Six ! Try 10, and Still Wetting Bed. Hiding Soiled in Dirty Laundry.

Updated on July 08, 2017
M.L. asks from Aptos, CA
19 answers

I'm a dad. And I am their mama! 10 years old and middle child. Would sleep thru the house burning down. Cut off liquids at 7. Wake at night to avoid. 7 yr brother has no problem. He doesn't care if I take privileges away.

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K.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Punishing him for wetting the bed would be like someone punishing you for snoring. He can't help it. He has zero control over his bladder while he is sleeping. Please stop before you damage this child. Please take him to the doctor and listen to a professional explain to you that he can't control it.

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C.G.

answers from Chicago on

I never believed in the bed wetting alarm but worked in about 2 weeks for my son. My Dr said that he wouldn't worry until the age of 10, then would consider medicine. My son was 7 at the time and I'm glad I tried.

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J.C.

answers from Philadelphia on

Have you bothered to googles this or talk to a pediatrician? This is not abnormal. Stop punishing your poor son. I'm sure he is already embarrassed enough about something he has no control over.

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R..

answers from San Antonio on

They really have no control over it. Diane B. is so right is telling you to go to the pediatrician and get him checked out and see if medication can help. I had one that wasn't night time dry for years either.

I bought three fitted sheets and three water proof pads. Then I layered them all on the bed. So when my daughter woke up wet, she could pull off the top layer and immediately have a dry bed. (Without having to wake me up). She would pull off wet sheets and change her jammies. She knew to put the wet sheets and jammies on the bathroom floor (it is tile and the wet wouldn't damage it, like her carpet or laundry hamper.

The next morning she or I would throw them in the washer, no big deal and even had one more night before they had to be put back on.

She was more distressed about it than I was...she kept asking me when she would stop. I told her when her body was ready. That we all learn to do things when our body it ready. We would ask at her pediatrician visits and were assured all was normal. And were told what age she would be referred to the urologist. One day it just stopped. But it was a good four years longer than my son took to be dry all night.

So, get to the doctor to get him checked out and stop punishing him. He is punishing himself enough if he is hiding sheets and is that embarrassed about it. Good luck!!

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B.A.

answers from Columbus on

Please stop punishing him for this! By your own admission, he's an extremely sound sleeper. He can't control the problem, and you're forcing him to lie in order to avoid losing privileges!

Call your pediatrician. Like Diane said, there are options out there.

On a side note, since he sleeps so soundly and is reaching that age where you may start to leave him home alone for short periods of time, you really need to think through your fire plan for your home. How is he going to wake up if the smoke alarm goes of in the middle of the night and you can't get to him? In his bedroom, consider installing a smoke detector with a voice message, because kids are more likely to wake up to the sound of a voice. One of ours even allows us to record our own message (xxxxx - wake up. Wake up. This is mommy. I need you to get up and go outside right now...), because studies have shown that kids are most likely to wake up when it's their mother's voice.

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D.B.

answers from Boston on

My son had a condition called nocturnal enuresis, which is nighttime bedwetting. It's quite common, especially in boys. See the pediatrician, who may refer you to a pediatric urologist. This is NOT something the child can control, and it has nothing to do with being "toilet trained." It's a developmental issue, and it's treatable. Tell your son you are going to get him some help, not to be afraid, and not to be ashamed. Stop taking privileges away. He's hiding his laundry because he knows you are going to punish him or yell at him, and he has no other choice.

This bedwetting is not something he is doing consciously. My son was helped with a simple medication and it was life-changing, no side effects. The medication he was prescribed is called DDAVP but there may be others. You can review all the options with the doctor but please stop shaming your son until you can get some medical information.

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G.♣.

answers from Springfield on

Your son has no control over this, and that is more common than you think. While most kids are able to stay dry at night by this age, most doctors are not concerned unless a child over the age of 12 is still having trouble staying dry at night. Just to be safe, I would take him to the pediatrician. It's a good idea to rule out any possible physical problems.

Stop! Just stop everything you are doing. Stop cutting off liquids (won't help). Stop waking him up (won't help). Stop taking away privileges. You are punishing a child for something he cannot control! This is not a choice he is making! You are most likely adding stress to the situation and making it worse!

Right now you are teaching him to be ashamed. He doesn't want to disappoint you, and he doesn't want to be punished for something beyond his control. Of course he's trying to hide it from you. What would you have done if you were being shamed and punished for something you couldn't control?

I realize it's a pain in the butt, but the best thing you can do right now is buy a box of Goodnights and have him wear those to bed every night. It will save the laundry, and help him to have a good night sleep (which he desperately needs).

Your son cannot control this. Tell him that you know it's not his fault, you are sorry you took that approach and it's ok! He needs to know that it's ok.

His body will grow out of this. He will be able to stay dry when that part of his body matures. But this is completely out of his control.

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B.C.

answers from Norfolk on

Bed wetting problems are common for some kids up to 12 or 13 years old.
Any pediatrician and/or urologist will tell you the same thing.
Make an appointment with one and get the info from an expert.
His bladder will mature when it matures - and there's nothing you (or he) can do to make it mature any faster.
Instead of punishments or shaming - keep a mattress protector on his bed, and have him wear pullups at night.
Tell him it's nothing to worry about - he'll out grow it eventually - but when it happens he needs to put his wet bedding into the the laundry and put clean bedding onto his bed.

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

My youngest wet the bed till he was probably 13. We put him on meds at 10 and that helped a lot but took a long time to get the meds right. It is not in his contol. Please don't punish. It's usually a hormone issue. And a lot of times genetic. Ask your mother and mother in law if you can if any of the kids had problems with bed wetting. There are more kids than you realize that have the problem it's just not talked about often. My oldest had no issues. I know its frustrating but I know it is for him too.

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J.K.

answers from Wausau on

Bedwetting is not a behavioral problem. It won't be fixed by loss of privileges because it is a biological issue. If you haven't taken your son to be seen by a urologist to rule out an underlying medical cause, that is overdue. If it is a matter of deep sleep only, the doctor can teach you how to best help your son.

If you start handling this properly, your son will have no reason to hide the laundry. You've taught him to do it as a means of avoiding your ire and the illogical punishments. Learn about what he is dealing with so that you can help. Start with an apology for your own past behavior regarding the issue.

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D.N.

answers from Chicago on

I have to agree that this is not the child's fault. You state he could sleep during the house burning down. He is a heavy sleeper. He doesn't feel it when he has to go. My oldest was the same way--heavy sleeper. We could throw him up to the top bunk and he would not wake up at all. The thing is, he would wake to go but at the last second so he still wet the bed. The doc said there really wasn;t anything to give him for it as his body just needed to "read the signals". We did try an alarm and had the same result but it embarrassed him to have it. He would wake as the alarm was going off which did not good.

My son stopped between 10 and 11 yrs old. We used Good Nights and one day he gave me an unopened package to return to the store. Told me he did not need it.

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S.B.

answers from Houston on

Stop everything!. Stop punishing him for something he has no control over. Second, take him to the doctor. There could be a medical reason for this. Third, if no medical reason, he is a very heavy sleeper. Get him some goodnights and work from there.

He is hiding this because your reaction is over the top and he doesn't want to disappoint you.

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J.C.

answers from Anchorage on

Night dryness is not something you can train or punish into a kid, it is a matter of the body maturing to a point to where the body recognizes the need to use the bathroom and wakes the body up. This maturing of the body happens at different points for different people, and while the average is 3-6 or so being much older is not uncommon, my nephew was 9, my stepbrother 11, and my cousin was 14. There are medications that can sometimes help with this that you can talk to the doctor about, but you can't punish his body into maturing faster. There are sheets with alarms that can help wake him and help him avoid accidents. You can also layer sheets and waterproof mattress covers over each other so when an accident does occur he can easily take off a layer and go back to bed without needing any help or waking anyone up.

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E.B.

answers from Honolulu on

I suggest you start by having a private heart-to-heart talk with your older son. Sometimes it's best to have these conversations in the car while driving in a non-stressful situation (not in the middle of a crazy city at rush hour). Go for a drive on an errand. You won't be staring him in the eye, and conversations flow more naturally.

Start by telling him you've made a mistake, as parents often do. Tell him you're sorry. (Don't make it one of those "I'm sorry if I made you feel upset", or those politicians' apologies that go something like "I'm sorry if anyone took offense at the way they mis-interpreted my words". Make it a real "I made a mistake and I am going to change things".)

Tell him that wetting the bed is a medical problem. Do you have high blood pressure or headaches or are you nearsighted? Then you have a medical problem and you take care of it, by medications, or eating better, or wearing glasses or whatever. Tell him you're going to take him to a doctor, and it's not an embarrassment because doctors have heard EVERYTHING. Relate to him. Tell him something from your childhood. Tell him there won't be any more punishments for wetting the bed, no more restrictions unless they come directly from the doctor.

Now, what he can control, and what you can directly help with, is hiding the soiled sheets and pajamas. Provide a plastic trash bag somewhere discrete (under his bed if he shares a room, or in his bathroom in the hamper, or in the laundry room or whatever works for your housing situation). Tell him to put any soaked clothing in that, apart from the regular dirty socks and t shirts. It's just common sense. Don't make a big deal about it. 10 year old kids can do some basic laundry duties, and sorting laundry is one of them (the red t shirts don't go in with the white t shirts, you don't bleach jeans, you sort out the muddiest and the most soiled stuff from the lightly worn things that just need freshening up, etc). But it's ok to tell him that unless he starts properly handling his laundry there may be some consequences for that. Make any punishment for hiding laundry make sense: hiding soiled laundry means he will have to do his brother's laundry for a week, or he'll have to take the hamper outside and hose it down, or mop the laundry room floor, etc.

Make that doctor's appointment and help your son!

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D.H.

answers from Louisville on

Sounds much like my middle child - so a couple of questions for you.

Hard to wake all the time? Wake up and kinda look out of it for a while?
Does he seem to daydream or similar during the day? Sleepwalk?

You may well need to get him to the pedi to get a neuro consult -- those things are what she did A LOT. At about 13, she'd apparently gotten up from bed (11pm-ish and no idea why) but fell down behind the bedroom door and had it almost shut. Got it open by maybe 4 inches and saw the jerking - not good, but could not see anything but the legs. Got one of the others to squeeze thru the opening and check and then pull her back to get the door open enough -- check for marks, breathing, no fever, etc.

By the time I could get in the room, it was over. So I just watched during the nite (easier at home than in an ER and nothing else presented at that time). Called doc office next morning - they noted it and said it might be a seizure, but they tend to not make that diagnosis until a second one happened. And it did - then we had the neuro trip. Back then, hers was very close to her sleep-wake cycle (under an hour either way) and they told us that due to her being so hard to wake (we said you could dynamite and she'd not move) that she'd probably been having them all along - but w/o it being seen as she was in bed and didn't fall out.

Don't panic - should it be epilepsy, it can be treated and he could outgrow it.

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N.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Stop!

This is NOT something he has control over. Limiting liquids won't work. Waking him up does NOTHING to stop this. Get your sleep because what you're doing is counterproductive.

Put some overnight pull ups on him and put a plastic/waterproof mattress pad on his bed. Plan on washing bedding every day as soon as he gets up so it will be washed and dry by nighttime the same day.

He will eventually grow out of this and just because someone else can do it doesn't mean anything. Because there are just as many kids his age that can't.

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M.G.

answers from Kansas City on

I was a bed wetter. My oldest son was a bed wetter. I know this situation from both sides. DO NOT PUNISH YOUR SON FOR SOMETHING HE HAS NO CONTROL OVER!!! He is NOT wetting the bed on purpose. Here is what worked for my son. We bought a bed wetting alarm system. The system came with a sensor that goes in the child's underwear and an alarm that you attach to the child's bed. This system worked within about a week for our son. That 1st week was like having a newborn in the house, we would jump up as soon as the alarm went off to help him to the bathroom and change sheets if necessary. The system essentially trains the brain to wake up when the signals that he needs to "go" are sent. We had him wear the sensor for about a week after he hadn't had any accidents just to make sure. The system we got (I don't remember the name) had a ton of helpful hints on the web-site from parents that had used the system. One hint was to sew a little pocket in a couple pair of the child's underwear right where the sensor needed to be. We stressed to our son that this system was to help him so he could do things like go on sleepovers and campouts. We even practiced by having him lay down on his bed and setting off the alarm with a little water and having him jump up and go into the bathroom.

Good Luck.

M.

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V.B.

answers from Jacksonville on

He doesn't care? I suspect he does but has no ability to fix it. It is a wiring of the brain thing. Not a willful refusal. The fact these he could sleep through the house burning down ought to tell you something.
Talk to his doctor. Teach him what to do when there's an accident (strip the sheets, where to put them, fresh clothes, what to do with wet --- I always said to put the wet things in the bathtub until morning). And do what you can to make cleanup easier in advance--waterproof mattress pad. Set of sheets, then a waterproof pad, then another set of sheets maybe.

Any chance your son has any allergies? Mine did, and I had no idea it affected his sleep so much. Once he got treatment (not OTC daily pills, but actual treatment--allergy shots to fix the issue) he was able to wake up on his own to an alarm--something he was unable to do prior to getting his allergies dealt with properly. He was a teen before he could hear an alarm clock going off and wake up without me physically shaking him awake (multiple times). Coincided exactly with effectiveness of his allergy treatments.

Do not shame your child for wetting the bed. He cannot control it. If he could, he would, I promise.

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D..

answers from Miami on

Everyone here is giving you excellent advice. I am wondering why you haven't talked to the doctor about this issue? Did you tell the doctor that you take privileges away from your son? Did you ignore your ped's advice when it didn't agree with what you are doing? Or did you leave out what consequences you're giving when you talked to the ped?

I also wonder if your son has gone through a difficult time. You say you are his "mother". Am I understanding correctly that his mother is no longer in the picture? That you have sole custody? When did this happen? Is he sad? Angry? Does he get to see his mother? Is it difficult for him?

Children don't deal well with divorce and parental infighting. It can affect their emotions and cause bedwetting problems. Of course, not all bedwetters have emotional problems, because bedwetting isn't just about emotional issues. It's physical as well. But no one else here had mentioned the emotional component, so I'm bringing it up.

Punishing a child for bedwetting prolongs the problem. You even say that he could sleep through a house fire, yet you expect him to wake up and pee. You even try to wake him. What does that accomplish? Nothing.

As everyone mentions here, go talk to the ped. DON'T do it in front of your child. Talk to the doctor alone. If you want, copy off this thread along with your question and show it to the doctor.

Ask the doctor for some internet links/names of books for you to read about how to raise your child. You appear to need some help in this regard. You need to know what to give consequences for and what to accept as normal childhood development. If you don't bother to learn, you will have some sad days ahead of you.

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