35 answers

Night-time Potty Training - Rustburg,VA

I can't stand that my son is wetting his bed every night. It doesn't help the electrical bill, doing all that extra laundry, and I can't stand the stench. We tried having him just wear underware when we started nighttime training over a year ago. Every day it was the same thing-bed and him soaked. After a little while I just couldn't stand it anymore and so we put pull-ups on. He still wouldn't get up to go to the bathroom, and his bed still got soaked. We went back to underware, no change. We've been using diapers, but it's the same thing. We started trying underware again--all of these we've tried for a few weeks at a time, except the underware this time. He doesn't seem to mind the stench and he WON'T wake up at night. It's only been 3 nights this time, but this morning the stench was so terrible that I don't think I can do it again. We've tried reward charts and we've tried cutting drinks off at 7, and waking him up before we go to bed so he can go potty again (we always make him go before he gets his pajamas on). We've also tried getting him up earlier to pee, but then he wants to stay up, and he can't, and he's already peed by then (even when it's 5am). He's very skinny, but he refuses to eat sometimes, and if I try to give him water he usually won't drink it after dinner (which is anytime between 5:30-6 depending on when we eat lunch). Still, every morning his bed is wet. This happened before we started trying to night train too. So it's been about 2 years and today I'm going out of my mind. That's probably b/c we're also fostering a dog and she must have peed and rolled in it. There's no trace of urine in the room she was in last night, but she reeks too. So I'm about to go clean my entire house b/c it's transferring from her to the floor and couch (she's outside now, but she was all over the house for about 3 hours between my husband leaving for work and me realizing it was her and not pee somewhere else. I also watch a little girl who will be here in about 3 hours, and I'd rather like the house cleaned before she gets here, so I'm under some pressure this morning, but with my son it's been about 3 years that he's been wetting through all diapers, pull-up, underwear, even nighttime stuff. I've heard punishing over it makes it worse, but tried it anyways-whatever he peed on we told him he couldn't have until he got through a night dry. Last night was by far the worst, and it was the only night we took away his blankie. I'm tired of washing everything on his bed and I don't want to have to keep it until I have a full load-the problem is that there are TOO MANY loads, TOO MUCH stink, and TOO MUCH time cleaning this up-even when the dog isn't involved. I'd be happy with him in a diaper if that could hold it, but it doesn't. I'm at my wit's end. Please help!

3 moms found this helpful

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Wow! I've heard so many times how kids are trained when they're 2 and 3, and that there's something wrong if they're not! Apparently that's not the norm! I really think we've tried everything we can, and it will just be a matter of time-when he's ready. But all these responses really helped my patience. Just knowing that others deal with this and there's no exact method that I'm missing helped. Thanks for taking the time to let me know what you do to make it easier and for letting me know I'm simply expecting too much. God bless!

Featured Answers

Some children just do not have control of their bladders at night b/c they sleep so heavy. I wet the bed until i was 10 years old. Back then they did not have overnight diapers so my mom changed my bed every morning. My sister and brother were the same way. I now have a daughter who is 3 1/2 and she SOAKS a diaper a night. I am fully aware that she will do this for a long time. We bought huggies overnight. They cost more but it is A LOT better than changing the bed and washing sheets daily.
Good Luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Pull ups just don't cut it at night for my son. He would wake up wet from top to bottom. I have had good luck with UnderJams and GoodNight diapers. I don't think that punishing or making him clean up until he has a dry night will help and may make it worse. He can't control that he is wetting the bed and is probably a deep sleeper.

1 mom found this helpful

I believe that you are being to hard on him. I also saw where some say no sheet on the bed would you want to lay on plastic? Since he can't help it why do that? My Mom had six children and we ALL wet the bed she never punished us as she knew we could not help it. My own son now 5 still wets, we have never blamed him for it as we know he can not help it he will stop in his own good time. That could be when he is a teenager like my brother and nephew.

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Ok first off ... RELAX. This is NOT the end of the world. I've been through this with my oldest son. In fact he had accidents a couple of nights a week till he was 14(and I'm sitting here picturing the horrified look on your face at the thought that you might have to deal with it for that long too).

When I first read your post I had the image in my head that your son was around say 7 or 8 or so. Then I got to the point where you said he's 4. The fact is most children aren't physically ready for potty training till around 3 to begin with, and you've been working on your son since he was 2. Give it a rest for a little while and see if things don't change.

The other thing you need to do is talk to his pediatrician and see if this is something that needs to be evaluated for a medical condition at this point in time. His age being what it is they may hold off on any medical testing since it's extremely common for young children to still wet at night. But you might want to check just to be sure. I wasn't concerned about it until my son reached about 7 or 8 and was still wetting at night. What my doctor told me was that his adrenal gland that controls this kind of thing hadn't caught up to the rest of his body yet. He was 7 but had the body of 10 or 11 year old (very tall and all that) but his adrenal gland was that of a 7 year old. And just hadn't caught up and it would sooner or later and that he'd never known a kid to graduate from high school still wetting the bed. Also not to make a big deal out of it and DO NOT PUNISH him for it.

As for controlling the mess. Here's a couple of suggestions that helped for us. We bought a TON of super cheap from wal-mart bottom fitted sheets ONLY. And had plenty of extra blankets so that when he wet (he usually woke up AFTER becoming completely soaked due to being cold) we'd just change the bedding and go back to bed. We'd wash the wet stuff the next day. Also put a plastic mattress protector on the bed. Saves the having the shampoo the mattress every day. Something we tried with limited success but did help some ... protective pads you can put on top of the sheet. Hospitals use them and you can get them at some pharmacies but at ANY medical supply store. They are kinda like the puppy training pads and go right on top of the sheet, are pretty absorbant and easily disposed of. Just pick 'em up and toss 'em in the trash. These work FANTASTIC if your child is a relatively stationary sleeper. If he moves around a lot ... not quite as great, but do help.

And finally there's always the medication option, although I'd hope your doctor wouldn't put a 4 year old on it. It's called DDAVP and it worked FANTASTIC for my son. The pads and pull-ups and such are great for home, not so fantastic for sleep overs. But when we went this route my son was going on 8 years old, not a 4 year old.

I hope some of my suggestions helped, and yes it does tend to be hereditary. My brother wet till he was about 10, and an uncle had occassional accidents into his early 20's. But the bigger deal you make out of it the worse it's going to be. Mostly on your son's self-esteem. Good luck.

3 moms found this helpful

Some children just do not have control of their bladders at night b/c they sleep so heavy. I wet the bed until i was 10 years old. Back then they did not have overnight diapers so my mom changed my bed every morning. My sister and brother were the same way. I now have a daughter who is 3 1/2 and she SOAKS a diaper a night. I am fully aware that she will do this for a long time. We bought huggies overnight. They cost more but it is A LOT better than changing the bed and washing sheets daily.
Good Luck!!!

2 moms found this helpful

Are you serious?!? Your Child is FOUR! You've been expecting nighttime training for 2-3 YEARS?!?!?! Give your kid a break - his self esteem will suffer much more damage than stinking wet sheets/rooms in your house will bring to your family! He cant control it!

Now, I do emphathize with your situation, I have three boys 8, 6, and 5. The 5 and 6 year old have no accidents at night and havent for quite a while, however, the 8 year old still has problems and wears a pull-up (and overflows 2-3 nights a week). We've done the no drinking before bed, taking him to pee - which by the way you should do about 1 to 1.5 hours after he goes to bed - that is when the bladder is most likely to relax and have the accident - not necessarily first thing in the morning. I too have gotten very frustrated from the mess and smell - and I have started making my son strip his own bed and then re-make it as he is certainly old enough to help that way - but I always tell him that he will eventually grow out of it, and I dont shame him about it! Its very hereditary - did you or your husband wet the bed til late? My husband, and his daughter were late - still having accidents at 9 or older - its just how they are made!

Please, get some housecleaning help if you can afford it, or get the dad to pitch in, and do go see the pediatrician to rule out anything medically wrong - but STOP punishing your child for something he CANT control! He's FOUR!

2 moms found this helpful

Your son is quite young for what you are asking, and he may just be still getting control, however, you need to know whether this is the case or something with a medical reason or just the difficult issue of night-time bedwetting. Called nocturnal enuresis, this sort of wedwetting is often an inherited condition, father to son, or even passed through the mother's side of the family. Ask family members to be very truthful with you. In boys (such as one of mine) this was certainly the case although we did not really investigate until he as about 6, and it was a very tough situation. Take your son to a pediatric urologist as well, just to be sure there is no other reason, but prepare yourself for a longer ride with this, and PLEASE stop making him feel your frustration---believe me, he is hiding his own! We tried all the things you have and then some, but finally decided by age 7 that none was not going to work. We were advised to avoid the medications which suppress urine production, unless absolutely necessary (for a very important SINGLE night--no long-term use like for camps or travel). It took until probably 11-12years for this boy to be truly safely dry at night. We struggled to hide our frustration, but it was was it was and you know that they will be dry eventually. Praise for small successes and making them a part of their own help is crucual with age....but certianly not until about 6-7. Use of small adult size Depends were helpful for some containment, but as you have already discovered, as their baldder size grows so does the urine volume....Basically, a specially made up bed was the answer to containing the mess and our son's ability to help himself. First, put waterproof ZIPPERED covers on the mattress and pillow(s), then make the bed with a fitted under sheet, a blue removeable waterproof pad that tucks in only on the sides (like a wider version of those used in hospitals) and then a soft second flat sheet lightly tucked in as if fitted on top. Duvet or comforters or blankets need to be low volume for constant washing. When he wets at night (or if he only discovers it in the morning) he should be taught how to drag all wet stuff off his bed and throw it in the nearest bath-tub (hopefully not far from his bedroom). If this is not how your house is configured, then a large plastic bucket in the hall outside his door would work. New sheets , a clean pillow and a clean blanket should be available on a chair in his room at bedtime every night. If he wakes in the night soaking wet, he can dump all the wet stuff and grab all of parts from the clean stack and be back in bed to get some rest in no time. As he gets older you do not want to be wakened, yet is is essential he get adequate sleep too, and he will feel he is handling things for himself, but more, for YOU. He is very aware he is causing grief for everyone and will definitely feel badly even if he does not seem to show it. Yes this takes huge effort on your part, but don't forget: on his too, and he is not happy with himself----BUT----should not be blamed as if he is unable to follow some simple command. You should also be considering how difficult this will remain for him through grade school when he is invited to other friend's houses overnight. Just be sure he is confident, has pull-ups with him (they now make some that look like underwear for kids) and, this is crucial, that you talk to the mother of the invitee. Let her know this is a problem and ask if she is OK with it, protecting both her bedding as well as your son's pride. There are loads of ways to get her son and yours up and out of the sleepover bedroom for pancakes or fun video before wetting can be discovered, but you owe it to a host family not to have their bedding or other furnishings ruined. We never found anything but wise sympathy and delight at having our son as a guest, even under these trying (for HIM) conditions. Have as many sleepovers at your house so you can manage the mornings. If this in inherited bedwetting, you need to have a plan now---your son will be able to help you in a few years, but the burden will always be more his than yours. good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

give him back his blankie.

that would be like me taking away your computer because your hair keeps growing. he has no control over his bedwetting but if you are supportive he will learn that he is not a baby because he night wets and that he can help you in the clean-up process, NOT as punishment but because we all contribute to keeping the house clean. then find something else to put your frustration energy into.

2 moms found this helpful

poor mom. you sound incredibly frustrated and fed up and i don't blame you. who wants to deal with pee-smell and urine soaked laundry all the time.
but please bear in mind, the long time you've been dealing with this may well be to expecting too much too soon, and having started the process before he was really ready. your TOTALLY UNDERSTANDABLE frustration is also every bit as evident to him as it is to us, even if you don't think you're communicating it.
you've got to take the pressure off both of you. if he needs diapers, use 'em. maybe he needs two! when he's to a point that he CAN take physical control of this he will, but in the meantime punishing him or having expectations he can't meet will only make things worse for both of you. do whatever you have to do to protect the bedding, and both of you get some sleep.
khairete
S.

2 moms found this helpful

Pull ups just don't cut it at night for my son. He would wake up wet from top to bottom. I have had good luck with UnderJams and GoodNight diapers. I don't think that punishing or making him clean up until he has a dry night will help and may make it worse. He can't control that he is wetting the bed and is probably a deep sleeper.

1 mom found this helpful

If you overreact, fuss and/or punish over this then your son could end up with a nervous condition which will make him pee uncontrollably and more often! Thus bringing the problem full circle. First I would go to a Dr. It's time to make sure there is nothing medically wrong. Otherwise, I think it just takes time as hard as that may be. You should be able to find a product that doesn't leak. Pull-Ups, Underjams and Goodnights all come to mind, probably more out there. Also you might try one of those plus an extra diaper insert (they sell them at Babies R Us). It's basically an ultra absorbent pad you put in the diaper or Pull-Up. I've also heard of people putting 2 Pull-Ups on, one over the other. I have a 14 yo nephew that has medical problems and sometimes still wets the bed. If Pull-Ups can hold his urine, they should be able to hold the urine of a 4 yo. Good luck.

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