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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So What Happened?™

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!

Featured Answers

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.


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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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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!

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.

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