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"Seeking Advice on 6 Year Old Bed Wetting"

I am wondering if anyone has any advice on how to handle a 6 year old boy who wets the bed every night. He is in such a deep sleep that he doesn't even know that he has to go. I have been waking him up at night to go to the bathroom, but he is so asleep that I have to practically carry him in there. I am getting less and less sleep every night. This is getting to be a real drag. Any advice from people who have been through this would be welcomed! Thanks

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My son will be 6 in a couple of weeks and does not wake up in the night, he wears a pull up to bed & we both get sleep! He doesn't do sleep overs yet so it really doesn't affect him that way! It works for now!

My nephew is having the same problem he is 5 years old my sister has taken him to different doctor's and there is no health problems it is just something kid's are going thru now unless there's stress in the house hold or school thats not being accounted for and the child is reacting by wetting on his/her self.My sister stops his drinks b4 8pm she wakes him up thru out the night and nothing seems to be helping. I saw a website for something like pull ups for kids over five its called underjams try those and see how it works it did my nephew fine now he can go to sleepovers and other invites without other kids knowin he wets himself overnight. Hope this works for you must of all hope they grow out of it really really soon!

That is so common in boys for some reason. I know three 6 and 7 year old boys that wear pull ups to bed.

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I know your pain all to well. My son also did the same thing. We started out on medicines from the doctor with no help and then we went to the pee detectors. It took a couple of months to train him, but he did it. It vibrates and makes sounds like a fire truck is coming into the room. Very loud, but never woke up any of his sisters that have room's right next to his. One time I woke up because I heard it through the babys monitor and I could barely get him up to deal with it. But he did get up and it taught him to not pee the bed. He has had two accidents in the last year and we are all happier! He is now nine and can spend the night at his friends house with out the embarrassment! THey are pricey at one hundred dollars, but so worth it. My cousin is using it for her boy who is having problems. Good luck I highly recommend trying it. You can also try ebay for a used one. I have no idea the advice people gave you, so I hope that I am not repeating the same advice again.

1 mom found this helpful

My 5yo son still wears pull ups to bed. Sometimes he's dry, sometimes soaked. Dr. said there is really nothing he wants to do about it. My husband wet the bed until 8 and my sister until 7. I know that at a certain older age, there is a prescription to help the bladder muscles develop and get stronger, but I think most doctors only want to use that in extreme cases. It's really no big deal as long as no one is trying to hurt their self esteem.

My son is 10 and we still go through this, just not every night anymore.

The first thing I did was take him to the doctor to make sure he didn't have an infection or problem. The doctor then told me that one of the worst things I could do with the kids was to wake them up at night to go to the bathroom. What this does is confuse their system into thinking it is ok to go to the bathroom when you are still half asleep or in some cases, they are actually walking in their sleep. Limit his liquids after a certain time and then invest in pull ups. They finally are making a variety and making them so that the older kids don't have to be embaressed by this.

Both my kids see a therapist for various other reasons, and even he has told me, get the pull ups and they should grow out of it. I also make sure that on nights I have to give them any kind of medication that will make them drowsy I really watch the liquids and make sure they make extra trips to the bathroom.

Good luck
Chelle E

I wouldnt worry - my one daughter (I have 4 kids :)) did it past 11... as did my sister. We used "nightime underwear" (pull ups) she knew there was nothing wrong with it. we never made it a big deal nor did we ever take her to the doctor for it because I saw my sister go through several invasive tests only to find out it was something she would eventually outgrow.

helpful hint - if he spends the night at friends have him take his own sleeping bag and put "nighttime underwear" at the foot of it - he can then put it on after he is safely tucked. I also included a plastic bag for quick morning disposal and it stayed at the foot of the sleeping bag :)

My son did this also. The good news is eventually they out grow it. In the mean time make sure he's not drinking anything at least an hour before bed and make sure he goes to the bathroom right before bed. My son was also a deep sleeper. It gets to be a drag changing sheets everyday but it does get better.

My son will be 6 in a couple of weeks and does not wake up in the night, he wears a pull up to bed & we both get sleep! He doesn't do sleep overs yet so it really doesn't affect him that way! It works for now!

My brother and I both wet the bed till we were at least 10. He was a very heavy sleeper (still is). my mom would make sure he didn't drink for a while before he went to bed, that helped sometimes, and she tried waking him up for a while like that too.. but she got really tired as well... He eventually grew out of it. I on the other hand had an under developed bladder, where i couldn't help but do it because i was a heavy sleeper and i didn't notice really at all even after i had gone i would sleep through the entire thing and wake up in the morning all wet. We ended up getting me pull ups. I hated wearing them when i had friends over or when i was at their house but it was better than wetting the bed and it helped my mom sleep better too... but i guess till he grows out of it maybe pullups? that way you aren't up all night too. (less sheet washing)

Hi S.,
It looks like you are getting some good advise. My daughter too is a deep sleeper. She is 5 1/2 now, and still is a deep sleeper. She would also wet the bed occassionally- not lately- and we thought that it was because she was a deep sleeper. Limiting liquids before bedtime helped too, as well as sugar. Now she cries in the middle of the night, because she is so out of it, but knows that she has to go to the bathroom, and I have to assist her to the toilet- by her walking. She is getting better- sometimes she goes by herself. It takes time and patience, but I can see that slowly she is going to outgrow it.
I also had a step son who at age 6 wet his bed every night, and we tried the above, and it wasn't working, so we bought him an alarm for his bed (it was made specifically to stop bedwetting- I forgot the name of it), and once the bed had any kind of moisture, the alarm would sound, which would teach him to get up to go to the bathroom. In the beginning he didn't wake up right away, but evenually it worked for him. When he would wet his bed, he would also change his sheets.
Good luck!

If you had said daughter instead of son, it could have been my story.

What works for us? She wears pull-ups/overnights/etc every night. If it's a weekend, and she goes to bed later than normal, she almost always stays dry. (I don't have the faintest idea why) However, I refuse to get out of bed to take her to the bathroom every night. Call me mean if you have to, but I deserve restful sleep too! The pull-ups probably aren't helping her to solve the situation - because they don't wake her up when she wets them and she knows that she's got one on so she doesn't HAVE to wake up to go to the bathroom - but until she 'grows out of it', they're saving my sanity. I've got four kids. I do ENOUGH laundry every day! I don't need to add a daily load of bedding to the chaos. Once every couple of months (when I'm feeling brave), we'll decide to try it for a few nights. So far, no luck. She'll be 7 in January.

She's been to overnight Girl Scout camp, and with the styles they make overnights/etc nowadays, no one even knew she was wetting the bed. The only downfall to that is that she didn't have anywhere to throw them away... so she brought them all HOME! LOL

I'm watching this advice to see if there are any sanity-savers posted.

You got it right, wetting the bed is about a sleep disorder and nothing else, doctor's have no clue how to deal with bedwetting, just limiting liquids does not work, people do not outgrow it. It is hereditary too. Here is the link to the Enuresis Treatment Center. My firm used to do PR for this company and I am a believer, they have been on Fox 2 and channel 7 and national news. My friend's 10 year old son went through the program about 1 1/2 years ago and he is no longer wetting the bed. They have a 100% money back GUARANTEE to stop bedwetting.


Here is how the business got started:
In 1974, Barbara Moore had a challenge to meet. Her daughter Gaile, then 6, was wetting the bed, and the frustration was mounting. She had taken Gaile for ongoing visits with a therapist, having been told that this condition was psychological in nature.
Then she admitted Gaile into the hospital for surgery (stretching the urethra), having been told it was a physical issue that could be immediately remedied. At her wits end, Barbara considered the prescription for Tofranil (imipramine), until she discovered it was an anti-depressant with serious side effects.
The final piece of advice was to give it time, that Gaile would outgrow it by puberty (8 years away). That was not an option for Barbara. She had an adult uncle who was still wetting the bed, and she could see Gaile was clearly being affected... she was hiding her wet sheets, denying her bedwetting, and was awakening sluggish and irritable. Gaile’s daytime hours were disrupted by her urgent and frequent needs to urinate, for which Gaile was prescribed Ditropan (Oxybutynin). This had no effect other than causing dry mouth. Equally alarming for Barbara, Gaile was often difficult to awaken in the morning, and would be prone to outbursts and easily frustrated as the day wore on.
So after exhausting all medical and psychological resources to no avail, Barbara took matters into her own hands. Determined to find a solution, Barbara embarked on a mission, eventually uncovering an internationally-recognized sleep study that changed everything. Based on this study, Barbara and her consultants created the treatment program, which is centered around correcting a sleep disorder known to be the root cause of bedwetting. Gaile was the first child to receive this treatment... and the first of many to awaken every morning in a dry bed.
Over the years, the treatment program has developed into an exact science to ensure that the outcome is consistently achieved and in the least amount of time. Together, Barbara and Gaile have built an internationally-acclaimed treatment center.

Hi S.! Boy, this can be so wearing. You'll get lots of good advice on training and tools so would you like to look at this from different prospective?

Have you ever heard anyone talk about the potential relationship between diet and bedwetting? I have two friends who have been thru this. Would you like some information about their journey?

to your, and your little guy's, success,
M. G

Sorry for the late response S.. I didn't read any of the other responses (didn't have time) but am sure you got some great advice. I just had to shoot you a few words of encouragement since my (now 8 year old) son had a similar issue through age 5/almost 6. He slept so sooo deeply, that he did not wake himself up to use the bathroom when necessary. He actually wore a pull up for a long time. All i can say is have faith. We took him to the bathroom every night before we went to bed...which was usually 3 hours after he went to bed. My mom told me to take him every night since she had to do the same with one of my brothers 35 years ago. Eventually, my son stopped wetting. I'm not sure what happened....I was just so glad/relieved my mom's advice worked. My son is still a really deep sleeper and almost never gets up to 'go', but I guess his bladder finally got stronger!?! Hang in there and hope this helps. This too shall pass---really :)

My 18 son year old had the same problem. We tried limiting his fluids before bed time, waking him up....nothing worked. Eventually he grew out of the problem. While he was having the problem we gave him love and support. He knew that he could always come wake me up whenever he had an accident and I would take care of him. You might try talking to your son's doctor about the problem, but my best advice is to be patient. It may take a few years, but your son will out grow this problem.

P.S. My husband also had the problem when he was a child.

S. - I know you have received many responses, but having been through this with two children (and one more to go) my opinion is that if waking him up at night to go to the bathroom is not working, don't do it! It took me a while to realize this with my first one and I missed out on too much sleep which is never a good thing! Explain to him that everyone grows/learns things differently and his body is not able to stay dry at night yet. I'm sure he doesn't want to wet the bed. Go with the pullups/Goodnights. This is very common and he will outgrow it eventually. Best wishes!


Hi S.:

My sister used to be a bed-wetter! Have faith, she did outgrow it eventually. :) Try going to prevention.com and do a keyword search for "bedwetting." There is some very great advice online there which might help you. To start, check out this article:


Best of luck to you!

Hi S.,
My daughter went through this. She was a deep sleeper and I believe her bladder just wasn't big enough to go all night w/o using the bathroom. I would put her on the toilet every night before I went to bed to avoid changing sheets. One night when I put her on the potty she couldn't go, same thing the next few nights. Then I stopped altogether and she's been fine since. I think it just takes time for some kids? She was 6 at the time, also. Best of luck to you. I know it's time consuming and frustrating for both you and your son. Hang in there!

Dear S. A.,

Sorry this is so late; obviously I don't read my emails every day. We had a daughter who peed the bed nearly every day and back then there was no such thing as diapers for bigger kids or pull ups and I had to wash bedding every day. I spanked her hard until I found out that it is a sleep problem. They are very deep sleepers who don't get the message from their brains when their bladder is full and tells them to get up and go pee in the toilet. One night she even was sleep walking and crouched down and peed out her entire bladder in front of our dryer.

The best thing to do is buy the pull-up type diapers for the bigger kids and just have him drink less water/liquids about two hours before bed so his bladder has less in it when he goes to bed. Also, make sure his bed has a very good mattress cover that zips up so you can wash that off and not ruin his mattress when he pees continually because sometimes his pull up will leak. Wash his sheets whenever necessary and keep his bed as clean as you can daily. Protective services smells beds if they are ever called into your house for any reason. I know firsthand. I washed off the mattress cover with Lysol so they knew they had clean beds and sheets to sleep in. I would also use some type of diaper ointment that works for his skin when he gets raw. I found a cheap brand at a used clothing store that worked greatly and was less than half the price of Desitin. Make sure he gets a bath daily to keep as much of the bacteria off of his skin as possible.

If you have good health insurance I would take him to the doctor and explain the problem. Some doctors will prescribe a medicine that helps much with this problem. Some kids outgrow the problem and some won't. See the doctor and see what he/she says about your son. Our granddaughter outgrew it so you have something to hope for and look forward to.

My husband's sister was still peeing the bed when she was pregnant and with a man in her bed. I don't know how old she was when she finally outgrew it, but I know she eventually did outgrow it.

L. C.

Goodness I am having the same problem with my 6 year old, soon to be 7 year old daughter. I talked to her doctor awhile back at age 4 and he said she would grow out of it, but when is the question.

We are making some progress now by stopping all liquids by 8pm and monitor liquids throughout the day, sending her to the bathrooom before she goes to bed and my husband gets her up before he leaves for work at 6am, and sometimes he forgets.

Lots of times we've had to carry her, but we stopped and make her walk so she is alert and knows what's going on, but sometimes she gets to the toilet and stands there with her eyes closed or she gets on the toilet and doses off.

Most times (90%) she is dry when we do this, but if we forget or forget a step then she's wet again.

Maybe this could be a start for you. We also tried to dispiline her every time she was wet, but no success there.

She doesn't want to go on herself because when she gets ready for bed, she often reminds us that we need to wake her up (saying: don't forget to get me up please).

That lets me know that she doesn't like wetting the bed/herself. I've even caught her changing clothes quickly so no one knows. I believe she's embarrased by this as well.

I also try to stop hep brother's from nagging her when she does wet and encourage more support from them.

Hi S.
With my boy, (now 10) when he was 5 he was still bedwetting and his Doctor told me to check out the "bedwetting" web sites. So we sent away for a program that had an alarm (wake the caregiver) that sounds when wet. and exercises to strengthen the muscles and increase volume. This program said that bedwetting is a sleep disorder, where the person's sleep cycle is not "normal". BTW this is the same disorder for sleepwalkers and night terrors. So I suggest you look in to a program that has an alarm that wakes YOU up when he wets at night. but also works on strengthens his ability to hold it and his volume. When we did the program it took about a month to have dry nights but the booklet said it could take up to a year. I Hope this helps --M.

Hey there S.!

Ohhh... I can so feel your pain! My son was an EXTREMELY heavy sleeper. To wake him up after the first hour of sleep was like trying to rouse the dead!! And even after you got him sitting up with his eyes open for a while... he still would not remember being got up in the morning. So I guess it was no surprise that he couldn't get himself up to go to the bathroom at night.

What worked for him was to follow a behavior plan for 3-6 months. We purchased a bed wetting alarm for $70. (We got the Wet Stop alarm from www.wet-stop.com I see they have come down in price and are now $50.) There is a sensor that attaches to their underwear and then there is an alarm that attaches to their PJ's up near their shoulder. When the sensor gets wet even a drop.. the alarm goes off. When we first started the plan, he would have an accident (we would hear the alarm, HE wouldn't even move!!) we would get him up, take him to the bathroom, have him change his PJ's, have him help change the sheets, take the wet ones to the washing machine.. then before he went back to bed we would give him a code word to remember in the morning. We would tell it to him and have him write it down 5 times. (And do you know that for about 3 weeks... after doing all those things.. he still could not remember the word in the morning??? His brain was that deep in sleep!!)
He also would sleep through the alarm on the loudest setting that was right near his ear!!

Then gradually he began remembering the code word in the morning (we had a different one every night), and he started being able to wake up himself when the alarm went off. And after about 6 months.. we were able to stop using the alarm, and he has been dry ever since... no accidents!!

I wish I could tell you there is a quick fix for this problem, but unless it is a medical condition (check with your pediatrician if you haven't already!!) you are left with 2 choices..committing to a long term behavior plan (which takes more away from our beauty sleep!!) or waiting for him to out grow it.

While you are going through the trainning it can be very tiring and frustrating... but the results (for us!!) have been worth it! We have saved oodles in pull ups (the alarm is DEFINATELY worth the investment, and I am not having to wash sheets,blankets, PJs, and underwear all the time. And my son isn't afraid and embarressed to go on vacation, or stay the night at a friend or family members.. or have them stay here.

This may not be the answer you wanted to hear... but it is the truth in our situation!! This technique is the same as the ones you hear people paying thousands of dollars to help their kids. You are mostly paying for the professionals to help walk you through the steps. If that's helpful.. maybe consider making the investment. If you're a person that can stay disciplined and on top of a project.. I'd save the money and do it myself. You know best what will help most in your family!!

I wish you and your son the best of luck in whatever you decide is best!

Have a great day!

P.S. If you're a Christian... don't forget to pray about it :-)

That is so common in boys for some reason. I know three 6 and 7 year old boys that wear pull ups to bed.


I have the same thing going on with my daughter, who's also 6. Our pediatrician told us to leave it alone, her sleep and peace of mind is worth above and beyond the minimal investment of pull-ups. She also looked directly at my daughter and told her that probably half of her class was wearing them too. She piped up and said, "yeah, one of the twins still wears them, but the other doesn't." Totally calm about it. The biggest issue we have is my son occasionally teasing her about it. It runs in my husband's family, so it's not likely to go away any time soon. I've found that for us, just relaxing about it and not making a big deal of it has made a big difference. She puts on the pull-up with her pjs and throws it away and gets back into undies in the morning. She's taken responsibility for it and thinks it totally normal.
My sis-in law had the same issue with my nephew(8 months older than my daughter), who was really embarrassed about it (would watch mom washing the sheets every day) and his younger brother teased him about it. They used the pink pads they use in hospitals with him last winter and along with limiting fluids and making him go before bed and when she goes to bed it worked. At least until his routine got messed up camping with us, ugh! No fun being in no man's land with no option of pull-ups and a child who cries when you even mention it! At least we had laundry nearby! I personally prefer our way, but know that everyone has to do it their way!
Hope this helps, and to repeat what the other ladies said, he won't be packing pull-ups for college!



I have a 4 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. Here's what we do...bedtime for us is at 8pm, no liquids past 6:30pm, go to the bathroom before bed and then a couple of hours later (as we're going to bed) we get the kids up to go to the bathroom. (The doctor told my mother over thirty years ago that the bladder fills up usually in the first hour after going to sleep) I don't question if it's accurate but it has sure helped with the bedwetting. We still have accidents on occasion but the amounts have gone down drastically.

First go to the doctor to make sure something isn't wrong physically. Your child could be a very deep sleeper which is hard to get them to wake up. My daughter became too dependent on pull ups and would pee in them just because she knew that's what they were for. You just don't want to turn them into a crutch that they use because they're there.

Don't worry so much about it none the less. He won't go off to college wearing pull ups :).

Good luck!

I'd talk to your pediatrician but many children wet the bed for years and, at the very worst, it should end when he goes through puberty. I know that sounds horrendous, but I lived through it. 2 of my 4 did this and they are fine adults! They inherited it, I believe from their dad's family of bedwetters. Very important to help your son not feel ashamed or stressed over it. I wouldn't get him up at night at this age - what's the point? It's only messing up your sleep. Do the best you can to handle this with love and support. It's a real pain, but you'd be surprised how many moms have to deal with this - unfair as it is!

I have been through this. And my son was nearly 12 when real results began to show. Deep deep sleeper and didn't know he had to go. Well either he'd eventually wake up and attend to his sheets, or they'd be there in the a.m. for me to.
The problem was that his insides, bladder included, were on a different growth speed than his age and the rest of him. He was about 3 years behind in this respect and dentally. It's frustrating, but it isn't the child's fault, you need to remember. And once in a while you'll get upset with the kid, but unless there's something more phsiological behind it, you need the patience of an angel. He's only 6. I wouldn't be that concerned.

My nephew is having the same problem he is 5 years old my sister has taken him to different doctor's and there is no health problems it is just something kid's are going thru now unless there's stress in the house hold or school thats not being accounted for and the child is reacting by wetting on his/her self.My sister stops his drinks b4 8pm she wakes him up thru out the night and nothing seems to be helping. I saw a website for something like pull ups for kids over five its called underjams try those and see how it works it did my nephew fine now he can go to sleepovers and other invites without other kids knowin he wets himself overnight. Hope this works for you must of all hope they grow out of it really really soon!

Hi S.,

I just went through this with my 6 year old son a few months ago. It just started to happen more frequently. I also asked the Mamasource Mom's with overwhelming response. I took my son to the doctor to rule out a medical condition and was told that he is growing faster than his bladder and it will catch up eventually. Remember not to yell at him. My son is also a deep sleeper and we turned off his noise-maker at night. I purchased some bed pads (bedwettingstore.com) to use so I don't have to wash all the sheets and mattress pad every single day. Make sure you praise him A LOT when he has a dry morning. Watch his intake of liquids before bed. It's hard to not let them drink a lot with the summer heat, but monitor it so he's not drinking excessive amounts just before going to bed.

I hope this helps. Good luck!

I would put a pull-up on him at night. He may not want to feel like he is wearing a "diaper" - so, they have these new kind out that look just like boxer shorts!! Instead of telling him he is wearing a pull-up, tell him he is wearing boy sleep shorts. You may still need to research the root cause of the problem, but until then, a pajama style pull up will help him feel less embarrased than waking up in wet bed sheets. They are Goodnite brand - I saw them at Walmart. Here is a link also - http://www.drugstore.com/products/prod.asp?pid=192040&amp...

I still get this from my 5-1/2 year old daughter. We have been watching the liquids after dinner and making sure she sits until she pees before bed. Still happens as she too is a deep sleeper. I have a friend that had this problem (in her 40s now and it's all good for her :)) She apparently was such a deep sleeper as a kid that she didn't break this untils he was twelve. Her own daughter is following suit so far at 6-1/2. My own mother used to wake my up half way through the night and jsut carry me and set me on the potty until I went. My daughter would wake up and be crabby, I don't do that.

Be patient, don't get angry, work with him as a team. My daughter is so excited when she does wake up dry. And those few nights give her hpe as well.

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