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Elementary School Kids Elementary School Kids

Ask the Expert: Your Bedwetting Questions Answered!

Posted by on May. 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM
  • 26 Replies

CafeMom was happy to host Renee Mercer in the Elementary Kids Group to answer your bedwetting questions.

Renee is a pediatric nurse practitioner who specializes in treating children with bedwetting problems. She is author of "Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Bedwetting" and owner and founder of Bedwetting Store.


We've compiled the questions and answers below so they're easy to find. Read below to see answers!

by on May. 10, 2012 at 4:30 PM
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Replies (1-10):
CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM


aetrom asked: My youngest (3) seems to be wanting to night train. He wakes up halfway through the night crying after he wets (or cries once he wets himself I do not know) - around 2? Then cries and wants his pull up off and sleeps the rest of the night and pees again around 8am. I am getting tired of taking the pull up off and would love to move him to the next step. What is your suggestion for doing that?

Renee Mercer answered: Knowing when he is wet is a positive indicator for nighttime training.  You could try taking off the pull-ups and using a waterproof overlay pad on top of his sheet.  He may be able to sense the wetting more quickly from cloth underwear than he does from pull-ups  If he does cry out when he is wetting, take him to the bathroom even if it seems that he is already wet.  His body can begin to associate wetting with walking to the bathroom.If you find that he continues to wet after a couple weeks or this becomes frustrating, going back to pull-ups for a few more months is ok.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 4:44 PM


cueballsmom asked: I have a family history of late bedweters (my bro is 21 and I have suspicion). My dds are 8&6. Occasionally they still wet the bed. No doctor I've talked to has offered anything other than "they'll out grow it." Anything I can try to help them stop?


Renee Mercer answered: If occasionally means 1-2 times a month, making sure they urinate twice in the hour before bed, drink most of their liquids during the day and have regular bowel movements is probably fine.  If occasionally means several times a week, using a bed wetting alarm to sense the wetting and alert them is a quick and effective way to become 100% dry.  Kids with intermittent wetting can often stay dry on the nights they can "hold everything". They wet on nights they should get up to urinate but don't- because they haven't learned how to do this yet.  Bed wetting alarms speed up that development.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:38 PM


lynettemommie4 asked: My son is 9 and has been a bedwetter since he was potty trained. We have restricted liquids, woke him up in the middle of the night. He isn't too bad right now. maybe a few nights every few weeks that i know of. He has been waking up really early and taking a bath and putting clean clothes on. My youngest wets the bed on occasion. She is five.


Renee Mercer: Good for you!  Bedwetting alarms continue to be the most effective way for kids to learn to stay dry.  That particular alarm is no longer being made but there are many other kid-friendly alarms that don't require any sewing.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:39 PM


cathte asked: I was wondering do those " alarms" for bed setters really work? My DS is 9. He wets sheet and top comforter nightly. Is the any way to at least curb the wetting and protect the comforter?
I am afraid when we go to Disney, he is going to wet the comforter daily!!! Thanks!


Renee Mercer answered: Bedwetting alarms have a 80% success rate so are the most successful cure for bedwetting.  He needs to develop the ability to wake up when his bladder is full and walk to the bathroom.  Bedwetting alarms sense the wetness and sound/vibrate to alert him and you that he is wetting,  Over time, his body learns to stop the urine in response to the sound and get up.  I don't know when you're gling to Disney, but the average child takes 10-12 weeks to get to dryness using an alarm.  If you start now, he'll be much improved by summer.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM


Schleetle asked: My son is 9 he wets the bed every single night, and not a little. We've tried limiting what he drinks in the evenings, setting an alarm in the middle of the night, waking him ourselves at night, and even medication. Nothing has helped (the medicine worked for about two weeks) because even waking him twice at night he'd still wake up wet. He wears Goodnite pants at bedtime, and every morning they are soaked even sometimes through into his clothes/sheets. I don't know what else we can try... Do you have any suggestions?

Renee Mercer answered: Setting an alarm clock or waking him on your schedule does not help him to wake up when he physiologically needs to go to the bathroom,  That time changes every night and you have no way of knowing when it will be.  Using a bedwetting alarm will be a great solution for him.  Since it senses moisture, it will sound exactly at the right time.  It will enable him (and you) to know when he needs to get up.  He can begin to put together the feeling of a full bladder and waking up to urinate.  When the alarm sounds, make sure he responds properly by turning it off, then walking to the bathroom.  My book "Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness" decribes this at length.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:43 PM


e_massa83 asked: My son is 6 and is still wetting the bed. it wont happen every night but it happens a lot. it seems like he will be dry for a week maybe even two and then he will wet every night for a week. i cut the drinks off and make him go to the bathroom before he goes to bed but he still wets. Just wondering if i should be worried. I myself had a bed wetting problem till i was about 11 then was put on this nasal spray medicine (not sure what it was called) and after that didn't have any more problems. any advice or suggestions would be very helpful. thanks.


Renee Mercer answered: It sounds like your son is progressing in the right direction.  I'm assuming that he stays dry on the nights he can hold it all night and wets on the nights that he should be getting up to empty his bladder.  It takes longer for some kids to put this all together.  Using a washable waterproof mattress overlay will help with clean up.  If he's in a stretch of wetting every night, you could walk him to the bathroom when you go to bed.  Urinating twice in the 30 minutes before bed may help.  Also, making sure he has regular bowel movements is important.  Kids with infrequent stools can't hold as much urine at a time.  If this intermittent pattern doesn't seem to improve over the next few months, you could use a bedwetting alarm to help him learn to wake up to urinate on the nights that he should be doing that.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:48 PM

EbEeBe103 asked: My sons doctor told me it all has to do the parents. If we did it he will do it. My husband and im putting him out there had that problem until he was 7 our son is 5 and it got to a point that we had to buy night time pullups. I was washing way to much. LoL.


Renee Mercer answered: It's true that bedwetting runs in families so there is a genetic component.  You do not have to wait until your son is 7 to address it, however.  Pullups are fine for a 5 year old.  If you find that he rejects wearing them or is ready for the next step, using a small bedwetting alarm, such as the Malem auditory or Dry-Me, will help him learn how to wake up when the wetting is occurring.  Kids often become ready for treatment in first grade or when a sleepover invitation comes up.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM


robertmommie asked: My 4 (turned 4 in March) sometimes pees during the night, so he wears pull ups for bed time. At what age should I consider bed wetting alarms? If it comes to that.


Renee Mercer: It is still normal for a 4 year old to wet some nights.  Pull ups are fine.  Have him urinate immediately before bedtime and take off the pullup immediately when he gets up in the morning.  If he is awake for any reason in the nighttime, remind him to urinate at that time. Over the next year or two, you should begin to see some dry pullups.  If he has half dry nights, transition to cloth underwear with bed protection.  If he is 6 and still wets every night, bedwetting alarms can be helpful.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM


amy7243 asked: My son is 10 and still wears pull ups...he wets almost nightly. Where do I pick up an alarm? The doctor says he will out grow but....


Renee Mercer answered: The best resource is www.bedwettingstore.com.  There are many styles of effective alarms to choose from and you can enter your son's age in the Alarm Chooser and see what is recommended for him.  Bedwetting alarms are not readily available in medical supply stores or pharmacies, which is why this online resource is the best.

CafeMom Team
by Group Owner on May. 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM


Momforhealth asked: My child's dr. gave us a perscription for bed wetting.  (mimics the hormone) How safe is this medication? I am not giving it. He admitted that bedwetting is just nusiance and it will continue again once my child stops taking it. I am just curious what your opinion is.


Renee Mercer answered: Desmopressin is a safe medication that works by decreasing the amount ot urine produced in the 12 hours after it is taken.  It works in about 50% of the kids to help them have a dry night when it is taken immediately before bed.  As your doctor mentioned, it provides no long lasting benefit and your child will wet on the nights he doesn't take it.  It can be taken sporatically and can be helpful for special occasions, such as camp or sleepovers.  I recommend using a bed wetting alarm to provide a long lasting cure for your son.  Even though it is more work in the first few weeks, learning the ability to wake up to a full bladder is a life long behavior that your son will have mastered.

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