and tucked in.
That way, if he wet it, I only had that piece to wash, not the
all the sheets and mattress pad. I forget where I got it, but I
bet you could google it. Also, I made a couple out of a
waterproof mattress pad. I got a large one and cut it and hemmed it.
My son was (and still is, at 13) a deep sleeper and we just had
to wait for him to outgrow the bedwetting. Trying to wake him up
when we went to bed never worked, restricting liquids before bed
didn't help much, he slept through the underwear alarm thing we
bought, and so on.
I used overnight cloth pants (Nikky all night pants) from BabyWorks.com
I bought 2 or 3 pairs, (it's been a few years now, so I can't remember). The main
difficulty was that they were so thick, it was hard to dry them. They needed about 3
dryer cycles to dry. So I just tossed them in the dryer as I did the rest of my laundry,
and that worked out fine.
I wrote your exact post almost a year ago and got no replies and could find nothing
in the archives.
I also hated using disposables every night and couldn't find anything in cloth
sufficient to hold the volume my daughter would produce. We ended up using those
blue disposable bed sheet squares they sent home with you from the hospital when
you had your baby. We kept one under the bottom sheet and also kept a clean
spare set of sheets to change the bed with. At least we only disposed of plastic
waste when she wet the bed, instead of using a disposable diaper every night
whether she used it or not. I believe you can purchase them at medical supply
stores. I've also used ''puppy pads'' and they seem to keep the mattress dry, at
My daughter still wets the bed regularly at almost 6. She
stopped wanting to wear pullups at around 4 and since then we
just do a lot of laundry. Recently, we've been staying at
friends and at a cabin with no washer and together we decided to
try ''goodnights'' since it was going to be more difficult to deal
with a wet bed. She really didn't like them (uncomfortable and
embarrassing). I also found she peed MORE regularly at night
with them on. So, we're back to doing laundry. I have to say,
it gets a little bit better all the time. Very slowly, but
certainly, she is having more dry nights.
My son is now five years old, and he has been potty trained for
years. He trained pretty early, a litle past the age of two,
actually, but he actually has pee accidents sometimes during
the day, and he ends up really wet in the nightttime. What can
we do to break this cycle? He just doesn't wake when the pee
comes. I am looking for advice and suggestions on how to help
him with this!
Our child is 6 and still wears pull-ups at night. We've had a few
dry nights, but this has been ultimately a result of dehydration
(whilst ill) or luck. I would not do anything if I were you
(except to maybe put him in pull-ups so he doesn't wet the bed)
and let it be for a while. There is much stigmatization
surrounding the bed-wetting issue as if this was psychological
(there's been some change or new stress factor in his life) or
something your child can contro, which he probably can't. You
mention he is a deep sleeper. Not all deep sleepers are
bed-wtters, but all bed-wetters are deep sleepers. It's very
possible that your son, like our kid, has a combination of
factors going on. 1) he's a deep sleeper as you have mentioned.
2) he physically is not capable of storing a whole night's worth
of pee, meaning he has a small bladder and 3) he doesn't produce
enough of the hormone (yes, there is one) that tells his brain
whilst he's sleeping, to wake up and go pee. The other factor is
that this condition is hereditary. Were either you or your spouse
I have spoken to two pediatricians about this. The first one said
every year from the time our kid was 4 ''let's worry about it next
year.'' She has three daughters, one of which was out of pull-ups
at 4, one at 6 and one at 7 (not necessarily in that order). The
second ped said it's very common and if it's still happening by
the time our child is 7, then we can address it then.
I don't believe in limiting my kids fluid intake. And I'm not
likely to ''lift'' in the middle of the night as I am a fairly
sound sleeper myself, and that doesn't teach your child to wake
up and go anyway, IMHO. Your son is still fairly young and I
would advise to you to relax, let go of the stigma (because you
and more importantly, he is not doing anything wrong) and wait a
while to see what happens. He could eventually just do it on his own.
I fear this will not be popular advice, but it worked so well for
us that I can't imagine not sharing. First, let me say that our
pediatrician argued that kids will nighttime potty train when
they are ready, not before, and that boys especially can take up
to seven years or even longer to complete nighttime training.
Second, there may be many other factors in your son's experience,
including simple bladder ones (especially since he pees a little
bit during the day), and if those are present, what worked for us
may not work for you. But anyway, we had a fully daytime-trained
five year old boy who was sleeping in diapers when we decided to
start training. We tried lots of things, including simple
incentives, dietary changes, restricting liquids in the evening,
etc., but nothing worked consistently. One day my husband said,
''it's too bad there isn't an alarm that wakes you up when you pee
at night.'' Turns out, there is.
I know this may sound mean, but the idea is the kids are too
deeply asleep to sense their bodies' cues, and the pee alarm
trains them to start associating that feeling with needing to
pee. With our son, the first few times the(totally safe and
comfortable) alarm went off we had to go in there and wake him up
and take him to the bathroom (usually he had already peed). Then
we helped him change the sheets (it's important that the child
participate, I learned). After that he woke up the next few
times and was able to get most of the pee in the toilet. After
two weeks he never peed again and we stopped using the alarm.
This solution isn't for everyone, and you might be wondering why
anyone would put their child through that.. In our son's case, he
wanted to be done with diapers for sleepovers. It may, in fact,
help to have a motivated child.
p.s. I don't know whether or not this list allows specific
recommendations, but we used the one mentioned here:
We liked that the company provided a ''success chart'' and after 30
or so dry nights (symbolized by stars), we sent it in and they
sent us back a ''star badge.'' That was neat for him.
We had a late-bloomer, too. Last year we started taking our
then-6yo son to pee between 10 and 11 pm every night for about 8
months (we had tried this when he was 4 and again when he was 5
but gave up because he just wasn't ready) -- it's a technique
After about two months of this, he started waking up with a dry
pull-up in the morning. He was very excited about switching to
underwear at night, but we continued the lifting for another 6
months. Finally, during last Thanksgiving break, we decided to
''see what happens'' and after two non-consecutive nights of
accidents, he has been dry ever since.
We opted for the lifting technique, as opposed to a bed-wetting
alarm, because he shares a room with his sister and we didn't
want it to wake her up, too.
I think that success really depends on the developmental
readiness of the child, and there isn't a whole lot you can do
about that. No matter what technique you use, if he isn't ready,
it isn't going to work, and you will all end up frustrated, which
isn't good for any of you. Stay positive!
Night time peeing or bedwetting is also a symptom of Sleep Apnea.
Does your son have any of the following symptoms - snoring,
sleeping in strange positions, daytime crankiness or
hyperactivity or sleepiness, excessive sweating at night, mouth
With sleep apnea, the bedwetting happens because the lack of
oxygen and overabundance of carbon dioxide causes their hormones
to get out of whack and this causes them to produce too much urine.
If he does have any of those symptoms, take him to his dr right
away as sleep apnea is very destructive over the long term. With
children it's usually the tonsils and/or adenoids which are too
large and the child doesn't get enough oxygen when they sleep,
which is critical for a developing brain and body (by the way
some drs are not up on the latest studies and still recommend
waiting and seeing - get a second opinion in that case).
My suggestion is to put him in pull-ups and leave him be for another year. It's
extremely common for 5 year old boys to need pull-ups at night. My son is also a
very sound sleeper. No accidents during the day ever, from 2.5 on, but no dry
nights ever. Until, all of a sudden, just a couple of months before his 6th birthday,
he began waking up dry more days than wet.
During all of this time I just used pull-ups at night and told him ''his body'' needed
to learn to wake up dry (to try to make it clear to him that it was nothing he was
doing wrong). When the dry mornings started, I then started being sure he didn't
have much to drink after 7:00 pm, and told him that when he had a week of dry
mornings in a row, we would try it without the pull-up.
Within a very short time, he started waking up dry almost all the time. We then got
a waterproof sheet, and started letting him sleep without the pull-up. And for a
period of 3 or 4 months, we had maybe one accident a week. Now that he's almost
7, I don't believe we've had an accident for 6 months.
I basically think his bladder just needed to grow big enough to make it through the
night. It's only been recently that he's woken up to go to the bathroom. And I don't
think it's worth working too hard at it before the child starts waking up dry a fair bit
of the time --everyone is just going to be frustrated.
Our 5 year old son pees 4x a night! We don't know what to do,
our routine is to:
Stop liquids at 6:30, 7pm the latest (usually a glass of milk at
Pee before we get ready for bed 7:30
Pee after books 8ish
Wake him up at 10:30ish to pee
Wake him up at 1ish to pee
Wake him up at 4ish to pee
Wakes up on own at 7ish to pee
If we don't wake him up he pees in his bed. They are full pees
and he is soaked from neck to toe. The other night he had 3
accidents in one night. Sometimes he will wake up on his own.
Any suggestions on how to get him to hold his pee or how to get
him to wake up on his own? We don't have any problems with our
younger daughter she can have water during the night and be fine.
too much pee pee
How about having him wear a night time pull-up? I think they are sold as
Nights'' at Safeway and are meant for school aged children. Maybe he just
more time to be able to wake up and go on his own. A little bit of pee in the
makes a huge damp mess, so maybe there's not actually as much urine output as
seems. It always a good idea to check in with the pediatrician too.
Sounds like a lot of work and over thinking...there seems to
be a lot of emphasis on going to the potty from getting ready
for bed through the night! Five is still young for many kids,
especially boys, to be night trained (it's developmental) and
obviously he is not. Why don't you do all of you a favor and
put him in night diapers and just let this go until he's ready?
That way, everyone can sleep through the night and not worry
about wettings..... you must be killing yourselves waking that
many times each night to get him to the potty!
How often is your son peeing during the day? Is he thirsty all
of the time? Sometimes frequent urination and thirst can be a
sign of diabetes.
Alternately, why not put your son in a diaper at night? He's
only 5, right? It doesn't seem worth it to interrupt his sleep
or yours so often just so he can wear underwear to bed.
As it turns out, I just finished researching and writing an
article about bedwetting. Here's what I found out. Up until
they're six, it's extremely common for kids to wet their beds at
night. Pediatricians don't even call a kid a ''bedwetter'' until
they're at least six -- it's just a common, normal developmental
stage. Some kids stay dry at night sooner, but a lot don't.
The most important thing to know is that kids can't help it,
there's nothing they can do about it. It's not their fault.
ThereMostly you just have to wait it out until their
bodies/brains mature enough for them to stay dry.
You can also try one of the wetness alarms, but those can take a
couple of months to work and often the parent is the one who is
woken up and has to wake the child.
If it were me, I'd just put him in pullups at night until he
starts waking up with a dry pullup. It will happen, just be
patient and don't let it worry you. Your son has a lot of company.
i have to bring up - that sounds physiologically abnormal. why
should anyone that is not getting any fluids need to urinate 4
times at night? mention this to your dr. and just make sure this
sounds normal to them.
My 5 year old daughter is still wearing pullups for sleeping at
night. I just don't know how to potty train her so she wakes up
to go pee. She does wake up when she has a bowl movement but this
happends anyway more during the day and is kind of rare at night.
I know she is a deep sleeper because I can actually vacuum her
room and she doesn't wake up from that. Her pullups are pretty
much always wet in the morning and every once in a while it's
actually so full that it leaks on the sheets. She does use the
bathroom before she goes to bed and she told me that she wants
to use the bathroom during the night when she has to go. We tried
it without pullups for a while but the sheet where wet everytime.
The last few days I also woke her up at around 11:30 pm to use
the bathroom. She did pee but her pullup was still wet in the
morning. I think she drinks a normal amount of water. I have to
use the bathroom at least 3 times a night (weak bladder???) but
my friends say that's a lot. I guess it's normal for me and maybe
my daugher and I are just the typ of people who have to pee a
lot. Does anybody have an idea how to potty train a five year old
at night ?
Is there some reason you feel the need to train your daughter
NOT to wear them? My daughter is 5.33 yrs and still wears
pull-ups at night. Lilke yours, my daughter is almost always wet
in the morning, and her pull-ups are quite full. Once in a blue
moon they are completely dry. This has nothing to do with her
fluid intake before bed. At her 5 year appointment, I asked my
pediatrician about this and she said, of her three girls, one was
out of pull-ups at night by age 4, one at age 5 and the last at
age 7. Kids develop at different rates. My ped says that some
kids just don't produce enough of the hormone that tells their
body that they need to wake up and go potty, like my daughter. As
for you, getting up 3 times in a night is A LOT, and not to scare
you, but I would get tested for diabetes if I were you. It's a
classic sign. I think you can stop worrying about your daughter,
though. Good luck.
OK with pull-ups
Don't worry about your daughter. My daughter was potty trained
during the day quite easily at 2.5 years. She was a very sound
sleeper and just simply did not wake up to feel the signals
about needing to urinate at night. She stayed in pull ups
also, and partly because we didn't want to get up and change
the sheets in the middle of the night. Her pediatrician
assured us it was nothing to worry about and pretty common.
One day she said she wanted to try going without the pull ups.
She was dry all night and hasn't worn them since. Sometimes
she gets up to go, but mostly she sleeps through the night and
doesn't need to go until morning. Maybe it has also to do with
bladder control in some kids -- being able to ''hold it'' longer
or something. Anyway, don't worry, she'll give them up when
she's ready. Maybe check with your pediatrician if you are
If the pull-up is wet in the morning, I suggest she's not ready
to give it up. My daughter was 4 1/2 or so when dry pull ups
started appearing in the morning. Before that they were loaded,
sometimes leaked, and she had worse diaper rash on her butt
than at anypoint prior. Once the dry pullups started occuring
in the morning we attached a reward (a new barbie I think) to
multiple nights dry. I think some people's bladder sphincter to
brain control starts later than others. We do insist on her
peeing before AND after stories. If sitters forget the second
or skip the first we do have the occasional wet sheet. it tends
to be in the wee am hours. Personally, as someone who wakes to
pee at night, I decided to try and avoid taking her in her
sleep or teaching her to wake up to pee at night. And she for
now sleeps through and is dry unless she sleeps an extra 45
minutes to an hour, but even then she wakes herself up before
there's any damage beyond pjs and tears into the bathroom. To
alleviate shame/frustration, we keep a rubberized flannel on
under the top sheet just in case. If you can wait a few months
it might resolve itself is the short version of my reply.
My daughter wore pullups until she was just shy of her 6th
birthday. My husband and I argued about the situation, my
mother-in-law weighed in on the situation and was furious with
me for allowing her to still be in pullups. I decided that the
stress of waking her in the middle of the night; the
humiliation of a wet bed for her; and the pain of frequent
sheet changes for me was not worth it for any of us. She was
also a deep sleeper and clearly was not able to rouse herself.
The situation was resolved when a cousin, a year younger, came
for an overnight. My daughter was humiliated to note that her
little cousin wore big girl underwear at night. There was
suddenly an incentive for her to correct the situation on her
own and this clearly coincided with the development of her
ability to hold her urine in her bladder throughout the night.
Within weeks pullups were ancient history. ANON
I say, let her outgrow it. My older son stopped pull-ups around 9 years old, he was
ready to work on the problem himself. My 7 year old still wears pull-ups, and I
don't fret about it. He says some of his friends tease him at sleepovers, so last time
he took a sleeping bag and no pull-up and we laundered the sleeping bag after. But
he doesn't seem ready to stop the pull-ups at home. Certain kids just have more
tendency to this: we come from a family of ''bedwetters'' and deep sleepers; with
time, the issue will resolve itself.
Not so worried with the 2nd child
Don't fret! My 5 year old son is still in Pull-ups at night and they are almost always wet
in the morning as well. I have been told by many that this is fine and normal. Some
kids wet the bed at night for years. When my son is really engaged in something, he
has occasional accidents during the daytime hours, so imagine how hard it is to be that
kind of kid and have to wake up, get out of bed, and use the potty. Be grateful that
she is such a good sleeper and that you don't have to get up in the middle of the night
to change her sheets!
Dear Pull up Mommy!
Don't worry about your daughter's age and the fact that she is
still not out of pullups at night. My own daughter was also a
VERY HEAVY sleeper and no matter what I did - limit water,
chocolate, sugar, wake her up multiple times a night - she
would rarely have a dry morning. Her pediatrician never
worried about it (but I did!) and kept telling me that she
would eventually outgrow it which she did. Some kids outgrow
this quickly and others do not (my daughter was 10 when she
finally stopped wetting). It was a test of my patience, but
like the doctor said she did outgrow it and is no longer
wetting the bed. My best advice is not to worry about it and
let your daughter's body figure it out. As long as we all got
a good nights sleep was all that really mattered.
One thing that helped with the constant wet sheets was moving
up to Goodnight's - they seem to be more absorbent than pull
ups and fit better (more like underwear) so the leaking factor
is less of a problem.
Good luck to your family from someone who has been there.
Sounds like my daughter. Please do not stress about it. I was
just grateful that they invented those pull-ups for nighttime
use. (pull-ups were wet every morning) I think I remember
researching and discovering that there is a hormone that needs
to come into play that decreases the amount of urine during
sleep hours and that the age at which the hormone starts being
produced in adequate amounts is very variable. So I think it is
simply a developmental issue. If her doctor is not concerned,
you should just relax and let nature take its course. It is
unusual, but probably if everyone were to come clean, not that
unusual. I actually remember consulting the Huggies on line
site for reassurance. My daughter probably wore pull-ups at
night until she was about 9. I understand some kids (maybe more
often boys) are not completely done until 12. She won't go off
to college needing them! As for us, my daughter has stopped even
getting up at night to use the bathroom. I am not sure when
that happened, but she is 16 now and it is all a dim memory.
Good luck, don't stress and don't let her stress either.
everything will be fine
How do you night train a heavy-wetting, heavy-sleeping five year
old? You wait about two years. ;-)
And you thank your lucky stars that you live now, when night-
time pull-ups are readily available, instead of a generation
ago, when you'd've been washing cloth pads and sheets all the
I've heard that devices like pee alarms can help, but really,
it's too early for you to worry about it. Some kids (more often
boys, but sometimes girls too) just aren't
physically/neurologically ready to stay dry at night until they
are 6 or 7 or 8 years old. Any push to train your 5yo now will
only lead to stress and upset, for no purpose.
Also still buying GoodNights
Our almost 6yr old daughter is also still in pull ups. The
facts around my d sound just like yours. I'm interested in what
others have to say, but for now I have decided it is just
perfectly OK. I wet my bed until I was 6 or 7 because I was a
deep sleeper and just couldn't or didn't wake up. I was
ashamed of the wet sheets and smell etc. I think just not
having it be a big deal is the way to go, since I can't think
of any way to change it. And from all I know of life most of us
learn eventually how to wake up!
Seems like no big deal
The ability to wake up to pee is a purely physical development that is not under
conscious control in any way. I also think that the normal range for this development is
up to 7 years old. I really wouldn't worry about it until then. (What does your
pediatrician say?) I think it would only be a problem if she were to be too embarrassed
to have a sleepover that she would otherwise enjoy. In that case, my advice would
involve either the discreet use of pull-ups and possibly sheet protectors and/or talking
with the other kids and parents. (BTW, I had a 6 1/2 year old friend of my daughter's
pee in her bed during a sleepover and it was not a big deal.)
--also took a long time to develop that ability
What we did was to cut our kids off from liquids at 5:00. We were
very clear with them that it was their choice, but that if they
wanted to stay dry (which they did) this would help them. We
explained to them that if they drank no liquids in the evening,
their bodies would really need a lot of liquid during the day to
make sure they stayed healthy and hydrated. Also, we took them to
the bathroom (essentially in their sleep as they are very deep
sleepers) around 10 or 11 at night (whenever we were going to bed
ourselves). Even though the night time diapers had been soaking
wet every morning before we tried these things, we took away
diapers cold turkey when we started and the kids woke up dry
almost every time right from the start (a puddle pad on top of
the bed sheet worked to handle any wetness and meant no hassle of
My daughter who just turned 6 in December is also still wearing
pull-ups all night and our situation sounds identical to yours.
I was concerned so I discussed it with her pediatrician at her 6
yr old check-up. He guessed that she was a very heavy sleeper -
which she is. He wasn't overly concerned and said that if she is
still not able to sleep without pull-ups when she is 7, there are
things we can do to help her with it. So, we have just decided
to let it go and see if it gets better before she is 7. Her
older brother did not have this issue and was completely dry at
night by the age of 4. I have a waterproof mattress pad on her
bed and sometimes put a towel under her sheet to absorb any
leakage. She isn't bothered by it, so I decided I shouldn't be
either. I hope this helps.
Mom of heavy sleeper
We had the same issue with our daughter and received the same advice you have
been getting here, except one- to try a bedwetting alarm. We did, with excellent
results. Our daughter had her first dry night ever the third night, and used the
alarm a total of 2 weeks before going it alone. She has been successfully waking
herself to use the restroom ever since.
The brand we used was WetStop, but there are several to choose from online. The
alarm has a moisture sensor that attaches to underwear and sets off an alarm to
wake your child at the first sign of wetness. It helps your child learn to identify the
sensations of needing to urinate while sleeping by waking them immediately.
My 5 year old daughter is trying very hard to stay dry at
night. (Although my husband and I initially suggested that she
try, this is now something that is very important to her and
not something we feel that strongly about because it seems that
she may not be ''ready''). Unfortunately, she is very determined
to sleep in underpants AND she is a VERY deep sleeper. About 3
nights out of 7 she wakes up wet. Over a year ago our
pediatrician mentioned that for children who really want to
sleep in underpants, but whose bodies are not waking them up
when they need to go pee, a ''bed-wetting alarm'' may
help ''train'' their bodies. Has anyone had experience using
these? How do they work? Are they likely to work for someone
who sleeps very heavily (through her younger brother
crying/screaming, through alarm clocks, etc...)?
tired of changing the sheets
Our son was still wearing Pull-ups to bed as he was approaching his 7th
We tried wearing underwear at night, but he just didn't seem to care if
his bed was wet. He would just sleep right through it into the morning.
I happened to be at the Ped's office for something else and saw a
brochure for an alarm called Wet-Stop.
You attach one part of the alarm to the underwear and the speaker part
attaches to the shoulder of the pajamas. (All the pouches and velco
comes in the kit) When the sensor feels the wetness, the alarm sounds,
waking the child. At first the parent goes to the child and helps to
finish emptying the bladder, change underwear and go back to bed.
Eventually the child can do this alone. With my son, he taught himself
to just sleep through the night without needing to use the bathroom
until the morning. It took him about a week of being awoken, then a
couple weeks of occasional wakings and then permanently dry. I think
that in his case, he just didn't know how to stop the flow when he was
asleep. So, yeah, they do work. You can find the kind that we used at
We used bedwetting alarms and it was like magic. My son was 6 at the
time, slept like the dead, and was wet almost every night. Using the
alarm, he was dry on his own in about 9 nights. We haven't had a single
incident since. My daughter was four at the time and not as sound a
sleeper, and she was dry within two weeks. It is hard as the parent to
get yourself out of bed and take them to the bathroom ( a must even if
they are already wet at that point), and my son hated the alarm by about
night 4 or 5, but we stuck with it and had great great results. If your
room is far away from hers, you might want a baby monitor in your room
and hers so you wake up when the alarm goes off. The funny thing is
that they both manage their bladders differently at night: my son just
goes before bed time and then as soon as he wakes (still pretty much
sleeps like a log, although on the very odd occasion he will go to the
toilet at night), and my daughter gets up regularly in the middle of the
night to go. But it worked equally well with each of them.
Follow the directions carefully and good luck!
We used one I found on the internet -- It had ''starry'' in the name, I
can't remember the exact brand but I believe they were in Santa Cruz. I
called them and they shipped it out immediately and we received it
within a couple of days.
happy dry nights
We used a bedwetting alarm very successfully with our younger daughter.
We used one by StarChild Alarms which hooked onto her underwear and when
it got wet the alarm went off. The point is that the alarms wake up you
and you wake her up to get up, go to the bathroom and change the bed.
I do have to add that my daughter was 7 when we did this; some children
just are not ready to be dry at night until that age.
But if your daughter is motivated then you should give it a try, it
really worked quite well for us in a matter of weeks.
Glad we tried it
We did not have success with one of these alarms. I think they do work
with some kids, but it's definitely not 100%. If the bedwetting is
secondary to psychological issues, your success rate may be lower. Our
older child was traumatized by a divorce when she was young and we found
out way down the line that her bedwetting was due to this. In the end,
time pretty much cured it.
My 5 year old son has been toilet trained by day for almost 2
years but has NEVER had a dry night. He's still wearing pull-
up's and shows no interest in giving them up. I'd hoped he'd
have a few dry nights which would be the start to sleeping in
underwear. Has anyone been through this? Should we start
waking him up to pee, putting him to bed in underwear or
continue waiting for him to show some readiness? All we've done
so far is limit drinks in the evening, have him pee before
bedtime and talk vaguely about rewards... Thanks!
Tired of Pull-Up's
I really wanted to respond to your request because I've gone through the same
thing. Our son did not become dry at night until he was 7 yo. I read books, tried
waking him, tried using the cloth training pants at night (he would just sleep all
night in a wet bed)... I finally tried to let it go. It didn't bother him at all,
even when he understood that other friends didn't wear pull-ups at night. And everything I
read stated that until a boy is 8yo, it's not usually a physical problem, but rather
an issue of developemental readiness. Every few weeks, we would ask him if he was
ready to try to stay dry, but he never was. I started worrying that maybe he was
afraid to try. Anyway, one day at the ped's office (for something else) I picked a
brochure for a bedwetting alarm. It's called Wet-Stop and is made by a company
called Palco (www.palcolabs.com). It fits on your child's underwear and when s/he
wets the pants an alarm sounds, waking the child to (hopefully) finish emptying the
bladder in the toilet. Well, I showed it to my son, explained to him that I thought
that he was ready to try and that this would help him. He was game and so we did it.
He set off the alarm about 3 nights in a row, and got a little discouraged. But he
kept trying and within the week he was staying dry (he can actually sleep all night
without needing to go to the bathroom). I think that, for him, the issue was
understanding how it felt to have a full bladder at night, and what to do about it.
Hang in there. Keep trying things gently, but don't give up. Chances are good that
one day soon it will all come together for you and your child.
we went through the exact same thing with our 6.5-y.o. son who
had a similar attitude. a 6.5 y.o. friend of his had success
with wearing a monitor/alarm (made by malem). his friend gave
our son the device, and our son was interested in being dry.
it seems cruel and our son was upset when the alarm sounded in
the middle of the night, but he did really well and has been
consistently dry after just a few weeks. we'll be passing that
monitor on to another 6-yo friend of ours who has the same
no more pull-ups!
I strongly recommend getting a bedwetting alarm (clever device that, soon
after urination starts, senses the wetness and sounds a buzzer and wakes the
child) Sears used to sell them. They are everywhere. They cannot electrocute
your child. They just sit under the sheet and wait for wetness. It helps to sleep
naked (the alarm gets the wetness quicker) but is not necessary.
As a child I went through many silly privations (no water late in the day) and
probably harmful recriminations (if you don't...) BUNK and a waste of time.
Your kid is very likely a sound sleeper and needs help training to recognize the
feeling of a full bladder and to have that sensation stimulate waking up. All
you need in most cases is some classical conditioning which is what the
bedwetting alarm provides.
A quick explanation to your child that he or she is a sound sleeper (a good
thing probably) and the alarm is to help them learn how to wake when they
need to use the toilet. It takes a little time but you can usually sense the
progress as there are usually ''almost got it'' nights on the way to success... If
your child has a scientific bent it might be interesting for them to keep a log of
how it is going. This could give them more sense of control and efficacy.
Please do not make this a ''growing up'' issue if you can avoid it. If it is treated
as a learning project like kicking a ball or drinking from a cup (you just develop
a feel) you'll get farther faster with less of a downside.
Remember standing near your child as they climbed up and down stairs? They
did so with greater and greater facility but still occasionally fell. You gave
advice but they still had to do it over and over and get the sense in their body.
Here you are again training a different part of the nervous system (and at a less
convenient time of day, sorry to say, but the process is the same: they try, you
give feedback and cheer.)
I wish someone had told this to my mom and dad.
Our former developmental pediatrician pointed out to us that
some children have bladders that need to be trained to hold
urine throughout the night and the muscles need to strengthen
in order to keep it in. With these children, rewards for
staying dry throughout the night are not enough because their
bladders just don't have the control. Her recommendation to us
was to have our child pee before he went to bed, get him up to
pee before we go to bed, and then set the alarm for 4:30 (or
whatever interval your child is able to successfully stay dry),
wake the child up and have them pee again. Stick with this
interval for about a week, and then move the time back to 5:00
a.m., 5:15 a.m., 5:30 a.m., etc. until the child is able to go
all night without wetting. We did not use this method with our
son since he was only 2-1/2 when it was recommended to us (this
was our last visit before our beloved pediatrician retired and
she was filling us up with information), but it does sound
logical and might be worth a try for a 5 year old. You might
also want to check with your own pediatrician to see if he/she
has any other ideas.
Anyone out there with a 5 year old girl who goes through
phases of regularly wetting her bed? She has had urine
tests-- everything normal. No unusual stressors. The
pediatrician says she will outgrow this, but in the
meantime, any advice? Thanks!
If your 5-year-old is still wetting the bed, and all the tests are normal,
then don't worry about it. It takes some kids longer to awaken at night.
My daughter didn't start staying dry at night until about 5-1/2. We just
kept her in Pullups, made no big deal about it. To keep your/her stress
level low, I strongly recommend the Pullups. There's no evidence that
having a child wet the bed shortens the course of bedwetting. There's
nothing ''wrong'' with your child, he/she just sleeps heavily, or has a
small bladder capacity, or both. These resolve with time.
Both my daughters wet their beds - only at night, not even naps -
until they were 6 years old. It can/does just stop abrubtly. The
older one stopped right at 6 years, the second one was going past
that and I was frustrated and tried the ''wetting alarm'' because I
believe they were both deep sleepers and just didn't feel it until
it was too late.She did stop wetting not long after using the
alarm, but I am not sure if that was it or if it was just the time
she would have stopped anyway. I would use water proof pads (made
for this) and a towel or two on top so that I would not have to
change the whole bed each time, especially in the middle of the
night. Neither of my daughters has had any problems with this
since they stopped.
Bedwetting can recur when the diet is too high in sugars. Even 10 year olds
can have recurrences, much to their dismay and
social embarassment. When I mention sugars, keep in mind anything that
tastes sweet--including fruit juices, dried fruit,
sweeteners (even natural ones like honey, although stevia appears to be
safe), juice squeezes and sodas-- would be best avoided.
If you have no progress there or your child doesn't have much sugar in her
diet, try a Jin Shin Juytsu practitioner who can
address the underlying cause, be it emotional (very common in illnesses),
digestive or other physical stress. Self-help is freely
given to parents and the children accept this bodywork as they know it is
5-year-old son needs diaper at night
How do you get a child out of pull-ups at night?
My 5 year old son potty-trained just fine but still needs a pull-up at
night. He routinely wakes up with it very full. We haven't pressured him
to lose the pull-up or anything, but he's starting to feel a little
embarrassed about it now. He is an extremely sound sleeper and is afraid
of the dark, so it's hard to figure out how best to help him to learn to
wake up and go pee. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
Our 5 year old is still in pull-ups at night and I am just going to
wait until he's more ready. He is also a very deep sleeper, but for the
first time ever, he has recently mentioned that sometimes he wakes up at
night and just decides to pee in his pull-up rather than get up. So I
suppose if I wanted to get up, I could tell him to wake me, but I'm not
ready for that yet. I wet my bed til I was 7, my husband was also a
bedwetter and we both remember just "growing out of it." My sister was
11 or so before she outgrew it and my mom would send her to sleep-overs
in a sleeping bag that she could just roll up and bring home.
In reply to the issue of the five-year old still in pull-ups at night: we have a daughter who got out of nighttime pull-ups at age 9 1/2. It seemed at times she would never be able to do it. We played it real low-key and waited for her to start being really unhappy about it, which she began to be quite a long time before she could do anything about it. Every few months we would give it another try for two weeks, but after the lack of sleep both she and I experienced stripping wet beds and pj's we would give it up for a while. It was helpful to log on to the web site that is sponsered by I think Huggies. Although it is not really discussed much, there is a fairly high percentage of kids, esp. boys, not dry up to the age of 12. I know that sounds like forever to you now, but something does happen when they are physically ready. My daughter also slept very soundly, I've personally watched her throw up in her bed and hardly rouse. But for many of these kids, there is a hormone not yet produced in their bodies that concentrates the urine in the bladder at night, so the volume is greatly reduced and the kid can make it through the night. Some physicians actually think this is the biggest cause of night
wetting and can prescribe something to help this along. (But as soon as the drug is stopped, the wetting recurs) In our case, our daughter did get out of pull-ups, but does get up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom. I wonder sometimes if she has just trained herself in spite of the lack of the production of the urine-concentrating hormone. I also wonder if she didn't get a better-quality night's sleep when she didn't have to get up 3 times. However, this is just to say that if you really polled everyone, you would find there are many of you out there- kind of like finding out how many people actually let their kids in bed with them for the night. Somehow it is just not what we think everyone else is doing. Someday, he'll be out of them and that will be that.
My five year old still wears pull ups every night. He hasn't
needed diapers since he was about 2 1/2 and is generally a
pretty mature guy. I didn't want to work on his going without
pull ups at night during the kindergarten transition, but now
that that has happened I'm wondering when to do something and
what to do. Also, he sleeps in a top bunk so I'm wondering if
getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom
will be more difficult for him. Should I keep waiting until he
stops needing a pull up on his own, or try to do something to
help him make this transition? Any advice?
I would say wait it out. You're already ahead by having him
wear pull-ups so you aren't washing sheets everyday. As for
being in the top bunk it's a possible but not likely situation.
Plus if you take him out because he wets the bed it well
make him hurt and angry. Some children aren't ready until
they are in a ways to grade school. So just wait for him to be
ready. Five is still pretty young.
I'm not sure if this should concern me or not but I have a 5
1/2 year old who
occassionally wets her bed at night. It happens maybe 1-4
times a month. She's a
highly anxious kid and lots of things worry her. I'm not sure
if this is a symptom of
her anxiety. Anyway, I just wanted to know if this is a
normal occurrence for a 5 1/
2 year old. She's not too concerned about the bed wetting.
We never reprimand.
Any other bed wetters out there? When should I start to
worry? When should I
expect her to be completely potty-trained?
Thought we were over potty-training
My son is 5 and stays dry a few nights, wets a few nights. We
tried the Gerber pants because he still fits a size 4T, but
they really only hold a little. We were giving his last drink
of the night an hour before bed, peeing just before bed,
getting him up every night once or twice to help him to the
bathroom to pee, hoping to instill a pattern he'd catch on to.
Tried that for about 3 months, didn't work. He's a really sound
sleeper and barely remembered getting up with us. We didn't
want to change the bedding every time, and our child doesn't
care what he wears, so we save ourselves the work and stick
with the pull ups for now. I'm going to read up on it and hope
to hear other good advice from your post, but sounds like we're
in the same boat.
My 6 year old son is still in pull-ups at night. I don't know whether this is normal or
not! But our friend's son was also in pull-ups at age 6.
Please see my response to a similar question above. I wrote the
one recommending waterproof sheet protectors.
5 1/2 yr. still wants diaper at night
My healthy 5 1/2 yr. old daughter still uses "Good Nights"(the big kid
version of Pull Ups), and has no interest in kicking the habit! And, she
refuses to go to the bathroom before she goes to bed to reduce the chances
of her peeing. The Good Night usually has been used by morning. I think
she's afraid to try to go without a "diaper" though I've tried to make it
a completely non-judgmental endeavor. She doesn't want to discuss this
topic at all. Is this something that she'll grow out of? Thanks in advance
for any responses.
My 41/2 yo son still has some trouble staying dry at night, too. I'm told
that this is normal, especially for boys, and that he will eventually
out-grow it. He wears pull-ups to bed. We put him on the toilet when we go
to bed (11ish). He doesn't usually wake up, but if we carry him in and put
him on the toilet (running water in the sink), he will pee. We have been
doing this for the last month or so, and he has been dry in the morning for
about 15 nights. He is so proud of himself for staying dry that he makes
sure that he pees before bed, and one night he got up on his own at 3 am
and when to the bathroom. Good luck!
My daughter is also 5.5 and still wears a diaper at night. My pediatrician
has told me that 12% of kids still use diapers at age of 7 so in his view
my daughter was doing fine (well within the range of "normal") and I
shouldn't worry. He said that some kids are such heavy sleepers in their
early years that they are not developmentally able to rouse themselves to
go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. My question is--are there
diapers larger than size 5 for bigger kids? Where do you get them?
I have a suggestion for the parent who wrote about the
5-and-a-half-year-old wearing Good Nights to bed: Good for you for not
shaming her about it. I have a thought that hypnotherapy might really
help get to the bottom of the "why" of it, and also get to dry
sleeping. Probably your hunch about fear of going without a diaper
has a good basis, but the way I read what you you wrote, it sounds to
me as though she is happy with the way things are. Maybe she keeps on
this way because she feels comfortable peeing without getting up
during the night, and is afraid to go without the diaper because then
the bed will get wet. If she is happy this way, there will have to be
some motivation to change before change will happen. Maybe outgrowing
the largest size of the GoodNights would be motivating? Until
then...hypnotherapy works principally by finding appealing ways to
attract the mind to the desired direction. It could help find a fun
(i.e. motivating) reason for or approach to dry sleeping.
My daughter wore disposable diapers until she was eight, but after many
nights of dry diapers and her no longer choosing to wear a diaper at
night, she stopped. Several years ago (when she was five or six), my
pediatrician told me that some children do not experience "light" sleep
cycles while sleeping. So in my daughter's case, since she didn't
experience light sleep, she was incapable of waking herself up to go to
the bathroom even if she needed to. This may or may not be the case for
My pediatrician also said that bladder size is a factor. As a child
grows her bladder gets larger and her sleep patterns change, all of
which contribute to fewer wet beds (or diapers).
Your daughter may just need the security of a diaper at night right now,
but I bet that when she is ready to give them up, she will. I would
encourage you not to make a big deal about it. The only thing I don't
understand is why your daughter won't pee before bed. Maybe if you let
her wear the diaper even if she pees before bed, then she'll get in the
habit of peeing before bed, and after many dry diapers will decide to
give them up.
This is in response to the questions about diapers at night. We just got our
daughter out of the Good Nights about 6 months ago right as she turned 6.
She had been able to get up and go by herself at 3-31/2, then just started
having accidents over Christmas while we were traveling. After changing
sheets every night and getting her up to go before we went to bed, we
started using the Good Nights after a couple months. That lasted about two
years. We checked several times for urinary infections, but there was no
medical reason for the change. It seemed like she was sleeping so heavily
that she didn't even wake when she wet.
Some friends in the same situation gave us a device called a Potty Pager
that they used with success. It is a pager-sized device that has a moisture
sensor and vibrates when it gets wet. I sewed a little pocket into her
underwear to hold it in place. She hated it because it woke her up, cried
and complained everytime we put it in her underwear, but within a couple
weeks she wasn't having any accidents and after that didn't have to wear the
device. She later said she liked wearing diapers better because she didn't
have to get up. I loved the thing because it put the responsibility on her -
if she took the Pager out after we put her to bed, she had to clean up the
accident. Now when she wants a big drink before bed, I make sure she
understands that she is responsible for getting up to go or cleaning up.
I, too, have a 5 1/2 yr old daughter who wears pullups at night and shows no real
urge to get rid of them. She's not even in a hurry to take them off in the morning
when they're soaking wet. She was dry, wearing the pullups, for several weeks
last August and then kindergarten started and she started being wet almost every
night again. I suppose that was a natural response to the stress of starting
school, but there hasn't been any improvement as the school year goes on. Our
pediatrician, whom I trust completely, says just wait, don't worry, and if she's
still wet at night by her sixth birthday she can try those electronic wake-up
sheets that buzz when they get wet. My daughter is a very sound sleeper--sleeps
right through the loud wails of her baby sister, and I wonder if that's part of
the problem. Do any of you have kids who magically became dry at night at age
six? I guess I'm just being lazy, partly, taking a laissez-faire attitude, but I
also don't want to put her through a lot of traumatic effort if her body's just
not ready, as her doctor suggests. Any advice?
I know this is going to sound odd, but have you looked at the ADULT
diapers such as Depends? They are probably TOO large, but it's easier
to fold down something large than stretch something small...
We use Good-nites pull-ups, 45-65 lbs. We started these when our son
was 40 lbs. When we first started these, he wet through them maybe
once a week. Now at age 4, it's maybe once every 2-3 weeks. You can
get them at most grocery and large drug stores, but not Berkeley Bowl.
They weren't at costco last time we were there, either.
I was grateful to find that Huggies and Pampers have both introduced
SIZE 6 diapers. Also, one of the major brands makes big kid overnight
pullups that come in a HUGE sizes -- definitely for kids over 40 lbs.
Often they don't carry these sizes in grocery stores. Rite-Aid has
has them. As does Pack-N-Save.
Two thoughts came to mind. How come that there is still so much pee
at night? Are liquids consumed past dinner time? If so, decide to
serve only water after dinner and then gradually cut that back to
3 ounzes. Worked well for us. In the early days, we created better
sleep for all of us (you can doze through feedings, but diaper
changes ensure waking up) by wrapping the baby in 2 diapers, with a
hole cut into the bottom of the first one, so the overflowing pee can
be absorbed into the second diaper. Gradually switched to just one
diaper for the whole night as pee decreased. Never had to change sheets
at night so far.
I think I've seen size six diapers at Toys R Us. If not there, then
definitely a big store (like Target) which has a lot of diaper
I was grateful to find that Huggies and Pampers have both introduced
SIZE 6 diapers. Also, one of the major brands makes big kid
overnight pullups that come in a HUGE sizes -- definately for kids
kids over 40 lbs. Often they don't carry these sizes in grocery
stores. Rite-Aid has them. As does Pack-N-Save.
1) There's something on the market called "diaper doublers," which are
strips of the absorbent stuff you find in diapers. You place these inside
the regular diapers to increase the absorbancy. I saw them at Longs a
2) I have found Huggies Overnights to be quite effective for nighttime, but
she hasn't outgrown size 4 yet, so I don't know how they work in the next
size up (I assume they are available in a size 5, but they weren't at the
Safeway near us when I looked the other day).
3) Huggies also makes some thing called "Good Nights" which are overnight
pullups for larger kids. But I think these are for kids 45 lbs and larger.
Depending the shape of your son's legs, they might work now, though. I
got a coupon last week at the Safeway to try these free (one of those that
are mounted on the store shelves, with the flashing lights).
In response to the person looking for larger diapers, Pampers (I believe
that's the brand) makes a size 6. The Lucky's in Montclair carries them. I
would also like to say that it's most likely that your child just needs a
larger size diaper. However, if your child is peeing excessively, please
check for diabetes. My daughter was leaking through her diaper at night
even though it fit fine--it got to the point where she needed two a night
and had accidents at nap time--and she was diagnosed with juvenile
diabetes. Other symptoms include excessive thirst and weight loss. Good
How ridiculous is it for a 5-1/2-year-old girl to still be wearing diapers at
night? Is it fairly common, or unheard of? And how does one break the
habit? The diapers are definitely wet in the morning. Pullups seem silly to
me - just a different form of a diaper - or am I missing something about
them? Is there a way to use them that would be helpful? I'd appreciate any
ideas and suggestions!
My 6 1/2 year old is still in pull-ups. I think the only advantage of
pull-ups over diapers is that they are kind of socially acceptable among the kids.
Our 6+ year old daughter just had to start wearing night-time
pullups. She was wetting the bed on a regular basis and so I was
washing the sheets, her quilt etc. everyday. Not only was this
tiresome, but nothing we tried seem to help correct the problem. She
would sneak in to get drinks before she went to bed, if we got her up
early to use the bathroom, she often went in her pants again. This got
worse after her baby sister was born a year ago. Anyway, we have been
putting her in nighttime pullups for 2 weeks and have found that 1/2
the time they are still dry in the morning, so maybe it is helping?
The alarm is a moisture detector which clips on the front of underpants. It
detects the very first few drops of urine, and sounds a buzzer next to the
childs ear. This wakes them up, and then they go to the bathroom. After a
while, there is a Pavlovian conditioning linkage - instead of a full
bladder leading to a few drips leading to a buzzer leading to waking up
leading to going to the bathroom, the full bladder leads directly to going
to the bathroom.
A few caveats: your daughter may still be too young for a buzzer system. I
think it really works much better if the child is self-motivated, and 5 1/2
is still, I think, well inside the age when being wet at night is pretty
normal. Also, the first week or ten days, the parent has to get up with the
buzzer to make sure the child really goes to the bathroom. Our son was such
a sound sleeper that he would have just lain there with the buzzer by his
ear and never gotten up. Finally, there will be backsliding. The particular
product we had measured "success" as 30 consecutive dry nights. Our son
probably was dry 50% the first week, then went about 10 days in a row, then
15, then the full month. So it was about 2 months before we could "declare
victory" and stop using the alarm.
Since we borrowed our alarm, I can't tell you who sells them or what they
cost, just that it did work with a (then) 8-year-old.
Some children regularly wet the bed as late as the onset of early
adolescence (11-13). More often the very late ages is a boy
phenomenon. Generally this is related to a hormonal issue - the
hormone that tells you "wake up, your bladder's full" hasn't developed
yet - in our experience the child is SO asleep that sometimes there is
no realization that the bed is even wet until the morning. The child
WILL outgrow it (unless there's a underlying physical problem, which
can be ruled out by your pediatrician - usually if the uncontrollable
wetting is only at nite, its hormonal). You can help by limiting
evening fluids, making sure that your daughter goes to the bathroom
right before bed, setting an alarm or waking up your child at night,
etc. but quite frankly that only helps some. There IS a prescription
nasal hormonal spray which can be applied each night which will take
care of the problem. Personally, I rather a child naturally outgrow it
but bed wetting ends up being such a BIG self-esteem problem as the
child gets older that I understand why some parents opt for the
spray. Its no comfort to the child that "alot" of kids have this
problem - but the truth it is a rather common problem that's just not
talked about. I'm glad that our family's experience with this is just
Our take on this situation was that the diaper itself was preventing
our daughter from learning not to go to the bathroom during sleep
hours. Diapers are so absorbent, so that it is not uncomfortable to
sleep with a wet diaper. My daughter was still in diapers at night
LONG after she was potty trained. Eventually we surmised that the
diaper's absorbency was the issue, and once we stopped using diapers,
it only took a very short time before she stopped wetting the bed.
Our son just turned five and still wears a diaper. We don't make a big deal
about it, sometimes it's wet, sometimes it's not. It doesn't seem to
bother him and we'd rather do the diaper thing than change sheets, etc. I
figure he'll get to the point where he'll outgrow it. Lisa
My 6 year old daughter continues to wet the bed while
sleeping. She started almost a year ago. At first I did not
have her wear a pull-up, but I was tired of changing the
sheets, so now she must wear one everynight.
We have had discussions about her bedwetting. She says that
she does not want to get up and go to the bathroom and she
seems to like the idea of wearing a pull-up. She is also a
heavy sleeper and loves her bed and to cuddle. At one point my
husband was waking her up at midnightish to go to the bathroom.
This seemed to work, but it is not consistent.
I do not want to make a big deal out of this, because I know
eventually she will grow out of it and I do not want it to
affect her psychologically. However, she will be 7 at the end
of the summer and I am concerned she is getting to old to wet
If anyone has any suggestions or experience w/bedwetting, it
would be appreciated.
I'm a believer that some things are only accomplished when the
child wants to do it. You can't negotiate with a sleeping
child, so this is even more true for issues in bed.
Our 6 year-old (almost 7) daughter is on an all-time streak of
7 nights in a row with dry pull-ups. Her day-time potty
training was ''normal'', but she is a very heavy sleeper. Quite
frankly, I bribed her with prizes based on getting to 3, 4 & 5
nights and within a couple weeks she got to 5. Until then, it
just wasn't important to her. I do think she is getting a
little ashamed too, but as recently as 6 months ago she wore
pull-ups to a slumber party with no problem.
I still remember when she stopped needing a bed rail. One of
the first night w/o a bed rail, when she was no more than 3 or
4, she rolled out of bed and hit her head. Not that I
recommend that as an approach, but even though she is a very
heavy sleeper she never rolled out of bed or needed a bed rail
again! She continued to roll around IN bed, still does.
Motivation is more powerful than negotiation.
Hi! I was a late bedwetter (I can't remember exactly how old I
was, but at least seven or eight). All I can remember is that I
was responsible for cleaning up and changing the sheets, such
that I didn't get any parent involved, and I was not wearing any
kind of ''diaper.'' So I had to deal with all the consequences of
bedwetting on my own, which I found very uncomfortable. One
night, I decided I would not wet the bed anymore, and I repeated
over and over in my head, ''I will not pee the bed tonight!'' I'm
not sure how many nights it took, but not many, and I actually
stopped wetting the bed! This makes me think that kids need to
feel some sort of motivation to stop, but that it may have to be
on her own timetable.
We just recently got over this with our almost 7 year old.
I think it took a sheer act of will on her part, when she was ready.
What seems to work is having her pee 3 times in the hour before
bed. I bought a ''piddle pad'' for her bed (about 18'' strip of cloth with
plastic underneath that goes accross the bed under her bottom) so that if she
has an accident, she can discretely deal with it herself....just take out the wet
pad and throw it in the wash, get another from the drawer. Her mattress also
has a waterproof wool protector. If you want to change the situation, it sounds
like you have to take the Pullups away. On the other hand, I'm sure she'll stop
peeing in the bed when she's ready, so you could also let it go,,,,
mom to 3
When I was a child I too wet the bed - until 3rd grade! I must say that I
was incredibly embarrased to have friends spend the night or to sleep at
their house and it really affected my self-esteem. Eventually my doctor
(Kaiser in the 70's) gave my parents an alarm that was activated when
I'd start to urinate (this was sewn into my underwear). While I did have
a small bladder, it really grew into pure laziness.
This message is in response to the woman with a six year old who
still wets the bed. I wanted to include the following
information which may be helpful, as nothing like it is
currently posted in the potty training or bed wetting issues
section of the old postings. Our son was a five year old bed
wetter. I was changing the sheets between 3 and 5 nights a week,
tried diet modification, withholding liquids, waking him and
sleep walking him to the toilet in the middle of the night,
etc. None of it worked. It was exhausting for me and so
unpleasant for him.
After some research, we discovered that he
had serious obstructive sleep apnea. There is a documented link
between sleep apnea in children and bed wetting at these later
ages. (See Stanford Sleep Centers articles). After having his
tonsils and adenoids removed by Dr. Wesman at Children's
Hospital, our child can now get into the proper sleep cycles
which apparently allows the proper chemicals to reach the brain
signaling a full bladder. After the surgery, this problem has
miraculously disappeared. Our child has wet the bed once since
Interestingly, our 75 year old neighbor said that
her physician father removed her adenoids in Italy more than 60
years ago because she was an 8 or 9 year old bed wetter and the
problem went away. Look online under childhood sleep apnea and
bedwetting. There are quite a few articles with signs to look
for in your child. It seems like such a strange connection, but
it was really true in our case. Our child's life is so much
easier now that he is getting forty dry winks and I am able to
work on some much needed beauty rest!
mother of a previous bed wetter
My almost six yr old has been using the ''Good Nites'' pull-ups
every night for a few years now. Lately he has had leaks every
morning that end up soaking his bedding. I suspect that he is
sleeping with his hands down inside the pull-up, thus creating a
big enough gap for the urine to leak through. We're both
exhausted: he's awakened by this and can't go back to sleep; I
am already feeling zonked because I have a newborn. He is a very
deep sleeper and the waking-him-up-to-use-the-potty method
doesn't work with him. I'm not sure what else to do. I know
he'll eventually outgrow the problem but what do we do in the
Our 3 yr old's pull-ups kept leaking, even though the fit &
weight were fine. We first used the diaper pads we found at
Albertsons for extra absorbancy which usually worked well.
When on holiday, we couldn't find anything similar so we
started using Depend Boost Liners. These work better - they
absorb more, have a sticky strip and are easier to find. Just
make sure to get ones that don't have a plastic backing - you
want the urine to go through to the pull-up.
We have switched to the next size up: Good Nights. Even tho my
son can still wear the large size of pull-ups, the Good Nights
are much more absorbant, and he doesn't have wet PJ's when he
wakes up in the mornings.
My daughter was easily daytime potty trained at the age of
3. She is 7 now and still needs to wear pull-up diapers at
night. We have never made her feel ashamed of this. She
knows that almost all of her friends are completely out of
diapers now, and she will cheerfully explain to you that she
still wears pull-ups because she is a very deep sleeper.
A while back I had read great things about the effectiveness
of the bedwetting alarm for nighttime potty training. (We
got the WetStop 3.) I explained the idea to my daughter,
and she was happy to give it a try.
This evening at bedtime we decided to try it. I attached
the bedwetting alarm to her pull-up, and she fell asleep
easily, as is typical. About an hour later I heard the
alarm beeping. I went to my daughter and tried to wake her.
I shook her and called her name. Then I turned on the
light in the room. But she still kept sleeping. I then
called her name even more loudly and told her to wake up. I
even pinched her. She sort of opened her eyes, but then
went right back to sleep. At that point I gave up (and
disconnected the alarm from her diaper and turned it off).
Has anyone encountered this? Any suggestions?
Rip Van Winkle's Dad
Don't use a pull-up with a bed-wetting alarm.
Use underwear and get the kind of alarm that attaches to
the underwear (not a pad underneath). This is the kind we
Malem Ultimate Bed-wetting Alarm with Vibration - Gold 8
It is very loud, flashes and vibrates. It clips to the
shirt up near the top.
You want the alarm going off as soon as the first pee comes
out. A pull-up is designed to absorb moisture and will
delay the alarm. That is counterproductive.
Your daughter may have trouble for a while, so you are
going to have to make sure you can hear it and wake her up,
take her to the bathroom, have her sit on the potty, change
her clothes, change her sheets and get her back in bed.
Eventually she will hear it. It takes a few weeks.
We used two sets of sheets with an absorbing pad in between
and a waterproof cover on the mattress.
Summer is a great time to do it since your daughter won't
have school and it is warm enough to wear minimal clothing
to bed making it easier to change things.
The other thing is don't restrict liquids; you want the
alarm going off. That is how she will train herself to wake
--Alarm worked for us
Hi - Your daughter sounds exactly like my son a few years
back. Two suggestions, first, don't attach it to a pull-up,
she should be wearing regular underwear. A pull-up it too
absorbant and the bed wetting alarm isn't as effective. The
point of the bed wetting alarm is that the child wake as
soon as they start to wet the bed and they should feel the
wetness. If she is wearing a pull-up it will take awhile
for the sensor to detect the moisture and so it won't wake
her and stop the flow of urine. Just get bed pads and put
her in underwear
Second, my son was also a VERY heavy sleeper and also
cheerfully explained that as why he was still wetting the
bed. Keep with the alarm - he did occasionally sleep
through it, but more often than not he would wake up. It
was important that our son was not over tired, when he was
overly tired he went into a VERY deep sleep and had trouble
waking up. If the alarm does go off and she doesn't wake up
- take her to the bathroom anyway. Have her empty her
bladder, put on fresh underwear and walk her back to bed.
finally, it did not completely stop the bed wetting, but
there was huge improvement. What it did help him do was
train him to wake up. He is 12 now and often gets up in the
middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but hasn't wet
the bed in at least 2-3 years.
Have you ruled out another issues like sleep apnea (does she snore), is
she getting enough sleep in general? Could it be that you have an over
tired kid who sleeps threw her body cues? It's not uncommon for 7 year
olds to wet the bed, hopefully she will start to out grow it. Kids sleep
heavy, but maybe there is something else going on here. You should be
able to wake even a heavy sleeper. Have you spoken to your pediatrian
I nannied a little boy who had the same issue. If your daughter's alarm went
an hour after she fell asleep I would say she needs to se the bathroom on her
way to bed, literally. He had an 8:30 bedtime and we pretty much stopped fluids
at dinner. (6-ish) His parents never enforced the bathroom before bedtime thing
so I used quarters as incentive. If he remembered he got 50 cents, if his
remind him they each got a quarter. the jars were left in the bathroom and it
me back about $25 bucks-it was SO worth it!
I was just going to second the idea of sleep apnea.
Good idea to just observe to make sure your son does not
have any other symptoms of sleep apnea as bedwetting is one
of them and sleep apnea is under-dx'd in children.
Children often have a combination of obstructive AND
central. Obstructive being too large adenoid or tonsils and
central is stopping breathing for short periods.
Other symptoms can be mouthbreathing, snoring, sleeping in
strange positions, hyperactivity, difficulting focusing,
You have probably thought of this but making sure your
daughter is fully ''drained'' right before getting into bed
can make a big difference. We learned the hard way how
critical this was.
I also would be a bit concerned about the deep sleep. The
alarm sounds like a moisture detector that will only alert
you when it is already too late. Have you considered a
carbon monoxide alarm for your daughter's room? Maybe a
cooler temperature in the room as well. I would try to get
to the bottom of the deep sleep as it sounds worrisome.
been there dad
My son is 7 and he wets the bed every single night. He has woken up dry
exactly once and that was when he was sick and dehydrated. We get him up
each night to pee (which he never remembers) and yet he is still soaked
through most mornings. Because he always leaked with just a pull-up, we
now put him in a Goodnites pull-up with a men's Depend shield to try and
contain the pee. This usually does not work either. When we tried putting him
to bed in just his jammies for a week to see if he'd wake up, he slept through
soundly until the morning, despite being in an enormous cold puddle.
His doctor's take on it is that this is just something that happens. I know he is
a really heavy sleeper and that he comes from a long line of bedwetters, but I
am starting to wonder if there is something else we should be doing. I am so
tired of the pee smell and the constant laundering of sheets and pjs. We are
paying a small fortune for pull-ups while destroying the earth with all of our
non-biodegradable trash. And overnights with friends and camping in a tent
are probably going to become really embarrassing for him soon.
Is there some solution I am missing? Is a specialist he should see? He is a
normal, happy, fit and active kid with no known health concerns but right
now it honestly seems he will thoroughly wet his bed every night for the rest
of his life.
Mom of a Super Wetter
It's a rotten thing to have to go through, that's for sure.
Our son wet the bed, heavily, just about every night until
he was 8, then sporadically til almost age 9. We used the
Lucky's brand goodnites, which were cheaper and seemed more
absorbent, and like you, we used the men's depend strips
[super absorbent], and we also had 2 large plastic mattress
protectors on the bed, right under the sheet, so that our
laundry usually only consisted of the sheet and the
There's no easy answer for this, except to say it will get
better. My nephew also stopped between 8 and 9, so maybe
there's a little something that clicks at that age for the
kids whose brains didn't get the earlier clicks.
Good luck staying sane.
Bedwetting among older kids is so frustrating! I just wrote
an article (I'm a journalist) about this very topic for the
May 2010 issue of Parenting magazine's School Years edition.
No, you don't have to wait for him to outgrow it. But
it will take some work to overcome. Probably about 8-12
weeks. If you have a children's hospital nearby with a
pediatric enuresis clinic, they can teach you a program to
stop the night wetting, and also rule out any other medical
problems that might be contributing. Or you can get ''Waking
Up Dry,'' a great book by pediatrician Howard Bennett, MD. He
told me the underwear alarm (get one with both a buzzer and
an audible alarm) is the only real answer. And you'll have
to follow the directions very closely on how to do it. If
you're haphazard, it won't work. Good luck!
Practical suggestion - put a good waterproof pad on TOP of
the bottom sheet, then towels on top. Less bedding to wash,
easier to remake bed, and easier to pull just that out in
the middle of the night instead of stripping the whole bed.
Sorry I can't help with the rest of it!
I also have a seven year old who has had less than a
handful of dry nights in his entire life. We kept him in
pull-ups at night and, per our pediatrician were not at
all concerned. The pediatrician said biologically, it is
normal to have bedwetting, or ''enuresis'', even into high
school and not to worry, unless he is worried. Now he
wants to go to sleep-away camp with a buddy this summer
and doesn't want to get teased about wearing pullups. So
I asked our pediatrician and she directed us to the
book ''Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness'' by Renee Mercer
and suggested we start using an alarm. The book is very
informative about the causes of bedwetting (the ''long line
of bedwetters'' being a factor) and various solutions,
butis pretty clear that the alarm route is the most
effective. It walks through the process of selecting the
right alarm and preparing everyone mentally and physically
for its use. The purpose of the alarm is to train his
body to wake up when he needs to pee. I was very lucky to
get an alarm from Alameda Freecycle, but they are
generally about $80 new (I looked on e-Bay and Craigslist,
too). We just started using the alarm last week and have
already had our first dry night! The sensor attaches to
his underwear and goes off at the first sign of wetness
and wakes him to go pee. We put a waterproof bedpad on
his bed, which we have had to change a few times. But he
is very proud that he can pretty much handle it all
himself (though we get up to help, too). Some parents
report that the whole process to permanent dryness took
two weeks, but the book says to expect anywhere up to 12
weeks. www.bedwettingstore.com has starter kits with the
book, the alarm and the bedpads for a package price. I
would start out by checking out the book and seeing if it
seems like the right soluction for you. So far, it is for
There is a link between bed wetting and sleep apnea that
is rarely discussed in pediatrics or popular literature on
parenting. Our son was a bed wetter until the age of five
when he had his toncils and adenoids removed by Dr.
Wessman at Oakland Children's Hospital. (they were grossly
enlarged). A child with sleep apnea does not get into the
proper sleep cycle to release the chemical in the brain
that triggers the bladder/brain connection (if I remember
correctly).In our son's case, the problem went away
immediately. He only wet the bed the day after surgery and
has been dry ever since for 6 years! Look up the Stanford
Sleep Centers site under apnea/bedwetting or talk to an
experienced ENT physician. I came across this wierd
connection after tons and tons of nights with soaking wet
sheets/pjs/frustration and lost sleep for both us and our
child. Incidentally, our 86 year old Italian neighbor had
her adenoids only removed (father was an ENT) for this
specific reason in Italy 80 years ago. Maybe this is worth
mama who remembers the nightly wet sheet routine
Our almost 7-year-old daughter still wears pull-ups at night.
Just this last week I ran out, and we tried going without. All
went well for three nights, then, on the fourth and subsequent
nights - soaking bed. She pees before she goes to bed, and we
put her on the potty before we go to bed at around 11 or 12.
Still she pees. She was very late in potty training (four!) and
still has problems pooping in the toilet. She is otherwise a
normal (if slightly high strung) girl. Her 3-year-old brother
potty-trained himself this year and stays dry all night.
My question is this: At what point should I take her to see
someone? Will she grow out of this? My husband and I are
perplexed. Thanks for any advice.
tired of buying diapers.
We finally got our 8 1/2 y-o boy out of pullups, by committig
to wake him up at least once during the night (and sometimes
once is not enough, or we don't get him up early enough),
because he still will not wake up himself to the sensation of
needing to pee, and won't even wake up after he wets himself.
We still wash bedclothes about twice a week, but it's a lot
better than it was. He can't make it through the night without
our assistance yet, though, and he's now 9. We've read and
been told by Drs that it can be up to 12 years old before some
kids fully mature so that they (1) don't have to pee as often,
or at all, during the night and (2) can feel it and wake up in
time if they do. Unless there are other symptoms, or she used
to be able to make it through consistently and now can't,
there's probably nothing wrong and you just need more time.
I do not think you should ''take her to see someone''. I also
do not think four is ''late'' for potty-training. You really should
continue buying pull-ups or goodnites until she is
comfterble sleeping without them because wetting the bed
means everyone is upset in the morning and she feels
guilty about something that is not at all her fault. I think now,
more than ever is when she needs your support and being
okay with her ''taking her time'' with nightime potty-training
because it can be very hard when a younger sibling masters
something like potty-training at night before the older sibing
does (luckily me and my brother were never bedwetters but
there were other issues about different things) esspecially
with something like this where they are helpless in how to
make it better exept what you are saying you are doing and
there is so much pressure to have nightime accidents
history by age five. Just keep buying pull-up until she grows
out of it and if you are really concerened then talk to her
doctor at her next appointment about prescribing something
for camping and sleepovers. Try not to make a big deal
about it though, simply a condition that well outgrow as far
as the family goes, with her doctor though, you can express
concerns and talk about them in a light, matter-a-fact way to
Ok, I'm going to remain anonymous on this one but share with you
that I also wet the bed and had to wear diapers at nighttime
until I was 6 or 7. I'm now a healthy, normal adult. I think
there are medical conditions/bladder issues that kids outgrow
but you'd need to talk to your dr. for details. I don't
remember my parents taking me to a dr. about this. My biggest
piece of advice is to never shame her about it. I remember
being very embarrassed and ashamed and I wish someone had told
me that it was something I'd outgrow.
Give it a few more weeks. My 5 yo daughter was in diapers at night until my
(european) sister-in-law found out while my daughter was staying with her.
S-i-L insisted: no diapers! She was so right. We, too, were dry the first few
nights, but began wetting again for a few weeks until she figured it out. Just
buy one of those clothe-covered-plastic sheets to put under her meanwhile,
and do a few extra loads of laundry til she gets it.
Does anyone have experience with a child not being potty trained by
age 7? The girl in question apparently is not embarrassed by her lack
of control and has learned means of coping with the situation (like
bringing a change of underwear to school, washing out her own panties
and wearing a pull-up at night).
My 7-year old is still in pullups at night, after toilet training at
about age 3.25. My wife and I were both late bedwetters (boy do I hope this
is being posted anonymously), so we figure he's genetically entitled. We
don't worry about it, just enforceit to save ourselves the laundry load.
He's embarrassed about it, and hides his pullups from the sight of others
when he has a sleepover or babysitter. But he's an incredibly deep sleeper
(he slept through a smoke alarm 15' away once), and just can't manage to
wake himself up at night. We stopped waking him up at night ourselves because
that wasn't teaching him anything, he didn't remember it in the morning,
and then we had fights where he insisted he had been dry all night.
Our 12 year old still has occasional problems...
If he drinks too close to bed time, or fails to urinate before
falling asleep it's pretty much a sure thing.
Relax. Don't let him drink in the last hour before bed. make sure he
"goes" just before climbing into bed - right after brushing his teeth
without drinking any water!
I had a coworker who had this problem. It caused him a great deal of
embarrassment during his childhood, and made him a bit of an outcast.
He ascribed it to the malevolent influence of his grandmother when he
was starting potty training. As an adult he's a bit of a clown -
likes to make people laugh - is a very serious martial arts
practitioner, likes somewhat dangerous sports, and shies vigorously
away from intimacy (as in I have never heard of him having a steady
girlfriend although he's very interested in women, and he's in his mid
thirties). For what it's worth. Sorry no recipe for success - he
didn't get there reliably until he was 10 or 11.
Jin Shin Jyutsu (a touch therapy) has been known to help in these
cases. Sounds like a physiological (but not mechanical) issue perhaps
related to bladder maturation. Everyone's different, as I tell my
5-1/2 year old son. Two local practitioners I recommend for their
work with children are Barbara Baiardi (235-0616) and Leah Statman
(525-5080). My son has had Jin Shin since he was 2 and was fully
trained (no overnight accidents) at 3-1/2, much to our surprise and
wonder. Sometimes it seems he has the bladder of an elephant! Could
be hereditary, could be the body work...
Also, my sister as a child had lots of problems wetting the bed and even
staying dry during the day (through age 8). It turned out that she had
chronic bladder infections from a milk allergy. When she stopped drinking
milk, the incontinence completely cleared up.
My daughter is seven years old and has been in and out of pull-ups
at night for the past year. She is a VERY heavy sleeper and rarely
wakes at night.
Over a year ago I talked to her pediatrician about my daughter's
inability to wake up at night and go to the bathroom. My pediatrician
said that some children do not cycle through "light" sleep. So even if
my daughter's bladder is full, she won't wake up because she never is in
"light" sleep mode.
When she was younger (less than six years old), I just kept her in
pull-ups at night and didn't worry about it. But when she started having
long stretches of dry pull-ups at night, I started having her sleep
Now she very rarely wets the bed, but she still never wakes up at night.
I think that her bladder must have gotten to the point where it can hold
more, which is why she doesn't wet the bed. But the potential is still
When she does wet the bed, it's usually because she had a lot to drink
in the evening or there's been some change in her schedule (like going
on vacation or to a party, etc.).
What I do is the following:
* I don't let her drink much if anything after dinner. No warm milk
* If she insists on a glass of warm milk before bed, then I ask her to
wear a pull-up.
* And ... I drink a glass of water before bed. Then when I wake up to go
to the bathroom, I get her up too. It's still not easy to get her up,
but she's used to the routine now. She barely wakes up. may seem
drastic, but it's less disturbing than changing sheets at night, and
fortunately, neither my daughter nor I have any trouble falling back to
Since I never made a big deal about her wearing pull-ups at night, she
doesn't feel any stigma when she wears one at night, especially since
it's her decision, i.e., if she wants warm milk before bed, she has to
wear a pull-up.
If you have a heavy sleeper, and it sounds like you do, I'd recommend
pull-ups until she's older and her bladder is bigger. Also as she
matures, her sleep cycles will probably change, and she may be able to
wake up and go to the bathroom. But do talk to your pediatrician at
her next check-up or just call your pediatrician and talk about it over
The thing to keep in mind is that it's not her fault if (1) she has a
small bladder and (2) is a heavy sleeper. Bedwetting is a drag, but
don't blame her for what she can't help.
My advice: if your child is wetting the bed past the age of 6 or so,
do some research on Enuresis and ask your doctor about DDAVP.
The poor kid can't help it and is probably miserable. This will
eliminate the misery.
My son wet the bed off and on till he was in his early teens.
He is a very deep sleeper and just couldn't wake up to pee. Over the
years we tried the buzzer (woke us
up but not him) withholding liquids (no effect), waking him
to pee (very difficult - he was not awake and we'd half
drag him to the toilet where he couldn't wake up enough to pee).
The ONLY thing that worked was a prescription
nasal spray called DDAVP. I wish we had tried it sooner because
his self-esteem suffered so much over the years. It worked right away
and the whole family got happy again. By the time he
was 15 or so, he could reliably sleep through the night without
DDAVP and without peeing. So he stopped taking it and there were
no more accidents after that.
Sorry to say that some kids inherit enuresis and there is not too much
you can do about it. DDAVP, a nasal spray, will help. Ask your
pediatrician about it. My child was 15 before he outgrew bedwetting
but if he consistently took a spritz of DDAVP he'd reliably have a dry
night. I hope you have an earlier resolution! But be aware that some
kids are just sound sleepers combined with a predisposition for enuresis.
My son is 7.5 years old and still wets the bed. I've tried
everything and nothing has worked. My son gets depressed
and we are both tired of changing the sheets and blankets
in the middle of the night. I've spoken to the pediatrician
about putting him on medication to help him and wanted to
hear from parents who have done the same. Did your child
experience any side affects and what were they? How long
did they take the medication? Most importantly I wanted to
know how your child felt about taking the meds? Was the
Concerned mom of bedwetter
Your question was pretty specific to views on medicine for
this problem so maybe you've already covered all the
possible reasons for the bedwetting - if so, just ignore this.
But my son had this problem although at a younger age and it
was caused by his sleep apnea which is much more common in
children than one thinks.
The way it works I believe is that with lower oxygen at
night from the sleep apnea causes the hormones to get off
balance which then causes increased urination at night which
frequently results in bedwetting.
There are 2 types of sleep apnea - central (stop breathing)
and obstructive (large adenoids and-or large tonsils) often
children have bothfor some reason.
Other symptoms - snoring, restless sleep, sleeping in
strange positions (for instance our son slept with his head
backwards almost at a 90 degree angle in order to open up
his air passage better, but there are other common positions
they sleep in), mouth breathing, cranky, hyperactive,
attention problems,slowing of growth (our son shot up 1 inch
in 2 weeks after having his adenoids removed), temper tantrums.
For us, once I figured out the problem (and btw his doctor
was no help) we took him to a ENT specialist and removed his
adenoids. Made a huge difference in his life and bedwetting
stopped. We didn't bother with a sleep study because his
symptoms were really for obstructive sleep apnea.
The other thing though is in all my research on this, I
found there seem to be other reasons for bedwetting that a
homeopathic doctor or alternative doctor could help you with
if you do not want to go with the regular medicine.
I was a bed-wetter until 2nd grade when I was put on a med
(this was in the mid-70s). I took 2 pills a day for a
couple of weeks then went to 1 pill a day, then down to 1
every other day & just stopped when the pills ran out. I
think within a month or so I stopped wetting. (Sorry, don't
known what the med was.) To this day I still remember how
relieved I was that the wetting had stopped (could do sleep-
overs, no more icky laundery,...). Taking the meds was a
big deal to me in a positive way. I was excited to think
that the ''baby'' wetting would soon stop & I'd finally be a
big kid. I did wonder why we hadn't started them at an
earlier age (probably wasn't the right time for me
physically). I don't recall any side effects.
I just wanted to share some research with you about bed wetting. And I
apologize if you know this stuff already. Studies show that while medicine
does work, relapse is really high once the medication stops. The pad/bell
method has shown to be most successful, maybe even in combo with
meds. The pad/bell helps reduce relapse in future so it has better long
term effects. And Im not sure if you are familiar with the bell/pad method
but basically it's a pad you put under your child at night, and if they pee
the bell will ring causing them to wake up and go to the bathroom. I'm not
against either method but just wanted to share this with you.
My son wore pull-ups until he was 10 yrs. old. I was incredibly anxious all the
time wondering about sleep-overs and sleep-away camps. We came up with
some good camouflaging techniques for the pull-ups during sleep-overs
(hiding dark plastic bags and pull-ups in sleeping bags.) At the end of my son's
10th summer, he decided he was really ready and used one of those clip-on
alarms (can be obtained on-line for about $15-$20.) I helped to wake him up at
least once at night to pee in the toilet. I think it took about 3 nights and he
been completely dry since (maybe one accident?)
It seems to me, that when the kid's body and psyche is ready, they will succeed.
I gave serious thought to medication but I think the pre-adolescent hormone
shift made a difference. As well, I didn't make too big a deal about his wearing
the pull-ups at home and I think that gave him the space and reduced anxiety to
be motivated himself. We often forget that each individual kid has a varied
schedule for maturing.
- ''Relieved'' Mom
I was a bed-wetter as a kid, and my parents tried
everything. Basically, the medicine just makes you sleep
less soundly, so that you can become aware of the urge to
pee and it actually wakes you up. If your child has a
similar condition, the main issue is that he sleeps so
soundly that he doesn't wake to pee. The medicine just made
me groggy all day because I couldn't sleep the way I needed
to. I think I was on it for less than a year.
The doctor said it would stop once I hit puberty, and right
up until my first period I still wet the bed, though not a
single time after that. With boys there's less of a
dramatic marker, but probably around age 12-14. Until then,
my mom woke me up once in the night every night until I was
about 9. Then we set an alarm. I had a cut-off of 7:00pm
for food & drinks. At sleepovers, my friends knew I had a
medical condition and no one made a big deal about it. I
just put a towel down after a wet night to get through until
morning, and washed sheets the next day. It did happen more
and more rarely. My parents really minimized the
significance of it and I don't have any traumatic
associations with it from childhood (am now in my twenties).
Every kid has something they have to get through; maybe
this made me more empathetic in some ways.
Best of luck to you and your son-
Our kids are nearly 9 (a girl) and 5 (a boy) and still wet the bed, as my husband
did for years, as did his uncle, until the pre-teen years.
They kids are in Pull-Ups until this resolves itself. We tried the Hyland's
with no success, and are reluctant to try drugs. But with Pull-Ups (or
Goodnights) we all sleep through the night. While you're searching for a
solution, put your son in Pull-Ups so everyone can get some rest.
Mom of 3 in Berkeley
My son wet his bed every night until just recently (he
turned 9 in June). We just kept him in big kids pull-ups,
and tried to play it down. I figured worrying about it
wasn't going to help, and nobody is still wetting the bed at
18, so he'd grow out of it. However, we decided to be more
proactive because he started to get invited to lots of
Basically, our approach was like nighttime potty training.
In the beginning he emptied his bladder before bed, we took
him at about midnight, and again at 5:30am. Slowly he
started to learn to wake himself in the mornings and we
eliminated that trip. Now we set an alarm and take him every
night at 11:30pm - and thankfully he's been dry for three
months. He even is beginning to get himself up at night, or
make it the whole night.
My understanding is that the medication simulates a hormone
that tells your kidneys to concentrate your urine at night.
We figured we'd exhaust all other possibilities first
(including, literally, exhausting ourselves). Most people I
know that went that route used it only for short term help
like for classroom camping trips. I've seen a lot of recs
for the bed wetting sheets with built-in alarms. Whether you
do it yourself or with a sheet alarm, it's basically
behavior mod and retraining that does, eventually work (if
you've eliminated any possible physical problems). I'm not a
big believer in taking a pretty strong medication for a
problem that could be fixed another way. Of course, there is
a time and place where medication is appropriate and that's
best discussed with a doc.
I'd be really careful about any medicine you give your child
and research side effects. I'm not advising you to rule meds
out, just be careful. A friend of mine gave a tricyclic
antidepressant to her daughter for bedwetting in 1999, and it
kicked off a whole host of horrific events for them. Her
daughter has never been the same. I looked up some of the
other types of bedwetting medicines (other than tricyclics,
which are prescribed for this purpose sometimes) and they seem
safer, with fewer side effects, but I'm not as familiar with
those. I would just caution you to research everything and be
prepared. Good luck.
Mom who cares about kids
I was also a bedwetter, although I had already been potty
trained and started wetting the bed again around the age
of 7 (and I was a girl). I realize that that differs from
your son's situation, but since no one knew why I had
started wetting the bed again, my doctor prescribed me
bedwetting pills. I remember clearly taking these pills
daily and I really hoped that it would magically help me
from wetting the bed. It didn't make a bit of
difference, 'cause that wasn't the real issue.
After my mom gave me these pills for about a month, she
decided that they were bogus and that something else was
going on. The doctor thought I was too lazy to get up at
night, but that was clearly not the case, 'cause I hated
waking up wet and would very quietly take off the bedding
and put clean bedding on. It would've been a lot easier if
I could've just gotten up and gone to the bathroom. My mom
insisted on a physical and that's when the doctor
discovered enormous tonsils. Because they were chronically
infected, my body was always fighting an infection and
therefore I would sleep so much deeper at night. Once they
were removed, I never wet my bed again. My body corrected
itself immediately and the problem was gone.
I hope that you find a solution for your son soon. It's no
fun for him either!
My son who is now in his 20s used DDAVP nasal spray for
bedwetting between the ages of 9 and 13. We had tried
everything else, more than once. Nothing else worked. DDAVP
was a godsend. He had no side effects. He just sprayed it in
his nose before bedtime and then he didn't wet the bed. You
can google it, but basically it is the synthetic version of
a hormone that the body produces to limit urine production.
With puberty, bedwetting went away so he stopped using it.
Children's Hospital Urology Department does a good job with all sorts of
incontinence, daytime and night time. They are very busy and it can be a long
wait to get an appointment. Because of the volume of referrals they deal with
they insist that parents attend a parent-only talk on the causes and treatment
choices of the typical issues they see, then you will be able to make an
appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner in person who will help diagnose the
reason for the problem and present options for treatment. My soon to be 8 year
old boy is dealing with day time problems and next we deal with the night time
wetting. Attending this clinic has made all the difference in my child's
confidence and self esteem and has taken the emotional strain out of the issue.
Our pediatrician explained that without the hormone that tells the brain to either
hold the urine or to wake up and deal with it, kids continue to wet the bed. The
medicine you refer to mimics the hormone, but does not develop it any faster in
the child. It's a matter of time that it develops from my understanding.
We tried the medicine for my son for school overnights and sleep overs a few
times from age 8-10 and it didn't really work very well. He was nervous and
pee'd anyway on one of them, but wore a pull up. It also is a totally short-term
My son is now 11 and is dry about half the time. We're still waiting for the
hormone to kick in. He's cool with it and is very discreet with his pullups on
sleepovers. He wears them at home too - It's much better than the shame of wet
sheets and the laundry.
This may not be what you're expecting, but I would suggest
seeing a homeopath. There are many conditions that are not
easily 'fixed' by Western medicine, and which can better
be rebalanced using a different approach. It is non-toxic
and effective medicine, very useful when there is a
behavioral or emotional component as it works on all those
Just wanted to echo the poster's advice regarding removal
of adenoids. We simply couldn't even dream of doing night
time potty training as our daughter's diaper was very soggy
each morning. For other reasons (sleep apnea and snoring),
we had tonsils/adenoids removed and not only did the night
time wetting end within a month but attention and
behavioral issues ended as well!
I know this may sound odd as a remedy, but in the Waldorf
schools, students learn a movement art called eurythmy. There
is also a therapuetic branch of eurythmy. I have heard that
therapuetic eurythmy has very good outcomes for ''curing'' bed
wetting. You might consider this option if you do not want to
go the medical route. Maybe you could contact the East Bay
Waldorf School and ask for a referral for practitioner.
Does anyone have experience with bedwetting and older boys?
Mine has just turned 8, and still wets the bed every night. He
sleeps deeply, doesn't wake up at night, and pees like a
racehorse. Both my brother and dad wet the bed until early
teens. I have read that some kids (usually boys) take awhile
before they mature to the point where the brain starts producing
an anti-diuretic at night that slows urine production. Until
then, apparently you just have to wait it out. Our pediatrician
thinks that just telling our son to stop wetting the bed should
be sufficient. This is not working. Has anyone tried the
prescription med that mimics the brain's chemical? Our doc is
not enthused about it. I worry about the effect of wetting and
self-esteem, especially if our son cannot control it (yet).
Mom of wet son
Well, this is fairly unconventional, but worth a try. I've used
a variety of what might be called ''hypnotic suggestions'' with my
child before going to sleep. They are exercises I learned in
theatre, dance and yoga, and begin with a relation process:
''Find a place in your right foot, relax it. Find a place in your
left foot, right calf, etc., all the way up the body. Point out
that tips of
fingers and tops of head may tingle as all the tension leaves
through those points. Once the body is fully relaxed, take it
down a step further: ''Imagine your bed in space, warm, cozy,
surrounded by stars. It begins to softly sway, and drift, down,
down'' Say things which provide comfort and reassurance - maybe
have an orange light, which fills the body slowly like a liquid,
! bringing a peaceful, sleepy feeling. Once the subject is fully
relaxed, you can make some very gentle suggestions: As I count
backwards from 10, you will start to feel sleepy. You will rest
very peacefully, and awaken relaxed and refreshed. If you need
to go to the bathroom, you will feel your bladder, wake up, and
walk to the bathroom, use the toilet, then come back to bed,
where you will go back to sleep. You will not forget to get up
to use the bathroom, etc.
I've used this to get my son to sleep when he was having a
problem, or to wake up in time for a busy day. I use it myself
instead of an alarm clock, and after you've done it a few tmes,
your body wakes itself up at exactly the right time. It can also
be used to remember dreams, quit smoking, cut down on certain
foods, control temper, etc, and is a great tool to have even if
it proves ineffective for this particular problem. You might
want to suggest that he will be able to feel when his bladder is
full..weird, I know, but..It's worth a try, eh?
My oldest son was a bedwetter exactly as you describe your son,
up until he was about 14, at which point he finally outgrew it.
Yes it does run in families. Please go see a different
pediatrician. I had two pediatricians who helped me on this -
Gary Bean is the one who finally got us on the right track with
DDAVP - he was really super when my boys were bigger. DDAVP
really works and there were no side effects other than less
laundry for you and higher self esteem for your son. My son
completely took over remembering to use it before bedtime and
reminding me when it was time to refill. It was the only thing
that ever worked. Believe me I tried everything over the years:
waking him up, restricting liquids, using buzzers sewn
into his underpants, talking, reasoning, pleading, and of
course listening patiently to everybody's suggestions -- a lot of
well-meaning people think this has to do with stress or
problems at home. Frankly, unless they are coming from a person
who has dealt with a kid this age who wets the bed, the
suggestions you get are not that useful, and can actually
make you and your kid feel guilty and incompetant. Really it
is a physical condition that is easily treatable and eventually
goes away. Please make an appointment with another doctor and at
least try DDAVP for a month. I still feel guilty for not trying
it sooner (he turned out fine despite the bedwetting, and your son will too, so
all the Best
Anonymous for my kid's sake
My 8 1/2 year old son also still wets the bed. Our pediatricians'
office minimizes concern at this point, saying he will likely
outgrow it. Coming from a family of bedwetters, I am not too
concerned. My siblings stopped between 7 and 12 years of age.
Regarding self-esteem, we just dont put a lot of attention on it
at home. He wears pull-ups at night and also does so privately on
sleep overs. I also know a few other families with same age kids
who have this behavior, so I let my son know that this is just a
bladder thing that some kids take longer to outgrow. Of course he
wishes it wasnt the case. At this point I am not planning any
intervention for this behavior, but if he begins to express a lot
of concern re it I may investigate some of the suggestions
mentioned on this website. I just wanted to give an alternative of
wait and see. To me, trying a lot of things that don't work seems
more harmful to self-esteem.
used to wet the bed
This is why Walgreen's and the bigger grocery stores stock
nightpants large enough to fit most 8-9 year olds, but not
teens or adults! My son is nearly 10, and has thankfully just
about grown out of the bedwetting habit, with no medication and
as little fuss as possible. We used to hide drynites at the
end of his sleeping bag for sleepovers and overnight camp, but
most sleeping bags are washable and camp staff are generally
used to this fairly common problem. Amazingly, the other
little boys never seemed to notice anything!
I have a nine year old son who wets the bed. We don't really
fret about it (as we were both bedwetters in our day!). But I'm
concerned because (a) it's EVERY night and the volume is large
(b) it doesn't seem to matter if or how many times I get him up
at night (c) he's too frightened by the nightime noise of most
recommended alarm systems. What's your advice? Just be patient
and wait it out? He doesn't seem miserable, but I'm sure it
would help his self esteem to move past this. His six year old
sister who has similar issues is terrifically motivated to stop,
while he is not. Interested in the experiences of parents in a
similar quandry. Thanks in advance.
A pediatrician recently told me that olders bedwetters do not
have an appropriate increase in their antidiuretic hormone at
night. This can be supplemented at night as DDAVP nasal spray.
It is also available now as a pill. Given your family history,
it sounds as if this could be the case.
We waited it out - and it wasn't until our son was over 11 that
he didn't wet the bed at least 2-4 times a week despite
restricting fluids, waking him up, etc. It has been very hard on
his self esteem, but we included him on the discussion regarding
alternatives - ie. hormone therapy and the fact that his own
pediatrician's son had the same problem till over 9 years old
and while he would prescribe hormones if we wanted, that our
pediatrician DID NOT do hormone therapy on his own child and our
son agreed that he didn't want the hormonal therapy. What helped
some was that as a family we tried to be matter of fact about
it. We talked about the bedwetting as a medical issue that he
had to deal with (and brought it up with his pediatrician at his
annual check ups so our son got continual feedback about his
medical condition from his doctor as well as us), would outgrow
(unlike other medical issues that some kids had to deal with
like diabetes) and that he could take some responsiblity for (by
avoiding bedtime drinking, setting an alarm clock for 1am. but
also by changing his own sheets, putting wet pj's/linen in the
washer, etc). He very inventively came up with an option that
kinda worked for overnights (swimtrunks) and luckily had a
couple of true friends that accepted his medical issue without
judgement or cruelty (we did agree to avoid residential summer
camp though). He will be 12 this month and for the past 6 months
has been ''dry'' for more than 6 weeks at a time(with one recent
inexplicable return to 4 times in one week), so he knows that he
IS outgrowing it. I won't lie to you though, its been a
definite self-esteem issue for him over the years and I know its
an issue of shame for him despite our efforts to be matter of
fact, but I think he would agree that as a family we handled it
as best as possible.
Chiropractic care has had a great track record with treating
children with bedwetting problems. There can be many different
reasons for this problem. I would be happy to talk to you about
helping your son. I have a family practice in Albany and see
children regularly for a variety of health problems including
bedwetting. Chiropractic care for children is gentle, safe and
As the mother of three kids, one (and only one) of them a bedwetter
till his early teens, my advice is to seriously consider DDAVP - talk
to your pediatrician. My son is 20 now and those days are long behind
us, but I still feel really badly that I did not know about DDAVP
sooner because my kid really suffered. It is a big blow to a kid's
self esteem to be wetting the bed - they cannot go to sleepovers, they
live in fear that the kids at school will find out, and they are
continually hopeful after a 3-day dry spell and then crushed when it
happens again. We found out about DDAVP whe he was about 11. It was
like a miracle drug. I had concerns about giving him a drug but my
dr. explained it is a naturally occurring substance that some people
don't have enough of. I think it is the thing that shuts the kidneys
down for the night so they don't keep generating pee all night long.
The doc said some people have a deficiency of this and that combined
with heavy sleep pattern keeps them from waking when they need to
pee. There were no side effects. It's a nasal spray and my kid just
sprayed before bedtime and it just worked. He was highly motivated and
remembered every night to do it. He was able to spend the night at
friends' for the first time. He used it till he was 14 or so, when
for some reason he was able to wake himself up, or stopped needing to
pee at night, or whatever. ask your pediatrician about it. Wouldn't
hurt to try it and see if it works. It was really such a relief for
My son wet his bed every night too. My neighbor told me about a buzzer belt
that had helped her son and I decided to try it. My son was eight when he
used it and, like magic, it worked! I think it taught him to recognize his
body needs when in a very deep sleep . He also "learned" to simply hold it
in until morning. I have leant this devise to several friends who have also
had great success with it. You can email me for more info if you like but I
must say that the directions state that after a child is 8 it becomes much
more difficult to "learn" to stop bed wetting. Still, my own son was so
proud of himself for finally gaining control over this, isn't it worth a
For the last few months, my 9 year-old has been waking up with
his pants wet or his bed wet. He feels quite embarrassed and
ashamed of himself but he says he can't control it. I'm trying
my best to find a remedy as well as trying not to shame him.
Luckily enough, he's slim enough, and I decided to have him wear
pull-ups and to stop drinking water or milk by 6 p.m. and to
relieve himself all he can before he goes to bed at 8:45 but he
needs to stop this and anyone have any sons who have gone
through this and you have any helpful remedies or suggestions?
Our son had the same problem. We finally bought that alarm ($80 at least - I don't
recall) and that trained him to get up at night, the very first night . He LOVED the
Best of luck to you.
If you son is suddenly peeing during the night, you might want
to notice if he's also lost weight and is very thirsty. These
are all symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Our daughter had been potty
trained and then at the age of 4 began wetting herself during
the night. Unfortunately for us, it was diabetes, but at least
we got her to the doctor and had her diagnosed before it was
more serious. Undiagnosed diabetes can lead to diabetic
ketoacidosis, which can be fatal if blood sugars just go up and
up unchecked. If there are no other explanations, I would
encourage you to have your child checked out. It's an easy urine
test in the doctor's office.
No big deal... he is probably just sleeping too deeply to feel
the sensation that he has to pee.
I definitely recommend using an alarm to help retrain his body to
wake up when it feels that sensation. It's no fun hearing that
thing in the middle of the night, but after a while it really
works. My daughter was younger than your son, but we've had no
accidents for at least a year!
I don't think this that unusual. Some boys have a hard time controlling nightime urine.
Talk to his doctor, but I think it might be something that goes away as his kidney
mature. My 12 yro godson still occassionally pees in the bed.
Kids are DEEP sleepers. Wish I could sleep like them. So they
don't wake up when their bladder tells them to and they wet the
bed. Just very common and normal even in older kids (12, 13) so
no big deal. My advice, just do what you are doing, and make
sure everyone (that means you and your son) understands that it
is no big deal. Key phrase, no big deal.
Is this a new problem? Was he dry overnight before and now is
wetting at night? If that is the case I would start with your
pediatrician. A physical or emotional change may be the cause. If
he has never been dry, I would recommend trying a nighttime
bedwetting alarm. It worked for my almost-8yo in about 2 weeks.
A google search yielded a fantastic kid oriented page on
or you could have checked the archives. What made you think this
was a unique problem? a 9 year-old can pick up that you think
they have a ''special'' and embarrassing problem. It ain't special.
Here is the short of it:
His nervous system has forgotten (or not learned) how to monitor
his bladder when he is asleep: so get a bed wetting alarm. It is
a thing you can buy. One version consists of a pair of flexible
metallic pads with holes in them that go beneath the sheets.
Between them is an insulator. Back when I had one it, the
insulator, was paper. They have evolved since then... (for
instance there are briefs that do the same thing these days) Low
voltage goes into one of the pads and when urine moistens the
insulator the circuit closes and the alarm sounds. Safe and
quick. Remember Pavlov's dogs? Or how you associate the ''ding''
with the ''dong'' that usually follows in a doorbell. Same deal:
your son's brain will quickly learn to associate the alarm sound
with a full bladder feeling and wakes up _in anticipation_ of the
alarm sound. Once awake, he feels the fullness from that awake
perspective and off to the toilet! Soon the fullness feeling is
associated with rousing from sleep. This is _Really_ basic
behavior conditioning. Works like a charm for bed-wetting. The
alarms and the process are quite rewarding (a 9 year-old could
track their own progress and manage the project) and quick.
This scientific/behavioristic approach should also give him a
sense of control and mastery. It did for me.
If I were you, (and I am you: I screw up stuff with my kid) I'd
apologize for the pull-ups and the restriction of fluids
(dehydration = bad) approaches and suggest a
fresh ''you-and-me-against-the-world!'' approach.
Dear fellow parents,
My 3rd-grader has struggled with bedwetting for years and is
*ready* to stop. We have tried the alarms, with no success,
mainly because a. they don't wake him up (they wake me up) and
b. then, when I wake him up, the sound scares him--not overall
very conducive to independence or the necessary tranquility
that should go along with the process.
So I'm looking for advice and tips that go beyond the
bedwetting alarm, although I know that this is extremely
popular with many--it just doesn't look like it will work for
us. I would be interested in working with a holistic-type
practicioner who could help address diet, etc. We've tried
acupuncture, but he was overwhelmed by the experience.
Thank you very much.
drowning in the yellow lake!
My 10 year old son was a bed wetter for many years, and we tried
an alarm, waking him up in the night, no drinking after 6:00pm,
all to no avail. I think they just have to grow out of it. I
was a bed wetter, as was my brother, so perhaps there is a
genetic component relating to a small or slow to develop bladder
and internal ''notification system.'' I think it is best just not
to make a big deal out of it, and frankly, I am troubled that
anyone would subject a third-grader to acupuncture needles or
other questionable ''remedies'' in an effort to stop the bed wetting.
My 3rd grade boy has just this year really improved in the bedwetting
we struggled for a couple of years, until at his 6 year annual check-up
asked about it and said, ''yep - nothing you can do - it runs in the
family so just wait it
out.'' We discussed further and her take was that it is a primarily
genetic behavior and
that there is no point in finding a solution because they just have to
grow out of it...
with that info. we came home, just encouraged him to do the best he
resigned ourselves to wet sheets... the last six months have been great
and with no
frustration! Good luck -
dry days ahead
My 3rd grader has also been a heavy bedwetter. We did not do the alarm.
We did try
the medicine from the pediatrician that is supposed to stop them from
it did not work for my son. We had a referral for the urologist, but
ended up not
going. We had an appointment with the osteopath, Patricia Weltz, on
Santa Fe, in
Albany for some other issues. We discussed the bedwetting as well, and
seemed to have a big impact on the bedwetting. So now instead of heavy
night, it is some pee occassionally. My son is very proud to have made
progress, and I really attribute it to the osteopath.
I know that bed-wetting in kids is variable and within a
spectrum of 'normal'. However, my kid goes through phases
of bed wetting and is 9 years old. As well, there are minor
to major accidents during the day. This does not happen all
the time. Rather, it seems to come and go in inexplicable
cycles. We've tried all kinds of things (including
consults with MDs and PhDs). I know there are anxiety
issues, but anyone else out there have experience with this
and managed to not develop additional anxiety over it? We
don't do sleepovers (of which invites are growing in
frequency) and there is a smell and volume of laundry issue
as well. I know all the 'don't give water just before bed'
and 'wake up on a schedule to pee at night'.... None of it
seems to work. Surely, there are periods where it seems to
be about control (not going potty when the need arises and
then having an accident), but at what age does smelling like
pee become an incentive to not have accidents? Oh, and at
what age do we get concerned that it is beyond the spectrum
trying to be cool
I could have written your post a couple of years ago!
This has been such a struggle, and I know it helped me to
hear that it was happening to others as well. We tried
the medications (against my husband's wishes) just to see
if it would get our son through sleep away camp, etc. No
luck. We tried all the tricks you describe. Last year
his behavioral pediatrician said that at 11, he should
respond very quickly to the alarm that did not work when
he was 8 or 9. This year, at 12, he's going through
puberty and has overcome this! Our son didn't have too
much anxiety or embarrasment around it, but he certainly
did want to go on sleep overs and he is trying to make up
for that now. From everything I've read and heard from
this doc, 12-13 would be about the end of it. You may be
lucky and it may end sooner than that. Good luck!
Sounds frustrating! One thing you didn't mention was
whether or not you'd tried one of those mattress pads that
triggers an alarm when it gets wet. There was a good
article about bed wetting in the NY Times recently (I think
it was in the science section) and those mattress pads were
the one thing most people thought helped, though I guess
they're a real pain until they do, since they tend to wake
everyone in the house before the bedwetter wakes up.
not sure if you're open to this, but i found the GAPS diet
book by natasha campbell-mcbride illuminating--it fit with
our problems. if your body considers your urine to be on
the toxic side, it's much harder to hold in. it's a lot
more irritating as it sits in your bladder, and you need
to pee asap. diet changes are required, and they're
biggies--but i have seen the changes work miracles with at
least one person i know well.
mama on the healing path
Hey there. I know you'll probably get several responses to this link:
http://tinyurl.com/ydf9a3b. The NYT just had a short article in their Health
section online about enuresis. Basically, they say that if the kid is reliably dry
during the day and the nighttime bedwetting continues past 5, there can be a
genetic component. The article also says that a nighttime alarm works very
well to retrain a kid to get up and use the potty. From what I've heard (we've
seen a specialist too and I think the article addresses this as well), waking
them up to pee on a schedule doesn't actually keep them from wetting the
bed. We've had occasional episodes, but none recently, which is a relief. Still, I
get nervous that it will happen again.
Our main problem was less about enuresis and more about encopresis. As we
dealt with that, we found ourselves having to deal with more pee accidents at
night. You may try having him be responsible for stripping and remaking his
bed, and also doing his own laundry when it happens. I know it's stressful for
you - I expect it's stressful for him too. We focused on behavior training - we
got our son a watch with 6 alarms on it and every time the watch buzzed, he
had to use the potty. He used the potty every hour and half. the alarm helped
remind him at school. We talked to his teacher so she would allow him to go
to the bathroom each time without giving him grief about it. the watch
buzzes, so he feels it and no on else needs to know.
Of course, one of the biggest things was for his dad and I to change the way
we responded to accidents. He had to change ingrained patterns, we had to
change our behavior as well. After working on this for 9 months, we have
really come a long way, but we are not finished. I think backsliding is to be
expected. If Children's has a specialized clinic that focuses solely on these
issues, I would recommend seeing someone there. I took my son to his
regular pediatric practice three times for the same symptoms and they did
not help me fix the problem at all. It was only after we went to a specialist
that we got the help we needed. If your insurance doesn't cover it, pay out of
pocket - it is worth it. Good luck!!
We had a problem as well with our seven year old and tried
something that is contrary to conventional wisdom. At his
last doctor's appt, the doctor off-handedly mentioned that
his body needed to learn that shut down the bladder for the
night. It clicked in my head. We had taken him off the
overnight pull-ups so that he would feel the wetness, been
restricting liquids from dinner on and had been waking him
up to pee around midnight with no success for a year or so.
But I realized that this was not allowing the bladder to
''learn'' to shut down if it was getting emptied in the middle
of the night. We stopped doing that and within two days he
stopped wetting the bed with zero accidents for 8 months now.
Unconventional but worth a try.
We have had success using the Malem bedwetting alarm with
both of our kids (one girl, one boy). We're finished with
the alarm -- let me know if you're interested in purchasing
Just another perspective, in case you've tried or will try
everything (like we did): When my son was 7 and still
having these issues I asked his pediatrician, who wasn't in
the least worried about it, how long this might last and she
said, oh probably not too much longer, but it some cases the
child's system doesn't develop fully until age 12. We
walked out of there hoping we weren't one of those cases,
but 5 years later, literally, at age 12.5, the bedwetting
finally stopped, just as the Dr. said it would. NOTHING we
did in the interim helped in any long-term kind of way. We
just had to get over it, and teach him to change the sheets.
Our almost 9 year old daughter occasionally pees in bed while
sleeping. We've addressed this issue with pullups but we'd like
to find out if other parents have had success with bedwetting
detectors -- and we'd really appreciate recommendations for a
specific one that works well. Our daughter can occasionally wake
herself up and take herself to the bathroom in the night but
other times she wakes up wet. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks very much!
Concerned and Wondering What To Do
We used the Wet-Stop for our son when he was 7 years old. We found it at
www.bedwettingstore.com. (I see that they have a new model now, but the
premise is the same.) It took him about three nights to get the idea of
how to wake himself up and then another two or three weeks to do it
consistently and we've had no problems since. I was skeptical at first,
but it really helped him understand the feeling of having a full bladder
I can't address the detector Q directly, but a study out last week found
some interesting findings re preventing bedwetting - caffeine, citrus,
and carbonation should be eliminated from a child's diet (see link
below). This may help in the area of prevention for you and others with
a child with this problem.
My daughter is 10 years old/5th grade and still sometimes
wets the bed at night. She may be dry for a whole month and
then she may wet the bed for 3 nights in a row. She sleeps
like a rock and has been known to sleepwalk several times per
year. She was seen by a urologist who found no physical problem.
Our pediatrician prescribed DDAVP to have for camping trips or
sleepovers. We never tried the bed alarm - we kept thinking
she was going to grow out of the bedwetting any day; that the
alarm would not actually wake her up but would wake up her
younger sister (who can hold a gallon of pee overnight!).
Does anyone have any similar experiences with a child that's
older than 10? I know where we can buy the bed alarm but is
there any way to try one to see if it'll wake her up?
My nephew is nearly 10 and still has problems wetting the bed. My
sister has him wear pull-ups or something like that. They call it his
"night underwear." Indeed bedwetters cannot control it and no amount of
bribery will change that. They simply lack the ability to wake themselves
up when they need to pee. Ferber covers this problem very compassionately
and thoroughly in his book. He condemns punishment as both cruel and
useless. He details several techniques to try, including encouraging your
child to "hold it" during the day by staging a type of contest- marking the
level in a container of one pee and then seeing if he can beat that level
and then that level- effectively increasing his bladder capacity.
Bedwetting is much more common than you think. Most bedwetters grow
out of it by the age of 12, as my brother-in-law did. It also has a
tendency to run in families. I'm convinced that it's a minor neurological
disorder that corrects itself as puberty begins, but I have no MD! There
is also a very effective medication, but doctors usually wait until the child
is much older than your little guy.
Good luck! Try not to make a big deal out of it- It will only make
him feel worse.
Speaking from personal experience, I was a bed wetter until
4th or 5th grade - same problem - deep sleeper, sleep walker etc.
My folks finally bought an alarm system (the kind that you put
under the sheets), and it was a god-send. Within a week or so,
the problem was done with, and I was so relieved to be done with
it. The alarm is not that loud, but, combined with wetting the bed,
it wakes you up - not the least bit scarey. Buy one! Good
To the person who wondered whether a potty alarm would actually
wake their child: We are using a potty alarm right now to help
train my 6-year-old son to wake up at night and go potty.
The alarm snaps on the shoulder of his pajama top, then wires
go down to his underpants and snap together in the front.
He is a very sound sleeper, but has never failed to wake up.
Also, I still don't understand why but as soon as he barely
starts to pee and the alarm goes off, he immediately stops peeing!
At first I thought the alarm would scare him and he'd keep peeing
out of fright, but he really does stop peeing, then I rush in to
help him go to the bathroom and finish. The alarm we have is
called a "SleepDry" by StarChild Labs (408-662-2659). I don't know
the cost because it was passed on to me by my sister who used
it successfully for her daughter who was 7 or 8 years old and
a very sound sleeper. Good luck!
It's great to hear people asking for help on this subject...so
many children suffer from this problem (I've heard around 10%).
I have found a method that has been very successful for people
I know. It addressed two key problems. One is that a child may
have a small bladder, and so often parents encourage drinking
less thinking this will help. The second is that many of these
children are deep sleepers, so they don't get the "I-have-to-pee
cue." I would tell your child that the bladder is like a balloon,
and we need to help stretch it some. Fill up a large bottle of water
(a quart) keep it in the fridge and have your child drink the whole
thing during the day. Send extra water to school. When a child is
sad, and tired of the anxiety around sleeping over friends houses
etc. they are often very motivated to try anything. Tell them
that drinking water will help them stretch their bladder (plus it's
good for your skin). Don't have them drink too much after dinner, but
you don't have to eliminate all liquids after a certain time. Next you
get an Enuresis alarm (pediatricians have info also I'm sure you can
find one on-line). Many parents will tell you that they don't work
because often the bedwetting child is a deep sleeper and they don't
even hear the alarm.. Here's how to address that problem...if you
really want to help your child get over this, tell them that you will
do anything that it takes and you will all work as a team. Move a
mattress or futon into your bedroom (I'm serious) and tell your child
that you will wake up if they don't when the alarm goes off. The
alarm goes off when your child begins to pee. If you have a partner
you and your partner can take turns having a night "on duty" and
"off duty" When you hear the alarm you quickly wake your child up
and send them off to the bathroom. If they've increased their water
during the day, they may be able to hold their urine until later in
the night or early morning when they are not in such a deep sleep.
Tell your child that you are happy to do this with them for as long as
it takes. Remember to explain to them that there are many people who
have this problem, and that they will outgrow it. It does not mean
there is something wrong with them (and of course it is important to
check things out with the pediatrician first as you did). It may only
take a week or two to help your child learn to wake up. Then you can
let them continue on their own in their own bed until they don't need
the alarm any more. Having been a bed wetter myself I know how
humiliating it is (at camp, and also the looks from parents) and I
sure would have liked it if my parents had this kind of attitude.
If a child had an illness they would certainly do whatever was
needed. Well the problem with bedwetting is that people are not
sure what to do, and many people are embarrassed to talk about it.
If you try this method with a very positive attitude "We're all in
this together to beat this problem" I think there's a good chance
Your description sounds a lot like my kids -- especially the
'sleeps like a rock' part. Is this a *new* issue, or one that
has been progressively diminishing over the years? How does
your daughter feel about it? If it isn't bothering her so much
that she's demanding to do something aggressive, let it ride.
3 times a month at age 10 sounds pretty good (within the universe
of childhood bedwetters.) If the bedwetting has been diminishing
over the years, rather than popping up out of the blue, I'd advise
bearing with it until your daughter is 12 or 13. She will probably
have grown out of it by then, simply by increasing bladder size
as she matures. There is, of course, the obvious point about the
timing of liquid intake, though I can't say I've been very firm
about denying water to a 'really, really, really thirsty' 9 year
-- A parent with tons of laundry ;-)
My son, whom we successfully potty-trained at 3yrs, began wetting the
bed at 4. By 10 or 11, it was happening only once or twice a week,
but still regularly enough that doing sleepovers was potentially
disastrous for him. He did not stop altogether until he was 14 years
old. Our other children had literally no problems whatsover with
this. But this child has always been a very heavy sleeper. We tried
everything. The buzzer thingy didn't really wake him up - it has
always been very very difficult to wake him, and even when we managed
to get him on his feet, he'd trudge with eyes closed into a corner of
the hallway or living room and start pulling down his pjs to go into
the imaginary toilet he thought was there. You can imagine how
humiliating all this was for him, and really broke my heart. Of
course pull-ups or diapers were just out of the question by age 6 or
so. There just was nothing we tried that worked, so all we could
really do was teach him how to do laundry and try not to make a big
deal of it. We returned to the pediatrician when he was about 11
(previous consultations had resulted in "withhold liquids,get a
buzzer,wake him, etc. all of which worked to some degree but not
entirely) So, what we eventually did is get a prescription for DDAVP,
a synthetic version of a hormone made naturally in the body that
regulates how much urine gets made. It is a nasal spray that he took
before bed, and it made the bedwetting problem about 95% better. The
best thing about it was that my poor kid started to feel like he was
getting some control over the problem, and he felt confident enough to
start doing sleepovers, etc. He did not have any side effects, but if
he forgot to use it, he would have the same rate of bedwetting as
before. In the last year I have seen several articles (in Science
News and other places) about enuresis, which is the medical term for
bedwetting. It runs in families, and it is a physical condition,
usually not a response to stress or anything like that. I think that
many children outgrow it by age 5 or so, but there are always kids
like my son who continue to wet the bed till the teen years. (And you
don't hear about them because nobody wants to talk about it!) In this
case, I recommend using DDAVP - it really does work. If you want more
info, try doing a web search on DDAVP and enuresis - I found this
article from the Mayo clinic that way:
this page was last updated: Apr 2, 2013
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