5Yr Old Still Wearing Diaper at Night

Updated on April 29, 2008
J.D. asks from Santa Clarita, CA
6 answers

Please I need help. My 5yr old son still wears diapers at night. I have tried teaching him to wake up and go to the toilet at night if he needs to, but that hasn't worked at all. I have even tried letting him sleep with his underwear, and he wakes up in the morning very wet. The other problem is that when he pis on himself, it doesn't bother him. We had a very hard time getting him potty trained. It is frustrating. I can't have him go spend the night anywhere because I am afraid he will have accidents at night. PLEASE HELP with any other suggestions.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I know this seems like a very difficult situation, but in the big picture this is just a little bump in the road. don't fret at least he isn't peeing so much that he's leaking out of the diapers in the middle of the night like my almost 5 year old daughter. this is a heridtary medical issue. this was passed down in my family on my moms side. My uncles nick name was skunk because he wet the bed till he was 8. I wet the bed peridocally till I was 7 and the only thing that helped me was an alarm sleep trainer. I make no metion of it at all to my daughter.I am waiting till she is 6 before I buy one. I have a diaper pail in her room and when she wakes up she knows to put the diaper in there and put another one on and go back to sleep or put panties on and come down for breakfast. just keep it matter of fact no negative talk/comments. it can really ruin their self esteem that will lead to other issues you'll have to deal with. she knows 2x's a week she has to empty the pail and put in a new liner. Please Please PLease try to keep it positive. reassure him you love him no matter what and maybe try the sleep trainer and don't give up it took me 8 months to sleep without it and not wet the bed again. I never had sleepovers till I was 10 because I was terrified of the humilitation I might get if any of the kids at school or in the neighborhood found out, it was bad enough what I received from my siblings and parents! I have 3 daughters and the chance is I will have 2 with this condition. so far 1 does 1 doesn't and the jurys out on the youngest. if you need to discuss this further please feel free to respond back. good luck



answers from Santa Barbara on

Try this website - Goodnites for kids - they offer good advice about positive reinforcement. You are not alone and probably that is why these new pants were invented.




answers from Los Angeles on


My daughter will be 6 in November and she wears pull ups at night. I would guess she'll be in them for another year or so if not longer. She is a deep sleeper and pees a lot at night. Most kids are not able to stay dry until the age of 5 or 6 and I say most kids. Some can stay dry sooner and some later. For now, have your son wear pull ups. He can wear them if he sleeps over somewhere as well - it's not a big deal. Also, because he doesn't stay dry at night does not mean he isn't pottied train.

Hang in there!



answers from Los Angeles on

I know that it is hard on the parent of a late bed wetter, but your son probably feels just as bad! I was a late wetter as well and can remember waking up scared and ashamed of what had happened. My Mom would yell at me out of frustration, my sister would tease me infront of her friends, and Dad would just give me that "I won't even bother to explain" look. I didn't WANT to wet the bed! I didn't LIKE wetting myself! It wasn't something I could control!

For me, I would dream that I DID get up to go potty! I would open the toilet and take down my pants, sit down and start to pee... Only to wake up and find myself mid-drain still laying in bed! This continued about once a month all the way through 4th or 5th grade, then it dropped to 3-4 times a year through Jr High, 2-3 times a year through high school, and then it dropped to every few years. YES- it has happened while in bed with my husband! It is STILL embarassing! But THANK GOD- DH doesn't yell at me about it or try to make me feel bad! He understands that sometimes I TRULY do not have control!

I think the fact that I would get introuble for it actually made it HARDER to break the cycle. Had my mom embrassed the fact that I couldn't help it, I might have felt safe enough to snap out of it on my own so to say. Had my mom found rewards for "mid-night toilet runs" or something of that nature, I might have been able to break the patteren sooner.

So- through all of that, my suggestion is to make a chart that he gets points for going to the potty by himself at night. Wake him up a few nigts in a row and ask him if he needs to go. Remind him that "After 5 times (or whatever # you choose) you will get ... (fill in the blank.) However- STOP USING DIAPERS! Buy pull-ups or Good-nights instead. Diapers are telling him "You're still a baby!" and babies DO pee their diaper.

Hope that helps!~ J.

BTW- getting pg seems to have "cured" me, as that ever since, I am use to waking a few times a night and thinking about whether or not I need to go.



answers from Los Angeles on

Hi J.,
I don't really have any experience with this (yet), my daughter is 3 and we're still working on the potty training thing. She's still in pull-ups at night. Just a thought though - I saw at the grocery store the other day, pull up type training pants (in the diaper isle) that looked like shorts. Maybe this would at least help with the sleep over thing? I think it's important to reinforce the "don't wet the bed" issue, but I also feel that kids need to know that it's ok to have accidents as long as it's really an accident and not a case of just being a little lazy.
Good luck!!!



answers from Los Angeles on

It's not unusual for 5 yeear olds, especially boys, to still need to wear pull ups at night. He may be a very heavy sleeper & just cannot wake himself up. I'd say don't worry about it, some kids have accidents or are unable to control their bladders for many years. he may be having alot of stress over this & your worrying over it may be hard on him too. My 5 yr old was hard to potty train too (he was 4) so I am sympathetic. I wouldn't leave him in underwear at night, all that does is make a mess & upset both of you. Some children's bladders don't grow as fast as the rest of their bodies do so this may be affecting him. Try to be patient & don't get upset when he wets in the night.. eventually he'll outgrow it..

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