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!

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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!

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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!!!

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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.

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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.

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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!!!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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I realize by t his point you have gotten lots of responses, so I will keep mine short as possible. I think the point to drive home is that he is FOUR. It is rare to have four year old boys potty trained through the night. Pls give him a break. It aches my heart to think you took his blankie away, when what he might really need is comfort and assurance that he is ok despite bedwetting. Our 5 yr old boy still wets his bed - he now wears Underjams and is so proud on the rare occassion that they are dry. My son will say that he is not able to wake up to pee, and he is a deep sleeper. So give yourself some comfort that there is nothing medically wrong by having him checked out, and then just sort of let him be for a while longer. Let him have some successes. The more you push, the more of a problem it will become.

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We have three sons. The older two have both had this issue up until about 5 years of age. What worked for us was waking our sons at night to take them to the bathroom just before we went to bed. For example: if their bedtime is 8pm, they would go as the last thing they do before getting tucked in, then before my husband or I went to bed (whoever went last) we'd get them up and take them again (11:30 or so). This was usually enough to empty their bladders until morning and also helped them to realize that it is OK to get up in the night and go. If this isn't enough for your son, I'd suggest setting an alarm for 3am and waking yourself up to take him again... or however many times in the night you need to.
Our older son is now able to wake himself and go to the bathroom if he needs to. It will happen. DO NOT punish your child for this. He has absolutely no control over what happens when he is deeply asleep and shaming him in to believing his is his fault will only cause him to resist your assistance.

I should add... you don't even really need to fully "wake" him to do this. You can simply pick him up out of bed, carry him to the toilet, sit him there and quietly talk to him telling him he is on the potty and can go now. If he wakes, that's fine, but even if he doesn't, he's getting the message that he's out of bed and in the right place to urinate.

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Hi J.! I haven't read all your responses, so I apologize if I'm being redundant. I want you to know I feel your pain! And I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but this might be a problem your son has no control over. Both of my girls have this problem. I talked to my pediatrician about it (when my oldest was approaching age 7!!) and she said that we produce a hormone that condenses our urine at night. Some children simply do not produce enough of this hormone (or any at all) until they are a little older. We tried EVERYTHING - limiting fluids, getting her up at 11:30pm to pee, etc. NOTHING worked. With this news from the pediatrician I finally decided to let it go. About 3 months before her 8th birthday my daughter said to me "I think I'm done with pull-ups." This was back in May. She went from wetting the bed several times a week, to NEVER doing it again. Not once. I guess the hormone kicked in. Luckily, she's very little for her age, so she fit into pull-ups the whole time. I know this doesn't solve your problem of wetting through everything. I guess my only suggestion is to find something larger. I hate to even say it, but maybe Depends? My younger child will be 6 next month and she is still in pull-ups. However, she's much bigger than her sister, and the pull-ups are not going to fit much longer. I'll figure something out. Anyway, please understand that it may not be his fault. My daughter wanted so badly to be dry at night, but she just physically could not do it. Talk to your pediatrician about this if you need to. Good luck :)

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I agree with the responses below and found the one about hormones quite interesting. My son was 7 before progress was made. I found that Goodnights are much more absorbent than pullups and they come in larger sizes. That is the only thing that kept me sane. Good luck.

It may help if you wake him in the middle of the night and take him to the bathroom.

ok, hope this can help

stop all drinks 2 hours before bed time.
put him on the toilet before he gets in the bath and then once again right before bed,

now you need to wake the kid up to go toilet before you go to bed.

keep scaling back the time you wake him to go toilet so that he dosent wet the bed.

so if you put him to bed at 7pm and you go to bed at 11pm start putting him on the toliet right before you go to bed, and if he is wet then change the sheet and then the next night try putting him on the toilet on the toilet at 10:30pm and just keep going back like that untill you find that the bed is not wet,

it will take a while, just hang in there.
and get rid of the pull ups.

Hi J.,

My son is 7 and it took him a LONG time to become trained at night. I never got upset with him because it really isn't his fault. He sleeps through everything!! My neighbor's son had the same problem that you do and she ended up with an alarm. I am sure that if you google potty alarm, you can find it. What we do is we try to limit the fluids later in the evening and as he is getting into bed, he has to go to the bathroom, even if he says he doesn't have to go. If your son is peeing every night, you might want to try different pull ups or diapers. There are night time pull ups and I found that those held the liquid pretty well. Don't get mad at your son. He isn't doing it on purpose. The electricity bill shouldn't rise too much doing the extra load of laundry (I know. My son peed the bed for a few years and every time, we had to wash the sheets). Be thankful that your son is healthy and full of energy.

Our 7 1/2 year old daughter is still wet at night, although her twin sister self-trained at 3. All their other milestones were about 2 weeks different. At the annual physicals I ask the ped. about this. The answer is that it is a matter of neurological development. She is a very heavy sleeper and the signal to urinate that gets through to the brain during the day does not get there at night. Some children, not many, don't master overnight dryness until age 10.

Apparently there are some drugs and devices that can be used. You are right...it is a LOT of wash. On the positive side, noone runs out of underwear in our house because the machine is used every morning!

But as frustrated and discouraged as you are, your child feels terrible to be disappointing you. He needs to be told it is not his fault...his body is not ready for this yet. We would not expect a 3 month old to walk, not matter how much training they are given.

Try to stay positive. Maybe your ped can recommend a specialist in a year or two.

it is time to take the child to a pediatric urologist... there may be a medical dcondition that exists, and all you are doing is frustrating yourself, a child psychologist may be able to help as well with all the frustration and anxiety in the house. could be he is doing this at night for the extra attention. negative attention is still attention, and if thats what they want attentionm then he has found a way to get whopping loads of it from you... perhaps you need to spend more time with him.

I just wanted to say I am in a moms group and this subject came up yesterday. Boys do take longer and unfortunately, it is something you cannot force because it is a maturity thing. The more mature he is, the better he will be at being able to wake up.
I spoke to the pediatrician and she said that the harder you push, or punish, or take things away, that it stresses them and that comes out in other ways.
She suggests going back to diapers for now. and If he is still doing it at his 5th birthday, then you are supposed to bring him to a pediatrician.
Before 5, in boys, is very common- and I worry that the added pressure he is getting is not helping any of you.
It might seem like you are taking a step back but its really not, he is still peeing. So, the only thing coming from that is your frustration. I think diapers are the choice for now. I am sorry,i know that is frustrating. but it is not considered a problem or something to worry about in boys til about 5.
Good luck, and if you can, just forgive him- and yourself, and go the stressfree route. Diapers, Dont talk about them, don't make a big deal. Just say " i am sorry that I pushed you, you were not ready yet.I trust that you will tell me when you are." That will build the confidence back up in himself, and you.

I can only imagine how frustrating this is for you after two years, you and him....it sounds like you have tried everything that I know of...he may just not be ready. I have read that boys can be as old as 8 before they can really be night time trained. IF it were me, I would go back to night time pull-ups that they sell for bigger kids (you have to figure if there is a product there must be a market) and leave it be for awhile. I do know that punishing NEVER works. I would still have him pee before bed and take him again before you go to bed. I also have two sets of sheets on my son's bed with waterproof pads in between.....that way when he does have an accident he can help me remove the soiled sheets and climb right back into bed without it being a huge embarrassing situation for him. Incentives can only take you so far if they are not physically and emotionally ready.

I have the same story as you. Our son is 3 (4 in Jan) and here's what we do. We use a saddle-style mattress protector and just a blanket for him to sleep with. No flat sheet b/c that's just another thing to wash. We take Huggies nighttime diaper and line it w/a large Poise pad. Used to use diaper doubler inserts but can't find them anywhere anymore. Hubby cuts a slit in the back of the Poise pad (where the sticky part is) so overflow will soak onto the Huggies. He goes to bed around 9:30 p.m., stops having fluids around 7:30 p.m., make him pee before bath, after bath and before he gets into bed. Each time, he pees. Hubby wakes him at 1 a.m. to pee yet again. Sometimes he wakes up with a dry diaper but most nights it's still wet but doesn't soak thru to his clothes or bed. We have been doing this routine for almost a year and have a feeling it will be a long time before he stops peeing at night. When I told my hubby that it might be another 4 yrs he almost fell over! In the last 3 months we've added one of those waterproof training pants ON TOP of the Huggies combo b/c his pants and shirt would still get wet on occasion. We went through a week of him soaking through everything when we didn't do the 1 a.m. wake-up pee. So even though we dread having to get up, we dread it more cleaning up every morning. We also tried doing just the waterproof training pants and that didn't work either. Here's a link to the training pants: http://www.pottyscotty.com/Potty-Training-Pants.html and here's a link to the saddle-style mattress protector: http://www.amazon.com/Saddle-Style-Waterproof-Mattress-Pr...

Good luck and hope you find a solution that works!

I agree - nighttime wetting he has no control over, no matter how frustrating it is to parents....My DSS wet the bed and peed at school till he was 8! WAY too old, but he had some issues due to his bio-mom....so I got to deal with all the urine sheets and laundry and everything...Not fun!! I did have to start taking away his privileges when he peed at school - he was just not taking responsibility and going during bathroom breaks...not sure if his bladder was too small, but I told him to go whenever he could even if he felt like it wasn't urgent. So after taking away privileges, he improved and didn't pee at recess any more. BUT, at night, he may not be able to help it - do you have a pee mattress on the bed now? I would make sure to have the plastic cover on at all times and maybe not put his sheets on every night - just give him a light blanket to sleep with so it cuts down on your time and energy and laundry. Also - try different pull-ups that don't leak - they even have pull-ups for 7-8 year olds these days. I would cut off all liquids 2 HOURS before bedtime, and make sure he is drinking water for dinner - it tends to stay in the body longer than juices, etc. Then, make him go to the bathroom before bed, then 2 hours after he goes to sleep (or whenever you go to bed), do what you have been doing and wake him up to go again. This will hopefully trigger his body's response to wake up. And maybe not let him fall too deeply into REM and not be able to wake himself up. We did this for 2-3 weeks and it finally helped. In the meantime we had pee on our carpeted stairs, a million loads of laundry, etc....I have been where you are...along with a cat that won't use a litter box....and me crying in the middle of the night....don't worry - it gets better!! Hang in there. My DSS is now 11 and we have no issues with him waking up....maturity helps, but in the meantime, all we can do is cut down on our workload by trying various methods. (also, we were recommended to have a doctor check for an infection, but that was not the case with DSS, so I wouldn't assume that is the issue)

Although I didn't have to deal with this, I found this article, which appears to be very helpful.


There are other bedwetting resources on this site, so you may want to explore it.

Hi J.,
My son who is six was struggling with the same issue. I also cut back his drinks and used pull up but this alone did not helped. What I actually had to do was to monitor his drinks through out the last 2-3 hrs before he went to bed. I also made sure that it would not be too cold in his room, and that he would not fall asleep upset from tempur tantrums. Oh and yeah, he became responsable to take his sheets off the bed and put them in the washer. ( He did not like doing the extra chore). All of this has helped him and he has had a pretty successful year. An alarm clock set for the actual middle of his sleeptime may also help him get up and go to the bathroom. I did ask him very nicely, Why do you think you are wetting the bed? He told me he was tooo tired and too cold.
Hope it helps you out. Best Wishes.

Are you expecting him to wake on his own, before he pees? My daughter is 2 and we have been setting the timer during the day to remind me to have her try. Maybe you need to wake up after a few hours and have him get up and try.

I know, I know, the days of waking in the night should be over...

My daughter has been pooing in the potty since she was 14 months old, she is 2 now and I thought we would be totally out of diapers by now. But getting to the potty in time for pee is really hard, even Harder at night time! Good Luck!

After you read through all your responses here, why not go back to the Mamasource archives and read what others have said about bedwetting. My personal approach is that it is a natural body issue not a chose. He is not choosing to wet the bed, he is so deeply asleep that his brain can't yet hear the signals his body is sending out - that it's pee time. Why not look into the Hylands Homeopathic Bedwetting Tablets. They work well if you use them correctly. Good Luck and Remember To Breathe.

There is a device out there that you put under his sheet that has a sensor that sounds alarm when it gets wet. My brother needed this about thirty years ago so I don't know what it's called. I think it was supposed to take two weeks, but only took my brother three nights. It basically woke him up after he'd had an accident and after a few nights he wouldn't sleep that heavily at that time and he stopped having accidents. That being said, I think he was 6 or 7 before she tried it.
Have you thought of getting several sets of sheets so you can do laundry every fourth day or so? Good luck to you and your son!

I hear your frustration. Unfortunately, I understand that for whatever reason, boys can take much longer to get through the night dry. We had to use Pull Ups for my one son until he was 6! We still have occassional accidents and he is 8 1/2. Apparently this is not unusual. I know a neighbor boy that wore the Pull Ups nightly at 8 or 9yrs. old. Have you tried doubling the NightTime Pull Ups? Are you using a bed mat made for bed wetting? Perhaps using a large one made for elderly people as the top layer you will be able to limit how much laundry needs to be done. Also, it doesn't sound like he will be dehydrated if you cut fluids back even earlier. Last drink at dinner maybe? This is completely out of his control so rewards and consequences will not be effective. Try not to make him feel badly about himself for this. You mentioned the many night-time trips to the potty. Is he going to the potty often during the day? Maybe trying to go more often during the day too will help? Lastly, I reccomend Nature's Miracle. You can purchase it at any Pet Store. It will completely eliminate any trace of urine smell!
Good Luck!

My son has a sensitivity to milk. He likes to drink it/eat cheese has no trouble, but whenever he has dairy he wets the bed. He's been potty trained since Feb (when he turned 3) but without fail, if he has dairy the bed is wet. It's not a behavioral thing, I can't explain it. Think about it. Just a thought. Good luck!
Oh, one other thing. Ask him what he thinks would help him. It may be motivating if it's his idea.

Hi J.,
My son was wearing pull-ups too, until he was six. I couldn't get him to use the bathroom during the night at all, couldn't even wake him up. I finally bought an incontinence alarm and it worked miracles. I paid 99 bucks for the thing and it worked in four days. My son is 10 now and hasn't wet the bed since. There are many alarms out there but don't skimp and buy a cheap one. The one I bought attached to his clothing (underwear and shirt) and would vibrate violently and ring loudly when it detected wetness. It worked!

I can relate to your situation. My son regressed after the birth of his younger brother and had bed wetting issues for a long time.
First, take a deep breath and relax. This is not the worst issue to have to deal with and he'll eventually get through this.
Okay, next, don't let your frustration blind your judgement and punish him. Each morning, you are upset at the outcome and vent, he will feel it. He isn't being spiteful. He is having "accidents." Let him have his blanket, give him the necessary fluids (even after 7).
Also, for your peace of mind, I would recommend taking your son to a pediatrician. Not only to rule out medical issues, but to get advice on the effectiveness of withholding fluids.
Lastly, I will share with you, our family's story. My now 22 yr old nephew had accidents until he about 10 or 11. His brother had no issues nor could the doctors find a medical reason for the accidents. Several years later, my now 15 yr old son found himself in a similar situation. He had accidents until he was around 10 but his younger brothers didn't. Now I don't even remember how much work it was to keep the house clean. What I do remember, though, are the times I belittled him by blaming the situation on him. "Why don't you just get up...No more drinks for you..."
This too shall pass and you'll go on to deal with other issues. Good luck to you and your family.

ah, potty training.. it makes you want to sent them back,
almost. ok, one woman i know of got tired of hauling around a diaper bag for her two and a half year old son, and the child completely refused to be potty trained, that was until she made HIM haul around his own diaper bag. because she said that she couldnt carry a new baby and two diaper bags all at the same time, plus the two year had decided that he had to be carried too. if the child is wetting the sheets because he will not get up to pee in the middle of the night, then the solution is to make him change his own sheets EVERYTIME THAT HE DECIDES TO WET THE BED, if he claims the smell doesnt bother him, then he
obvoiusly is expecting you to change the sheets for him
and that my dear is called being passive/aggressive
he will quickly stop wetting the bed if he has to wash and dry them himself
K. h.

My daughter wasn't fully nighttime trained until she was 4 1/2 (I know my many posts regarding this are in the archives). I know I was nighttime dry much earlier, because back then they didn't have pull-ups, good-nights, depends or even poise pads. My mom did it be keeping me dehydrated. I swear I only drank about 6 ounces per day. I don't recommend this.

When my daughter was taking so long, I looked up "bedwetting" on the internet. The long and the short of it have already been mentioned. Your body has to start producing anti-diuretic hormone, which helps you not to urinate at night. Some kids don't do this until they are teenagers. Also, your brain has to recognize the need to pee, but a lot of kids are very deep sleepers and their brains don't get the signal. Tests have been done in which children slept right through very loud noises sent through headphones. Sleep apnea can lead to bed wetting, because by the time the child finally falls asleep, they sleep so deeply that, once again, their brain can't interpret the need to pee signal. I mention this because you say your son is very skinny. If you take him to the doctor to make sure his plumbing is fine (and most doctors won't discuss bedwetting until the child is six), you might want to have his tonsils and adnoids looked at to see if they are enlarged. I just remember a post about underweight children that had problems and didn't eat because their tonsils were infected.

I'd get several waterproof mattress pads and lots of bottom sheets so you and your son can remake his bed right away instead of having to wait for everything to dry. The mattress pads are inexpensive at Wal-Mart, but they tend to be "hot" becuase of the plastic.Can you put up a clothesline. Nothing like using free solar energy to dry sheets and mattress pads. Have him put the sheets and mattress pad in the washer as part of his duties, but don't harangue him for something he can't control. When his is older, you may want to consider an alarm that senses moisture and is supposed to wake up the child to go pee, but right now you can only keep doing what you are doing; that's what worked for my daughter. I can't address undergarments, because I never had to find something she didn't soak.

By the way, the dog and his little sister and the child you are watching could be adding to his anxiety. Unvoiced, but there. Does he go to preschool? And I'm curious as to the evolutionary advantage of delayed nighttime dryness because it seems to be a continuing issue. I guess our ancestors didn't have to worry about soaked hides and furs.

I understand the frustration, but it's not his fault. He's not trying to pee the bed every night. My son is 9. Yes 9 and still wets his bed. We put him in the Good nights. We wash sheets all the time. It is very frustrating, but it's not something that they can control. Believe me if he could he would. He didn't get to go to sleep-away camp because of it.

Just to rule out any disorders, speak with your pediatrician; but keep in mind that children, especially boys can take a very long time to develop the ability to hold their urine at night. It can run in families. For my family all the males on my fathers side had the problem. Also My husband was around 5 when he finally quit. So my son is taking after my side of the family.

As frustrating as it is for us to clean it, we have to keep in mind that it is not pleasant for them either. The more we rag them, the worse they will feel for something that they cannot help.

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.


Some kids just take a long time to get being trained at night , they go into such a deep sleep that nothing wakes them. What happens when he wears pull ups? Does he soak through those aswell? Usually what happens is that once they are trained in the day you start to notice that the overnight pull up/diaper get's drier and drier and once they are dry every morning for a few weeks then you know they are ready to take them off. This obviously isn't happening yet for you. Don't make an issue of it , he is trained in the day that is the main thing , my daughter is 4 in December and still needs to wear a pull up to bed.

Good luck

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