20 answers

Help My 6 Year Old Is Wetting the Bed Every Night!

My 6 year old son has been potty trained for years now, night and day. He has over the last couple of months has started wetting the bed, almost every night. I don't allow and drinks after dinner time and make him go to the bathroom right before bed. Still he is wetting the bed. I don't want to punish him, he doesnt ever remember doing it, but I do want it to stop.

I am looking for any creative ideas that have worked for you other moms.

Please help!
Sam

1 mom found this helpful

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When my son was about 7 or 8 we had a similar problem. My older son was a heavy sleeper and it was determined that he did not feel his full bladder well enough to wake up at night. So we did the opposite as you - we had him drink a glass of water or milk just before bed. Then when he needed to pee, his bladder was full enough that he felt it and woke up. There were a few accidents at first, but it really did work.

Hi,
Mine is 2 1/2 & just newly potty trained. He goes the night most of the time. But what I do is put him to bed around 8:30pm & before I go to bed at around 11pm I wake him to see if he has to go. I have a friend that can't do this cause her daughter freeks when you wake her mid sleep , but I am lucky he will wake up and either say he has to go or "i'm ok mama" good luck. M.

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Hi S.,
At the age of 4 1/2 my son suddenly started wetting the bed. It was almost every night, and I know it can wear on you after a while, but he most likely has no control over this so please do not make him feel bad about it.
I tried no drinks in the evening, going to the bathroom before bed, and waking him up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. Nothing worked long term. It was getting to the point where it was too much trouble having to give him a bath every morning before he went to school.
I ended up putting him in pull ups at night which we call "special undies" so he didn't feel like a baby wearing diapers. If he wakes up in the morning dry for a couple of days then I will 'forget' (on purpose) to have him wear them the next night. If he stays dry that night I 'forget' again the next night to have him wear them. Sometimes he can go weeks without wetting the bed, and sometimes he can't. As soon as he wets once, it's back into the pull ups until he starts waking up dry again - but he knows it isn't a punishment, and I NEVER get mad when he wets the bed.
At this point it is something that we just don't talk about, because it doesn't do anything but make him feel bad. The less we made it an issue, the less of an issue it became. My son is now 6 years old. At this point he has been dry for a few months now, but I won't be surprised if it starts up again. This to shall pass. Hang in there!

When my son was about 7 or 8 we had a similar problem. My older son was a heavy sleeper and it was determined that he did not feel his full bladder well enough to wake up at night. So we did the opposite as you - we had him drink a glass of water or milk just before bed. Then when he needed to pee, his bladder was full enough that he felt it and woke up. There were a few accidents at first, but it really did work.

I just stumbled onto this thread through pure desperation! My little girl (4 years old) got a UTI a few months back and ever since she has not stopped peeing in her bed at night. I feel HORRIBLE after reading this thread because I am guilty of with holding special treats, tv time, and dinner drinks for the fear she will be all over herself in her sleep. She has gotten to the point where she doesn't want to tell me the truth and she will even wake up earlier than me, sneak clean underwear and put them on being sure to hide her pee pee underwear. I feel so disappointed in myself for getting atitated with her after reading this and I am going to try setting this right! I already scheduled another appt with her doctor because her urine smells kinda gross and I think maybe i will take her out to do something special tonight!! Thanks so much!!!!

This seems to be a recurring problem. I have a 7 yo boy and sometimes he still goes through phases like this. Usually it is caused by some change or disruption in his life/schedule or if he is not feeling well.

We usually do the following:
1) Threaten pull-ups! I keep some in the bathroom cabinet which probably don't even fit him anymore, but he HATES the idea of having to use them. Last time, it took 1 night in pull-ups and no more wetting. I explain to him, it's not 'cuz he's a baby (in his eyes only babies wear pull-ups) or doing anything wrong, but he can't be wetting the bed every night for his own sake (rashes, etc) so until the bed-wetting stops, this is the deal.
2) When he wets the bed, we have him take off the sheets and put them in the laundry. Not necessarily as a walk of shame (cuz it's really not his fault he's wetting, poor kid), but to make sure we're all aware there's a problem that needs to be addressed -- and to make sure he has clean sheets before he goes to bed again!
3) You could try doing the wake-up method, but it's hit or miss depending on your timing. Bathroom before his bedtime. Wake him before you go to bed to go again. If you wake up early or your husband is a night-owl, wake him up to go again. It's tiring.

Most likely this phase will pass on its own.

Hi,
Mine is 2 1/2 & just newly potty trained. He goes the night most of the time. But what I do is put him to bed around 8:30pm & before I go to bed at around 11pm I wake him to see if he has to go. I have a friend that can't do this cause her daughter freeks when you wake her mid sleep , but I am lucky he will wake up and either say he has to go or "i'm ok mama" good luck. M.

Hi Sam,
First, I would make an appointment with your pediatrician and consult with him/her about the situation. There could be an underlying problem, like a bladder or kidney infection, given this is so unlike him. Don't be alarmed, as this is extremely unlikely, but out-of-the-ordinary bedwetting led my friend to discover that her son was having seizures while he was sleeping at night.
My 5 1/2-year-old son has the same problem, as my husband did until he was 11, so his condition appears to be inherited.
I don't withhold drinks in the evening because I don't want to interfere with his natural inclinations to take in enough fluids. I also do not want to bring it to his attention and make him feel naughty in any way.
We take a pre-preemptive approach, as totally unpleasant as it is, and take him to the bathroom two times in the night, at midnight and 3a.m. - he's usually really cooperative about it, poor little guy, but to quiet him if he cries a little I whisper this old-fashioned saying into his ear: Who took me from my warm, warm spot and put me on this cold, cold pot?
If I don't get him up twice during the night he'll wet the bed. Sometimes when I'm super exhausted I forget to set the 2nd alarm or I don't catch him in time; dealing with the wet jammies and wet bedding in the wee hours (no pun intended!) is a real drag!! And the laundry piles up...by the way, I don't know if you've stumbled upon a solution for getting the urine smell out of fabric, but I swear by soaking in rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol and washing in very hot water with an extra rinse.
I so empathize with you - it can get really discouraging and it seems unfair to have sleep interrupted as though you have an infant - hang in there! The end result will be a well-adjusted boy with no traumatic memories.
Take care,
D.

I respectfully and strongly disagree with authors of posts below, Angela and Rachel K.
Using pull-ups as a"threat"; requiring children to change their own sheets; withholding allowance money and making them feel burdened by the cost of laundry detergent??? These are all tactics that will cause the child to feel shame and could lead to serious emotional harm. If you TRULY suspect bedwetting is intentional, especially if the child has experienced a traumatic event such as the loss of a loved one or a divorce, seek the help of a counselor who specializes in the treatment of young people. CHILDREN DO NOT WET THEIR BEDS OUT OF LAZINESS OR SPITE.

Has something happened or a change in schedule? My 7.5 year old did this for along time turned out to be his asthma med causing it so they changed it and he stopped. Then last summer he started again after his great grandpa passed away and it stopped on its own. Then this summer is started after his dad left his gf and it stopped about a week later and then its started again now that his dad got back w/ her again.
When it was the result of my grandpa passing I really didn't push it. This last time around I made him strip and wash his bed, put the dirty blankets in the wash and stopped giving him a weekly allowance bc I explained to him that when he wets the bed it costs money laundry detergent, water, electricity, so to make up for it he couldn't get his allowance that week by that following weekend he stopped wetting and when he started again this fall after his dad got back w/ his gf I told him again no allowance and he remembered why I didn't have to explain it this time.

Edited: Its one thing when they do it because they can't help it but when they are just plain to lazy to get out of a warm cozy bed. Our son is fully capable of not wetting he does it out of spite whenever there is a change he doesn't like. You need to figure out the reason for his wetting. Did you move, did he start kindergarten or new school this year, is he nervous about something, afraid to get up by himself during the night,etc and then develop a plan of action. For us when we discovered that it was out of spite to show he anger about the change w/ his dad and dad's gf then we didn't give allowance there was no way I was going to reward him w/ allowance for giving us stress bc he was angry w/ his dad.

hi S., i don't know if this helps but i was like that also and so was my oldest daughter. my mami(that what i call her)was too poor back then to afford a doctor. but when my oldest starting doing it, thank goodness for masshealth, i took her in for an exam and they just said she has a weak bladder, and told me to stop giving her drinks after a certain time, bit i don't think that's the problem. with boys it could be a urinary trach infection that the hospital can help him with, i am not saying that that's what's wrong with your son, but look into it with his pedi, just in case. i hope this helps, i don't really know what else to say except with me and my daughter it went away with time, in the mean time u should buy him kids pull-ups to wear at night, just a suggestion.

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