Help with Bed Wetting 5 Year Old

Updated on April 29, 2008
S.S. asks from Pueblo, CO
22 answers

My 5 year old has been night trained since he was 41/2, but he has started wetting the bed again a few months ago. He wets the bed almost every night and I am getting tired of finding his wet cloths in the bathroom, and I can’t be washing underwear for him every 3 days or so. I thought it might be because he started pre-school this year, but I am sure that it is not the problem since he has been in school several months before he started wetting the bed. I tried waking him up during the night, but he sleeps so soundly that I can’t wake him. He is on the top bunk so I can’t just pull him out of bed and take him to the bathroom. I have tried not giving him anything to drink at least an hour before bed, but that is hard to do and doesn’t appear to work. I was thinking about using pull ups, but they don’t come in a big enough size. I also don’t want him to think that if he is wearing a pull up, he doesn’t have to try to get up and use the bathroom. I am at a loss of what to do. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

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A.H.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I just got my 5 year old to stop wetting the bed. It sounds like you used all the methods that i did. Waking him up at night , thats what we did. Have you considered maybe he has a uti. It is very possible . My daughter is to big for pull ups to so we bought depends for her. I would talk to his pediatrician.

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A.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I know that this will sound strange but I had the same problem when I was little. Someone told my mom that I may be getting cold so she got me a mattress warmer and it worked like a charm. I would get a mattress warmer and see if that doesn't help.

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S.K.

answers from Salt Lake City on

The bigger pullups are called good nights and I get them at Walmart.

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M.B.

answers from Provo on

My sister had this problem until she was almost a teenager she and my parents tried everything!!!! It turns out she suffered with a yeast infection her whole childhood and finally just outgrew it! I don't know if that is ANY help, probably not, but maybe it's more of a medical issue. I have no idea. Good luck.

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K.W.

answers from Provo on

A lot of boys' bladders don't grow fast enough for their bodies. It could be that his bladder just needs to catch up. A pull-up at night can save a lot of laundry and embarassment for your son. I have a little cousin who wore a pull-up until he was well into grade school and finally his bladder grew and caught up to his body and his needs. It's hard to be patient but after you have talked to your doctor about some of the other issues brought up here by other moms, the best solution might be to let him grow. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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S.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Hi S.,
Keep looking for pull ups, my son still occasionally wore them at 7 and we have a friends son who still wears them at 9. They definitely make them in larger sizes I'm not sure what stores though. Also, my son potty trained at 2 and at 5 started wetting the bed again. The doctor said this can happen when they are growing, there are actually a couple of muscles that have to work together to keep from wetting and when growning the nerve endings don't always work as well until they have caught up to the growth. Some kids also have smaller bladders and just can't hold it as long, not drinking a couple hours before bedtime becomes crucial with this. You might consider putting his mattress on the floor for a while so it isn't difficult for him to get to the bathroom or for you to help him. Good luck, keep it positive, it really is amazing how sometimes they can't control it and how frustrating it is as a parent. There are some countries that have started painting a target in the toilet of mens rooms, keeps them focused and less messy and for kids something more interesting to look at and focus on, may make it more fun if there is a fly or cheerio painted in the toilet to get him focused back on getting to the bathroom.
S. M

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S.C.

answers from Denver on

Hi S.- This is tough because it puts the wake up on you or your bf but get your boy up around 3 am and walk him to the toilet and stand there while he pees, We did this with our son and it really seemed to work.
good luck.

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B.M.

answers from Pueblo on

I was so glad to see your request. I have 2 girls who were potty trained and dry thru the night at 2. My son was also potty trained by 21/2-3,during the day. He is now turning 6 next month and we are still having problems regularlly at night. He has worn pull-ups since 3 and now GoodNights. The pull ups are not just too small but they don't hold enough for his size. He too sleeps very hard. We did the no water,go befor you go to sleep, and we still have wet pants. He is old enough to notice his cousins are not wearing them and he is not happy to not be in underwear yet,but we are reasurring him everyone is different and it will come. I have heard of adjustments from the chiro. healping to alighn the nerves correctly that signal the urge helping. We may look into this ourselves. Hang in there mamma and remember the long term effects for the little guy!

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T.O.

answers from Fort Collins on

Visit obergchiro.com for info on how chiropractic may help. Search bedwetting on that site and it has some helpful info.

T. :o)

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B.M.

answers from Denver on

S.,
I heard a doc say that when there is an irritant in the bladder, it wants to empty right away. I've also heard a few moms tell me that when they took their kid off pasteurized milk, the bed-wetting stopped.

If that sounds extreme, maybe you could just try to stop the milk from noon on. You also might want to try raw milk (educate yourself here: www.realmilk.com and www.rawmilkcolorado.org). Whatever you do, don't substitute soy milk!
Hope this helps,
-B.

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J.M.

answers from Denver on

Start by having him use the bathroom and no drinks a half hour before bedtime. Put him in the Night Time pull ups which will fit kids up to age 10.

If he still wets the bed, take it to an hour before bed and so on until he stays dry through the night.

Some kids just sleep really deep and their brains don't register that they need to wake up and use the bathroom yet.

It will eventually get there, so hang tight!

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S.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have nieces that have the same problem. They wore pull ups until about 8 or 9. The other problem in my family is a VERY small bladder. I think a pull up at night sends the message that it's okay if they sleep so soundly at night that they don't wake up. Eventually their bladder will get big enough to make it through the night. I put pull ups on my 4 year old. It is usually full in the morning, regardless of how many limitations I put on fluids before bed. I also don't like dehydrating her by limiting her drinking. There is a brand called Good nites that come in larger sizes. If you really don't want to do that, you can pull him out of bed and sit him on the toilet. Just 'cuz he's not awake doesn't mean he won't go. My mom did that to me until I was 6 or 7, because there was no such thing as pull ups then. I don't remember this at all, but she would pull me out of bed at 10 or so, right before she went to bed. She'd sit me on the toilet, I'd go, and she'd put me back to bed. I still had occasional accidents and I remember getting in HUGE trouble for it. She now realizes that it was because I inherited a small bladder from her mother. Even now, I sometimes wake up barely in time and have to run to the bathroom. He will get the hang of it eventually, in the meantime, try to be understanding and don't make this a negative experience. Good luck!

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L.C.

answers from Pocatello on

S. - I have eight children and my daughter now 15 had this same problem. She actually had a medical condition and needed medication to help with the problem. Funny though the medication didn't even help. You will never guess what did - a chiropractor. It was a physical condition but not one that a medical doctor could help with. I don't know how it helps but it does. The chiropractor could explain more.

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J.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

S.,
I have a son that wet the bed until he was 13. I had a friend that worked for a chiropractor that let me know she was certain he could help. I took the chance and after the 2nd adjustment, he never had another accident. I had heard by many doctors that he would grow out of it, but he never did. The other thing that needs to be checked is childhood diabetis. Wetting the bed is one of the signs especially if he has already experienced waking up dry. This is how my brother found out his son was diabetic at age 4. Good luck

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S.M.

answers from Denver on

My child suffered with night bedwetting too. We tried acupuncture, chiropractic, and everything else. It's exhausting. Finally I read an article that night time bladder control is regulated by your body's hormone called vassopressin. Your body builds what it needs from plants - especially yams, sweet potatoes. So I found a natural supplement containig yams and started giving it to her and with in a week (after 4 years of battling this,) she was dry and stayed dry. It is so worth an experiement. The supplement I used is called Plus ($35 for 90 days) from Mannatech and I ordered it off the internet. Email me if you want more info or help ordering it [email protected]____.com

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J.H.

answers from Billings on

I am not sure how to make the problem go away, but if you want to wait it out, you can find night time trainer pants...I know you said you couldn't find pull-ups the right size, but they do make some other brands that come in very big sizes, for older kids with bed wetting issues.

A.C.

answers from Huntington on

It could be worse-- my five year old wets on average 3 times a day. After washing his bedding every day for a year (I refused to do pullups at night because I thought it would send the message that it was ok to not get up to go to the bathroom) I finally caved because our house smelled like pee and the never ending laundry was killing me.

You said it is difficult to wake him. It is actually really common for yong boys to sleep so soundly that they dont wake up to use the bathroom. My doc said it is normal till about 7 years old for boys (6 for girls).

I put my boy back in pullups at night. Now I dont feel it sends the wrong message because I realize he just is sleeping too deeply to realize he needs to go to the bathroom. You could also look into a bed wetting alarm. My doc also suggested that you should make your child responsible for putting the wet bedding/clothes in the washer so you dont find peed clothing all over the place :)

Good luck!!

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L.B.

answers from Great Falls on

Chances are, you son is not doing it for attention. I would go to the doctor and get their opinion. I took my 6 year old in, and it ended up needing some medical attention. (Urinary tract infection) I have an older boy that has a bed wetting issue still, and there was nothing medically wrong. SO with him we got a prescription for weak bladders, and it has made a world of difference. There are pullups for older kids. They are called Good nights (they are for up to 80lbs I think), and you shouldn't be ashamed to use them if there is a legitimate issue. I am sure your son is as embarrassed about it as you are. Try to stay positive and be open with him about it. Keep holding off on the water after dinner, and see what your doctor has to say.

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A.C.

answers from Fort Collins on

Bedwetting in children under six years old is considered normal, I'm afraid. Most children outgrow it on their own. Nobody wants any extra laundry though!

Until your 5 year old stops, how about asking him to put his wet underwear in a place that won't bother you so much--like a plastic sack or the laundry room? Buy him an extra pack of underwear until he's done with this phase.

There are some other things you could do that might help. Make sure he is getting enough sleep. Don't give him chocolate, iced tea or soda, as these can irritate bladders of all sizes. Have him drink his water for the day before dinner, and eat dinner early as you can. Then make sure he has enough relaxed, boring time after dinner to use the bathroom before going to bed. You know kids don't want to go to the bathroom when more exciting things are happening. You probably already know that punishing kids for wetting doesn't help. They really can't help it.

If you are interested some information on treating bedwetting with homeopathy, here is a short article I wrote.
http://www.squidoo.com/homeopathy4bedwetting

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B.C.

answers from Salt Lake City on

S.,
I know all too well how frustrating it is my 4yr old still does that once in a while. My dad and 2 of my siblings wet the bed untill they were around 12 to 14 yrs old. Their bladders just didn't grow as fast as they did. One of my sibblings is 11 and still wears pull-ups to bed. I know its not fun and pull-ups can be pricey. But he will grow out of it if this is the case. Good luck to you!
B.

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E.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Pull-ups come in a big enough size...my brother wore them until he was 11. He, too, slept so soundly that nothing could wake him. I mean nothing because he's slept through tornado sirens and smoke alarms. He'll eventually grow out of it. It is more common in boys than in girls. Keep doing what you're doing, and don't get upset because it's not as if he can control it. You might try letting him sleep for a few hours and then waking him yourself to get him to go potty, and then putting him back to sleep. Just a thought. But be patient. It won't last forever.

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V.J.

answers from Billings on

I wish I had a sure cure to offer you S., but this could have any number of sources, including the fact that his body is changing physically and frequently boys don't make an immediate adjustment to changes in their bladder capacity, urges, etc. Sometimes it's also related to baby sibling issues. I think you CAN be sure, though, that your little guy isn't doing something intentional or being "lazy" if he is only having accidents at night. So if you CAN find a waterproof overnight diaper that works (depends?) you'll at least have one of your frustrations relieved.

And speaking of relieved, please read my profile and let me know if you'd like to visit about my family outreach project. With that many kids, you deserve a break!

V. J.

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