9 Yr Old with Enuresis

Updated on July 02, 2008
A.L. asks from Pocatello, ID
16 answers

My son has been wetting the bed every night. I have talked to the Dr. about this problem, but they can't help me. He is a very deep sleeper, and I have thought maybe it could be sleep apnea. I havn't talked to the Dr. about the posibility of sleep apnea. Does anyone have any experience with this?

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C.H.

answers from Denver on

I believe that they have a clinic that deals with this problem at the Children's Hospital in Denver. My niece attended for a while.

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M.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi A.,
I suggest you monitor his fluid intake and see how often he is going to the bathroom throughout the day. Look to see if he is holding it during play time. The other sugggestion I have for you is to cut him off from all liquids at 7p and wake him up intermittently (abouit every two hrs) through out the evening to go to the bathroom. Over time his bladder and his brain will get the message that "your bladder is full go empty it" and he will have a dry bed to sleep in.
There is the possibility that he may wet his bed until he is 12. I hope not, but some kids don't stop wetting the bed until this age.
I hope this information is helpful to you.
Good luck, M.

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M.S.

answers from Denver on

Was he premature by chance? A lot of preemies have this problem and will eventually grow out of it. My son is 7 and still wets the bed from time to time, he was born 6 weeks early but had stopped developing at the end of the second trimester.

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J.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

A.,
I have a son who wet every night until he turned 13. The trick that worked was taking him to a chiropractor who adjusted his back. When he would lay down, there was a nerve cut off from communicating with the brain to shut off the uretha. after his second adjustment he never had another accident. although he continued to go for a couple of months to make sure it was gone for good. I highly recommend this approach, as it is kind of fun to hear bones popping into place.

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L.P.

answers from Houston on

Has this just started recently, or has it been happening ever since he was daytime potty trained? If it just started happening, I would think that there may be a medical problem (ie did they check for urinary tract infection? ) If it has always been there, then it may be that he is a bedwetter. There are primary and secondary bedwetters. I can't remember which is which, but one means that they ALWAYS wet the bed and have never been dry. The other means that ocassionaly the bed is dry. It is important to a pediatrician to know which one he is. There is a drug called DDAVP to help. Here is a link with some information. http://www.drgreene.com/21_791.html . First you should try positive reinforcement techniques. For example, set a reward that if the bed is dry, he gets to do something special. AND, it is important that he take responsiblity for the problem. He should change the sheets and put them in the washer, etc. Also, don't change the sheets for him at night. Put aside a thick towel and tell him if he wakes up in the night, then to put the towel over it and go back to sleep. If these techniques dont work over a period of a couple of weeks, then it may be worth a try to try the drug. There are potential side effects, so you have to weigh what is more important. Does it bother you, or does it bother your son? Also, normally bedwetters grow out of the problem during puberty, so the problem may go away soon anyway. Reason why I know something about this is that I thought my daughter (5 yrs old) had this problem. I thought she couldnt control her nightime wetting because we were relying on pull ups. Also there was a family histery of Enuresis. However, after we threw away the pull ups (literally), and a couple of weeks of daily sheet washing, she cured herself of the habit. I have sympathy for you though because I know our family history, and it can be an embarassing and self esteem eroding situation if the child feels shameful of the situation. But if it is just an inconvenience, then maybe a couple more years an it will clear up. I dont know about the sleep apnea thing. Good luck!

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T.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have heard bedwetting alarms are helpful, they train the brain to wake up to use the bathroom. Here is a link to the bedwetting store: http://bedwettingstore.com/index.htm You can also do a google search on bedwetting or bedwetting alarms to learn what is out there. I think there are several factors that can cause bedwetting (bladder, sleep issues, psychological, emotional, laziness). My son was wetting the bed a lot, but he stopped when I offered him a reward for 30 dry nights in a row. He only had a few accidents, each one in between several dry days, and he finally got his reward.

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A.M.

answers from Pocatello on

I wet the bed growing up; my mom had the same problem (I'm not sure when she grew out of it). The last time I did was when I was 17 (I was dreaming I was on the toilet & pee was going up my back while I was on the toilet, in the dream & I didn't wake up until I was soaked - I know that's gross). I am a very deep sleeper. My mom took me to the doctor for this when I was a kid and I remember taking some pills that helped but made me into a MONSTER because I wasn't sleeping well at night & that wasn't worth it. There were times I would wet the bed while staying at a friends house & that was the most humiliating thing in the world.

Try not to get mad because he cannot help it; if he could help it he would. Remember it is a frustrating situation for him as well as you & it's VERY embarrassing. It's an awful feeling waking up in your own pool of urine.

I believe it is hereditary. My oldest daughter is 9 and she has never had problem waking up to go to the bathroom, she's a super light sleeper. I am going to be potty training my 2 year old next week so we'll soon learn if she's a bed wetter.

The best thing you can do is put one of those waterproof covers over the mattress he sleeps on and wash the sheets everyday & have him bathe in the mornings. I bet practicing holding it for a few minutes during the hours when he is awake might help, like someone else posted, that makes sense. Get some of those Good Nites - the pull ups for older kids, if he'll use them. Good Luck!

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D.N.

answers from Grand Junction on

Hi A.... I'm not sure of the direct relation with sleep apnea and bed wetting, but I do know that with sleep apnea there are other signs you can look for. Is your son sleepy in the day too?... By sleepy I mean really tired and groggy unable to focus. Does he ever snore? Well if so you can ask your regular ped for a script to do a nocturnal oximetry test. This is a simple test that you do at home where he would have to have a probe on his finger all night long (which can be tough with little ones, but you can tape it on) the equipment reads and records his o2 levels all night long. This test is not very expensive and can be done by your local DME company.... Preferred Homecare, Apria, Lincare..... this test can determine if there is a chance of sleep apnea, and if there is... then he can go for the formal test in the sleep lab. If there isn't then you saved a bunch of money and the hassle of a full blown sleep study. As a side note I wet the bed until I was about nine, and it was simply because I went into such a deep sleep that I didn't wake up to go to the bathroom. No sleep apnea here. My parents got in touch with someone that set me up with a machine that I slept on, and if I wet the bed it alarmed. I had to finish in the toilet, clean the bed and the machine and then go back to bed.(every time I had to follow the steps exactly) It worked though. So if you need any more info please email me @ [email protected]____.com Good luck and sorry so long! =)

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L.L.

answers from Great Falls on

Don't know if I've responded to you or not. If I have, I apologize for the repeat. I am a true believer in the Malem alarm. Got ours from Bedwettingstore.com (I think that's the address) It took about 14 weeks, but it worked. That site also is very helpful and encouraging. What we did is have our son wear underwear to which we attached the alarm thingy, then wear overnights over the top. Saved on a lot of laundry loads. It worked for us. Good luck.

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M.B.

answers from Provo on

I actually have personal experience with this. I wet the bed until I was about 16, going on 17. I went to the Dr on a regular basis. They tried different meds including some sort of nose spray. It was embarrasing for me to sleep over at anyones house.
My younger brother also had this problem as well as my mother when she was younger. She grew out of it about age 15. In some research I have done, says that is can be hereditary. The best thing for me, was the doctor finally told me that whenever I had to urinate, to try and hold it an extra couple minutes each time before going. That way it helps stretch out the bladder so at night time it wasnt so small.
It worked for my brother and I.

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A.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi A.,
My daughter was seen by a sleep specialist in Colorado Springs - Dr Manna. Her problems aren't w/ wetting the bed but while at the appt Dr Manna said that when children have sleep apnea they breath strange, usually because of tonsils and adnoids. Seep apnea doesn't just mean they cant/dont sleep thru the night. He said in some instances their stomaches hold on to the air and the added pressure MAKES the child wet their bed. I think it would be helpful to talk w/ your Ped Dr and get a referral to Dr Manna or his associate if you live here in COS. FYI the wait list is HUGE!! We had to wait I think 4 months to have the first visit and now we are waiting to have the sleep study test. A wait that I think is worth it. Dr. Manna seemed very knowledgeable and took lots of time to talk w/ me about the subject.
Good luck!
A.

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K.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi A., I used to work for an ENT scheduling surgeries, etc and your instincts may be right. Few kids that have ENT issues have Enuresis and it is resolved after surgery, usually tonsils coming out and/or adenoids. It sounds funny, but they are sometimes related. I am not sure if this is your son's issue but if it is, it is fixable. Keep in mind that not every ENT feels this way, it was a study we did in-house (10 out of 10 kids it worked) Good luck to you and your son!

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E.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My brother is also a deep sleeper and wet the bed until he was 11. He just grew out of it. Prior to that, we had tried everything. It's more common in boys than in girls.

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R.W.

answers from Denver on

I am moving to the Denver area this summer, so I am not sure what resources you have available in the area. We have two pediatric sleep centers here in Dallas. The purpose is to have the child spend the night (with a parent) to medically monitor what is going on with the body while the child sleeps. We were going to do it with my son who just started sleeping through the night at 4 1/2 years old and would often wake with night terrors and coughing. We thought he had asthma related to his reflux, but it turns out it was his HUGE tonsils and adenoids were causing sleep apnea. He just had his tonsils and adenoids out this week...so we are waiting to see what happens. He too still wets at night some.

Sleep studies are expensive, but if you have good insurance..it may be worth looking into. They could tell what is happening in your sons body when he wets...if he does have sleep apnea, they could link the two.

Just a thought...

Good luck!

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T.B.

answers from Denver on

I talked to our ped about this issue as my son (4yo) will go 3-4 weeks with no accident and then pee the bed 2-3 days in a row. She said that when boys have grow spurts their bladders take a little while to catch up. This is what causes the bed wetting issues. She said they eventually grow out of it usually by 11.

I know that my brother wet the bed until he was about 10 or 11 and my husband did the same. If you don't want to change sheets every day, have him where pull up or whatever the big kid ones are called at night. My nephew does this and he turns 10 in September.

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A.B.

answers from Denver on

My son, who is now 12, wet his bed up until age 11. I wet my bed until age 10. Some kids just do this. They are deep sleepers and don't wake for going pee. I knew that he would outgrow the bed wetting. Something I did, though, was I made him deal with the laundry associated with the bedwetting. At least he had to be responsible for the mess he made.

Your son WILL out grow this, but have him checked out, just to be sure. As for sleep apnea, does your son snore? This is a big indicator of sleep apnea.

A.

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