25 answers

9 Year Old with Bladder Problem

My daughter is nine years old and will be ten in about two weeks. She has a bladder control problem and still wets the bed everynight (even if i wake her a couple of times she still wets). We have adapted to the problem and she wears goodnights to bed. I feel that of course she is too old for them now, but going to bed without them just makes a mess to be cleaned up in the morning. I have taken her to the doctor and she has seen a urologist about the issue. She has an underdeveloped bladder muscle and it will not reach full maturity until she is about 11 or 12. I do not want her to have to wear the good nights for two more years!!! She is ok with it and she understands she needs them so she doesn't complain about it thank goodness. There are medications out there that help children with wetting the bed. I am kind of reluctant about pumping her with medication just to curb a growth issue but I feel bad about her having to wear "diapers" until she is like 12. Has anyone had to deal with this issue for that long? If so how did u handle it? And how did your decision affect your child?

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I don't know anything about the medication, but maybe instead of good nites she could use some sort of pad or a cloth alternative to disposable night "diapers"? They have pads made for women that have bladder control problems, and this would be easier for her if she spent the night maybe, as long as it had enough absorbency for her. It is an idea anyway.

My 8 and half year old girl still wets the bed as well. For the most part we're just waiting it out. However, we did try a nasal inhaler (I can't remember the name of the prescription) that you take at night before you go to bed. That really seemed to help her, although I was more interested in using it while she was at sleepovers and not so much worried about using it at home. But we finished up that prescription and I haven't gone back to refill it, so we're just back to using the Good Nights.

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make sure that she doesn't drink a lot in the afternoon. After 5 pm just allow her a glass of water or juice and one after diner. She must also go to the bathroom before going to bed.

Hello K....
I read your dilema, and believe me, my heart goes out to you! I understand that you have done everything you know to do to help your daughter through this. There is a scripture that says, " When you have done all you can do to stand...Stand!" I think you are at that point. You have discussed it thoroughly and frankly (and obviously tenderly) with your daughter...she seems to understand that it is NOT her fault, but her body hasnt caught up yet...it WILL remedy itself...and she is ok with that. Now, you have to resign yourself to that, too. It WILL be ok, and you HAVE done all the things a Good Mother would do. Rest now. Really, you have covered all the bases. I think the more YOU worry, the harder time she will have. Be good and supportive to her, get a sense of humor about the whole thing without putting her down, and the next 18 months will seem to fly.
L. in VA

I feel your pain...my son, who is now 15, has been dealing with this issue since he was 2. He was night trained for about a month and then the accidents started happening and he was soaked every single night..and has been ever since then. Unfortunately, his problem is linked to abnormal kidneys and he is preparing now for a transplant.
I share this with you to say that we have been through many struggles in this area for my son...sleepovers missed, camp skipped. He tried the meds, didn't help him. He's been through the pullups, and then chose not to at times.
The bottom line is that enurisis can negatively effect a child's self esteem. If your daughter feels good about herself when she uses the Goodnights and that's a solution to her....please just support her in that. This issue can escalate as she grows up and has to decide wether or not to do sleep overs...but let her home be her 'safety net'.
If she's happy w/ the arrangement she has now, I suggest that you support her in that and let her emotions guide your actions. I agree that it seems embarrasing and expensive to buy the Goodnights, but if this makes your daughter feel that her life is going 'normally', than great! She's not focusing on 'not being like others' and that's a plus and a sign that you are a good parent, so keep up that good work!
At least she will grow out of it...some of our children have issues that are not fixed without surgery; so there is some hope there...hold on to it:)And she might suprise the doctors and grow out of it before two years, so take it day by day.
Hope this helps,

I have a daughter that probably has the same issue. She is 8. We do the same thing you do with the pull ups. We tried the medication route, but it did not work. I certainly think it is worth the try as our daughter would have liked to not wear the pull ups. She wants to spend the night at friends, but is embarrased about having to wear a pull up. I don't blame her and have kept her from being in that situation - I don't see that lasting much longer as sleep overs will become much more popular in the next year or so. I would encourage you to try the medication route - you can always stop if you think it has any bad side effects. This way you know you will have tried everything and you might even get a positive outcome.

Try magniseum tabs. I just heard how it can help. Maybe she is deficient. Looks up online what food like peanut butter has mag. in it and try it. Give it a few weeks.
God Bless

I agree with the last post. Be careful what messages you are sending ot your daughter. If she is okay with it and you dont want to give her meds why made a bigger deal out of it than needs to be. Kids get their cues from parents and you will play such a strong role in how she reacts to this. Encourage her and help her along the way, not make her feel bad about herself for wearing diapers.

My 8 and half year old girl still wets the bed as well. For the most part we're just waiting it out. However, we did try a nasal inhaler (I can't remember the name of the prescription) that you take at night before you go to bed. That really seemed to help her, although I was more interested in using it while she was at sleepovers and not so much worried about using it at home. But we finished up that prescription and I haven't gone back to refill it, so we're just back to using the Good Nights.

I wet the bed until I was ten or eleven and I wish that my step mother had been so understanding. She would become physically abusive. My brother and I both had a bed-wetting problem but she just told us we werelazy. He continued until he was around 13 or 14.

I would not have been so ashamed and hid the wet sheets if she had taken the same steps that you have. If your daughter is okay with wearing the Goodnights allow her too. Stress wil only make this small difficulty into a huge problem.

As far as sleeping over at friends or relatives, teach her to discreetly go into the restroom before bed and change into the Goodnight and immediately change it upon waking....we did not sleep over at all. All of my family member were afraid of us wetting the bed.

I don't know anything about the medication, but maybe instead of good nites she could use some sort of pad or a cloth alternative to disposable night "diapers"? They have pads made for women that have bladder control problems, and this would be easier for her if she spent the night maybe, as long as it had enough absorbency for her. It is an idea anyway.

I know exactly how you feel. I have 6 children my oldest had no problems but my 4 boys are all still wearing something to bed. I know its a pain. My boys are 9,7,6,4, and i wish they could start coming out of them. I took my oldest to the doctors for it and they put him on meds and he still wet the bed. They say they will grow out of it i know its a pain but im at a loss on things to do also. I even put a trashbag down on the bed under the sheet so the mattress didnt get ruined but u still have a mess. I dont know of any quick fix i just think its on the child. My son has spent the night places and he takes his overnight and he seems very comfortable. I thought he would have a embarassment issue but he didnt. My neice was in middle school when she finally stopped wetting the bed. She was on medication which worked for her. Sorry i dont have any quick fix ideas i can just say its on the child and the develoment of their bodies. I wish you luck and i know exactly how you feel.

My husband had this issue until he was a teenager, and my step-daughter is 8 and still wears pull-ups to bed every night. With her, we just don't make a big deal out of it, although it does work to wake her up in the middle of the night if we stay up a lot longer than she does.

My husband ended up having his own alarm clock when he was a kid that woke him up at 3AM. It worked for him. Unfortunately this issue seems to be genetic, and I'm REALLY hoping my 4 month old son doesn't inherit this particular issue from his dad, lol. :)

K., first, I truly feel for your daughter. But it sounds like the one with the issue here isn't her, it's you. Reread your posting: "She's OK with it," "I feel bad," "I (not she) do not want her to wear the Goodnights for two more years" etc.

Please be aware that if you send out the vibe that there's something wrong with her using the Goodnights, she will pick up on that and it will upset her. She is being very mature for nine years old if she understands, which she seems to, that this is a purely physical medical issue over which she has no control, and that she needs to wear the Goodnights. Well, some adults --and not just older ones -- need help with bladder issues too! She at least will outgrow hers, and in what will be in reality a very short time.

Why medicate her just for something that is taken care of with the Goodnights? Why risk side effects etc.? If this isn't a lifelong thing, let her body work it out by itself. If she is fine during the day and the only problem is nighttimes, she's doing great; please praise her and reinforce how grown-up she is to understand what's happening with her body. If you use terms like "diaper" in her hearing, think how she will feel about herself.

Please think about why you feel so worried about it. Are family members or adult friends of yours pressuring you -- or hassling her -- to get her "out of diapers"? If so, that's their problem if they see it that way. Be confident that she's OK and you did the right things: You did exactly the correct thing to get her to good doctors; you have the diagnosis; you know it will right itself pretty soon; support her and don't even mention this, just put on the Goodnights and tell anyone who may be pressuring you that this is between you and her and to change the topic. If she is otherwise healthy and happy you are both doing well.

There are tons of work at home moms that make custom cloth diapers and training pants. I would bet you could find someone that would make some padded/absorbent underwear for your daughter that will be more comfortable and more big kid friendly. I would type "custom cloth diaper" or "custom training pants" into a search engine and start sending queries by email. I think there are also people that make custom cloth adult diapers who could help.

I worked for a chiropractor for several years and saw children with similar issues helped immediately (reported by their parents). It is a non-medicated option that may be worth looking into. Not all insurance companies cover chriopractic care, but some offices offer reasonable cash only services. Good luck!

Hi K.,
Have you tried using those blue pads like at the hospital/dr. offices? Those are good if she doesn't move around alot. I also so that Always or some such has a panty or brief out that was basically one big pad. You could try those. They would help it not appear to be a bed wetting issue. If your daughter isn't feeling bad, I would just let it go. We do what we have to do. If the real issue is feeling bad about having to buy them at the store, you can order them and have them delivered. I would really try not to make a bigger issue of it than possible, I'm sure she feels awkward about it on her own.

I have a 12 year old step son who still has bed wetting problems. His seems worse than your daughters though. We had him in Good Nights but he still wet through and the bed was soaked every night. We then switched to adult diapers (Depends is one we tried) but he still soaked through to the bed and soaked the entire bed. We watched his in take of fluids and his diet but nothing seemed to work. He has a great doctor through the Navy and was a HUGE help in this situation. My step son is diagnosed with ADHD and is taking concerta. That should have helped and it did to an extent. Instead of every night it was atleast 3 nights. The doctor put him on DDAVP for the bed wetting. The doctor said we can take this and check him every so often for 1 week to see if the wetting has stopped. We take it for 2 months and stop for 1 week. If no accidents then he is done with the medicine if he does then we continue the medicine. The medicine does not make the child stop just avoids the embarrassment until their bladder matures. I was strongly opposed to medication but it gets to a point where you have to think about what is best for the child. My step son was very much humiliated by this situation and it left me know choice but to seek alternatives. This has turned out to be the best thing we have done for my step son. He is happy about finally waking up dry and I am not doing laundry everyday. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. This is a situation that I know many people deal with everyday but it is just not discussed due to sensitivity. Our doctor told us that age 18, 1% is still wetting the bed. I was not aware of that. I am glad we have the doctor we do and my step son is happy too. Good Luck!

Morning, I have a 8 yr old with the same issue. But the more YOU stress over this, the more it will trickle down to your daughter. It's not worth the aggrevation. She will grow out of it and if she's not pressed, I wouldn't be. pick and chose your battles, this one is not in YOUR control. Have patience :)

I didn't personally have this issue. I do know that chiropractic can help with this.
Feel free to contact me if you want a referal.
L. M.
HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education and doula services

This problem actually runs in the family w/the boys in my family! Most get it, although some haven't as the generations are passing. My brother (now 27) wet the bed til he was 16! He took the medicines when he was a preteen or later elementary (probably about the age of your daughter). For HIM, it caused ticks that were reminiscent of terrets (sp?) syndrome. He would jerk his head in funny ways and make clicking noises w/his mouth! It was annoying to me (I'm 3 years older), but I thought it was due to his ADHD at the time. I only recently heard from my parents that it was the medicine he was on for the bedwetting...which didn't really make THAT much difference...maybe cut the problem by 1/3 to 1/2. I don't know if this would be the case for your daughter, but that is what happened then. Of course, this was also over 10 years ago and meds for this issue could have come a long way since then, too. Good luck, and try not to let it stress you out, it may just be one of those things that you have to take w/a grain of salt! She will eventually outgrow it! ALSO, my other brother (almost 19) still has an occasional accident and he has always REFUSED to wear depends or ANY protection since the potty training/pullups stage! my mom has to change the sheets every time! Be glad you daughter wants to stay clean! My husband also had this problem til he was 15/16, and so I am hoping that my kids don't suffer w/it. So far, my 4 year old only does it about once a month...which is great for his age and the genetic background!

I have a daughter who had the same problem at age 14. She would wear the Goodnights, too. I kept hoping she would grow out of it since bedwetting is heredity and both parents had the problem when young. It really was very difficult on her. I finally decided to go to a urologist. I didn't want to put her on medication, either, but after exhausting everything else, it seemed to be the only choice. He put her on a nose spray called DDAVP that would let the brain know that it had to produce less urine at night. She did very well on the medication and it took 2 years but it gradually retrained her brain. It was the best thing I could have done and I wished I would have done it years before. She is perfectly normale now.

Our eldest is 7 & has similar problems. We say to ourselves: good kidneys, small bladder. What works for us is withholding drinks after 7:00 pm, wearing goodnights, & using those puppy pads on top of her sheets. We sit her on the toilet consistently 2.5 hrs. after she falls asleep, which is about 10:30 pm. If she plays hard that day, we might even sit her on the toilet one more time if we're up late or if she's had some fluids after 7:00 pm. Other friends have told us that they themselves were not dry through the night until 11 or 12 yo. Yes, it's frustrating changing sheets in the morning, but she should grow out of it. Using the puppy pads has decreased our laundry a bit. Unfortunately our 4 yo is potty trained through the night. So we try very hard not to make changing sheets & using puppy pads a big deal. I feel your pain, but this will all pass. Good luck! :)

My daughter was 7 1/2 when she decided she no longer wanted to wear overnights. I tried waking her but that didn't work. We tried using the malam alarm ( I think that is correct). Purchased it from the bedwetting store online and we got 2 of the super soaker sheets. It says it takes most kids 3-4 months and you have to be willing to sleep near her to wake her up. My daughter slept thru the sound (very loud) to start with but within a month she had mastered it. That was 3 months ago and she did have one accident while we were on vacation but other than that it has been great. We then used it on my almost 5 yr old son and worked just as well. If she is concerned it might be worth a try. But if it doesn't bother her I might not lose sleep over it. Good Luck.

Im going through the same thing my son is only 6 I took him to the doctor yesterday and told me as well that there are medicine out there I dont feel comfortable giving meds I just will continue to use goodnights. She told me after the age of 7 they will send him to a specialist. My son wants to do sleepovers I think he is to young and I think he will feel uncomfortable.I think you should just wait out the two years. Try to hang in there good luck

It happens in our family as well. We justed cleaned up in the morning. It was a hassel but we dealt with it. It is nice that the have the larger pull ups now. It helps them to get a better night sleep since their sheets are getting wet.. Good Luck

If it's a medical issue that doctors say will get better in the couple of years, why are you stressing out???Do not give her the meds, kids get enough of junk nowdays.Have you seen a new kind they came out with called jam jams or something like that(they really look like underwear). There are many children(and adults) that struggle with that , please do not make a big deal out of it, or your daughter will pick up on that.

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