21 answers

Still Wetting Her Pants...

I am the mother of 2 beautiful girls- 5 & 7. Father and I are still married and do our best to parent as a team. our dilema is that our 7yo still wets herself. She was alittle sluggish to potty train, but finally had it by 4yr. She even stayed dry most of the nights during the week. She starting regressing about 4 months before her 6th birthday. She was wetting the bed more, then she started having "accidents" during the day. She started kindergarten off really well, but by the end of the year was needing a change of clothes at least once a week - or I could tell she had been wet and her clothes had dried again. In first grade we talked to every teacher she had and the school nurse-- made special arrangments for her to sit closest to the bathroom, be able to get up at any time without having to wait for permission, and be first in line when class went as a whole. By the end of the year none of that mattered - same problem.

The pediatrician suggested a voiding cyctogram. I used to be a pediatric nurse and could not rationalize putting my daughter through the trauma of being catheterized at the age of 7yr -- she would remember EVERYTHING! So we did not have the test-- which may have been inconclusive anyway.

I was a bedwetter until I was 11yr, and stilll had the occassional "accident" when I got older into high school. I have even done it as an adult!! (under the affects of certain medications and I have sleep apnea)
But I find myself losing patience with her more and more because I think when I try to talk with her about it that she just tells me things that she thinks I want to hear.
She trys to tel me how hard she is trying to stop wetting during the day, but I cannot seem to understand having to change clothes 3 times a day!

Now 2nd grade will be starting soon and I cannot bear to send her another school year having to run to the nurse to change clothes almost everyday. Any suggestions from anyone??

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Featured Answers

I personally have emergency visits to the bathroom when I drink soda. See if that helps. Talk to and find out if anything is stressing her out. Or if she dosnt want to sit on the potty cause its dirty. Good luck.

Have you tried taking her to the pediatrician? There is medication that helps this. You might try that. It worked for a good friend of mine.

More Answers

There is a huge underlying emotional issue here that needs to be cleared up in order for this to stop. I recommend calling The Institue of Healing Arts and setting up a phone consultation as soon as possible. It's painless, and trauma free for your little one, and really really works. www.InstituteofHealingArts.info
They are very adept at working with children.

1 mom found this helpful

My daughter is much younger than yours, so while I can sympathize, I don't know if my advice will be helpful or not. We've been slow to potty train too. With my girl I think it's partly a matter of her needing reminding, and partly a matter of her not liking it when I'm the one telling her to do it. She's a very spirited girl.

Anyway, the thing that helped with both issues was setting a timer. I'd set it for every two hours or ninety minutes or whatever. Then she'd have the reminder and it wasn't a battle of wills between us, because it wasn't me telling her to go.

Apparently, I'm not the only one with this idea, because they make potty watches. Here's one on line:


Now, that one says "Potty Watch" on it, so she might not want to wear it to school. But maybe you could find something similar somewhere else?

I too have a child the same age that was bed wetting. The doctor sent her to a specialist, they recommended medication. I read the side effects and decided there had to be a better way. I found on the internet the following link: http://www.bedwettingstore.com/

We started the program in January 08 and during the first 12 weeks, she did not use one single pull up. We bought the simple alarm with random sounds and nothing else. I put a sleeping bag right next to my bed, had two sets of sheets and change of pjs right there so when the accidents happened (they do at first) it was not a big deal. I will have to say that it is hard at first, because we were both getting up by an alarm, and she was tired, and somewhat scared by the alarm. The first 4 days she begged me to stop using it, but I remained calm and encouraged her. The alarm comes with a booklet, and on line support. Towards the end of the school year, the bedwetting started again, it might have been the stress of school ending etc. we tried the alarm using the system above; sleeping mat next to me extra clothes, sheets etc, and within 4 days the bedwetting stopped. Throughout the process I discussed with my daughter how stress can impact one's body, so we talked about the ending of school and possible concerns, we also revisited the issue of deep sleep and training the brain to wake up to go to the bathroom etc. If you and your daughter are ready I recommend this alarm. hope this helps.

Hi Jennifer,

I too was a bed-wetter and accidents during the day until early elementary. I know I was dragged to the pediatrician, etc...

Probably like your daughter, I couldn't explain it and I think the pediatrician gave my mom some great advice:

Basically, I think he told her that some kids just have this issue and their bladder may not be as "mature" as other kids my age. He recommended that my mom wake me on each night (I can't remember the exact schedule) but it was probably once or twice so my body got in the habit of waking up... which it did and I started waking up on my own during the night to go to the bathroom.

So this got me thinking, couldn't you use this idea at school, as well? I know I would have accidents from waiting until the last possible second to run to the bathroom...and by that time, it was too late!

So maybe a discussion with her teacher to have her take a bathroom break every few hours. I mean, maybe it could be something as simple as the teacher tapping her on the shoulder as a reminder so she wouldn't be singled out?

Best wishes and good luck!

I have addresseed the same issue with my pediatrician. My daughter is 5 and still wets the bed at night and has an occasional accident during the day. He says it is really only a social concern. He mentioned a medication that makes them produce less urine at night...sounds scary to me. It sounds to me that you are more concerned about the school part. I teach and have had a couple of kids who had to wear pull ups (as high up as third grade!). Have you threatened with that? My daughter just doesn't want to stop what she is doing to go potty - she's afraid she'll miss something. I would remind her that I want a dry day and how proud I'd be and that seemed to work. I bought reusable "pull ups" for night time from one step ahead (online). Don't know if any of that helps but just know I may be in the same boat...we start kindergarten in a few weeks...

also...our nurse has a place to keep a change of clothes for the child...they don't even know until they need them...that would eliminate you having to run up there

I have no idea if this will help at all, but I came across this article on the internet. http://www.emofree.com/Children/dog-phobia-bedwetting-fel...
Have you tried just one session with a professional counselor? It definitely wouldn't hurt and may end up helping. If it was my daughter I wouldn't hesitate and I would actually let her see the therapist alone since you would likely find out more than if you were in the room since she is "telling you what you want to hear". I have a small bladder myself and have always had to get up frequently at night to void. She's probably MAJORLY stressed about this whether she expresses it or not. Wishing you the utmost best at finding a solution.

Have you tried taking her to the pediatrician? There is medication that helps this. You might try that. It worked for a good friend of mine.

Since you must know something about what she is feeling, you should not be blaming her for her incontinence. It could be involuntary bladder contractions or something neurological or cystitis from inadequate emptying, etc. Maybe just a pill could control the problem. Why don't you try a urologist for testing to get to the bottom of this (excuse the pun). If left untreated, you run the risk of some emotional problems or low self esteem; you wouldn't want your child to be ashamed of something she has no control over or to feel she is "different". In a child's case, cystoscopies can be done with sedation. Let the doctor know your concerns about discomfort and just give her lots of support and understanding and reassurance throughout the testing. Since you had the similar problem, you can't think this bedwetting is deliberate. Best of luck to your family.
Linda C. (fellow nurse)

I read an article the other day (and wish I could find it for you now) that said whether a child wets the bed/can't control is hereditary. Some kids are physically unable to control it, the mechanisms that kick in for it, kick in later than other kids. Since you mention being a bedwetter until 11, that may be the reason she is having such trouble. Maybe she can have some kind of pullup or something to help her during school hours and lessen the embarassment value?

Sorry I don't have a suggestion but an explanation might help...

no suggestions, just sympathy
also remember that bed-wetting is genetic - which you probably know since you mentioned your past....
There is a study (if I can find it online, I'll send the link)
that says there is a hormone that, when most people fall asleep, increases - tells the bladder to slow down and make it concentrated....most people :-) There are the rest, though, whose bodies don't make this hormone in those quantities - and wet the bed until age 9-10y. My dh was also a bed-wetter - his was a combo of a very very deep sleeper with genetic inheritance of bed-wetting.
I really don't know what to say - perhaps something I wrote will help. I have no suggestions about what to do at school.sorry

K., mama to
Catherine, 4.5y
Samuel, 19m

I know you must be terribly frustrated. The only thing I can suggest is that you reconsider the "voiding cyctogram" and prepare your daughter completely with a very candid conversation. I would think that experiencing one acute "trauma" as you called it would be better than experiencing an "inconclusive" number of years experiencing embarrassment, humiliation and a strain on her relationship with her mother. I wish you the best.

You're a nurse so I'm sure you've thought of making sure it's not a kidney problem. No other suggestions just prayers for a solution. Maybe a combo of the counselor and medical testing. There is a good one listed here on the site. Good luck.


Maybe you should have her tested, it's not normal to still be wetting yourself during the day while your not sleep. It sounds like she has a problem. My little sister use to wet the bed & she was about that age, well they figured out it was something more than just the norm. She had to jhave a surgery & after the surgery she no longer wets the bed. Do not become frustrated or angry with her, because it sounds like a problem. I could understand being angry with her if she did it only at night, but it's during waking hours. Have you ever thought that she may have a weak bladder & cannot hold it. I say take her to a specialist & see what they say, do not take oh she will grow out of it for an answer, because it's not normal.


I personally have emergency visits to the bathroom when I drink soda. See if that helps. Talk to and find out if anything is stressing her out. Or if she dosnt want to sit on the potty cause its dirty. Good luck.

you might have her tested for any problems with using the restroom. I.ve read about several other moms saying they were having this problem and some of them ended up taking their child to the doctors and they found out that it wasnt the childs fault it was something that had to be fixed with their system.

Okie Dokie mom, Im not pediatrician or anything but I think you should try of course to see what may be causing her to just sit and wet on herself and not go to the restroom on her own free will, or better yet think back to what made you do what you did.

I don't think she is doing this purposely. No child want to be repremanded by a parent or laughed at by classmates and still called a baby just for the fun of it. I'm sure this is to some degree embarrassing for your daughter.

Perhaps try to pin point activities she may be doing right before an accident to help you determine why it is she did not make a conscious effort to go to the potty on her own. Ask her lots of questions ( Does it hurt when she urinates, is she afraid to use the potty & why?, etc..)

Im sure you have tried everything under the sun. Maybe some testing should be done to determine that the bladder itself is functioning as it should. Since you have stated that you have had a similar issue I would say things will probably be ok. Some kids just take longer than others!

Have a great day!~

Have you thought about talking to a couselor or a psychologist? Sometimes these issues arise because of trauma or other concerns. Maybe she needs a behavioral approach to it all istead of just a medical. Lots of times a balance between the two helps.

I'm sorry for what you are having to go through! I would suggest her having the cyctogram. It will NOT be a fun experience and it is uncomfortable, but I do believe that the bed wetting will harm her longer than the cyctogram will. I'm sure she is very embarrassed every time she has to go see the nurse and kids get more aware of others the older she gets. She will be made fun of and it will hurt her self esteem even more.

She needs help. I'm have done a few of these as a radiology technician and it while it is harder for the kids that are a little younger b/c they don't understand at all. She should be of the age to where she should understand a little more and understand WHY it needs to be done.

This will be hard for her to do and it will be hard for you to watch BUT I do believe that it's hard for her to be wetting on herself and it's hard for you to watch that too. And BOTH will only get harder, the older she gets.

My sister wetted the bed until her teens and then a doctor gave her some medicine she sprayed up her nose and she NEVER wet the bed again.

Wouldn't it be nice if it could be resolved that easily with one test?

Good luck!

Hopefully she has been checked throughly for bladder and kidney infections. At her age you should be able to explain the voiding cytogram in a way that will let her know that it may be able to help her. When my daughter had the same problem and had the test just the stretching of her bladder and other muscles seemed to do the trick and she had very few problems after that. Please be patient but try everthing.
Good luck to both of you.

I don't know if what I am about to say is my imagination or if this really works.

I've never had a leakage problem until after I had children. When I get into a regular exercise program and tighten up my stomach muscles, I find I have better control of urination cut off.

My daughter is nearly nine and she leaks. She also has a belly that pooches bad. I am going to start her on an exercise program that will help this situation. Hopefully this will do the trick.

Hi Jennifer, Have you asked the doctor if they could give her laughing gas during the procedure?/ That way it would be foggy. I would definitely pursue it. It sounds like something she cannot control because I would think it's terribly embarassing at the age of 7 to have accidents. Kids can be so mean. As others have recommended, I might actually allow her to use some sort of pad to get her through the day at school. I remember having an accident when I was in second grade because I just couldn't get the teacher's attention in time to ask if I could go to the bathroom. One of my best friends still has a problem wetting herself. She had to have some sort of surgery on her urethra when she was a kid. The hole had closed up or something along those lines. She still has to potty about every hour. She often wets herself when she laughs. She's 35 years old and it is a joke for her now, of course. Although, it is an actual medical problem. I feel for you. It must be frustrating for everyone. Good luck.

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