27 answers

12 Year Old Still Having "Accidents" in the Bed...

My daughter, who is now 12, has been having "accidents" in the bad for the last 7 years. At times, she will go long periods without having them, but as of late, they have been occurring more frequently. I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. She does not seem embarassed by it, but I am for her. I worry ever time she has a sleep over, but so far, nothing has happeped. If there are others dealing with this problem, please give me guidance and direction for help. How much longer will she need to deal with this issue?

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Have you tried a chiropractor? I work in a chiro office and we have some children with this issue, who after being under care, have either wet WAY less, or stopped altogether. Chiropractic is a safe, drug free alternative!

I haven't dealt with this directly, but my nephew went through something very similar when he was about 11. After trying prescription drugs (didn't work) and routine changes, my sister put him on a restricted diet recommended by the pediatrician and it worked. It wasn't easy--it was a no dairy, low-sugar thing. I'd recommend that you Google it. He had success within a few weeks.

I have no advice for you. I just wanted to suggest that you buy GoodNights or some other "pull up" style pant for her to sleep in. This will save you a lot of anguish in the a.m.

I would also suggest speaking with her pediatrician.

Hope this helps.

More Answers


Assuming you have talked about this with her doctor, since she is going for long periods without an accident she is likely about to 'grow out of it'. Good for you for being concerned and sensitive to her feelings.

Please do not ever punish or try to re-condition her for this, it is (in my experience) not a behavior - but rather just plain physiology - her bladder is just developing later than some other kids her age.

She is probably very embarrassed about it but just doesn't know what to say or perhaps is in 'denial' of it. I know it must be difficult washing her sheets and pj's etc., but I am sure it will pass soon for her. Meantime, will she wear night-time sleep protection? I don't know her size but they make the 'sleep pants' up to XL, or there are always the adult sleep pants (diapers).

While I have not encountered this personally, I have a close friend who went through this with her daughter and also growing up as a child my brother had the same problem until around age 12. Both are also extremely sound sleepers, which likely added to the problem.

I know someone who actually put a device in their child's bed that would 'shock' her if she wet the bed - before that they would set an alarm clock and wake her every 2 hours to use the bathroom - do not do anything like that to her, please, it's just not right.

I would just quietly keep her linens clean, and encourage her and let her know she will be out-growing it any day now.

hang in there, it should pass soon.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.,
I know how hard this is on the whole family! My daughter is now 10 and she's been wetting her bed basically since she was potty trained, with some dry spells here and there. We have talked to her doctor, and she's had blood work/urine analysis done and a medical problem was ruled out. Her doctor said that it is genetic and since there is a family history of it that it could still be a few years before she grows out of it. He said that we can't solve the problem, but we can help her cope with the problem. He said there's 3 types of bed wetters -those who wet right after they fall asleep, those who wet in the middle of the night, and those who wet shortly before waking up. The third is the most common, and that's the category my daughter falls into. To find out when she is wetting, you would have to wake up at different times during the night to check and see if she is wet. when you figure it out then you can figure out how to cope. For us, it's just waking her up a couple hours before her normal rising time to go to the bathroom and then go back to bed. There's also a medicine out there that can stop the bed wetting, but only temporarily. As soon as the child stops taking it, the bed wetting will return. The body naturally releases a hormone that slows the urine production when you are sleeping. In bedwetters, the body does not produce enough of this hormone. So the medicine is basically a substitute for this hormone. My doctor said we could try it if we want to give her some confidence for a short time, to show her she can stay dry. But like your daughter, she's not too upset by it so we haven't tried the medicine. And don't worry that she's not embarrassed by it. It's frustrating for us, but it's good that she's not feeling bad about it because it's not her fault. The doctor really stressed to my daughter that she is perfectly normal and she doesn't have a disability and this is something she will eventually grow out of.

For sleepovers or other similar situations, I just get some overnights. My daughter can put them on in the bathroom when she's changing and now one even notices.

Just be patient, and I wish you the best of luck! I know it's not easy.


1 mom found this helpful

I'm currently dealing with eliminating bedwetting by my 8 yo daughter and have read up a bit on the subject. We are using a bedwetting alarm, and it is going very well. From what I've read - I'm not an expert by any means! - the fact that it began after she was already having consistently dry nights, might indicate a different problem than if she never had been dry. In the books I've read, they all suggest seeing a doctor if this is the case. There could be a physical or emotional reason behind it. The books also indicate that some kids do not "outgrow" this problem, but that it could continue well into adulthood. It definitely couldn't hurt to talk to your pediatrician about it. Good luck!

I have no advice for you. I just wanted to suggest that you buy GoodNights or some other "pull up" style pant for her to sleep in. This will save you a lot of anguish in the a.m.

I would also suggest speaking with her pediatrician.

Hope this helps.

i don't know if you have ever heard of george lopez(comedian) had trouble with bed wetting growing up turns out he had a problem with his kidneys or the tubing that runs from his kidneys. and he did not find this out till he was an adult. but is caused his bedwetting issues.

My daughter started having accidents when she was 15 years old. After trying all the usual things, limit fluid intake, waking her up before we went to bed, etc. We brought it up to her doctor who referred us to a pediatric urologist. He indicated that a small percentage of teens go through a period where their kidneys produce an excessive amount of urine at night and it would eventually resolve itself. But in the meantime there was medication to help. The medication did the trick and after about a year, she stopped taking it and hasn't had any problems. So if all the usual tricks don't work, you may want to mention it at your next doctors visit.
Good luck!

Dear J., my son who is 10 had an accident last week. He was embarassed and it only happens once in awhile. I think with him he was so tired the night before he just could not get up. Maybe take your daughter to the Doctor to make sure that there is nothing medically wrong with her. If there is nothing limit her liquids in the evening and make sure she goes to the bathroom before bed and that she is getting enough sleep. Hope this helps.

Hi J.,

I searched my Shaklee files to see if I had any information on bedwetting. One of the things I found is a lack of B vitamins can cause an issue with muscular control. Below is one testimony. There were several others on B-Complex being beneficial. If you would like more information on Shaklee's B-Complex, just e-mail me and I will forward information to you.

"Years ago, we had a friend whose daughter, at the age of 6 or 7 was still wetting her bed. I had just heard Sherri Attila speak and she included the subject of bedwetting and B-Complex. So I suggested my friend start giving her
daugher a couple B-Complex a day, making sure one was late afternoon. She didn't tell her the B-Complex was for her bedwetting, just thought of another reason why she should be taking it. Well....her bedwetting stopped within a
couple of days and has never returned. The way you mentioned below, that the bedwetting became in issue after the first "accident" leads me to wonder if the stress of being afraid to have an accident might well be causing the problem,
which would explain why B-Complex works in some situations.

Patty Bills
"Healthy & Happy, Inc." "

I was the same way! I know that my dad would come in and wake me in the early morning when he got up for work (4:00AM) and take me to the bathroom. On the weekends when he didn't work, he played in a band, so when he got home from band jobs, he would wake me then. This seemed to work for me. My mom always thought I was such a deep sleeper that I would not wake up when I had to go. I don't know if this will help you out, but I wanted to tell you that I had the same problem!
Good Luck

Have you had her tonsils checked? There is a link to enlarged tonsils and bedwetting. Ask your doctor.

I agree with the others who said to talk to the urologist. My daughter wet the bed till 8. I realized she was trying to hold-in her urine too much at school. When "holding it" during the day the muscles would get stressed and she couldn't keep it in as well at night--then the bed wetting episodes would start-up again. Remind your daughter to empty her bladder often during the day and avoid ever trying to hold it for too long. (Also, my daughter is a very heavy sleeper which I know added to the problem...also overtiredness seemed to play a role as well). My daughter is now 9-1/2 and still has an occassional accident, but it's once or twice a year. Sadly both my husband and I were bed wetters and I'm told there is a strong genetic connection.

Is she drinking a lot of liquids close to bedtime? Does she seem nervous about something? I know this is just a band-aid to the problem, but there are commercials for diapers for older children. I don't know if this is the route you want to go. You may also want to schedule an appointment witha child urologist. Good luck to you and your daughter.

Usually at this late of age it is an allergy or something anatomical. YOu should get her to the dr for an scan or x ray it could just be a small bladder and you should take ehr to tkhe allergist. There are three types of testign to rule out foods they are skin test and patch test and a blood test called rast test. I highly suggest doing all three even though it is a pain in the neck and time consuming you will get the best results from them all. If the allergist you find doesnt do patch testing (only a certain of them do and ar trained) go to Associated Allergist and I would see anyone there but we love Dr. Donneell.
good luck
have you ever tired the potty pager too? That works wonders for sure!

I have a 11 year old boy who has never been dry. We did the alarm thing for 4 years and it didn't help. We have tried everything and now I just have him wear pullups. I decided that at this point it is not worth getting upset over it. We do have the prescription medicine that he takes occasionally when going on a sleepover. It helps but I don't want him to take it all the time. If it doesn't bother your daughter, don't let it get to you. She will grow out of it eventually.

I highly recommend you talk to your ped about this. This usually goes away by this age. I know it happens a lot with little kids when they are constipated. My sister just invested in the alarm with her 6 year old. But, I would definately get her tested to make sure she doesnt have something medically going on.


I too have a twelve year old who still has accidents at night. He has always had issues with bedwetting - as I, my brother, and my mother did.

While it bothers him tremendously, I have always tried to explain that it really isn't his fault, it's just that his body has taken longer for that part to mature.

He took pills for awhile that helped and he went off of them after a year. Now he has occasional accidents, they are usually clustered together. They usually happen when he is growing, or if he is getting sick.

I would speak to her pediatrician, she should be able to guide you to the best solution.

Good luck! R.

Of course all children experience these accidents however that she does not seem embarrassed by it may be the reason the habit continues. Stress could also be a factor as she has begun puberty.
You might consider consulting with a certified consulting hypnotist. Hypnosis can change a habit into a choice like nailbiting, thumbsucking or smoking and is very effective for stress relief.
I first used hypnosis to alieviate the stress of childbirth 19 years ago.
Many hypnotists offer complimentary phone consultations or you can contact the National Guild of Hypnotists for more information.

Have you tried a chiropractor? I work in a chiro office and we have some children with this issue, who after being under care, have either wet WAY less, or stopped altogether. Chiropractic is a safe, drug free alternative!

Hi J., I went through that with my now 16 yr old daughter. I was at my wits end. A friend suggested we try accupuncture treatments and it worked for her. It was my 1st time with accupuncture and I discussed it with her in depth before we went for her treatment. I learned a lot.
She thought it was great and the best part was she stopped wetting the bed. By the way I remember learning that the kidney is a "winter organ" ( what ever that means) and the bed wetting is typically worse in the winter season. Good luck!

My brother-in-law was a bed wetter. He was an extremely sound sleeper and he drank a lot of pop (caffeine) when he was a teen. Bad combination. He also had/has a small bladder. First I would talk to your daughter's doctor to rule any physical problem out. Then I found this website that might be helpful, although I don't think I agree with the alarm part of it. My brother-in-law still has to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom and he's in his 40s. He just learned how to deal with it. That's what this website is about.

Dear J.,
I was a kid like your daughter, it was rough to deal with and not until I was much older that some explanations came to me as possible reasons for the occaisional bedwetting. One was that the bladder hasn't caught up in growth to the childs body. The other one was allergies. This ended up being my problem. I had some food allergies and looking back I realize that when my diet was restricted, as to the amount and what time I ate the foods, that I stopped with the occaisional bedwetting. I don't know if your daughter has allergies, but that could be an explanation.

Tell her doctor!

If a 12 year old doesn't mind bed wetting, somethings wrong with that alone; wetting the bed is a seperate issue. Don't let her have overnights until the problem is remedied. Why would you put yourself thru that? Give her incentive.


I work in a pediatric setting professionally. Have you told your pediatrician? I think your daughter should see a Pediatric Urologist. Google the ones in Chicago. Depending on your insurance, ask your pediatrician who he/she recommends. If your doctor does not feel you need to see one, I would question that if I were you. Read about enuresis on a web site (American Academny of Pediatrics would be a good site to start with). Good luck. A.

My boyfriend's daughter is 10 and wets the bed most every night. Instead of her wetting the bed on occasion, she occasionally does not wet the bed.. I used to wake her once a night to go, but she started getting very hard to get up, she'd kick and swing her arms and yell that she didn't have to.. very frustrating, & here I was losing sleep over it, and sometimes even after all that, she would still go again later in the bed.. so I gave up. I'm pregnant & my sleep is precious too.. Her dad works third shift.. Any way we're now to the point where we got her diapers, but I don't really like that either because now it's like it's ok and she doesn't need to get up to go.. Sometimes she goes so much that we still need to wash the sheets even when she wears the diapers.. I keep telling her dad to take her to the dr., but he won't do it.. Any way, besides taking her to the dr., no advice really, just wanted to tell you that you're not alone.. I know how u feel.. it is very frustrating.. :(

I would suggest taking a good look at her diet. As I have learned, much like alcohol works in people who drink alcohol, it turns to sugar and then the sugar causes the muscles not to react and work as well. Many times this is the cause of a weak bladder. The bladder is a muscle and with too much sugar ( this includes fruits, honey artificial sweeteners... alll) the bladder just gets weak.

B complex is necessary to metablolize the sugar. A probiotic would be important as well as some detoxifying.
Let me know if you would like more information.

There might also be a problem with sleep patterns in which case go to sleepdry.com or google for more info. Let me know if I can be of any further assistance.

I haven't dealt with this directly, but my nephew went through something very similar when he was about 11. After trying prescription drugs (didn't work) and routine changes, my sister put him on a restricted diet recommended by the pediatrician and it worked. It wasn't easy--it was a no dairy, low-sugar thing. I'd recommend that you Google it. He had success within a few weeks.

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