Bed Wetting - Osseo,MN

Updated on February 20, 2008
T.R. asks from Osseo, MN
9 answers

My son is almost 6 and still unable to make it through most nights without having an accident. He is a very, very sound sleeper (alarms don't make him blink) and just cannot wake up to go to the bathroom. We got tired of washing his sheets so resigned to pull-ups. I've been told that using pull-ups will never "make" him learn to control this, but have also been told that you can't force this with boys and that he will eventually develop this skill. He's completely comfortable with using pull ups but I'd like to see him move out of them. I'd love to hear others' experience with this. FYI - We've also tried many incentives with him, but this doesn't seem to be a matter of him wanting to succeed but being able to.

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So What Happened?

Thank you all so much for taking the time to share your stories with me! I found them all to be very helpful and encouraging. We've been pretty easy-going parents through all of the various milestones, letting our children determine the right pace based on their readiness, but I was concerned that we were enabling the problem by not more proactively addressing it. Thank you for assurring me that providing emotional support is the best thing we can do right now. I will defintely try being more diligent about no drinking and using the bathroom before bedtime too, so I appreciate the tips! We'll try this for a couple more years and then let the pediatrician let us know when to be more concerned. Thank you all again!

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answers from Minneapolis on

Hi T.! My son is 6 yrs old & wears goodnites because he too cannot wake up to go to the bathroom. We also have tried incentives, charts, rewards, you name it we've tried it. He does not care or is not embarrassed by wearing the goodnite in front of cousins, etc. when they sleep over. I asked his regular doctor, she said don't worry about it. That it is still very normal at this age. I asked his developmental pediatrician at the Childrens Hospital in Minneapolis, he said not to worry about it at all- that is is very common especially in boys. I've even asked his preschool teacher about it last year when he was 5, she too said don't worry her son wore the "pull-ups" until he was 7. I wouldn't be too concerned, but it you find something that works, go for it!

Take Care

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answers from Cedar Rapids on

My brother wet the bed until he was about 13. My parents tried everything to get him to stop. Finally when he hit puberty he out grew it. He learned to live with it, and it wasn't easy for them. They never disciplined him or made him feel bad about it, we just learned to deal with it. Sleep overs were an issue, but he would have kids come to our house instead.

There is a medical condition, that I can't remember the name of, that causes boys to wet the bed. Talk to your pediatrician. There is a medicine out there that can help, if he truly has the condition. At the time my brother was a kid they didn't know about it, but I have a friend who's son has it and when he takes his medicine he doesn't wet the bed now. I am sorry I don't remember the name of the condition, but I hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

Check out the chiropractor. I wet the bed for mother tried everything, including a pad that hooked up to electrodes and would buzz loudly whenever the pad got wet. It wasn't until a few years later, I think I was 14, and went to a chiropractor. He took one look at my xrays and asked point-blank if I'd ever had problems wetting the bed. My mom nearly hit the floor. Of course, that wasn't our "regular" chiropractor that discovered it, so you may have to do a lot of research to find the right one.

Good luck, and remember that it IS embarrassing for your child and they need your love and support, even though it is a lot more work. The smiles and hugs pay for it tenfold. :)



answers from Minneapolis on


You are so where I was a few months ago! Our son was 7 before he stopped wetting the bed regularly. I had a plastic cover on his bed and would put a towel or water proof mat on the bed. I was using pull ups on him but they are so expensive so I put diapers on him. He didn't seem to care too much. I tried all the incentives and the punishments too. I talked to the pediatrician and she approved our method. I stopped using diapers. I stopped using sheets on his bed because I was sick of washing laundry all the time. I used towels or water-proof mats so he didn't have to sleep on plastic. I only used one light blanket on the bed. We stopped giving him liquid at 6 PM and started taking him to the bathroom aroun midnight. He gradually stopped peeing in the bed. I would praise him when he had a dry night. He hasn't had an accident for months now. It is wonderful. We still limit beverage intake and still take him to the bathroom at night. We've gotten brave enough to skip a night or two though. Good luck.



answers from Minneapolis on

I just heard that the American Academy of Pediatrics says that this is a common problem for many kids until age 8-10 even. It's just that people don't really want to talk about it. That being said, I think the best thing you can do is deal with the symptoms (ie use the pull-ups, especially if they don't bug him) and wait for his body/brain to figure it out. You're not alone, but I'm sure it's incredibly frustrating! Good luck and hang in there.



answers from Des Moines on

First, I wanna say this definitely hit home for me. Can empathize with your son (I was a longtime bedwetter) and you as a parent of a bedwetter. Before I get all emotional, I will tell you from my Early Childhood studies, "normal" boys may take up to age 7-8 to master night time toilet training, girls 6-7.

In extreme cases, like myself, bedwetting runs in my fam... my grandpa, my dad, my bro, me. All of us were in our teens before we had dry nights. And now my daughter, who is 7, wets the bed. Fortunately we live in an age of Pull Ups so we don't have to shatter her self esteem over wet sheets. If he's comfortable with Pull Ups, I wouldn't bother trying to "make" him stop. You can't.

All you can do is limit fluid intake 1-2 hours before bedtime and make him use the toilet. If he wants to "fix" his problem, he'll let you know. Until then, treat it as any other developmental milestone. Wait patiently until your pediatrician expresses concern. Remember bedwetting is not a sign of weakness, laziness, or lack of intelligence and you can't teach people's bodies when to tinkle or to sleep less soundly. Every body is develops at its own pace.

Please, I had well-intentioned mother who tried to cure me... used rewards, punishment, threats of telling my friends, not allowing me to attend sleepovers, etc. I'm begging you to give him some time. Stress, like worrying over disappointing you, only aggrevates things and will make him more aware of how different he is.


Side bar: My daughter's been in charge of her Pull Ups since she was 5yrs old. I keep them in her PJs drawer and flushable wipes and mini trash bags in her undies drawer. It's prepared her for sleepovers. She can put them on and properly dispose of them with little to no adult help. Also makes less work for Mommy :)



answers from Grand Forks on

My second child had this problem, and I took him to our family chiropractor, It works wonders!!! and no meds! or electric pads. As our Dr explained to me, the nerves in his pelvic area were not getting the right messages from the kidneys to the bladder. It took 3 adjustments and no more bedwetting.

I always made it a practice to take my kids first to the chiropractor then to the medical dr, 9 times out 10 what ever was wrong would be corrected, from ear infection to tonsils, colds colic ect.

the only ones you have to deal with are the medical drs, who of course will poo poo you taking them for an adjustment, but now 26 yrs later I think they are more open and tend to work together.

Our first chiropractor had 7 kids right along the same ages as our 5. Same with the present dr I go to. and my kids now being adults all continue to check with a chiropractor first or in some cases as last resort!



answers from Milwaukee on

Hi T.,
My son is 4 1/2 and we have just mastered no bed wetting. This is what worked for us. No drinks, at all, an hour before bedtime snd the potty must be used right before getting into bed. It really works b/c their bladders are empty. I hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

T., I "feel your pain"! I am a mother of a, now 12 yr old, boy who has been dry at night now for about 5 years. But, there were times I thought we never would get there... sometimes he would wet the bed 3 x per night! He is a very sound sleeper too, and has sporadic bathroom habits and is frequently constipated despite lots of fruits and fiber and Milk of Magnesia. Anyway, for us, it was a "perfect storm" of bedwetting issues. We even tried the wetness alarm which would wake him up (and everyone else in the house) when his underpants would become wet. It might have helped a little to help "train him" to wake up, but he mostly had to just outgrow it. He is still a very sound sleeper and I think that is a huge factor. The best book I had about it was "Getting to Dry". I encourage you to know that he really can't control it - and just be as supportive and patient as possible (even though the sleep deprivation makes it difficult at times :) All the best to you!

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