37 answers

5 Year Old Still Wetting the Bed at Night

My 5 year old boy is still wetting the bed at night. My older son was potty trained at 2 1/2 and never had any accidents even at night. My second son is such a heavy sleeper that he just doesn't wake up. The last liquid he drinks is at dinner whick is usually between 5 and 6 pm. I also make him go to the bathroom right before bed at 8:30 but he still has accidents almost every night. I really don't know what to. Do I just accept this and hope he will stop sooner or later ?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thank you for all of the responses. My mail box has been full of them. I'm going to just wait it out. It's not like he is going to be 30 and still wetting the bed :~ Thanks again everyone.

Featured Answers

Try training underpants the cloth kind. I tell my son they are his special night time underpants. They'll get a little wet and not feel so good and it can give him time to get up quickly and get to the toilet. If you can't find a large enough size try two or three pairs of underpants to absorb a little pee then they have time to get up before letting loose most of the time. This is really helping my 4 1/2 yr old a good 90% of the time. He appreciates it because he doesn't want to wet himself or his bed either. Good luck

My brother was the same way don't make a big deal about it. it took my brother all the way intil he was old enough to go for sleep overs and he did;nt want to have to wet the bed. some people sleep hard and can't wake up. so get him pullups for night so he does'nt feel bad about his self and try not to give him more the a half a cup at dinner. it will take time

My son wet the bed until he was 5 1/2 and still had accidents until he was 6. It's totally normal. My doctor said he doesn't even consider it a "problem" until the boys are older than 8. Just wait it out. The vast majority of boys grow out of it.

More Answers

Approximately 8%-13% of all 5 year olds still wet the bed, depending what stats you look at. A smaller percentage of children wet the bed into later childhood. I am a potty training consultant. Here is what I usually recommend to parents.

Night Time Potty Training

Here is the way to get your child closer to dry at night. If she goes to bed between 7-8 p.m., don't let her have any dairy products after 4 p.m. At 4 p.m. serve her some high quality yogurt or kefir. That is the last dairy product for the day. Feed her normally for dinner, minus dairy. Don;t restrict liquids. Do this for about a week before you begin with the night time training.

So....when you have the no dairy/yogurt at 4 p.m. routine in place, set up her bed for easy changes. This means making the bed twice, with a waterproof layer in between. So you put on a mattress pad, then a fitted sheet, then a water proof layer, then another fitted sheet. This ensures that you can do a quick change in the night if you need to, sort of like the set up on a bed for a home birth.

Simultaneously, do a diaper countdown with your child. Tell her you will not be buying any more diapers for night time. Show her the diapers you have left. When you run out, that is the night you start. Don't have any diapers in the house at all. That will really help you get through this.

Next, get lots of rest for a few nights. You will be waking up at night to do this with your child. So it helps that you begin well rested.

So....on the first night, make sure she is well rested. In other words, make sure she has her usual nap and bedtime that day. Give her the yogurt or kefir at 4 p.m. Feed her dinner and do your usual bedtime routine. Have her pee as the very last thing before you put her in bed. Behave as though she can do this. Have confidence in her and yourself.

Get a piece of binder paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. Make a chart on it. Each line represents one night. Make 5 columns on the paper. The headings are: 10 p.m., midnight, 2 a.m. 4 a.m. 6 a.m.

When you go to bed, go check on your child. Feel to see if she is wet or dry. Note this on the sheet on your bathroom mirror. Write “wet” or “dry” in each of the five columns as you go through the night.

Set your alarm or cell to ring at midnight, 2 a.m. and 4 a.m. Get up each time and check if she is wet or dry. Note it on the bathroom mirror. If she is wet, change her and the bed. Check again in two hours.

At some point, she is likely to be wet....but not necessarily. Sometimes just our attention to detail gets the children through this.

So.....keep doing this for 3-4 days. Soon you will have an idea of when she is peeing. When that happens, just set your alarm for 30 minutes before when she usually pees. Get up and take her to the potty. She will be half asleep. Don't worry about that. Over three weeks' time, she will become completely dry with your help. Some children do it in the first two nights.

Some parents eventually morph this into the last parent who goes to bed takes the child potty (somewhere between 10 p.m. and midnight) and it works.

You will see what works for you. Trust your intuition.

1 mom found this helpful

One of 2 thing He has a badder control prblem
or it could be sycolgical.

Hunny try not to worry. both of my old boy wet the be till they
12 13 years old. he will grow outt of it i promise. Even me as a child wet the bed till i was 12 or 13.

One of my boy slept so hevily he just wouldn't wack up everytime.
send love to your family and may god send your family safe and happy ness.

i hope that i have been helpful.
Give your son a hug and kiss and let him know everything will be fine its going to be ok.

love from a friend V.

My brother was the same way don't make a big deal about it. it took my brother all the way intil he was old enough to go for sleep overs and he did;nt want to have to wet the bed. some people sleep hard and can't wake up. so get him pullups for night so he does'nt feel bad about his self and try not to give him more the a half a cup at dinner. it will take time

I know how frustrating this is; I have a 5 year old (6 in March) stepson that still wets the bed. We also have a 3 year old and a 2 year old that occasionally wet the bed. So instead of us going crazy by changing wet sheets all of the time we put all of the boys in pull ups. We have tried everything as well; no drinks past a certain time, peeing before bed, rewards for not wetting the bed, etc. and nothing has helped. Sorry that I don't have any words of wisdom but I have heard from numerous people that boys are worse at bedwetting than girls and you have to be patient.

Hi N.,
take heart. All children are individual and meet their various milestones and development levels when they are ready.

You may wish to discuss the issue with your son's MD when next you see them (no need to make an appointment though if they accept email don't hesitate to open a conversation now). The MD can ask a few questions to rule out the likely hood of an underlying medical condition.

My very nearly 8 year old son still has nightime wetting issues. We have taken several approaches while always trying to be very supportive. It is not uncommon and usually not something the child can control.

I do recommend www.bedwettingstore.com which have some great tools to make life a little easier and if needed to help with the transition to dryness. They have several books on the subject as well. Waking Up Dry by Dr Howard Bennett is fairly friendly and straight forward book with sections for parents and sections for kids. It helps everyone understand what is going on and provides some concrete exercises to try as well as discussing various approaches.

From a personal perspective I would hesitate to start a young child on an alarm. We allowed our very enthusiastic to try this 6 year old (at the time) to choose and alarm and try it. He really did not like it so we stopped and are waiting to try again soonish now that he has matured somewhat.

There are pros and cons to any approach. I would recommend a low key/no stress approach without blame.

Often there is a familial component though it need not be one of the parents who had this problem. I discovered my mother had night time wetting issues until she was about 10. We are hoping that by providing support and understanding and helping him develope a plan when he is ready that our son will transition to dry nights within another year.

He has a camping trip with school approaching in May. This is such a common problem that the school deals with it every year and makes sure it does not become an embarresment for any kid. Most simply use night time pull ups under their pj's and have plastic bags available to wrap and dispose properly.

It may be necessary for you to speak with your older son and make sure no teasing and no disclosure to others is accepted.

I wish you well and hope you can relax and accept each of the differences your three children are bound to exhibit. :)

K. H.

I have 3 boys. They are 15, 7 and 6. I can honestly say the last two I have not pressured into night time potty training. They both wear goodnights at night, although the younger one rarely wets his diaper. My seven year old is autistic and takes meds that sedate him so I didn't push him too much. But my oldest......he was 12 before he stopped wetting the bed. We took him to doctors over and over again, tried meds, tried everything. Eventually we were just told to wait it out and that he wouldn't be in high school still wetting the bed. Well, he barely made it, but he did. He's not wet the bed in three years now. Whew. I can totally relate to the frustration as a parent but I just let them work it out them self now. I figure eventually they will either figure it out for themselves or it will physically click and start working where they CAN stop at night time and have control over it. The doctors told me some boys, especially boys, don't have control over it, or sleep too deeply and no matter if they don't have water past noon they'll still wet the bed at night. That's when I decided to stop pushing the issue.

Hi N.,
We had the same problem with our son until he was about 11 years old. We took him to doctor's, and got xrays of his bladder to make sure everything was O.K. The explanation from our pediatrician was that his bladder is just not large enough to hold the liquid that his body produces. He'll have to grow out of it. Trust me, I had a nephew with the same problem. We tried the bed wetter buzzer, no liquids after a certain time, waking him up in the middle of the night (that got old very fast, no sleep). Our son couldn't do sleepovers, it lowered his self-esteem. You just deal with it. They will eventually grow out of it, Praise God. And when they do, you'll see a change in them and you'll forget that it ever happened.

Good Luck,
J.D.

Try training underpants the cloth kind. I tell my son they are his special night time underpants. They'll get a little wet and not feel so good and it can give him time to get up quickly and get to the toilet. If you can't find a large enough size try two or three pairs of underpants to absorb a little pee then they have time to get up before letting loose most of the time. This is really helping my 4 1/2 yr old a good 90% of the time. He appreciates it because he doesn't want to wet himself or his bed either. Good luck

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