31 answers

7 Year Old Bed Wetter

I have a granddaughter that is 7 years old and very smart and active. Her problem is that she can not control her bed wetting...at all. She wears pull-ups at night and her mother gets her up at 11 when she gets in from work and wakes her and takes to potty. Her pull- is full as well. By the time she gets up in the morning the pull-up has spilled over to the sheets...she has to shower before catching the bus at 7:45 am and sheets and blankets have to be washed daily...her mom is at her wits end...Some times she has accidents during the day but not often...she has to be reminded to go to potty often...what can i do to help?

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Oh my goodness...what a "wonderful" site for everyone...i have passed this one on to many of my friends...many of us are becoming grandparents and it is a great tool for helping our "adult children" out to help the grandchildren "the breaths of our world".
I gathered the many bits of information and sent them on to my daughter...we will see what steps are taken from here...THANKS!

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My nephew has gone through the same thing. He is 9 now and about 2 years ago the doctor put him on medicine. This is the second medicine that he tried. The first was a nasal spray and now he takes a pill at night. It has really built of his self confidence and will even be going away to camp this year. I am not normally one to suggest giving meds to kids (the whole ADD thing is way over diagnosed), but this has really helped his self esteem. Sometimes this is hereditary and may be caused by an underdeveloped blatter. Without medicine, my sister in law/mother in law and one of my friends growing up, had troubles in 12years and 14 years of age....

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Take her to the doctor, at that age with that little bladder control she may have a mishaped bladder or need medication to deal with muscle control. Usually this is something easily fixable. Good luck.

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Don't give her anything to drink after a certain time, or just give her enough to wet her mouth. If she is drinking tons right before bedtime, it is probably contributing to the problem. Also know that bedwetting is normal and it's usually just that her bladder is too small and she doesn't feel the sensation to get up and go potty. Waking her and taking her potty is helpful, but if you stop/reduce liquids after say 600 or 700, depending on bedtime, that should help a lot!

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I agree that a trip to the doctor will rule out any physical issues, such as UTI's, bladder abnormalities.

I am happy to report that my oldest (who is now 21) had bed-wetting issues until about 10. It got better and better, but the root of it was that she was (and still is) a very sound sleeper and had bad bed time habits - always staying up too late and not controlling intake before sleep.

While I don't know if I'd recommend interupting the sleep by waking them in the night to use the bathroom, I might have tried it if I could have pin-pointed the time of night the accident usually occurred.

I did find that completely restricting liquids from about 2 hours before sleep time helped, as did not allowing a late bed time or sleep in time.

Keep the faith. I was promised that my child would not go to college wetting the bed, and she didn't!

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My little sister wet the bed until she was ten. It was very hard for her and we all tried to help out, by not being hard on her, or acting like she had control over it or embarassing her. She had a condtion where she had slightly weaker bladder control and very sound sleep. Basically the urge to pee never woke her up and then she would wet the bed. I know a number of people who had similar experiences and they did out grow it around the same age, there may be more they can do today that was almost 20 years ago.

L.

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My son is now 9 and continues to wet the bed periodically. We never used pull ups based on the advice of our pediatrician who suggested that this is emotionally regressive. I would suggest a visit to the pediatrician first. Second, limit beverages before bedtime. We limit our son to half a glass of any beverage with dinner and insist on him going to the bathroom before bed. I used to wake him up around 11pm also for a mid-night bathroom break, but I haven't done that in awhile. The pediatrician told me specifically NOT TO GET ANGRY or upset with him, because some children's bladders don't mature at the same rate. There are medical cures to be put into place if required. I suggest making an appointment with the pediatrician pronto and going from there. In the meantime, good luck. L. T

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My daughter had to be treated at the pediatric urology center at Johns Hopkins Hospital for years. They gave us several recommendations over the years. Drink only water throughout the day or primarily water, use the restroom every two hours and when using the restroom make sure you take your time and completely relax your muscles. My daughter had very weak pelvic floor muscles and she also had reflux. The urine does not completely empty but goes back up the urinary tube to the kidneys. You may want to have her evaluated by your pediatrician and your pediatrician might want to send her to a urologist. School could also be a problem. Sometimes children try to hold their urine all day at school. They don't like the bathrooms or they are embarassed or the teacher may only let them go at certain times.

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I would suggest taking her to the doctor to see if she has an over reactive bladder or an infection. Also-- I'm sure someone has said not to give her liquids after an hour before her bedtime. Hope this helps even a little. Good luck!

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I had a son who wet the bed till he was 14.
The first thing is, you should not make a big deal about it, She feels bad about it already.
First you can buy plastic mattress covers to protect her mattress,
no drinks about an hour before her bedtime, try to get her on a stricked bedtime schedule like 8 o'clock every night, and do not let her get to excited before bedtime.

Your doctor may be able to help there are some new drugs out there now but it does not help all children
I would take her to your doctor and have her checked in case there is some medical issue going on, but really she will just grow out of it.
Just remember she does not do it on purpose she cant help it.
Have her help her mum in the morning take her own sheets off the bed and put them in the washing machine.
Having her shower in the morning helps her start her day off fresh and clean and ready to go most girls stop around age 10 she is just one of many children who have this issue ..

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D.,

I had the same problem when I was 7 only they didn't have pull ups back then. My parents thought I was just being lazy but it turned out to be a medical problem with my urethra. I used to have to change my sheets every morning and wash them, along with my pajamas, myself, as well as take a shower before going to school. I even had accidents at school that were very embarrassing and caused me to be the recipient of much ridicule.

Please have take your granddaughter to the doctor to rule this possibility out before it has a negative impact on her self esteem - I know it was very embarrasing to me as a child and even to this day, at age 45, I still get sick to my stomache when I think about it.

Good luck and God Bless!

K.
Alexandria, VA

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Please know first of all that I "feel her pain!" My 7 year old boy can go around 7 days at a time without wetting, but then will wet several nights in a row. There was a time when he wet every night. This is kind of a long response - I hope it's helpful.

The first thing to do is consult the pediatrician to make sure there is no physical reason for her wetting. If not, just know that some kids do this and sometimes it is an inherited tendency, and the current thinking is to treat it matter of factly and not use punishment or reward - it is usually a physical maturity thing that has to do with deep sleep and the brain/bladder connection (as children grow, the pituitary gland begins to put out a hormone at night to decrease urine production).

For the daytime accidents, she can be taught with a reward system to increase awareness and going to the bathroom regularly - that is usually a different and separate issue but sometimes will help resolve the nighttime wetting, at least to some extent.

To survive this phase, I have bought several waterproof pads that cover the sheets so that worst case most days all I have to do is wash the pad and blanket and whatever else (I throw EVERYTHING in the wash including stuffed animals, yes even beanie babies). The bedwetting store online has terrific pads that my child is comfortable sleeping on (they have different sizes & I use the "tuck-ins"). They are expensive but regular stores do not have large enough pads, and their pads slide around. I have wrapped his mattress in a zipper vinyl covering (can get them at a place like Bed Bath Beyond). Then I put a regular mattress pad over that because these things can be hot for sleeping, a waterproof pad over that, then the fitted sheet. While this sounds like overkill, it saves on time and laundry depending on the extent of wetting. He also has a vinyl pillow because sometimes he wets enough to soak the pillow case. We don't use the alarms because if getting soaked doesn't wake her up, an alarm probably won't - and most of my friends did not have success with them.

My son only sleeps with a blanket for the season and as small a one as possible at that - I do not do the whole bed making hospital corner thing, WAY too frustrating.

I've taught my son, who usually wakes in the middle of the night to a soaked pad and blanket, to take the wet things off the bed himself and put them in a basket by his bed (well usually it's the floor coz we have hardwood and it's old and not recently finished so I don't care). We abandoned pull-ups when he was 5 because they didn't help at all, he'd leak right out of them and it was a waste of money.

So that's my 50 cents - good luck to you and your daughter! I know it's frustrating and I am always behind on laundry; this too shall pass.

2 moms found this helpful

My 7 yr old son has the same problem. He wears GoodNights Diapers to bed and still sometimes wets it. We have an absorbent pad on the bed. The pediatrician says it's just a matter of physical maturity, but I think we're all tired of it. Plus my son is very tall and big for his age, which somehow makes it worse. I got a book from the American Academy of Pediatricians that has a program for trying to end this problem. It's written by a pediatrician who specializes in bedwetting. We haven't started the program yet, but it sounds like it covers all the issues mentioned in posts (i.e. ruling out a medical problem, then moving on to training). You can get the book from their website - the title is Waking Up Dry: A Guide to Help Children Overcome Bedwetting, b y Howard J. Bennett, M.D. It's written for the child to read also, with cartoons, for them to understand the problem also and participate in ending it.

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OUr daughter,who is now eighteen, had this same problem. I took her to a urologist, who gave her a nose spray.I can't remember the name. Because my daughter is adopted, from a foreign country,I don't know her medical history. The doctor said that frequently there is a family histroy, and also asked how she slept. She sleeps to this day, like thedead. He said that was also part of the problem. WE kept her on the medicine for several years, and eventually decreased it and the problem stopped. If you have any questions, you may e mail me at ____@____.com

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She may have a food allergy. I have been told it is related to milk. Check this out with her Pediatrician. There are drugs to help this as well. She should not have to suffer or be embarrased by this!

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I know you have recieved several responses, but I had to chime in. My sisters and I were all 3 bed wetters until about 7-8 yrs. My daughter was also wetting the bed. Something that my mom had to cut out of our diet was red dye. It worked for us and I have been cutting it out of my daughters diet as well. It is working for her too. I have spoken to my pediatrician about it and there is something in the red color (food dye) that can cause a loss of bladder control in some people. It is not known exactly what it is but when it is cut out the wetting gets better. Once the wetting stops you can try putting it back into the diet slowly and see if it works. We have had no accidents for about a month now and I am so excited. My ped. said to start slowly introducing it back into her diet. Now that her body has learned full bladder control, day and night, she should be able to handle it again. We are hopeful. Good luck to you. I hope you figure out what works for your granddaughter soon.

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Suggest to your daughter that she bring this up this with your grandchild's pediatrician. Some children have a condition called enuresis, bedwetting during sleep. It can be treated using a bell-like device that wakes the child in the night at first hint of wetting. Read about enuresis at:
http://familydoctor.org/online/famdocen/home/children/par...

2 moms found this helpful

My nephew has gone through the same thing. He is 9 now and about 2 years ago the doctor put him on medicine. This is the second medicine that he tried. The first was a nasal spray and now he takes a pill at night. It has really built of his self confidence and will even be going away to camp this year. I am not normally one to suggest giving meds to kids (the whole ADD thing is way over diagnosed), but this has really helped his self esteem. Sometimes this is hereditary and may be caused by an underdeveloped blatter. Without medicine, my sister in law/mother in law and one of my friends growing up, had troubles in 12years and 14 years of age....

2 moms found this helpful

WE did the nothing to dring an hour before bed time. But if it does not work you may need to take her to the DR for a check up. She may not be getting the sensation to pee before she is suppose to pee, that could be a medical problem. I have a 10 yo neice that has that problem. They have to use a timer and set it for every 30 minutes, so that she gets into the habit of going on her own. But when she is really into something she has accidents if she does not remember to go.
YOu can try the timer to train her to make a habit to go to the bathroom. But I would talk to her pediatrition about a medical problem.
Has there been any major change in her life lately? Sometimes that will cause them to bed wet, if they have not been doing it and then start up. Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

First rule out medical issues. Call her doctor.

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Take her to the doctor, at that age with that little bladder control she may have a mishaped bladder or need medication to deal with muscle control. Usually this is something easily fixable. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful

In the case of bed-wetting there are a number of factors to consider. We must turn first to the parent(s). In this fast paced world where we (parents) are often so busy in our work a day world that our children have get what we have left over at the end of the day. And so what happens is that in our interactions with our children (at the day's end), we function with them in a manner that avoids conflict, we appease them- we over compensate for our absence.
Now, what should your daughter do? First of all take off the pull ups. They are a crutch for both mom and daughter. They allow a child to wet without the consequence of wetting. No consequences? Why change? When she wets, have her get up right away and take a shower, even if its 2am. Have her help make up the bed or sleep at the end of the bed. Give the granddaughter a chance to self regulate. The first few times of this may be inconvenient to the parent(s) and disruptive to the child, but you know what... You may be pleasantly surprised at the difference that comes.
Two other supports for the granddaughter's success. Reduce the amount of liquids consumed after 6-7pm. At 5pm or so remind her to have something to drink before it gets to late (whatever time has been decided upon by grandmom or mom) so that she can keep her bed dry. Saying it this way affirms the positive and reminds the child of the goal. The other is for the mom to go into the daughter's room while she is asleep and give her a positive subliminal suggestion. Here is the one I gave my 7 year old son that helped him. "(Child's name) always keeps her/his bed dry. (Child's name) gets up and goes to the bathroom every night. (Child's name) always keeps her/his bed nice". (THIS TECHNIQUE IS VERY IMPORTANT. Say it softly and lovingly. The best way to do this is for 21 consecutive days beginning at the new moon. Whenever she wakes up dry make a reasonably big fuss over her/him.
Celebrate the victories and deal peacefully and practically with everything else.

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Your granddaughter AND family need to see a doctor, preferably a behavioral therapist. There is something that is causing her problem, that she or you or her parents aren't or can't control. You need to find someone to help you find the key to the bed wetting. Once you have the key, you can look for answers.

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Can you respond to the grandmother of the 7 year old for me (State Farm denied access)? Tell her to take her child to the DOCTOR...she could have bladder problems. Kids who wet themselves at this age need medical attention. I can't believe they haven't done this already. Tell her your mother had this problem and had her bladder dilated three times before she could control her urine. Poor child!

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We have gont thru this with my son. Doctors can give meds, buit the preferred is Imipramine (Tofranil) which is an antidepressant. My son took it for a bit, b ut did not like the way it made him feel, so we stopped it.

However, before even agreeing to the med, the Dr said to get an alarm, which we did. The cheap ones off eBay are great, I don't remember the sellers name. It can wake me up in my bedroom down the hall from my son, and worked great! Except when he rolls over onto it and it doesn't wake him up....I can hear it in the hall, but he can sleep through most anything!

My problem is that we had a car accident last year and he re-started and hasn't stopped since. (counseling has not helped)

Anyway, do try the $20 alarm before trying meds!

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My daughter had the same problem up thru age 7. We finally tried one of the devices that has a sensor in a minipad which triggers an alarm when it becomes wet. (The child wears the minipad in her panties at night and the alarm is attached to her shoulder.) This worked in less than 2 weeks. They are available on line.

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Have they talked to a pediatrician for advice? Also, have they cut back on what she has to drink in the evening? It seems if she is urinating that much, she must be drinking a lot late in the day. I wish you all luck!

1 mom found this helpful

Make sure first to talk to her doctor and check any possible medical issues.

Sounds to me like she's a very heavy sleeper and doesn't recognize the signals her body is sending when she has to pee. Hypnosis is great for this!

HTH,
M.
Romance Paramedic
www.SlumberPartiesbyMariaElena.com

1 mom found this helpful

You should get your granddaughter to the pediatrician to have this evaluated. Unless she is drinking huge amounts of liquids before bed and after her 11 p.m. uriniation, she should not be producing that much urine in one night. You can start by limiting beverages after 7:00 p.m. to a few small sips, but if that doesn't work -- I would head to the doctor for a full evaluation.

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Is this a new problem or has she always been this way? If it is a new problem, I don't want to alarm you, but it could be a sign of diabetes. I would have her get checked out. The pediatrician just tests the urine with a dip stick, it is very easy, painless and could answer a lot of questions. I know because my son had this same issue, though he was younger when it started. The body continues to make urine trying to get the excess sugar out of the body, so even if they aren't drinking a lot they would still be peeing a lot. Usually they are very thirsty too and may complain of headaches and could be tired.

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I have a 3 year old daughter and she has been put throught teast and they could not find anything and she stills wets the bed.I cut all drinks of at 7pm and at 8 pm i make her got to the bathroom. You might want to get a pee monter that will help her to get up and go to the bathroom.

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Don't give her anything to drink after a certain time, or just give her enough to wet her mouth. If she is drinking tons right before bedtime, it is probably contributing to the problem. Also know that bedwetting is normal and it's usually just that her bladder is too small and she doesn't feel the sensation to get up and go potty. Waking her and taking her potty is helpful, but if you stop/reduce liquids after say 600 or 700, depending on bedtime, that should help a lot!

1 mom found this helpful

D.,
I have a 9 year old boy who bed wets occasionally too. First I think you should take her to the Pediatrician to make sure she doesn't have something going on internally and if that turns out ok then it's probably stress. My son wets the bed when he's stressed out or things are going a hundred miles an hour. Make sure she doesn't have any liquids after 7:00 at all!! Then buy a waterproof sheet, it's about the size of a baby doll blanket that is completely water proof and lay that on top of her sheets and she can lay directly on that. Buy a mattress cover that is waterproof too. Buy extra of everything, sheets, mattress covers, pillow cases, blankets and waterproof bed linens and then it will not be such a burden on you to wash them every day. I felt your pain. Your child wakes you up in the middle of the night saying they have soiled the whole thing and you have to gather up the laundry as if you hadn't done enough laundry already and go wash it again and again. You don't want to make your child field guilty because it may not be their fault. I also had night lights in the hallways and in the bathrooms so if he woke up in the middle of the night he wasn't afraid to get up and go to the bathroom. I also PRAISED him for the nights he didn't wet the bed and gave him a reward for the weeks where he could go 5-8 days without wetting in a row, then it's on their mind and they try harder not to do it. That's basically all you can do right now. She will grow out of it. Just cut out liquids after dinner altogether except for sips and brushing teeth. Good luck!!

I have an 11 year old nephew that wet the bed till he was about 9. My advice is to take her to the Dr. and see about getting some meds for it. My brother got some for his son and it helped. I'm not sure what kind it was; I don't dare ask. My brother is still very touchy about that subject. he doesn't like to admit that any of his kids have ever had any problems.

Make sure she doesn't get any liquids two hours before bed. Try waking her two hours after she goes to sleep and again at around 2 am and again around 5 am. My son had this problem and that's how we got him trained. It's a little work for you all, but that's all part of parenting and helping her. Also, no PULL-UPS. That sends the wrong message. Stress to her that she is a big girl and like mommy it's time to wear underwear. Get some sheet pads and put them under her sheet. During the day, 15-20 minutes after every meal, have her go to the bathroom.

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