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Help for Bed Wetting

I have a son who just turned 5 year old who still wets the bed almost every night.


Help for Bed Wetting


I hate to say it but when I saw your post, I got excited hoping that someone gave you some great advice so it could help me too.


I have a 6 and 8 year old and I'm having the same problems. We feel like we've tried everything but nothing is helping.

I feel like both boys should be able to control themselves and be "more responsible" but each night, it happens.

I brought them both to the doctor and all he said was, "It's harder on boys at night to control themselves. It's also going to be harder on you (meaning me because of sheet washing/buying pull ups) than it is for the boys." And that was it..

Hopefully some GodSend will reply too so we'll both know how to take care of this.


By davis1976

Help for Bed Wetting

Well, I have a few ideas, but nothing earth-shattering, sorry! Most doctors will say, bed-wetting is not a significant problem until a child is older than six. The cause is often unknown, but some doc's believe it is caused by slow maturation of the nervous system which controls the bladder.


My son, who is now 8, had bed-wetting when he was 6. It lasted for about 4-5 months (thank heavens for plastic mattress pads!) He is a very sound sleeper and I contributed his bed-wetting to that. He out grew it which most doc's say they will. I have some idea's that some of my friends have tried:

Give him/her a reward for staying dry all night; having your child practice holding his or her urine for longer and longer times: Example: When they say they have to go 'tinkle', stall them for a minute or two, and increase the time each time. This helps stretch the bladder, and lastly, don't give your child anything to drink two hours before bedtime. Hope this helps! MA (02/23/2005)

By Marnita

Help for Bed Wetting

I don't have much earth-shattering info for you. I wet the bed until I was eight. I, of course, changed and washed my own sheets by then, so it wasn't a huge hardship on my parents. We tried not letting me drink after 6pm and going right before going to bed. We may have tried other things, but I don't remember them. I think eventually, bed wetters just grow out of it. The beginning of sleepovers was what stopped it for me. I became very afraid of wetting the bed in front of one of my friends, and it never happened again. (02/23/2005)


By Jen

Help for Bed Wetting

The best advice I can give is make sure your son doesn't drink anything after dinner, and that he uses the bathroom before going to bed. I would also speak with his pediatrician about this. Good luck! (02/23/2005)

By Kentucky-lass

Help for Bed Wetting

For you, and everyone else who is working with this problem, I would suggest that you go to There is some valuable advice on that website. Another good website is
All the best to each of you! (02/23/2005)

By Kentucky-lass

Help for Bed Wetting

With my son (now 6) I found that he would not stop wetting the bed until I stopped putting him in Pull-ups. Frankly I think they were a waste of money. He couldn't tell he was wetting himself so he slept. As soon as I took him off the Pull-ups within a week the bedwetting stopped. Good luck. I know it's hard. But look on the bright side, you get years of blackmail out of it. Just kidding ;) (02/23/2005)


By Suzanne S.

Help for Bed Wetting

There is a prescription medication that helps in some cases, but most kids do outgrow the bedwetting. Bedwetting runs in families, too-if the father had this problem often the son does too. As far as sheets, laundry, etc. Your son is old enough to learn to strip bed and wash sheets, if you teach him how.

Turn this responsibility over to him in a very matter - of -fact" manner. Its not a punishment-its HIS problem and he can solve it. The consequences of his behavior-bedwetting-are to deal with it and clean up. Not a punishment-just a natural consequence. Whethjer he could or can not control the bedwetting is not the issue. (02/23/2005)

By Linda

Help for Bed Wetting

I wet the bed until I was 12 years old, I did drink a lot of water before bed, I only wet the bed when I got chilled during the night. Never ever tease or blab to everyone about your child's problem, your child knows he has a problem. You could try giving some fiber before bed with a glass of water. (02/23/2005)


By Jennydo

Help for Bed Wetting

Check with your doctors, poor kids I worked in a daycare and these children are so aware of this
problem they get nervous about going to bed. There
was a little girl (6) who did this and would fall asleep for 15 minutess here and there in the day in daycare and her mother was mad because she wet at night.
Her doctor told the mom it was not a behavioral problem just bladder and growth.
Good luck (02/23/2005)

By meoowmom

Help for Bed Wetting

Talk to your local chiropractor. My girl friend had a 15 year old son who was totally embarrassed as he had no control and slept so soundly he never woke up. I recommended my chiropractor, and now he has been able to enjoy overnights and has also lost weight by changing his diet and seeing a chiropractor. If they have a misalignment of their hips or lower back, the nerves leading to the bladder are compressed and the message isn't getting to the brain that they needs to go to the bathroom.


Also good for kids with cronic earaches and ear infections.


By Barbie

Help for Bed Wetting

This is such a painful subject for so many people. The first thing I would say is, for goodness sake, don't get mad at a child that bed wets. I can remember how my brother hated to get up in the mornings. One of my sons was a bed wetter (I do believe it runs in the family) and we tried many things, including prescription meds which only keep them in a lighter stage of sleep and I didn't feel he was rested.

Finally, at the age of 12 we saw a hypnotherapist. It only took the one session and he no longer wet the bed (he was going to school camp and we were desperate). God bless you and just be the most patient "mommy" ever and remember, no one humiliates themselves like this on purpose! (02/23/2005)

By Luvyabye

Help for Bed Wetting

I've never experienced the problem, (no children!), but as I didn't see the suggestion here I thought I would add it. If the problem is deep sleeping/failure to recognize the full bladder feeling an alarm system may work. You can get alarms which go off as soon as any moisture is sensed, waking the child and allowing them to get up to the toilet. I know they work for some children. Even if the bed gets a bit wet you won't have to end up changing/washing all the bed linen.

I don't know what's available in your area but look at your local hospital/health service for nocturnal enuresis clinics who specialize in this area. They will look at your child as an individual and may know what will work in your child's case.

I do sympathize - it must be like a never ending problem but you sound like a caring Mum and I hope you look back in a few years and can't even remember this trying time!


Jo (02/24/2005)

By Jo Bodey

Help for Bed Wetting

My son wet the bed every night sometimes two or three times a night. In the early years we tried just about everything. We limited the amount of fluid he could drink as well as the types of fluid he could drink. We made sure he tinkled before bed and we got him up every several hours. (which meant I got little sleep) but nothing worked. Finally I discussed it with the Ped. Our son was 13 at the time.

The doctor ran tests and determined that our son had a medical problem with his bladder. His body had grown faster than his bladder and his bladder just simply could not hold the amount of urine that his body produced at night. He was given the medication DDVAP. Fluid must be limited after this med is given. There can be side effects so you really need to research and decide if it's right for your child but it was a life saver for us.

Bedwetting is really hard on a child's self esteem. No matter how understanding we try to be as parents, the child can sense our underlying aggravation. And anyone who has ever experienced this knows there is underlying aggravation. When the child reaches the age of sleep overs they simply won't go because of the fear of bedwetting. Children will also not invite other children over because of the fear of the other kids finding out.

Talk to your child's doctor about this. Rule out any medical problem before you buy products like "Potty Pagers". (I know that the pagers are successful for some children.) Be sure to air your child's mattress atleast weekly(in the sun). Flip the mattress weekly also. It will not take long for the mattress fibers to began to break down from the ammonia. I know this sounds extreme but if he is wetting atleast one time every night that's a lot of ammonia. Even with plastic mattress covers. Good luck to you.
Karen (02/24/2005)

By klr2080

Help for Bed Wetting

I am 41 now, and I wet the bed until I was old enough to get up and change my sheets (maybe 8 or 9?) I distinctly remember dreaming that I was in the bathroom getting ready to go and would start and then realize I was wetting the bed. I can now go practically all day without going to the bathroom (I have one strong bladder - ha!)

We have three kids, ages 7, 6, and 4, and our middle child, a girl (6 in January), still wets every night. She wears a pull-up (off-brand) in order to get a good night's sleep, and for our sleep as well. We've tried having her go without, taking her to the bathroom in the night, etc., but she still sleeps so soundly and the pull-up is very wet when she wakes up. I'd say about once or twice a month she will tell me that her pull-up was dry when she woke up.

I am very patient, because I had this problem and outgrew it, so I'm just waiting until the day she outgrows it, too. Yes, pull-ups can be very expensive, but like my mother said, "Just be glad they have pull-ups now." If she gets to be a teen and still has the problem then I would consider possible medication. Five is still young, so I wouldn't worry; although it's an aggravation, I'm sure it will be outgrown in time.

As a side note, our third child, now 4 years old, is a boy (we had two girls first), and I always dreaded potty training him, bed-wetting, etc. That kid was potty trained in one day at age two, and I don't remember him ever wetting the bed. In fact, last night at about midnight I heard him get up, go to the bathroom, and then tuck himself back in. Go figure.

Trudy P.
Independent Watkins Associate

By Trudy P.

Help for Bed Wetting

I was a bedwetter until I was about 13 or so. As an adult I found out (in connection with an unrelated sonogram) that I have an unusually small bladder, and as a deep sleeper I just didn't awaken. As an adult I get up some two to four times a night, even though I drink most fluids during the earlier part of the day and cut back in the evening.

The body produces an anti-diuretic hormone that slows down production of urine at night. Some people (including me) don't produce enough of this hormone, resulting in bedwetting incidents, particularly in deep sleepers. A drug that mimics this hormone is available by prescription. Talk to your family doctor and consider seeing a specialist.

A couple of other things to try: place a heavy-duty pad for wetting incidents (usually used with regular underwear) inside the pull-ups for greater absorbency. Use one or two bed pads (plastic-backed absorbent pads that look like puppy training pads) on the bed to protect the sheets as well. These pads are available in drugstores and medical supply houses as well as over the Web. There are also washable bed pads like those used in many nursing homes; they're more absorbent than the disposables and at least will reduce the amount of extra laundry even though you have to wash them.

The bed alarm is one training aid; you can also use a regular alarm clock or two to awaken the boy at intervals during the night so he can empty his bladder. Over time this may help him to awaken on time; the down side is that it might interrupt his sleep unnecessarily.

Use your favorite search engine to find "nocturnal enuresis" -- you'll find articles like the one at providing more information on this common condition.

If possible, determining the reason for the bedwetting will help you decide on the most appropriate treatment. Rarely is it caused by any serious health problem, and most children eventually outgrow it. But it's important to rule out any physical conditions that might need specific treatment.

Please don't assume that it's a behavioral problem -- carelessness or a lack of responsibility. It's important for your son's self-esteem that he not feel guilty about it. As soon as he's old enough (if the bedwetting continues) he should be encouraged to change his own sheets, which will alleviate some of your frustration and help him avoid guilt feelings. But it's important that the chore not be presented as a punishment but as a way for him to be more independent and in control.

I understand your frustration, but I also empathize with your son. My condition was a terrible embarrassment to me, and I avoided situations like slumber parties and summer camp because if I publicly wet the bed I would be mortified. Please help your son understand that his condition is nothing to be ashamed of, but that you would like a doctor to see him because there may be a treatment that will help him until he outgrows his bedwetting.

I hope this helps. Best of luck to you and your son. (02/24/2005)

By hemelvin

Help for Bed Wetting

I agree with Suzanne S.
My now 6 yr. Old wore pull ups every night when he was 5 also and wet the bed every night. I finally stopped using the pull ups and he still wet for awhile but didn't like the feeling of being wet in the morning and I bet it wasn't 6 months later he stopped wetting himself for good. Try it. Since you have to do the bedding most nights anyway. The pull ups are just not letting him experience the effects of his bed wetting. (02/24/2005)

By Dianne

Help for Bed Wetting

Carbonated beverages (soda) aggravates the condition. Be sure he doesn't drink them at all, even during the day. (02/25/2005)

By Cheryl from Missouri

Help for Bed Wetting

Busy Boys Sleep deeply! I've used off-brand Kotex inside pullups. Eventually the boys learned to wake with the urge--when I was pg I had a dream that I'd wakened and gone to the bathroom, even the sensation of the cold seat! Oops--just a dream.

Deep sleep restores for their ability to learn. If there is no medical problem, see if they will outgrow it. To do the bladder testing at this age seems a bit traumatic to a child.

Good luck. (02/25/2005)

By Lindajeang

Help for Bed Wetting

If your son is really thirsty, give him an ice chip. I can sympathize. I was a bed wetter until the age of 9. I would dream I was going to the bathroom and then I would. My son wet the bed until 13 and he is fifteen and had an "accident" the other night. He said he was dreaming of peeing too! Small bladders on the both of us. Just be certain there is no shaming. I'm sure you are quite sensitive to his feelings. Good luck. (02/26/2005)

By Cavelady

Help for Bed Wetting

Have you had him checked by a Doctor for this? My daughter did the same thing and finally at age 5, I had her checked and it was a medical problem. Said her bladder was smaller than usual and she would always need to be watched for bladder infections. (02/27/2005)

By Beverly

Help for Bed Wetting

My older daughter (age 5) wets the bed still sometimes, I do not put her in pull ups, though, she wears underwear to bed with plastic underpants over it. They are harder to find these days but my Kmart has them. My Walmart/Sears/Target did not have them. Seems to work well for us, and if you had to you could put the plastic underpants on over the pull-up, that way you would hopefully save on having to wash the sheets. The plastic pants last much longer if you do not put them in the dryer. BTW, she used to wet the bed almost every night, now it is only once or twice a week. Hope this helps. (02/27/2005)

By C B

Help for Bed Wetting

The doctor put my son on a nasal spray used once nightly. It was called DDAVP. He was embarrassed by wetting the bed for years. After the nasal spray, it stopped. (03/14/2005)

By farmwife

Help for Bed Wetting

I had this same problem with my youngest son-now 32. A doctor friend of mine said to make him get up, strip the bed, put the soiled bedding in the washer, then the dryer then put it back on the bed. It only took a few times for him to understand that he needed to get up. My doctor friend said it was because he was so deeply asleep. Works like a charm. (03/28/2005)

By pdlady

Help for Bed Wetting

I have a soon to be 7 year old daughter who wets many nights. She wears pullups with plastic underpants on over them as well. This way we have not had a leak problem since doing this. I was also a bedwetter until 9 or 10 and I wore 3 pair of cotton under pants under a pair of plastic under pants. That also worked in the days before pullups.
Curious have any of these ideas been of any help?

By Jan

Help for Bed Wetting

My seven year old son still wets the bed. His father and I are divorced and I think that because we both handle it differently, he wets due to the inconsistency. Before the divorce, we had both agreed that pull-ups were the way to go. However, since his involvement w/ another lady in the past two years, he no longer uses the pull-ups. He thinks that getting my son up at random hours during the night will help him to train himself to wake up and urinate.

According to him, its working. I put him in good-nites because I believe this is something he can get through on his own. I think he will just grow out of it. I was a bed wetter as a child and his father was as well. He wets almost every night at my home so it is hard to believe this works for him. (09/08/2005)

By Shauna

Help for Bed Wetting

We have a 10 year old daughter who wets the bed just about every night. Doctors ran tests and have found nothing wrong physically and she is a very deep sleeper and her parents wet the bed into their early teens. We tried everything nothing to drink 2 hours before bedtime, alarm system woke up the rest of the house, making sure she goes before going to bed and DDAVP. Nothing worked for any period of time. About 2 plus years ago I bought some heavy cotton pants and plastic pants from A company called Loving Comfort @ They are very good I can honestly say they have never leaked and my daughter is perfectly comfortable having them on. She wets between 2 and 5 nights a week which is an improvement from every night. She sleeps all night and we sleep all night.

By Lisa

Help for Bed Wetting

I have two children that wet the bed at night. One 10 and one 5. My eldest son has never wet the bed once potty trained. My 10 year old has worn pull ups from as long as I can remember. Anyhow, I have so many tests done on him and everything comes back normal. Both of them are extremely heavy sleepers which I have come to understand. I know wake them at 11:00 pm to potty and then at my 10 year at 3:00 am and then both of them at 6:00 am. I sat them both down and explained that this is their problem and I am here to help them. They have to tell their brain to tell their bladder it's time to wake.

My 5 year old is now getting up at 1:30 to potty (with my assistance, of course). It has a lot to do with their sleep. Because they are such heavy sleepers they don't feel the urge to go potty. That's where I come in. Boy has it helped. They now wake up dry and happy. Mom is tired, but it's all worth the while. Once they get in the habit of waking on thier own my mission will be accomplished. Good luck to all the parents out there. I know what you are going through. It's a long road and we will succeed! (10/02/2006)

By Bertha

Help for Bed Wetting

Did you try the bed wetting alarms? I'm not sure you would want to interrupt a 5 year old's sleep just in case he may need to go.


By behavioranalyst

Help for Bed Wetting

I feel that bed wetting is a serious problem. My four year old is fully potty trained. But in some cases when he wets the bed I make him wear a diaper to bed. It has helped us because I think in his mind he is making sure he does not have another accident. (08/11/2007)

By Andrea D.

Help for Bed Wetting

I have the same problem with my almost four year old son. His older brothers never had a problem, and were completely trained day and night at age 2 1/2. One never wet the bed at all, and the other wet a little in the beginning but learned very quickly not to. I never believed in pull-ups, thought they were a hindrance to potty training and a waste of money, and added unnecessarily to the landfills. Now with this son, we started off with no pull-ups, just underwear but after repeatedly changing sheets and him wetting several times a night, I have rethought my pull-ups opinion.

The big problem is that he will not wear pull-ups because he wants to be big like his brothers and diapers are for babies! I have to sneak and put them on him at night and then if he wakes up at night, he will take them off and throw them. Then of course, he wakes up wet. Sometimes he wakes up wet and takes off all his clothes and goes back to sleep. Often times he will sleep soundly even though he is wet.

Many times I have checked on him at night, a few hours after he has went to bed, and he is already wet and sleeping soundly. It is a real hassle, as far as washing sheets. He has the cleanest sheets of everyone in the house because so much time has to go to his bedding that it leaves little time for everyone else's! He has gotten up in the middle of the night,after wetting his bed, take off his clothes and get in my bed and then pee on me!

This has been going on for over a year now. I can see the argument that pull ups are the cause (because for some kids they never get a chance to experience bed wetting to learn from it, but in this case he experiences it mostly every night and it continues. I'm just lucky if I can get a pull up on him and he doesn't realize it, take it off and then I'm changing sheets again. I will talk to his ped. at his next appointment, which isn't too far off. (08/26/2007)

By Shelly

Help for Bed Wetting

See a chiropractor! There is a nerve that a disk could be pinching that is making him bed wet. This is the most common reason that people bed wet. (08/26/2007)

By Angel

Help for Bed Wetting

My daughter was the same way. I used one of those bed wetting alarms that have the senor that you put in their pants and a wire comes up and the alarm, buzzer, vibrator part hooks to their PJ's at the shoulder. You will need to get the one that has all the bells and lights. The more the better to wake him up. I also put her in cotton panties (the really thick kind) and put plastic pants over it, so not to make a mess on the sheets. The purpose for the cotton undies is so that they can "feel" the wetness.

I also slept with her for 1 week, so that when the alarm went off I would help her wake up and make it to the potty. So be prepared to have a week of little sleep, but it only took a week. Then she still would wear the alarm, but would wake up herself. After maybe two months, we were done with the whole mess and she is now 8 and has no problems. I don't think they outgrow this. I had a friend that her son was 12 and still wetting the bed. I say better to take care of it now when it's not so embarrassing. (12/11/2007)

By Jean

Help for Bed Wetting

Bedwetting is considered up through 8 - 9 years of age to be a "normal" part of growth & development for many children.

Restricting fluids 2-hours prior to bedtime does not solve the problem as you've already discovered, because the kidneys work 24/7 to produce urine.

The most probable cause is that the brain and the bladder aren't communicating with each other yet. Think about this for a moment: When you, as an adult, experience the urge to pee in the middle of the night, the bladder notifies your brain to wake you up so that you can go into the bathroom to void, and this has no bearing whatsoever on how much you have had to drink! In your son's case, his brain isn't getting the message like your brain gets under similar circumstances.

As his body matures, he'll gain night time control. Remember too that anything with caffeine in it, as well as dairy products tend to stimulate the bladder! Hang-in there! :-) (09/05/2008)

By Bob McDowell, MS, BCETS

Help for Bed Wetting

Hello! My heart goes out to you and your daughter. I understand the frustration you are going through, as I have a child who wet the bed nightly (often several times) until he was 8 years old. We solved his bed wetting by using an alarm. The bed wetting alarm took about 2 months of patient use but has given us years of dry nights. Is your daughter a deep sleeper?

The book that really helped me was, "Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness", by Renee Mercer. I urge all parents dealing with a child's bed wetting to read it. My child absolutely loved the children's book, "Prince Bravery and Grace - Attack of the Wet Knights" by Gail Ann Gross. It is the story of a young prince who struggles with "the Wet Knights" and eventually defeats them by using an alarm.

It's funny yet empathetic and gave him the understanding and motivation to end the bed wetting. has lots of positive information about solving bed wetting. Invest in the books-they make the process so much easier, then an alarm -its the best decision I ever made. Let me know if you have other questions. I wish you the best! (01/04/2009)

By Megan

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