19 answers

Diapers at Night

I have a five year old son that I can't seem to get out of diapers at night. He doesn't drink anything after 7:00 and goes to the bathroom before bed. Even with all that he is still soaking through his diapers. Some nights I even find that his bed is wet and his diaper is dry. What's that about?? I want to get him out of diapers but wonder if it is the right time when he is still going so much at night. Suggestions?
R.

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Thanks for all the advice. I will definitely try the Goodnight Training pants. I think the problem is that he is a very deep sleeper. He stays in the same position until morning. Thanks again.
R.

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My nephew has the same problem and he is 7yrs old.. All thew docotrs say is that he will grow out of it.. He doesnt drink past 6pm and goes to the bathroom before he goes down at 8pm. It doesnt happen every night but it is definitely quite frequent. We are just waiting for him to grow out of it as well as his pediatrician sees nothing physically wrong.

Hey!! My husband had the same problem when he was little. Only at night. The doctor told my in-laws to wake him up atleast once a night and make him use the restroom. They said something about his muscles were not strong enough for him to hold it or wake him up. he actually had to do exercises like starting and stopping every time he went so he could learn to hold it better. don't know if this will help any?! I haven't made it that far yer. Mine is only 15 months

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R.,
My son had the same bed wetting difficulties. He is now 8. When he was about 4 1/2 I started doing some research on the internet and found that only about 25 percent of children still wet the bed at age 5 it continues to decrease and is almost 0 percent by 12. I discussed the difficultes with his doctor, they ran some tests, did some xrays and found nothing. They referred us to a urologist, by this time we had borrowed and used an alarm that clips to the outside of the child's underwear and goes off when the sensor is wet. It woke everyone in the house up except him. We tried it for over a month and it did not help. By the time we saw the urologist he was 5. I explained everything we had tried including decreasing fluids like you have. I also told him my younger brother wet the bed until at least 8 years old and it interfered with his social life- he was embarrassed, and did not want to spend the night with friends. My husband and I did not want this for our son. The urologist prescribed a medicine called DDAVP which is an antidiuretic - it makes you urinate less. It worked! In fact 5 months later, we didn't refill the script that month and waited to see. He stayed dry and has only had a couple of accidents in the last three years. There were no side affects to the meds. The doctor told us some kids just have weaker bladders, sleep deep, or their nerves don't send the message to the brain as early as they need to and before it does the child cannot hold it. Whatever the reason, he is no longer a bed wetter!! Just FYI, I have two daughters age 9 and 31 months both were dry at night by 2 and 1/2 so, I know it was not our parenting just his body was different.
Good Luck,
V. E

1 mom found this helpful

R., I think if you go ahead and take his diapers away , he would be better off. He has to train himself and his bladder to wait until he gets to the bathroom and by letting him sleep in a diaper, you aren't doing him any favors. Put a plastic garbage bag under his sheets and give him big boy underwear and if he goes in them he won't like the way it feels so he should start getting up. Eventually he will be able to make it through the night, but it will take some on your part like getting up with him and letting him know that it's ok. Good Luck!!!

1 mom found this helpful

Stop worrying. Do what you are comfortable with. If you want to take him out of the diapers and don't mind washing the sheets daily; do that. I prefer to throw away the night-time pullups. If you get the ones specially for the older children he shouldn't wet through them. Don't know what's up with the wet bed dry kid though.

Some kids bladders just don't develope until much older. Don't stress. It doesn't mean anything is wrong; his body just isn't able to hold his urine all night.

If it seems like he is not in control of this habit, just hold steady mom and love him through it. My four year old daughter has regressed back to night-time wetting since our baby son was born. We use Goodnights (they are like pull-ups) for her at bedtime. They are great at catching a large amount, and saves me having to wash sheets every day.

If you think he is taking advantage of the diaper and using it instead of getting up to use the bathroom....My second son did this, so we took the Goodnights away and if he wet, he was wet. If it was the middle of the night, we'd lay a towel down. So I was changing sheets everyday, but he really didn't like being all wet, so he seemed to make an effort to stay dry. This lasted maybe two weeks, but then we had it down, with occasional accidents.

My nephew has the same problem and he is 7yrs old.. All thew docotrs say is that he will grow out of it.. He doesnt drink past 6pm and goes to the bathroom before he goes down at 8pm. It doesnt happen every night but it is definitely quite frequent. We are just waiting for him to grow out of it as well as his pediatrician sees nothing physically wrong.

I think he is wayyy to old for diapers. My son will be 5 in march and has been out of diapers since 3. And he also still has the occasional bed wetting accident,but those are going to happen.Your son will continue to wet the bed with a diaper on b/c it is hendering him from getting up and going to the bathroom when he feels the urge to go. Instead he knows he has the diaper on so he uses the diaper. Only problem is, diapers are meant to hold only so much urine and if your son is anything like mine he could stand and pee for a good solid minute or 2. I say do away with the diapers, put him in some real undies, "rain proof" his bed and let him have a few uncomfortable accidents and he may just start getting himself into the habit of getting up and going. If he doesnt then take him to the doctor...my younger brother wet the bed until he was 14 due to his bladder being weak.Either way, you have to get that 5 yr old out of baby diapers.

My son was still in training pants at 5 - only at night. A co-worker mentioned that she didn't put her 2 year old in training pants at night, he is potty trained. She said if she let him "cheat" at night and use the t.pants, that he would digress. I tried it and sure enough it worked. He never wet the bed again. I think it must have been mental w/ my son. Usually he makes it through the night but sometimes he tells me in the morning that he woke up at night and went potty. Try it! Best of luck. I share your frustration. : ^ )

Hi R.,
I am going through the same thing with my daughter. She never has a problem during the day but for some reason she doesn't wake up at night to go potty. I use to use pull ups on her but they ended up leaking all the time. We went to the older kids pull ups called goodnites and they work. I was told to make her sleep in underwear and wake her to go potty every night. Well we tried that for a while but if I didn't get to her by 11:30pm she would have already gone, and I would also wake her up again before I would go to bed and I would make her use the bathroom. Anyway that lasted about two months and we had to wash sheets a couple of times a week and I couldn't handle it. She just turned six and her Dr said not to worry about it. During the day she has to go alot so I think she may have a small blatter and she may sleep to heavy to wake up to the urge. Well good luck, I'm still hoping it will end soon.
C.

Some boys just take longer to outgrow it. If he's a really deep sleeper, he just can't control it. I don't agree that it's a comfort thing - at least not in all cases. We tried taking my son out of Good Nites and just letting him experience being wet in the morning. All that did was bring more attention to the problem and cause him to feel worse about it. He can't control it, no matter how much he wants to. And boy does he want to - his sister is 3 years younger and has been sleeping in underwear for a couple of years already, which is totally unfair in his mind.

So we just use the good nites and don't say much about it. There's no point in making him feel worse about it. At some point, his body will mature and it won't be a problem.

Sounds like he gets into such a deep sleep he is not aware of his body signs and functions.
Some children, especially boys, can have this problem up unyil they are 11 or 12 (as did my husband) night-

One thing you should add to your night routine is for you to wake him up before you go to sleep at. This will start helping his body learn to get out of sleep for using the potty.

It may take a long time yet- but this will help set the pattern.

have you consulted his MD? his bladder may not have the capability to hold it all night yet. My brother was like that. My parents would punish him for wetting the bed, but new studies say that some kid's bladders just haven't matured by even age 7! If this is the case, letting him sleep (or wake up) in a cold wet bed may be very embarrasing for him and won't help the situation except to make him more self conscious. Only your MD can say for sure though.

R., my neice (age 9) had this problem - still does sometimes. Weak bladders run in the family. My SIL cut out all drinks with sugar after 4:00pm. She swears this mades a difference. So much so that she reminds me everytime she sleeps over. They also get her up around 11:00 and take her to the bathroom. Diapers need to go so he can see how it feels.

good luck!

Hey!! My husband had the same problem when he was little. Only at night. The doctor told my in-laws to wake him up atleast once a night and make him use the restroom. They said something about his muscles were not strong enough for him to hold it or wake him up. he actually had to do exercises like starting and stopping every time he went so he could learn to hold it better. don't know if this will help any?! I haven't made it that far yer. Mine is only 15 months

He does need to be out of diapers at night. What my husband and I did was get up in the night and take our daughter to the bathroom so she got used to waking up and going potty. Use pull ups at night as well or try going straight to underwear. My daughter would use the diaper or pull up as an easy way out of having to get up and out of bed. She is four now and she still has accidents, but only when she has had a very long day. Try everything possible, every child is different and you never know what might work. Good luck to you.

Our best strategy with our daughter was patience, Pull-ups, and NOT making it a big deal or shame issue. Like many bed wetters, she grew out of it. Once dry reliably, she got to pick a new bedspread and sheets.

I totally agree with Lynn, toss the diapers!! It is a comfort thing for him. He needs to know what it feels like to wake up wet and cold with out them. Buy one of those mattress pretectors at walmart. It's like a hug plastic bag the mattress goes in and it zips shut. That way you are only washing sheet and not messing up a mattress too. Like one of the other mom's suggested, try the alarm at night. Or set your alarm clock for every 2-4 hrs and wake him up to go pee. I know that sounds like a pain in the butt, but you've got to do something to make him realize he needs to get up and go during the night cause the diaper isn't going to be there. Aslo, talk to his DR about it. Some kids have a chemical imbalance that doesn't allow the signal to get from the bladder to the brain to wake the child up. My step brother had this and was still wetting the bed at age 12!! He had a spray he used up his nose every night and it helped him.

Good luck!1
S.
www.shariegraf.scent-team.com

Some kids are not able to wake themselves up at night to go to the bathroom. They just sleep too deeply. There is a product that is like an alarm that will wake kids up at the 1st sign of moisture. It is sold in the One Step Ahead catalog. They have a website onestepahead.com. It has a wire that is worn in the underwear and attached to an alarm that wakes the kid up. If your son is easily embarrassed or sensitive this might not be the route to go. But if he is willing I would try it. Just discuss it with him 1st. Explain that it is to help him wake up, not punish him for wetting. Also, talk to your sons doc if he is really soaking through his diapers. His bladder may not be functioning properly. Lay off caffine and fizzy beverages. Not just before bed but all day long as well. As a diet Coke addict, I know that they make me pee like a river even if I don't drink but one a day. I don't know why his bed would be wet and his diaper dry. Maybe he is peeing out the side of the diaper. Boys parts tend to go in weird directions in their sleep. If you need to keep using diapers at night I would try the Goodnights training pants. They are made for older kids. Diapers aren't and maybe this is why he is soaking through. Just don't put pressure in him, it could make it worse. Some kids just take longer than others to stay dry at night. It's not their fault or yours. Their bodies may just need more time.

Hi R., I have a son that is now 16 and he had a problem with wetting the bed until he was about 12 years old. The Dr. said that he was not having regular bowel movements which was causing him to back up and put pressure on his bladder. It took many years, but he finally grew out of it. If you haven't spoken to your son's Dr. about this you might want to mention it. Just be patient with him. Hopefully he will grow out of it too.
Sue

I'm not sure about the excess urination but my son wet the bed until he was about 10. My brother did too and they say it's more common if someone else in your family had the problem.

Talk to his pediatrician. We tried the pills to make him sleep lighter but that didn't work and he hated the pills (me too honestly- I don't like popping pills but drs always seem to try that first). We tried the alarm that attaches to his underwear to wake him up when he starts to go and that just made us all stressed out- the same with me setting my alarm to get him up to go. We finally decided that we would just live with it and buy GoodNights until he outgrew it. I know that doesn't sound like the best answer but if it's something he can't control, don't make it a focal point of your lives. I have learned that there are bigger issues in life! Plus, it just makes him feel bad if it's not something he can help.

I did have a friend who's nephew had an issue wetting the bed and it turned out that he had chronic bladder infections. I would definitly make sure with your son's pediatrician that this is not the case first but then just know that this is actually a very common problem and it almost always corrects itself as the child gets older. www.goodnights.com has some facts and information about bedwetting as well that may help you too.

Good luck!

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