Bedwetting with Almost 6 Year Old - HELP!

Updated on February 15, 2009
C.G. asks from San Jose, CA
31 answers

Hi mommies -

My soon-to-be 6 year old son still wets the bed. He is a very sound sleeper and is hard to wake up. We have tried no drinks past 6, waking him up throughout the night (tough on insomniac mommy and daddy) and are unsure what else to do. He is upset and depressed about it even though we have never given him grief about it. Any ideas? I am thinking it may be time to schedule a doctor's appointment to make sure everything is ok. He was potty trained at 3 with no problem and no accidents. It is nightime that we are seriously struggling with. We have had no major change of events or anything else going on in his life. He loves kindergarten and is an outgoing, social kid. Has anyone else experienced this?

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V.L.

answers from Modesto on

Hi C.,
My children were all bedwetters and so was my brother and my husband when he was little too. THey are very sound sleepers. Go to this site for some really good info.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bed_wetter
It is really quite common so do not sress over it too much ok.
V.

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J.E.

answers from San Francisco on

My son was in pull-ups until he was 9. One night he just stopped wetting. He hasn't had more than two wet nights in the past 7 months. He'll be 10 next month and it's a non-issue now. Get coupons at www.goodnights.com. (They'll only let you print a few. I would print and make copies).
Good luck.

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V.G.

answers from Stockton on

I know of several little boys that have this same problem. It is more normal than you think. Have you tried goodnights? I find they are a great solution to the problem.

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N.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Dear C.
It won't hurt to ask for a consultation with a urologist just to rule out any physical cause for this. Sometimes small bladders in children who are very sound sleepers just can't wait out the whole night.Sounds like you are doing every thing right, but your son is feeling bad about it so it is time to go on to the next step and find out more about him and perhaps the doctor may have some good recommendations.

Good luck to you all. He will grow beyond this problem, but it is hard while it is happening. One of my sons had occasional night time "accidents" until he was 8.
N.

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K.B.

answers from San Francisco on

A couple thoughts -- I would say since he is upset about it, hold off on a doctor's visit. It will only increase his feeling of failure and frustration, especially since it's still considered normal at his age. The doctor will have options (medical, vs. alarm things) but it may be as simple as his bladder hasn't caught up with his body yet. I would suggest getting some nite time pull ups, the ones that are like underwear, and say it's just temporary until you can train his bladder. Try and make the focus on his bladder, not HIM, so that he doesn't feel so under pressure. Lastly, my son has been a bed wetter too, and I swear that the one thing that has brought the most success is when he poops (or gives a valiant effort) just before bed. I think sitting down and pushing really helps to empty him out, and he wakes up dry.
Good luck, and take heart, he is still young and may grow out of it before you know it.

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R.H.

answers from Redding on

Hi C., I am going through the same thing with my 5 year old. It is so hard. She is in and out of pull-ups and I try to limit water, but like you said she is a hard sleeper. I wanted you to know you are not alone and I wish you the best. I look forward to hearing your responses. Good Luck!
-R.

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M.S.

answers from San Francisco on

This sounds a lot like my son. We tried everything except taking him to the doctor as I had never heard from anyone that this provided a great solution. He finally stopped about 6 months ago-- he will be eight next month!

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L.M.

answers from Sacramento on

I'm sure this is a stressful thing around your house. I'm so sorry. You may want to consider that food allergy or intolerance could be causing this. Dairy is a common culprit in bedwetting. The doctors don't always acknowledge it but some parents swear by it! Here are a few articles to get you started.

http://www.goodnites.com/na/articlestools/articles/Eating...

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/388487/bedwettin...

This one list a bunch of articles re: dairy and bedwetting:
http://www.notmilk.com/forum/376.html

Constipation can also cause bed wetting. Interestingly enough, dairy can also cause constipation. There is lots to read on the internet! :)

I lOVE milk but am allergic. When I went off it, I noticed a very positive change in my helath. Respiratory problems and skin rashes improved. Don't get me wrong, I miss it and I LOVE it! The fact is though, we are the only species to continue to drink milk past the age of 2. We are also the only species that drinks the milk of a DIFFERENT SPECIES. It is not recognized as natural by our bodies. Many people develop allergies antibodies to milk products.

Hope you find someting that works for your son soon. Take care.

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D.F.

answers from Sacramento on

Speaking from experience - its a chemical that is not released to the brain. We thought it was being a heavy sleeper too. I took my grand daughter to the doctor and he precribed a nasal spray that worked really well.

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N.C.

answers from Sacramento on

my 8 year old nephew and 13 year old cousin's son till have accident's at nights. For my nephew, same reason as your son, such a sound sleeper, for my 13 year old cousin's son, medical. I would take him to the Dr. and if nothing is wrong get him night pants (there are one's that look like underwear) and say nothing more about it. (I know you are not making a big deal about it, and continue not to.) If it is not medical he will eventually stop. He is just not feeling the sensation of having to go pee and when he does go he is not aware of it. Take him to the Dr. and this is a common issue with kids. Take care

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L.H.

answers from Fresno on

C., this issue is much more common than you might think. Check out www.nobedwetting.com for more information.
L.

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K.A.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C., I wouldn't stress over it. My daughter is 7 years old and still has issues with bedwetting. If it bothers your son why don't you try the children's boxer shorts. My daughter wears them and they don't look so much like a pull-up. They come in blue for boys and pink for girls. My doctor said that some kids have a harder time especially when they are deep sleepers. I've tried it all - she doesn't get to drink after dinner and she goes to the bathroom before bed at night. I have several friends who have the same issues with their 7 and 8 year olds. I know it is more common in boys than girls. One thing a friend of mine does is before she or her husband go to bed they pick their 8-year old daughter up out of bed and put her on the toilet. She's practically asleep, but she goes and doesn't have a problem going back to bed. If they do this she doesn't wet her bed. If they don't it's 50/50. Good luck!
~K.

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N.C.

answers from San Francisco on

Honestly, with both my boys I just kept them in Pull-ups at night until they woke up dry on a regular basis. The dr. told us that there's nothing you can do. They're body has to be ready. Even if you wake them up, it's not "training" them. They have to do it themselves.

My oldest son (now 8) stayed in Pull-ups until age 6.

I have a 5 1/2 year old who is still in Pull-ups at night, but has been potty trained since 3. I just tell my son his body is not ready and when it is, he'll start wearing underwear. He accepts this and is fine with it. I know it's hard if your son is feeling bad about it - I don't blame him! But sounds like you're staying very positive.

Hope this helps!

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G.B.

answers from San Francisco on

it is possible he has a magnesium deficiency.

Reduce dairy (because calcium competes with magnesium) and have him take fulvic acid. I think you will see improvement. Use vanilla flavored protien milkshakes, Like "carb solutions" which has no vit d added, for adding to breakfast oatmeal ( no fortified cereals).

There is a large possibility that reducing or eliminating enriched products like cereals, breads, and flour products containing added vit D will help a lot with this as well. vit d hypervitaminosis can create many symptoms.

This can be maintained by diet. Do not medicate. I know, I had a bedwetter until he was 7 yrs old. He could go months without wetting and then wet for a week.
Diet is key.

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P.S.

answers from San Francisco on

C., I had a similar situation with one of my daughters and after she started medication for ADHD, the nighttime bed wetting disappeared. It was at the point where she would even get up, change and put her bedding into the laundry. She was very embarrassed around the house and wouldn't go to any sleepovers. There are different degrees of ADHD and ADD and it was other circumstances that led us to the MD. I'm not saying that your child has ADHD but it's worth looking into.

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S.C.

answers from Sacramento on

Some times chideren esepecially boys can wet the bed until age 12 maybe just use the larg pull ups and see if it gets better with age . so hang in there it does get better S.

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J.S.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,
I have a 9y/o girl and a 7y/o boy. Both had the same problem. They both wanted sleep overs, but were embarassed to wear their pull-ups at friends house. I first suggest, seeing your Pediatrician just to make sure there is no physical problem first. We purchased the Malem Enuresis Alarm. Within 2 weeks of both of them wearing it they stopped having accidents. My daughter has been free of accidents for 1.5years. My son will occasionally (usually when he is not feeling well) have an accident. Both of the kids now wear underwear. It has boosted their morale. I followed the directions on the alarm, whick means you still have to wake up with your child when the alarm rings off to help him finish going to the bathroom in the potty. But if you are getting up to change sheets in the middle of the night, then you should be used to waking up anyway. I heard this was the best of all the bedwetting alarms, although it cost a little more. We bought two (one for her & one for him). The child has to be ready and willing to wear it. Both my kids said it was comfortable. My daughter was willing to wear it right away. It took my son a couple of months to agree to wear it, but once he saw how well his sisters worked, he was willing to try. Good Luck!!

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T.M.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi C....

My youngest son (who turns 21 this year) wet the bed until he as 13-14...it was tough on all of us...I never made a big deal about it...all tests came back normal...so it was night time pull ups...depends were not really available then and thank goodness he was thin hipped...he has a friend who still the last time we saw him (@18) was still having issues...I would still check with his doctor...make sure its not a real medical issue...and love him through all the bedding changes and morning showers...

My heart to yours,
T.

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S.E.

answers from San Francisco on

My daughter is 7 1/2 and still has enough accidents that I keep her in pull up. Now, she has accidents because she is stubborn and refuses to go the bathroom before bed. When she goes, she's dry.

Let me say, this only started around 7. Until then, it didn't matter if she went or not. She's grown some, so I think there is more room in that little body for all her parts.

It matters to her now, so she's going to the bathroom. We have noticed on days she drinks most of her fluid after school, she wets. When she drinks the water and milk I send with her, she is dry that night. Otherwise, she's pounding fluid from 4-6, which her body has to process and betime is at 7:30 (early rise time for long drive to school-40 min.).

Try pushing fluids early in day and slowing down after school and stopping at 6. With a good pee session before bed.

My little one went 6 nights in a row dry. Then wet. Our deal is 7 straight dry and no Pull-ups. She has to do her part to make that happen. She's making a big effort this week to do what we've asked...lots of fluids before 4, limited liquid til dinner, nothing after dinner, potty right before bed.

Good luck,
S

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K.J.

answers from San Francisco on

Your story is identical to ours. We talked to the doctor about it, and he said that 1 in 4 kids this age still have this issue. It is probably "immature bladder". Our son wears a Godnights pull up to bed. It works. The doctor said if it's still an issue by 7, we'll talk again. If it continues they have medication you can try, but he said that generally they don't start that until age 10.

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B.R.

answers from Bakersfield on

Hi. We have been through this at our house. My son is 9 so I'll give you some ideas that you can try. First we went to the doctor and they tested his urine for an infection and there was no infection. So then they prescribed DDAVP nasal spray, this worked some of the time but we did not get great results, but that doesn't mean you won't. Then we went to the health food store and tried the Hyland's homeopathic Bed Wetting tablets, they disolve under the tongue, those worked better than the nasal spray but again still not as much as we wanted it to work. Then we switched doctors because of insurance reasons and I asked the new doctor and he said that there were a number of new medicines we could try, so he prescribed Ditropan 5 mg, we get the generic and it is a very small pill that he has to swallow. It works 98% of the time. Now a couple of other things I have discovered over the last 5 yrs. No caffeine at evening/night, caffeine makes him wet the bed no matter what. Also if he gets cold in the middle of the night because his older brother turns on the ceiling fan, he will wet the bed. I found that to be a common complaint among parents whose kids wet the bed. I hope this helps. He feels much better about it now and we found something that works. 6 was the age at which they would try and help us do something about it, up until he turned 6 they said it was just his age. And the Ditropan would probably work 100% of the time if I didn't give in and let him have a soda now and then at dinner on the weekends. Good luck! Hang in there.

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K.P.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi C., My son was still wetting at night until he was 6. I highly recommend the book Dry All Night. I just bought it for a friend of mine who has a 7-1/2 year old daughter still wetting the bed. One part of the book is for the parent but the rest of the book is a story full of pictures for the child to read. You can read it to your son if he is not old enough to read alone yet. It explains how you have to train your brain to sound the fire alarm bells in your head to wake up when you have a full bladder and uses many kid friendly metaphors to teach body control. I think overall, kids will stop wetting when they are ready, but I do believe this book helped my son to teach himself to be more aware of and control his bladder at night. We did also wake him each night for a few months to help him learn a pattern of waking to use the toilet. Now he sleeps through the night and rarely uses the toilet before morning.

I agree with everyone else's comments as well. Have many great waterproof mattress pads around at all times and stay positive. He will be Dry All Night someday...hopefully not too long from now!!

Good luck :-)

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T.M.

answers from San Francisco on

Hello!
I rarely respond but had to on this one - my 9 year old still wets the bed and I finally found the answer!
Go to www.nobedwetting.com and either download and read the info online or send away for it. When I got the info in the mail and read through it I could not believe it. It decribed my son to a T. It is called the Enuresis Treatment Center(1-800-379-2331)and was founded by a mom who was also seeking answers for her daughter....she finally got frustrated enough to research it herself. It is caused by a sleep disorder which has been shown to be linked to a gene. There is a deep sleeper = bed wetter somewhere in the family. Related symptoms linked to this gene (sleep disorder), in addition to bed wetting are, sleepwalking and night terrors. Oh my gosh, our son had terrible night terrors. Anyway, we only just discovered this Center but will definitely be starting treatment, no matter the cost. What really grabbed my attention was when they state that even if the child does eventually "out grow" bed wetting, the sleep disorder remains, along with its unfortunate effects like ADD/ADHD symptoms, being forgetful, moody or anxious, being easily frustrated or highly sensitive.
Any-hoo, we cannot wait to get started~!
Hope this helps! Feel free to stay in touch, I am happy to keep you posted on our results ~ good luck!
T.

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N.W.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.,

Although I don't really have any great suggestions for you, I did want to let you know that this is not uncommon. We had the exact same story with our son....he was potty tranined with no problem and then around 6 started wetting his bed. My closest friend had and actually still has a child with the same issue. We all went to the doctor and in all honesty none of their suggestions worked. They just added more stress to an already stressful situations. The doctors can give you a pill for special situations such as a sleep-over or travel, but it should not be used for any lenght of time. In reality patience and time are the only things we found that work...eventually you son will grow and his bladder with him and this WILL fade out. Don't worry too much and tell your son that many, many, many kids go through this and all of them grow out of it.
(by the way my son was 8 when the bedwetting stopped, my friends son is nine and it still occurs occasionally)
Hope thigs get better
-N.

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N.P.

answers from Modesto on

Hi C.!

I am so sorry that your little one is having grief over this. That's the last things you would want.

When my son wet the bed at this age, I was told not to worry too much about it. Some children's bladder develope/grow/mature later than others, so it's difficult for someone like your son to "hold it" prpbably at all. I was told that it would stop on it's own. And it did.

I have never tried them, but they now make "boxer-type" huggies overnighter's. They are supposed to work pretty well. I would've tried them to help with the clean up. My son really didn't want to wear pull-ups (for obvious reasons).

Simply make sure you have a GREAT mattress cover/pad, and that you do not make too many signs of frustration when changing the your son's bed. I know it's hard, but he really cannot help it and you don't want to make it worse by letting him know how frustrated you are.

It will all be over soon. The more love and support you give, the quicker it will be over :o)

~N.-

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D.I.

answers from Sacramento on

We had the same problem with our 5 year old. He started wetting the bed while I was pregnant with my third child so we figured it was problem the change in family dynamic. But we did speak to our pediatrician about it. She did do a urine test to check kidney function stating that could sometimes be a cause of bedwetting, (his came out fine) but she also stated it is very common especially with boys for bedwetting to occur even up to the teen years. I would call your dr just to err on the side of caution but it's probably nothing to worry about and he will outgrown it sooner or later.

P.S. I just thought I would add that when my son's bedwetting first started, while I was pregnant, he would get really upset about it and I explained it was ok that everyone has wet the bed or wet their pants at some point & that even mommy (me) wets her pants sometimes. (Oh the joys of pregnancy Ü) That seemed to help he deal with it and since he has stopped stressing out over the bedwetting it has actually become less frequent.

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M.G.

answers from San Francisco on

Do not panic. My son who is now 23 had the same problem. Keep reasuring him that it's ok and you love him greatly. I did try everything. 1st I had him checked by the doc. who I think gave me some med's to try and did for awhile but every med has a side affect. Better to let nature take it's course. I used the pull up diapers at night so we could all sleep. He did'nt like it at first but it just became the norm, till his body started the preteen change and that is when it stopped. This is very common in boy's do not get discouraged. My son is very healthy and a PGA Pro now. So keep positive and let him know he is not alone.
If you need to talk email me at [email protected]____.com
Been there M.

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T.H.

answers from San Francisco on

This is a very common problem. Probably you or his Dad had a similar problem; it often had genetic factors in its genesis.
Tell your son that is not his fault and you had the same problem (if you did) and he'll grow out of it. If your son wasn't bothered by it I would suggest waiting for his bladder/nervous system to mature and not worry about it. But since he is worried, schedule an appointment with the doc to be sure there is no physical cause, then ask him about a bee& pad system to help him learn to arouse himself from sleep when he first begins to urinate. Good luck.

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J.R.

answers from San Francisco on

Hi C.
My son is going through this right now. He doesn't wet the bed every night. But he seems to have his weeks when he does. I am not to worried about it because from what I hear from other moms, it very common.

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C.H.

answers from Sacramento on

Hi there,

We went thru this too. Boys have a particular hormone that matures slower than girls so they can have these problems way past the average potty training time. The best thing to do is purchase the older child pull ups and let him relax about it. It's not something he has control over so he shouldn't be feeling guilt about it. We took our son to the bathroom before bed at 8pm, then got him up again at about 11 to go again and then let him sleep from there. This seemed to help things a bit but basically he just had to grow out of it.

Good luck!

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T.V.

answers from San Francisco on

C.,

This question comes up so often, I hope this info will help:

Things that you probably don't talk about with friends:

how you cry when you watch the movie Bambi
the day you accidentally wore your underwear inside out
how you wet the bed when you sleep

Millions of kids and teenagers from every part of the world wet the bed every single night. It's so common that there are probably other kids in your class who do it. Most kids don't tell their friends, so it's easy to feel kind of alone, like you might be the only one on the whole planet who wets the bed. But you are not alone.

The fancy name for bedwetting, or sleep wetting, is nocturnal (nighttime) enuresis (say: en-yoo-ree-sus). Enuresis runs in families. This means that if you urinate, or pee, while you are asleep, there's a good chance that a close relative also did it when he or she was a kid. Just like you may have inherited your mom's blue eyes or your uncle's long legs, you probably inherited bedwetting, too.

The most important thing to remember is that no one wets the bed on purpose. It doesn't mean that you're lazy or a slob. It's something you can't help doing. For some reason, kids who wet the bed are not able to feel that their bladders are full and don't wake up to pee in the toilet. Sometimes a kid who wets the bed will have a realistic dream that he or she is in the bathroom peeing - only to wake up later and discover he or she is all wet.

Many kids who wet the bed are very deep sleepers. Do your parents complain that it's hard to wake you up? Could you sleep through a marching band parading outside your bedroom door? Or a pack of dogs howling at the moon? Trying to wake up someone who wets the bed is often like trying to wake a log - they just stay asleep.

Some kids who wet the bed do it every single night. Others wet some nights and are dry on others. A lot of kids say that they seem to be drier when they sleep at a friend's or a relative's house. That's because kids who are anxious about wetting the bed may not sleep much or only very lightly. So the brain may be thinking, "Hey, you! Don't wet someone else's bed!" This can help you stay dry even if you're not aware of it.

Good News
The good news is that almost all kids who wet the bed eventually stop. So if you wet every night, don't be discouraged. And don't worry that you're not normal, either physically or emotionally. Sleep wetting is not usually caused by a problem with your body or your feelings.

It's likely that bedwetting will go away on its own. In fact, 15 out of 100 kids who wet the bed will stop every year without any treatment at all. But if you have this problem it's still a good idea for you and your parents to talk to your doctor about it.

Your doctor will ask you some questions, and it's important to answer them truthfully and not feel embarrassed. Remember, bedwetting is so common that your doctor probably treats a lot of kids who do it. The doctor will examine you and probably ask for a urine sample to test. Some kids who have other problems, like constipation (when you aren't pooping regularly), daytime wetting, or urinary infections, may need some extra tests.

More Good News
If you wet the bed, there are some things you can do to stay dry. Try not to drink anything after dinner and remember to go to the bathroom before going to bed. If you do wet the bed, help with the cleanup by pulling off the sheets and putting them in the laundry.

A lot of doctors think that the best treatment for enuresis is a program that retrains your brain to do one of two things:

wake you up so you can go to the bathroom
stay asleep and hold it until morning
This program includes doing bladder exercises, such as waiting a little longer to pee during the day, reading about and imagining staying dry, or even using a tiny alarm. The alarm is connected to a pad placed in your underwear at night. If you start to urinate, the pad senses the moisture and sets off the alarm. Different alarms buzz, vibrate, or do both, but they're all easy to use and can help wake even the deepest sleeper.

There are medicines for kids who wet the bed. They might help you temporarily, but they don't cure bedwetting. These medicines work best when combined with the alarm or other training programs.

It may take some practice to retrain your brain, and you'll need to be patient. But eventually, you will stop wetting the bed.

Blessings.....

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