My 10 year old daughter has wet the bed for years. Nothing is medically wrong. I have found this is common, so she wears Goodnights to bed, but in the AM she'll lay in bed, wide awake and wet her pull-up until it runs out onto the bed. I ask her "why", she says she doesn't know why. I have, in the past, been very patient and understanding, but today I lost it. I made her wear the nasty wet pull-up around the house for punishment. What is up with this? Is it a fetish? Is she mentally ill? I have lost my mind. I told her if she does it again she will have to wear it to school and I will tell all her friends. The parent in me knows this is not the right approach, but I am at the end of the road here. What else is there to try?
Nina from Las Vegas
You need to speak with her doctor right away! Sometimes it can be hard to get out of bed when you first wake up, and it may be that she doesn't "feel" it until it is too late. In any case, you should both get professional guidance from the pediatrician, who can refer you to a specialist to deal with this. And Mom, please refrain from ridicule, as this can make the problem much worse (hiding it, or she may rebel against you.) Do something before your relationship is damaged! If it doesn't feel right to treat her that way, then don't! (09/04/2006)
First, let me say, I agree with everything that Camo Angels said. However, I would suggest it's time for your 10 year old to learn to strip her bed and change the sheets herself. If it's just a bit of laziness or rebellion that keeps her in the bed instead of getting up to go to the bathroom after she's awake, then this may keep her from doing that. If it's not, then it's still a good thing for her to learn to change her own bed. I had 2 bedwetters and I found that hypnosis helped my son to quit at age 12. He slept so soundly that he just didn't wake up, even after wetting the bed. I agree, don't punish or humiliate. No one puts themselves through this on purpose. (09/05/2006)
Has she seen a chiropractor? This helped our son tremendously. Also, is she simply afraid to get out of bed? There may be more going on in her life than what she is telling you. I was afraid to get out of bed until I was about 7 or 8 unless I could hear someone else moving around. (09/05/2006)
My son was about 10 when he finally quit wetting the bed. I finally found a pediatrician to help. He had what is called a "potty pager". It hooked to his underwear and as soon as it got just a little wet it would sound off. It was very loud! He immediately got up and went to the bathroom. After less than a week he was going on his own. I would hear it, but I let him do it all. Then after about 2 weeks he didn't need it anymore because his brain was programed to get up and go to the bathroom. He too was sleeping through when he had to go. If your daughter is just lazy then this will get her going. Good luck! (09/07/2006)
You must be going through a lot right now. It's normal to be so frustrated about something like this. I'm sorry to hear that you "lost it" with her today, but I completely understand since I'm a mom too. Please don't give up. There is a solution out there somewhere.
Around the age of 8 I started having problems with "leaking" and not being able to control it. My parents took me to doctor after doctor for a couple of years who told them that it was all mental and that there was nothing physically wrong with me. I suffered humiliation at the hands of both my parents who believed the doctors and my siblings, who teased me about it.
I believed what they said too and it caused me years of pain and did significant damage to my self-image. As an adult, I finally got the courage to mention this problem to my gynecologist who ran some tests and found that my bladder was severely prolapsed. One quick surgery later and I no longer have the problem.
Please continue to seek solutions, both medically and psychologically for your daughter. (I like the ideas posted about the alarm and her having to change her own sheets.) I'm sure she wouldn't be doing this if there weren't a reason and you can help her to figure it out. Best wishes to you and your daughter. (09/07/2006)
I also deal with a daughter who wets. Luckily hers is stress induced so we watch that closly. Anyway one suggestion that hasn't been mentioned is has she been tested for ADHD? I know that wetting is one symptom that ADHD kids deal with. A friend's daughter wet not just the bed, but during school, etc. because she was too distracted by other things to get up and use the bathroom. Maybe this is a possibility, my friend said w/meds this stopped immediately, but returns if the meds need adjusted. She also didn't care and wore wet clothes. Yuck! (09/07/2006)
Shaming her is not the answer. If she has been checked out by the doctor, use a behavioral program. Tell her she is responsible for her own situation. She will need to strip the bed, wash everything and re-make the bed if she wets. Set an alarm clock for her wake-up and insist that she go to the bathroom as soon as it rings, no lingering in bed. That is a privilege she will have to earn. Try not to get emotional when she wets, just re-state that she needs to clean up the mess, etc.
Try offering a reward for a set number of dry nites in a row, maybe using a sticker chart or calendar. Make the reward something she really wants, but doesn't break the bank, like a DVD rental, trip for ice cream, extra one on one time with mom or dad, etc. If she wets the bed, a mild consequence, stated in advance could be a slightly earlier bedtime that night since, "she seems to be too tired to get up to go to the bathroom", she obviously needs more rest. Make the punishment fit the misdeed, logical consequences. But I think giving her this responsibility for changing the bedding, washing the sheets, etc. may make the difference, especially if she gets little attention for it from you. Just restate her responsibility to deal with it from now on. (09/07/2006)
An extreme, I use that word explicitly, an extreme reason for a child to wet the bed at a late age, is sexual abuse. This most likely is not the case, but it does happen. (09/07/2006)
Unless you have taken her to an urologist for a urethral dilatation exam in a hospital under anesthesia, (if surgery is required, it is done at that time, you cannot be certain that she doesn't have what I had at age 14, causing me to wet without fail. I had a non-malignant urethral tumor that had to be removed surgically.) Until discovered, my mom was as frantic and frustrated as you, but not nearly as terrified as I was of the spankings, false reasoning, yelling, loss of sleep, threats, and thoughts of the loss of my mother's love, blaming me for the whole thing.
She took me to many doctors and finally learned about it, but was given the choice of having the surgery in the office or hospital. Knowing it would be most painful, but she was so anxious to get it over with, she chose the office without anesthesia and worse yet, never apologizing for all she had put me through all those years.
It took me 49 years to truly forgive her, and it ruined my trust in humans, doctors (he should have insisted on my being admitted into the hospital for pain relief), and later on I still suffered post traumatic syndrome all through my life/marriage, and under certain conditions, to this day, crying at the most inappropriate times. It took counseling to finally help me to discover why/what/when/where/who, etc.
I urge you to please reconsider and make certain of the medical implications. Each of the "reasons" and "guesses" given in this blog was made about my situation. Also, if after this exam, you do "not" find a tumor (which held my ureter open abnormally causing the bladder to empty when I tried to sleep), please consider that there may still be a real medical explanation that has not yet been discovered or diagnosed by anyone other than a very good doctor.
How would you feel if it were you? No one has the slightest clue of how horrible it is to suffer in this way. Give your daughter more of the benefit of the doubt until you have truly exhausted all the possibilities. Then, if you were wrong, hug her in private and tell her simply how sorry you are for not knowing. God bless you both.
Another reason for bed-wetting that no one has mentioned is allergies. Relief can be as simple as avoiding something such as a certain food. Have you considered talking to a good allergist? It may solve your problem. (09/08/2006)
I have 2 bedwetters a girl age 11 and a boy age 9. They wear Mother of Eden bedwetter pants. They fit well and keep the bed dry. I wet the bed until 14 and the products they have today are much better then the diapers and rubber pants I wore. (10/05/2006)
I want everyone reading my comments to understand that these are just my thoughts
and observations and are not intended as criticisms directed at anyone.
If I were the young person wetting the bed I know my own personal pain and embarrassment would exceed any embarrassment or frustration or aggravation my mother would be feeling. I might try to hide that fact from her, but inwardly I believe I would be dying a little every day.
Can those of you who are dealing with this put it in perspective? You could be dealing with something so much worse. My next door neighbor has a beautiful 18 year old daughter. She was born with cerebral palsy, she functions as an 18 month old and requires constant care, which they lovingly provide. Another acquaintance has a child with cancer and her future looks grim.
I truly don't understand the constant fights over wet sheets and bedding. It is a fact, not a surprise, that you have a bedwetter. It is also a fact that dishes get dirty and have to be washed. It's also a fact that everyone needs clean clothes so the laundry must be done.
It seems obvious to me to just routinely provide the appropriate pants, whether disposable or washable, depending on finances and an appropriate waterproof pad and get on with life. There has to be a way that you don't have to daily strip the bed and wash everything. Stop the shaming and shouting and anger. The "special" sleep underwear is as necessary a part of the family expenditures as is the case of soft drinks, or beer, or carton of cigarettes, or gallons of milk. Provide these kids with the necessary clothing and stop the commentary. Allow them to reclaim their dignity. Provide the things they need and just wait it out, quietly! It will end when it ends, not when you demand it or when you've "had enough". Trust me, there are much more difficult things in life that many people deal with. This too shall pass. Don't handle it in a way that will cause you shame and regret in later years. (10/06/2006)
By Grandma Margie
Try having them go to the bathroom two times right before bed. Have them stop drinking liquids 2 hours before they go to bed. It works! You also might want to try using pull-ups Goodnights for older children. (12/08/2006)
One trick that may help is that if you wake during the night to go to the bathroom (I know I still do at age 43) get her out of bed and make her go to the toilet. (02/14/2007)
How distressing for you and your child. I have heard an old remedy is to give a teaspoon of honey to the child before bed, try it for a few weeks and see if it helps. I hope it helps and it won't hurt either way. Good luck. (03/14/2009)
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