7 Year Old Son Will Not Stop Peeing at Night While He Sleeps
February 18, 2009
I need some help from some moms with boys and girls, esp. boys, My son is 7 and is a heavy sleeper. I have bribed him, and disciplined him for this. He says he really does try to stop. I try to limit his liquids, make him go use the bathroom before bedtime and still am having not really any good results. The doctors have said, oh, just give it time, boys take longer, he'll grow out of it. Last week while he had a cold and went to the doctor I asked the doctor again about it, he said bring him back in for a urine check and there are"things" we can do to help alleviate this 75%.For a while i did not buy pull-ups thinking that was enabling him, but after a while of urine sheets in the morning I began to put them on him again, now I have stopped just trying to hang in there to help to stop. My daughters were done with all this by 2 1/2 or 3. I just need help!!!!Thanks.
Ok everyone!!! It's amazing looking back and seeing how things were with my son last year! My son is 9 now, about 6 months ago he decided to stop peeing at night, I was tired of buying huge pullups and stopped. He still peed some but would wake up, shower, I'd change sheets, but he eventually just stopped, I still try to limit his fluids at night, make him use the bathroom before bed. It was a trying time for him and our family. Hang in there moms!!!! Thanks for the responses!
My son had problems with this. I took him to a chiropractor for spinal adjustments and it improved almost immediately, and was compeltely gone after just a few weeks of treatments. And he has not had problems since.
Good luck! I know that there is myriad possible reasons for this, and all you can do is try one thing after another...
Does he snore, have enlarged tonsils? Believe it or not enlarged tonsils/snoring/sleep apnea can lead to bedwetting at this age. (I am a RN and work for and married to an ENT doctor) Many parents are delighted when the tonsils come out, the wetting stops!
My son was 10 before we stopped the pull-ups at night. At that point it was because he said he was just convenient not to get up! That's when we knew he was ready! He still has accidents every so often. Eveyone's body just works at different times for different reasons. Don't worry, just be patient and forget about it!
My daughter did the same thing. I took her to a urologist and he did tests on her. She had a bad bladder infections, but that wasn't the problem with the bed wetting. He explained to me that the pituatary gland tells the kidney's to stop making urine when you are asleep. In some kids the pituitary gland doesn't mature as fast as they do and it doesn't send the message to quit producing urine. The solution was simple. He gave her DDAVP nose spray. At night we would spray her nose on each side and she would go to sleep. DDAVP is the hormone that the pituitary produces to tell the kidneys to stop the urine. As long as we sprayed her nose, she wouldn't wet the bed, but miss one dose and she would wet it everytime. When she was ll the doctor took her off of it. She went through puberty and the pituitary caught up with her age. She has been fine and is now 25 and very healthy.
My brother wet the bed till he was 12. He is 50 now and has 5 kids and no longer has the problem! He slept so incredibly sound, and my mother would carry him to the BR, but he was a big guy. Just ignore the whole thing and let him wear the pullups, and don't sAY a word to him. These kids are very ashamed.
My daughter had the same problem. We used the potty alarm. It took about 6 weeks of consistently (very important) using it. Do not punish your son. His brain has not learned how to wake him from a deep sleep. He has no control over it UNTIL his brain learns this.
I have recommended the potty alarm to several people. All who has used it consistently have had great results. Those who use it only some of the times or don't follow the directions have had poor results and given up to soon.
I recommend that you do NOT wake your son up during this process. Let his body feel the fullness, let him pee, the alarm to go off. It is that cycle that trains his brain to recognize that he needs to go and wake him up. His brain doesn't learn anything if you are the one to wake him up before the accident.
I also recommend that you use potty pads (for puppies). I put them in the spot that my daughter would pee and used shirt stays or sock garters to connect the potty pad to the sheets. That way if he has an accident in the middle of the night you only have to change the potty pad and not the whole bed sheets. (I wouldn't tell him the potty pads are made for dogs. We took them out of the packaging and said they were just for this purpose!)
I have a 12 yr old daughter that is just now growing out of this. Unfortunately I did all those things you did, including getting upset at her and punishing her. I spoke to the doctors and they told me that there are some children that are very deep sleepers and whose bladders are not big enough that are prone to this. There are some therapies i haven't been able to get in order to help her bladder get bigger. There are underwear alarms to try to train the childs brain to wake when they urinate. I just beg you to understand your son cannot control this and give him that understanding love. I felt sooo horrible when I really understood that it was as beyond my daughter's control as it was when she was an infant, and I had made her feel guilty for it. She is getting much better now with many fewer accidents. She wears pull-ups and she is responsible for them and for washing her sheets if they leak but we are on a better road now. I hope this is helpful.
I sympathize with what you are going through. It can be very frustrating. I just wanted to let you know that with some boys it takes into their teen years before they grow out of nighttime bed wetting. I have a nephew that struggled with this into his teens. He is a great kid, kind, energetic, obedient, etc. He was just a very heavy sleeper and his body would not wake him up. His mom handled it very well. She did not punish him or belittle him because he could not prevent it. He did have to put his sheets in the washer when he had an accident before he left for school. Keep things simple. Get a rubberized mattress pad so the mattress does not get ruined; use just the bottom sheet and a comforter (both of which can be washed easily and remade quickly. I also had a girl friend who's son struggled with this into Jr. High. They really can't help it, as long as nothing is wrong medically. Getting mad at them or bribing them to not do it will only frustrate you both and give him a complex about it. This to shall pass...as they say. B. E.
My sister's daughter did the same thing until she was 81/2. She finally was informed that we all have a hormone that develops sometime from age 2 and up that tells our brains to wake up and go to the bathroom. All the doctors told her that some kids take longer to develop this hormone. She never got any kind of help from the doctors that helped the situation. She is nine now and she is doing great! I have a three year old and an 8 year old and both of them have been so different especially with using the potty. I hope this helps a little. Hang in there I am sure this will stop soon.
My oldest 2 wet the bed til they were 10 years old. If had it to do over again I would have kept them in pull ups the whole time. Less stress on them an me. They both outgrew bed wetting. Doctors told me they would. Make sure he is getting a healthy diet. Try not to scold him or let the sisters tease him. Kids are very sensitive they cannot control their bladder. GOOD LUCK TO BOTH OF YOU.
First of all, whether you do or do not spoil your son, that does not have anything to do with bed wetting. I'm sure you've read about immature bladders...but having all the information about that in the world does not help your immediate issues.
My advice- their is a device that sits just below the sheets. It is a pad. It is battery operated and sounds an alarm when it gets the slightest amount of liquid on it. So when your son urinates just a little bit, an alarm will sound which will wake him up. They have it on-line...not sure what store, but if you have trouble finding it on the internet, message me and I'll help you. I know from personal experience with a chronic bed-wetter that this device works.
My dad wet the bed at night until he was ten, and now I'm preparing myself for my oldest son to take a while to be dry at night. He's 4 1/2 and wants to wear underwear to bed at night so badly, and he's so happy when he wakes up with a dry pull-up, but that's rare. He's one of the deepest sleepers I've ever met. I could move furniture in his room with the lights on and he'd sleep through it. We limit his liquid, have him pee when getting dressed for bed and again right before he gets into bed, but it doesn't matter--he just does not wake up. I get the feeling that his younger brother won't have the same problem. But for now we're sticking with the pull-ups, a plastic sheet under his regular one, and we deal with accidents/leaks very matter of factly. And when he gets down on himself we remind him that for some people it just takes a long time until their brains can wake them up at night to go to the bathroom. There's nothing he's doing wrong; his body is just not ready for that yet, but one day it will be.
I'm sure your son doesn't want to be wetting the bed any more than you want him to, but I know it's really frustrating for you too. Just try to be as compassionate as you can, and work out a way for both of you to deal with any accidents. We have an old waterproof crib mattress pad (elastic and sides cut off) that I put on his bed in the middle of the night if there's an accident. My son changes himself while I put the pad on. That way we can both go right back to sleep, and in the morning we deal with the laundry--only the sheet needs to be washed and the plastic sheet and plastic backing of the crib pad get wiped down. Good luck!
You're already received a lot of great advice. I just want to add a couple of things. I was a bed-wetter as a child, and my two youngest continued to do this until they were around 10. As everyone else has said, it's a matter of sleeping so deeply that he doesn't notice. When I was young, I had dreams of going to the bathroom and thought I was on the toilet. I finally learned to feel around me to make sure I wasn't still in bed!
My advice is to forget the Pull-Ups. They didn't have them when my older kids were growing up and I used them only for the two youngest, who potty-trained later and wet the bed much longer. Buy the rubber sheet. Do the laundry, or have him help you--but not as a punishment. Pull-Ups do enable, in my opinion, and delay the time when the child can take care of himself.
My third son was this way also. We tried everything and nothing seemed to work. The doctor finally gave him some medication for it and it helped. It wasn't very long that he was on the medication. After that, he was able to keep from peeing in the night. Talk to the doctor, I know it is very frustrating. Until it's taken care of, pull-ups are your best friend at night.
This is no comfort to you but my daughter wet the bed off and on until she was 18 years old. We tried everything, limiting liquids, the pad with the alarm (expensive), ADDVP nose spray, nothing worked for long. She just slept so sound she wouldn't wake up and when she did it was too late.
We finally found a doctor that prescribed imipramine and it helped. It is usually for children over the age of 6. It helps control the muscles of the bladder and the hormones.
When she got older I began to notice the events coincided with her monthly cycle so I think a lot of it is hormonal.
Please, do not scold or belittle your son because he really, really can NOT help having an accident. When our daughter got to be a teenager, the guilt she put on herself far out weighed anything I could have said to her.
Good Luck and keep buying the overnight products. I will say a prayer for you.
Did you know that chemical sensitivities can sometimes cause bedwetting? Check out www.feingold.org. Feingold is a 30yr old non-profit organization whose purpose is to inform the public about petroleum-based artificial ingredients in our food supply. These harmful additives cause ADD, ADHD, and many other emotional, behavioral and physical side effects including Enurises (bedwetting). Feingold is a leading authority on this subject and has helped thousands of families over the years. Best wishes.
I wet the bed until I was about 10 or older. My son wet the bed until he was about 7. Do not punish him. When he says that he cannot help it....He can't!! The doctor told my mom that I had a small bladder and even as an adult I cannot hold my urine very long. Fortunately, I do wake up now in the middle of the night. Buy the pull ups and encourage him in a positive way. Let him know that it is not his fault. I am sure he feels bad enough about it.
You've gotten some great responses. I had a friend whose son struggled with this and the medication worked great for a while, but he did somehow become immune to even that. The explanation she was given was that some bladders simply produce more at night. I agree, because I am over 40 and even if I don't drink past 6pm, I can up be several times going to the bathroom during the night.I have always been this way.
My sister-in-law, who is in her 30's and still wets the bed. She has a fully functioning life and it is not stress related. She refuses to take the medication, but when she did it worked like a charm. Her 8 year old daughter has the same problem and they refuse to give her medication. I seriously don't understand why since they experienced so much success in the past with it.
You probably don't want to hear this, but there's a hormone the body has to produce in order for a child to be able to (1) stop producing uring while sleeping and (2) wake them if they have to go. If your child hasn't produced it yet, there's really nothing but time that can fix the problem. There are medications that help stop urine production at night and bed alarms that go off when moisture is sensed. The bed alarms are effective for "training" your child, but I'm not sure how deeply they sleep as a result. Good luck!
My brother wet the bed until he was in middle school. Some children's bladder is not developed enough at your son's age to control wetting the bed at night. Use a pull up. Change the sheets in the morning. Have him shower in the morning. Please do not punish your child or shame him for something that developmentally he cannot control yet. He will eventually outgrow this. But, your reaction could potentially leave him with lasting scars. Relax. My brother eventually outgrew wetting the bed and he is a very successful surgeon now.
Hey cindy, I know the frustation you are facing. My son also had this problem. The specialist told me if a boy is a sound sleeper, as mine was, that it could take longer to stop as this was one of the last portions of the brain to fully develope in boys--the part that wakes them up. My son is 33 now, so when I was facing this problem, there was no such thing as pull-ups so you had bed linens to laundry everyday which was really a pain!!I tried all the things you have--limiting fluids, taking to potty etc. and nothing worked. He finally did out grow it. Medicine have come a long way in 33 years so maybe your dr. can come up with a solution. All I can advise is not to humiliate or punish him for it as he can't help it.
We have the exact problem with our 7 year old grandson. We actually had success last fall with him having a dry bed in the morning. He wanted to try. When Christmas vacation came and all the extra late nights,visiting and goodies, he went back to pull ups. It isn't a medical problem here, so, actually we are just leaving it up to him when he decides. For now, it's those pull ups. I remember my two brothers and brother in law wetting the beds until they were really older than 7. I don't know? Maybe not make an issue and hope that when it's time for them to decide,with the aid of mom waking them to pee before they turn in, it can be successful. Let's just hope we don't have to pack it in their suitcase when they go on their honeymoon! We aren't worried about this, hope you aren't. Good luck
There are medications, but my kids ped. said he didn't recommend them (dangerous side effects). My son was totally trained for the night until he started having nonstop ear infections at age five, and he's been wetting the bed ever since (he had a tonsillectomy and adenectomy, and tubes put in again last summer, so he stopped snoring all night and having the sleep apnea, but the bedwetting didn't stop). That same doctor recommended getting a bedwetting alarm. I finally did just a couple of weeks ago (off ebay) and it is helping. My son (6yo) has had a couple of dry nights in a row and thinks he is cured, but I'm going to keep doing it for a month or so. The one I got seems like a piece of junk (and probably is), but it more or less works. I paid about $15 for it (a month's worth of generic pullups). There are much more expensive ones.
There are other threads about bedwetting on mamasource. I remember one in which the mother said that the real way to do it is to really train the bladder by having the kid hold it as long as possible during the day (when feasible), and by drinking a lot before going to bed (using an alarm with that would probably help too). It sounds counter intuitive, but that was how she got it done. Good luck to you!
When my daughter had little accidents at 5 yrs old I was determined to stop the constant laundering. I would set my alarm for 1 am and go to her room. I'd get her out of bed without trying to wake her up. Sometimes she'd automatically get up and walk with my support; other times I'd carry her to the potty, sit her down and whisper to her that it's time to go pee-pee. When she was finished, I'd wipe her up, then we'd walk right back to her bed, plop her in, and I'd go back to sleep eager to wake to dry sheets.
This will help train him to get up by himself when he feels the urge to go at night. Give it a try! It just might work. Good luck to you!
Preventing bed-wetting is not as easy as most would make it seem. I took my son to several doctors and talked with a multitude of people and they all said similar things. Some kids simply can not control their bladder at early ages and the only thing that will help them is to continually encourage them to try again the next night.
Cutting off the drinks x-hours before bed does not stop it as the body is made of water, therefore you can not prevent the bladder from filling.
Be patient with him and encourage him to be patient with himself. He will get better with time.
their is a nose spray which a friend of mine used when growing up it helped her a ton. talk to your doctor 7 and wetting the bed is not normal, but it does happen my cousin wet the bed until he was 16. talk to the doc good luck!
The other ladies are right about it not being helpful to discipline your son for wetting the bed. I'm not sure from what you say whether it is discipline or punishment, but causing a child to have shame for nighttime wetting is counterproductive to your trying to stop this pattern.
Teaching him to put his wet sheets and pajamas in the washing machine, putting the proper amount of detergent in and turning the machine on to wash gives him some responsibility without punishment, if you aren't fussing at him during his work. The alarm the ladies mention is an excellent idea as well, once you have ruled out medical reasons other than an immature bladder. A pediatric urologist should be very helpful to you.
I had a son that slept soundly also, and was a bed wetter as well. What I did was set my alarm to wake him and make him get up to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night.Eventually, his internal clock would wake him to do that on his own. I didn't use pull up's either. I think some boys are just bed wetters. I don't think teasing, discipline works either.
I know it is frustrating, but I would get some books from the library, read them and perhaps doing what you are doing getting advice from other moms as well. Get something to save the mattress and change the sheets. It's just as frustrating for him as it is for you. I would also try to have a private conversation with him, without anyone with him and you about how he feels about this. How does he really feel about not being able to have friends over and go to their house because of this, on over night visits. This has to be hurting him inside. What does he feel would be the best way to tackle this? And is he comfortable talking to the doctor about this, without you in the room. Sometimes, we as mothers are protective to an overprotection, that maybe he needs to get a handle on it, because HE doesn't understand why this is happening either.
Also, perhaps, if you can, maybe see a urologist for him. Especially if your doctor is not helping you with this situation.
Just throwing some suggestions out to you. I hope this helps. Good luck with your young boy. I hope this gets resolved for both of you.
I was in the same boat as you and was also frusterated so I feel for you! My daughter just turned eight in January and finally she is staying dry at night. If your son is healthy otherwise I would give it time like the doc says. I have found that some kids really can't control their bladder at night especially if they are heavy sleepers. This is how my daughter was, she could sleep through thunderstorms! Try to be patient with your son as it's not his fault. Limiting liquids may help but it depends on the child. It didn't really help my daughter. Hang in there and remember, this shall pass. HTH!
My eldest wet the bed until he was 12. He also wet his pants at school until 8th grade. We did everything. We had the alarm pad which didn't work because once he started to wet he couldn't stop it. We woke him up in the middles of the night but sometimes he would already be wet. We limited liquids, punished, awarded for dry nights.
His bladder was just not mature yet. We put him on the DDAVP at 12 and it worked. He would be wet 6 out of 7 nights and with the medication it stopped.
I didn't like medicating him with anything but when your 13 year old wets his pants on gym class in middle school and does it more than once you medicate. It all depends on the individuals on how their bodies metabolize the medication.
Good luck to you. As frustrated as you are imagine his fear when the kids start having sleepovers and he doesn't want to go because then all his friends will find out.
I have heard this can happen until up to 12 yrs old. Supposedly it can be genetic. It sounds like you have done all the right things which means you may have to wait it out. Keep the pull ups on him for now. As a last resort, you could try to wake him around midnight and take him to go to the bathroom. We used to wake our son around 11pm but sometimes he would be dry until 6am and then pee. Maybe wake him by 5 or 6 am to let him pee and then go back to bed until school time??? Pain, I know but may help.
The worst thing you can do is discipline him. Right now he needs your support. This is more difficult for him than it is you believe it or not. It affects his self esteem.
It is most likely a physical problem. It could be as big as VCUG or as little as his bladder being thicker than normal. Either way he needs your support.
Going to the doctor for tests is definitely heading in the right direction. Just be supportive and patient. It may take a while be he will outgrow this. It is not uncommon for bedwetters to struggle with this into their teens. And if this is the case he will definitely need your support. God Bless~
There is a problem known as enuresis. My sister, and her oldest son both had this problem (it can be hereditary). They were both around 16yrs of age before they stopped wetting to bed. The way it was explained to us is that an enuretic is in such a deep sleep that they do not wake up to the signal that is sent to the brain telling them that their body has to use the bathroom. They will urinate the bed, and remain asleep. The alarm was used with my sister. She stopped within a few months, but it was hard work for everyone in the family. As for my nephew, different ones of us would get him up throughout the night to take him to the bathroom. He finally just got into the habit of getting up on his own. I'm still not sure that he feels the need to go to the bathroom, but he is no longer wetting the bed.
I wish you and your son luck. Believe it or not, this problem is tougher on him than you. He will need support from the entire family.
I Wouldn't stress about it. It sounds very much like a medical problem, not a discipline problem. Trust me....at that age he would probably very much like to not wake up in wet pee. Esp if his friends end up finding out (EEK!). At this point he has begun the move to his friends being more important than mom and dad and can you imagine what havoc that would wreak emotionally and socially to have peers know? He'd never get away from it unless you moved cities.
I would advise you to do your best to assure him that you're on his side by helping as much as possible without contempt, derision, condescension, etc. Aggressively pursue an answer medically and if your dr wont write a workup for a pediatric urologist, find one that will. My godmother's middle son peed the bed until he was 15 due to a bladder problem.....which they had to fix with surgery. If nothing medical can be found, just keep him in pullups. This may be part of who he is. I know that sounds insane but....I can't fathom a child doing this on purpose if he has the ability to not...
I used to wet the bed very often until I reached the age of 9. Ironically it was related tomy consistent ear infections. After I had tubes put in and my adenoids taken out wetting the bed was no longer a problem. There may be an underlying issue affecting his ability or inability to recognize the urgencies in his sleep. If after you take him to the doctor the they rule out any medical reasons I would simply relax, sit back and breath. Realize that perhaps it is just going to take time with him. I hope this helps. Good luck sweety!!!!
My sister experienced a resolve of sort of the same problem with her son just recently. He is 4 and a half and she just figured that he was a late bloomer (as she was told by her peditrician b/c her son had been potty trained since he was about 2 and a half and was even able to take his naps without any problem (until he stoped naping that was). But night time always led to an accident (even if she limited beverages in the evening and had him go potty before bed. So she was just waiting for him to grow out of it. Well long story made short she put him on a natural supplement for some digestive issuse that he was having (our whole family seems to have GI problems, lovely genetics, and about 6 family members have all started taking it with great results - it has even cleared up the white cells in my Son's stool's) anyway, an unexpected result (we think) is that her son has stopped pee'ing in the bed. This was so-o not why she was having him take it, it just happened to be a great side effect. With-in 3 days of him taking it it stopped, and he has not had an accident since. I don't think that according to the rules of the mamasource website, I can give the brand of supplement, but if you are interested send me a response email @ ____@____.com good luck to you guys.
I have asked this question and still have the problem with my almost 7 year old boy. We have an alarm that I need to try again. He had a cold the last time we tried it and was just to exhausted. The Bedwetting Store online has many great ideas. There is also an Enuresis Clinic in Rochester MN, that will help long distance after several other things have been tried. The one thing I have been lectured about is do NOT punish your son. Have him help you clean up the sheets and put new sheets on. Buy some washable geripads (like at the hospital) so you don't have to change the sheets as often. I have a coworker whose son finally outgrew bedwetting when he was 15. My brother did until he was 10 so that is what I am hoping for. I do not recommend the medicine because it only helps while on it. When they come off they start wetting the bed again.
My son still wears a night-time pull-up at 5 1/2 years old. The pediatrician said his son was 8 and was just getting out of them. So, I'm not pushing it right now. I've heard that chiropractics can help with bed wetting, but I don't know if that is for someone who STILL wets or someone who has been dry and RELAPSED to wetting.
These are just my opinions but what worked for me...
No disipline for this,
don't bring much attention to it,
Try the baggy boxer shorts at night only,
expect wet sheets for a while (use a plastic pad on mattress),
after he gets better, expect accidents occasionally.
Also, if he's such a sound sleeper does he have sleep apnea?? snores, restless, all over the bed, hard to get up in the morning, sleepy during day, etc. check for those things too.
There is no need for your family to continue to deal with this; it is a treatable disorder. Go to a clinical child psychologist and get behavioral therapy for enuresis, what's often called the "bell and pad" treatment. You child puts a sensor on his underwear that wakes him up as he is just starting to wet. He gets up, finishes urinating in the toilet, and then changes the wet bed sheets. His body learns to wake up when his bladder is full. It sounds simple and it really is, but there are details that mean that you really need to do it under professional supervision. But do this and get this problem over with, for your sanity and your child's self-esteem!
I did not read the other posts so sorry if this is a repeat for you. But my second son had a prob with bedwetting at this age. THEY CAN'T HELP IT..PLEASE don't punish for this. It's simply that their little bladders arent' developed enough yet OR that they are just sleeping too soundly for them to be awakened by the sensation of having to go. My son was nearly 9 before he outgrew it. He needs your patience and understanding. Get him pull ups designed for older children if he'll wear them...it will eliminate the problem of smelly, ruined mattresses. Or get a waterproof matress cover (this is what I had to do as my son refused to wear the pullups...he already felt bad about the bedwetting I guess having to wear pullups made him feel like more of a baby). The doc is right...he will outgrow it, hasseling him about it will only make him more upset over it and will prob make it worse.
hi, He may have the same thing going on with him that is still going on with my daughter. My daughter is 10 and she still sometimes has night accidents. The main thing is to not get upset with him and be as supportive as possible, believe me i know it gets tiring washing sheets every day. we took our daughter to a dr. and they said to have her drink water in school all day long and talk to the teachers and let them know what is going on and let them know he may need to go to the bathroom more and if they are supportive that is the one thing we have found to be the best. We have recieved much support from our daughters teachers. although they may have to have a dr. statement to this effect. My husband had this same issue when he was growing up but his family scolded him and belittled him by doing such things as putting him in a diaper and made him sit outside on the front steps and called him a baby and baby talked to him and that is not good by any means. you may want to take him to a urologist and make sure that it is a medical condition like my daughters is. i hope this helps if you would like to talk one on one please feel free to contact me at ###-###-####.