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Wetting the bed

Posted by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM
  • 47 Replies

My SS is 5 years old and his is wetting the bed!!! Honestly, I'm not sure why he is still doing it but its awful. I have to wash his sheets every other day and his room always smells like urine. I am beyond frustrating. I have a 3 year old DD as well and she doesn't pee her bed. I'm not sure what is wrong. I have tried not giving him drinks before bed and making him go to the bathroom before bed. I have grounded him and now the other kids make  fun of him. He doesn't seem to care at all. I don't want to put him in diapers because that is just plain embarrassing for a 5 year old who has been potty trained for years now. I just don't understand and I'm lost. Please help. Does anyone else deal with this? Is there something wrong with him? Is punishment the right thing to do?

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by on Jan. 7, 2013 at 9:48 AM
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by Gold Member on Jan. 9, 2013 at 10:14 AM
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 You may want to take him to the pediatrician to rule out a urinary tract infection or kidney infection as those can cause bedwetting issues. He or she may also be able to give you more advice on how to deal with the bedwetting and help your son to manage through. My nephew, though, was 12 before he finally stopped wetting the bed. He'd just sleep so very soundly through the night that he wouldn't wake when his body alerted him to the need.

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by Head Admin on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I've heard that punishment is the wrong thing to do and that some kids still wet the bed even in elementary school because they are deep sleepers or have weak bladders.  You can ask your doctor for their opinion as well... but it doesn't sound unusual at all.

I suggest using pull ups or good-nights at night, limiting drinks after 6pm and making sure that he's using the bathroom before bed.  Once the pull ups are dry for a while, you can stop using them and probably won't have to worry about washing sheets!

Hang in there - good luck!!


by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:30 AM
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He is at the age that he shouldn't be peeing the bed. I mean accidents happen, but it sounds like this is a everyday thing.

   You might want to ask his doctor as there could be something medically wrong or something.

   I don't think punishing him is wrong as long as it's not a medical issue. And I would put him in diapers even if it is embarrassing. If nothing is wrong with him medically maybe a little more embarrassing is what he needs.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:34 AM

What has his doctor said about it?


by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:36 AM
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Talk to his doctor to rule out medical issues and then start using pull-ups or something similar until the problem resolves. By punishing him, you're creating a shame around something that just isn't his fault! He isn't doing this to you and although he may act like it doesn't bother him, of course it does! No one likes to be made fun of and you should put a stop to it immediately! Wake him up to go to the bathroom when you go to bed and if you get up in the middle of the night as well. This trains him to get up at those hours and use the bathroom. I've known kids who were 13-14 before they stopped wetting the bed! They just sleep so soundly that their minds don't wake up when their bodies tell them to.

by Bronze Member on Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:37 AM
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Punishing them for bodily functions isn't very nice. He may not feel the urge in a deep sleep or could have a urinary tract issue. My sister wet the bed til she was about 9 years old because she didn't feel the urge in the middle of the night. My nephew had problems with having bowel movements in his pants...turns out he had an intestinal issue. My sister spent a year punishing him for it. I'm sure your SS doesn't want to sleep in pee and doesn't want to be made fun of, it probably isn't something he can control.
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by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:32 AM
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You say you're not sure what is wrong. Unfortunately, there most likely isn't anything "wrong". My almost 7 y/o son still wets the bed; my 5 y/o daughter potty trained at two, and has never, ever, had a single nighttime accident.

It is considered normal for kids in their teens to still wet the bed. In the US, 13% of 6 year olds regularly wet the bed; at age 10, 1 in 20 US children regularly wet the bed; at age 15, between one and six percent regularly wet the bed. The worst thing you can do is punish a bedwetter for nighttime accidents, because they have no control over it. The distress from being punished/embarrassed over something the child has no control over can sometimes make bedwetting worse.

If you haven't already and you're able to do so, talk to his dr. In the mean time, here are some things to consider:

Children whose have one or both parents who wet the bed as children are significantly more likely to be bedwetters. Often, but not always, the child's bedwetting stops around the same age as the parent's bedwetting did. If both parents wet the bed, their child has a 77% chance of being a bedwetter; one parent, 44% chance; neither parent, 15% chance. Also, if their aunts, uncles, or grandparents used to wet the bed, a child has an increased liklihood of having bedwetting.

Consider Underjams or Goodnights, made specifically for ovenight accidents in older children. Consider this:  Bed wetting in older, potty trained children is a common enough issue that these products not only exist, but are regularly and continually kept stocked in you local grocery store. Disposable incontinance pads are another option keep his sheets dry during nighttime accidents.

"Poor parenting" and "lazy children" are NOT causes of bedwetting.

Cut caffeine out of his diet. It is a diuretic, which means it increases the body's urine production, and caffeine stays in the system for up to 14 hours. That means the caffinated food or beverage a child has at lunchtime is still causing increased urine production at midnight.

Some families have found giving a child who wets the bed a high-protein snack (a piece of cheese or a spoonful of peanut butter) about 30 minutes before bedtime helps the child stay dry overnight. This didn't work for us, but others have had success.

Food sensativities may contribute to bedwetting. It doesn't mean the child has an allergy to that food; it means that the food may affect their urinary and/or sleep system. Some foods that may contribute to bedwetting are dairy; citrus; carbonated drinks; vitamin supplements (especially vitamin C); artificial colors; sugary foods and candy. You can try removing these things from his diet, one at a time, for a few weeks at a time, to see if it helps.

Not consuming enough fluids over the course of the day, especially for kids in school or daytime programs/activities, where they typically only get to drink at meal/snack time. This causes them to consume most of their daily fluids in the late afternoon and evening (ie, closer to bedtime) instead of spreading fluid intake out more evenly throughout the day.

Some other causes may be:

Decreased arousal from sleep- His body may not be physically able to spontaneously wake your son when his bladder is full.

Small functional bladder capacity- A child's functional bladder capacity is the point at which the bladder sends the brain a signal that it's full and needs to be emptied. Usually, this amount is (child's age + 2) ounces of bladder capacity. A 5 y/o's bladder should be able to hold 7 ouncesof fluid at a time without difficulty. Children who regularly wet the bed tend to have smaller-than-usual bladder capacity along with decreased arousal from sleep. Both improve over time as the child's body matures.

Our doctor gave me the book Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Bedwetting, by Renee Mercer, CPNP, when I told her DS was still wetting the bed at his 6 year well visit. Most of the info in this reply and all of the quotes are from this book. If you can buy or borrow a copy from your local library, consider doing so. It encourages using a bedwetting alarm but even if you don't decide to use an alarm (we still haven't), this book is really helpful in understanding bedwetting, what does/doesn't cause it, what treatments are available, and how they work.

Good luck, I hope you find something that works for your family!

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:36 AM
My DD nv wet the bed either, my DS did when he was 5, from what i know it's common, and especially more so in boys. I had him wear pull ups cause I could afford going to the laundry mat every other day. I had to just get him use to going at night, stopped the drinks in the evening, he had milk for dinner and that e it for the night. He stopped just gotta keep on with waking him and using before bed

I nv punished him for it and nobody makes fun of him, cause his friends nv knew about it. How would his friends have even found out?
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by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:42 AM

it is an everyday thing. Also his dad found out he had a son when he was already almost 2 years old. He was abused and we don't exactly know everything that happened to him before we got him. He was taken from his mom and my DH has full custody. So I wonder if its maybe something in connection to something that happened when he was a baby that he don't remember.

by on Jan. 10, 2013 at 10:48 AM
My oldest sister growing up got beat for wetting the bed her bladder had to be streched dont allow your other kids to make fun of him take him to the doc poor kid
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