September 23, 2008,
L.B. asks from Cheshire, CT on September 18, 2008
10 Year Old Son Peeing in His Bed in the Middle of the Night
We just moved about 25 miles away into a smaller home and have been in and out of a motel as work is being done in the house. Suddenly my 10 year old (who hates any change) is peeing in his bed about once a week. They started the new school and aside from a few instances of complaining about not knowing restaurants, etc. he has seemed to be doing ok. Any help, suggestions?
So What Happened?™
Thank you for all your advice. It never happened again after the 2 epsisodes.
K.D. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
I have a 15, 13, and 2 year old, and I had a similar issue with my son. Don't let him drink anything after 5pm. It's hard after sports, etc, but it's important. Good luck
T.I. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
I think if you haven't already done so, you need to have a talk with your son about how he's feeling. His life has been turned upside down and his wetting the bed, especially if this is not something he's done before, is a tell-tale sign of an inability to cope. When there are changes to their external environment that they don't know how to deal with, the stress of the situation causes many children to regress. An example is a jealous, potty-trained toddler behaving like a baby again in response to a new sibling. He may want you to feed him the way you used to and even require diapering for some period of time until he starts to feel some sense of normalcy again and that he belongs. Such life changes as divorce and relocation can be difficult for an adult to cope with, much less a little boy. He may simply be unable to articulate what it is that he's feeling. No matter what he seems like on the outside, he may be in need of therapeutic intervention on the inside. First I would get him to a doctor to make sure there are no medical reasons for his bed-wetting, but then if he checks out okay, I would see about some counseling, for both of you. I'm sure it will help you and your son to better cope with all that's happened. I hope I haven't offended you and that I have helped in some way. You're in my thoughts.
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D.S. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
I am sure it is emotional due to all of the sudden changes in his life. If this was an ongoing problem I would say have his pediatrician check him out, however since it just started and it definitely has started when all of these changes occurred I would say maybe have him talk to someone. Maybe the school psychologist would be a good idea. He may not be able to open up to you because he may not want to make you feel bad because he is feeling bad. Lets face it he has been moved away from his friends, he started a new school, and a new home I am almost sure he has some feelings he needs to get out. I think opening up to someone who will not be affected by what he says may help him to resolve some issues he is having. Sometimes children seem okay and they are not and it may be coming out at night when he is resting. Good luck!!!
R.C. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
Your 10 year old is dealing with a lot. Let him know you understand and reasure him that his accidents in bed will stop...don't make him feel bad about them. Try to spend more quality time with him....try to get him to talk to you about the things he is worried about...listen, answer questions if he has them....let him know none of it is his fault and that things will get better....
M.T. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
Sounds like your son is dealing with stress. At the age of puberty beginning, I'm sure this is an embarrassing situation for him. I would let him decide how he wants to handle it (does he want protective undergarments, etc), put a waterproof flannel pad on the bed to protect the mattress, and teach him how to use the washer and dryer. Let him know that he can be responsible for washing his own sheets and pajamas, and that he doesn't need to let you know that he's wet the bed, that he can just handle it privately without anyone having to know.
M.R. answers from New York on September 18, 2008
I think you've answered your own question here L. - you said that your son doesn't like any change - and his surroundings have changed - I'm sure for the better.
He may benefit from some counseling to deal with this change and new school, new friends, new surroundings, etc.
You could start with the school's psychologist, or seek an outside source.
Keeping the lines of communication open between you and him is very important as well.
Try not to get upset when he's wet the bed - but have him clean it up and wash his linens (if you allow him to wash them) and make sure he showers as well. Also - take stock in either plastic covers for the bed (the dollar store has these)- or a waterproof mattress pad - or get some of those hospital bed mats to protect the mattress.
I'm sure this change has taken a toll on you and your daughter as well - not just your son. Right now its the 3 of you - the 3 musketeers :) - and your bond needs to grow and get stronger during these times.
If it continues, and you've sought counseling - I would get him to a doctor to check his urinary system.
As a mom to 2 teens - whose daughter wet her bed for YEARS - especially after her dad and I divorced - when she was 4 yrs old - I truly sympathize with what you are going through. My daughter is now almost 17 and no longer wets the bed (THANK GOD) - HOWEVER, I do believe it was mostly psychological than anything medical - or that she was a heavy sleeper. After several counselers and doctors, (and 2 mattresses!)I finally had it and put her on medication to stop the wetting at nite. I hope your situation doesn't come to this.
If it does, the medications do work. DDAVP is taken either via pill or nasal spray, and Ditropan is a pill. My daughter was taking both. (In her case, one didn't work well without the other)
I wish you luck in dealing with this...remember to breathe and don't get upset with him if he wets the bed - I'm sure he's embarrassed enough that it happened.
I truly sympathize with you over this :)
J.G. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
My husband had the same prob that age too. His doc told his mom to make sure he goes to the bathroom before he goes to bed. Even if he says he doesnt have to go, make sure he tried to go. Good LUck!
K.I. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
My brother and I both began peeing as well when we moved to a new place.
I was seven and he was twelve.
It is emotional and should settle down when the new routine becomes not new anymore.
Also, began the process of no liquids after 5:00pm. Waking him up to use the bathroom twice a night and not getting upset at him at all.
If he pees the bed in the middle of the night and you have to change the sheets talk casual to him.
Like, boy I would pee the bed too, if I had all these changes happening in my life. New home, new school ect.,
He may not say it but his heart will thank you for the kindness.
Also, take himvinto the kitchen and make him a half a cup of relaxing tea and see if he can talk about what is bothering him. I know it sounds crazy to give him liquid, but he will be tired, the tea will relax him and help him to open up about what is on his heart. If he can get that off his chest, I assure you the peeing will stop immediately.
Once I was able to verbalize what was bothering me - I stop peeing in the bed, but not before I could put it into words.
K.E. answers from New York on September 19, 2008
This is a different situation to a child who has always wet the bed or is learning not to. Clearly your son has no control over this behavior - and he is at an extremely tender age. I would not make him clean his own sheets - and I would be careful not to create extra shame in him about it. Talk to him as openly as you can and explain to him that sometimes our bodies can act out when there's a lot going on in our heads and hearts. Tell him that you're going to do your best to help him. I would especially be careful not to make a big deal of this issue in front of his sister - especially because they are so close in age. I would highly recommend he start speaking with a counselor. Your son has NO control over anything in his life right now - even his body he is finding out - and that can be extremely terrifying. Especially when he (like most kids) just wants to seem like he's doing ok.