Bed Wetting

Nicky is now 5 1/2. He potty trained late (4) but fully. His problem is that he still wets the bed. Often. I’m getting so tired of the smell of pee on everything… it’s hard to keep up with the laundry he generates this way!

We don’t give him drinks before bed and we have him go potty before he lies down… what else can we do? I know he’s still young enough that it isn’t some kind of capital-p Problem but it’s very frustrating. Especially when he sleeps in MY bed and pees! Eeww.

I heard bedwetting ran in the family. Just kidding. Sounds like your son’s bladder hasn’t kept up with his body size. This is a common problem that only time will sort out.

WebMD has lots of advice on this topic.

It doesn’t specifically address The Bastard’s point about bladder development.

The seemingly obvious may however hold little water…


have you talked to his doctor about this???

Both of my brothers daughters were bed wetters quite a while (somewhere around 8 or 9 at least). My sister in law’s family has a history of it (we don’t).

A friend of mine had this problem with her son. He was 8 years old and still wetting the bed, only at night. She took him to the doctor and the doctor gave her some kind of nose spray to give to her son every night before he went to bed. Well, oddly enough, the nose spray worked. I don’t know why it worked or what kind of spray it was though. The doctor told her that the kid has to be at least 5 years old before they’ll recommend the nose spray so your son is old enough. You may want to take him to the doctor and see what he has to say.

My daughter is potty trained but we still put pull-ups on her at night, just in case. Maybe you could get some of those Good-night pull-ups that are for older kids. At least you wouldn’t be doing so much laundry!

Good luck!

My oldest son had this problem when he was younger. After checking for physical reasons, the doctor determined that he had a condition that most bedwetters have. They fall into a deeper level of sleep than most of us. When this happens, their body relaxes to a point that they wet the bed.

To prevent this from happening, he prescribed an alarm that clips to their underpants and their wrist. As soon as the clip in the underpants gets wet, the alarm starts to blare, waking them up. You are then to walk them to the bathroom to finish peeing. It isn’t so much draining their bladder as it is waking them up fully. After using the alarm for not quite two weeks, the problem was solved. If I remember right, he only had an accident once a few months later. Putting the alarm back on for a few days got him back on track.

Since we had so much luck with the alarm, I passed it around to others who had kids with the same problem. Each and every one of the kids who used it after my son were completely “cured” in a matter of a few weeks.

If I still had it I would mail it to you as they are a little pricey ($65.00 if I remember right), but it has been passed around so much (who knows how many kids it has gone through) and because my kids are older and don’t need it, I didn’t ask for it back. If I can track it down, I will send it your way.

Good luck!

One more thing, make sure you find a very understanding doctor. I was really worried that my son was going to get a complex and feel ashamed. The doctor I took him to made him understand that wetting the bed did not make him a baby. He explained everything to him and let him know that it wasn’t his fault.

Is it more than a couple times a week? Does he ever wet himself during the day?

If so, his problem could also be a narrow urethra. There’s a fairly simple procedure to fix this, but it’s quite painful. Something you might also want to ask your doctor to check for when next you go in for a visit. Or, your doctor might reccomend a urologist(sp?) for you and your son.

Just a suggestion.

This happened to my nephew until he was around 14 years old. Not every night but at least a couple of times a week. He went to several doctors until he found out that there is some chemical (hormone maybe?) that sends a message to your brain to cause the pain of having to go to the bathroom strong enough to make you wake up out of a dead sleep. His hadn’t developed yet (or at least it wasn’t strong enough to wake him). Once all the teenage hormones started kicking in – he didn’t have a problem with it anymore. I think his mother was the same way and she still wets the bed when she drinks a lot of alcohol. Which unfortunately is often… thats another thread though.

Okay, I have a little experience here…I wet (only in the bed at night) until I was probably about 6. Problem was not small bladder or drinks at bedtime (parents tried withholding and it made no difference.) Problem was that I slept too deeply to wake up and know I needed to go. I would even dream that I had to go, dream I was on the toilet and wake up wet, 'cause I had let go while I was “on the toilet.” I eventually trained myself to sleep lightly enough to wake up. I would even dream that I had to go, dream I was on the toilet and wake up wet, 'cause I had let go while I was “on the toilet.” Maybe there is some way you could help him train himself to wake up and go. Like maybe setting an alarm for whatever time he seems to go peepee in bed most often? (I don’t know, that’s not what I did, but I wasn’t exactly a normal kid, ya know?) If you can get him in the habit of waking up and going to the bathroom, that might help solve it.

My advise is pretty much what everyone else said.

My older brother had a problem with bed wetting, and boy do I wish he posted around here (for the embarassment, you know.) Anyway, 20 years ago, my parents used a bed wetting contraption similar to the one Diane mentioned. This one made noise when it sensed wetness in the bed. If it isnt a medical problem, rather a sleeping problem, I’m sure one of these kind of machines would work.

And, I feel for you. I despise laundry with a passion. I also am not too keen on sleeping with pee either. Hope something works out for you two.

Now that I’m beyond the problem, I don’t mind writing about it. I was also a bedwetter. Sometimes I slept through. The thing is, sometimes I DID wake up, but I would get so freaked out about monsters under my bed and witches lurking in the hallway on the way to the bathroom… I would be simply too terrified to put my foot out of the covers to get up to go. Too terrified to even reach my arm out to turn on the light to chase the boogiemen away. I just had a very vivid imagination, and would rather sleep in a wet spot than face that terror. Weird, huh? It probably helped that there were other times I wet the bed, so while I was ashamed, I knew it was already a problem (and one I could sleep with and live with) so that made this poor “solution” to my terrors easier than it migh tbe for other kids who never had accidents.

Anyway, these other methods that people are bringing up would also help if this is the problem. As I grew and was better able to talk myself out of these terrors, the problem corrected itself. Maybe it’s physical, maybe he just sleeps deeply (these are both probably more likely than what I’m suggesting) but on the outside chance that he’s like I was. . . I havd never seen this discussed in books or articles so I know most practitioners don’t consider it.

Does he go to bed a couple hours before you do? Try waking him just before you go to bed, if that’s the case, and see if he’ll go to the bathroom then.

I definitely agree on the sympathetic pediatrician idea. I was a bedwetter and my parents were really cruel about it - they had me on tranquilizers (didn’t work) and witheld drinks after 12 p.m. (also didn’t work) or did drastic punishments for infractions (guess what? still didn’t work!) When I was 13 I was diagnosed w/ a narrow urethra - the first time I’d had a medical examination for this - the other drugs were prescribed w/ the doctor even seeing me - and had it surgically corrected in a simple outpatient procedure. That had been the trouble all along - I wasn’t doing it b/c I was “bad” though my parents certainly treated me like that :frowning: .

Most peds I have talked to don’t get concerned about bedwetting unless the child is over 6 or is getting upset about wetting the bed. There are nasal sprays that are supposed to be pretty good available too.


My son wore pull-ups at night until he was almost five and a half. That came about after more than two years of constant (but mostly private) worrying from us parents and frequent reassurance (to my husband and me) from the best pediatrician ever. (IMHO.) My advice to you is: relax, let your son relax, and go with the…um…flow. (Sorry.) Kids’ bodies, especially boys’, grow one bit at a time. Chances are, that bit just hasn’t matured enough yet to hold out all night.

In case you’re interested, my son is now 13 and is very bright, creative, athletic, and loving. Very different from what we imagined back in those cloudy years of night-time worrying!

And if you’re still interested, here’s a true story: The first night my son decided to try sleeping without pull-ups, there was a huge storm, and our roof began leaking. My husband and I woke up to our son calling, “Mom?? Dad??” Going to his room, we found him huddled up in the corner of the bed, clutching his little pee-er (which was dry), with a steady stream of water coming through the ceiling. Poor little guy thought the whole WORLD was wetting his bed!

Opal, I agree with getting him up to go again during the night. That may help.

What ever you do, don’t allow anyone to give him a hard tim over this, I wet the bed until I was about 7 or 8. My dad would beat the hell out of me for it, or even rub my face in the sheets. That didn’t do anything at all to help. Neither did all the yelling and name calling. But I know you are not that type of parent so I’m not concerned you will do any of that. Quess I just needed to share.

We’ve been dealing with this as well. My son, who is 8, still wets the bed most nights. It does indeed run in families, according to our ped. I had accidents until I was 6 or so, my brothers had them much longer. My husband and his brother were also late, as well as their father. For some reason, it seems to be more common in boys.

We were trying to be patient, but my son and I decided to ask his ped for advice at his yearly checkup. We had tried waking him in the evening (before we went to bed) but he didn’t really wake up (he wouldn’t remember it in the morning) and once we had established a pattern of helping him pee around 11:00pm we found that if we went upstairs at 11:30 he would have just peed. So all we did was encourage him to pee at a regular time. He wasn’t actually waking up.

Everything I read says that witholding fluids doesn’t work and isn’t very healthy, anyway.

The nose sprays do work. However, the way they work is by temporarily shutting down the kidneys, which isn’t something I want to do to my child. I might consider the spray for a one-time use (like a sleep-over) but I certainly wouldn’t use it on a regular basis. The alarms have their supporters, but their success rate actually follows the normal curve; in other words, those kids were going to start staying dry anyway.

Our ped’s advice was simply to keep being patient. Our son has been using the GoodNite brand of pull-ups, which have been very effective. They even make a larger size than he currently uses, which leads me to think that he is not in a terribly significant minority. In the past few weeks he has several times awoken to find that he is dry. Nothing has really changed, except that he is getting older. That seems to be the only real cure.

I was a hyperactive kid who had a rough time falling asleep. I think that when I finally got to sleep it was so deep that nothing could have woken me up. The bed wetting became less frequent as I got older. The last time it happened was in a college dorm when I was 18 and had too much beer. Since then,I have pissed in my pants a couple of times during traffic jams. I think it was more of a panic knowing facilities were not available than any thing else.

My novice advice would be too keep liquids away from the kid after dinner and set the alarm clock for 3:00AM.

My almost five-year-old is having a rough time with potty training too. He has both bowel and bladder accidents on a regular basis. I want him to start school in September, but I have my doubts that he will be trained by then. I’ve already spent three years trying to train him and have been largely unsuccessful. I’ve been thinking that I really should get him checked out by a doctor for this. The bladder problem doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the bowel problem. My other three kids were bowel trained by the time they were three. This one is going to be five years old in about six weeks from now.

Opal…Febreeze works really good to get the smell of urine out of your furniture and flooring. I practically own stock in this company, it is such a godsend!


“If you keep wetting the bed, then every night, we’re going to spray this really annoying thing up your nose.”

That would get anyone to stop.

Some young relatives of mine had the problem. The doctor said they shouldn’t have milk for six hours before bedtime. It worked. Apparently (at least in their case) it had something to do with the calcium/magnesium balance.