Night-time Potty Training

Parent Q&A

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  • Tips for older bedwetter

    (15 replies)

    My 7.5 year old wets the bed every night.  He sleeps in an overnight pull-up with a men’s overnight diaper over that and still leaks most nights.  I cut him off liquids at 6 pm and try to get him up at 10 pm to use the toilet but he’s already wet, very heavy to zombie walk to the bathroom and usually pees all over the place when he gets there.  The bed wetting alarm does not wake him.  Has anyone dealt with this? It’s bad enough at home but vacations are horrible.  Any tips for products or solutions are greatly appreciated. 

    Is there any underlying constipation? If his bowels are full, then his bladder will be compressed. Of course I’d discuss with his pediatrician as well. 

    We haven’t dealt with this but I read recently that bed wetting for boys is highly correlated with constipation. Look up articles on this and try some prunes or other things to clear up the constipation if you think this might be it. Good luck!

    We had success with guided imagery -- we saw Dr. Michael Cantwell in San Francisco. (This was many years ago, so I don't know if he's still doing it.) He worked with my son, helped him understand the whole process of how the body deals with pee and poop at night, and made a recording that my son listened to before sleep. The recording had to be tweaked before they got it just right, but then my son mastered bladder and bowel control during the night.

    If you haven't already, I recommend conducting a sleep study and associated medical exams. I know a family who dealt with something similar until the son was in 8th grade, when they finally figured out that his adenoids were overgrown and disrupting normal sleep patterns by obstructing nasal breathing. This also made him susceptible to frequent bouts of strep throat. An adenoidectomy solved the bed wetting within days (and then the kid had a growth spurt from finally sleeping well)! Hopefully there's a simpler solution for you, but since your behavioral interventions aren't working, maybe you can find out what you can about their sleep.

    My boss’s 7 yo son did this as well- they recently sent him to an orthodontist where they released a tongue tie and started expanding his arch. Since his breathing has improved, so has his bed wetting. I understand this is one case, and there could be many reasons why your son is experiencing this, but may be worth looking into! Good luck. 

    Have you looked into constipation or even encopresis? If things are backed up then he can't feel when he needs to go and it can lead to bedwetting. Good luck!

    I have no special knowledge, just my experience with my own when he was younger.  You might consider getting rid of pullups and diapers entirely and trying something like the saddle style bed wetting pads on top of the fitted sheet.  They use them in hospitals for all the beds.  You can just yank one off and put in another very quickly.  The pullups can be warm an cozy, even wet.  Discomfort is your greatest ally.  

    Also, start the walks to the bathroom as early as you need to to catch him before he pees.  If he's wet at 10, get him at 9.  Too late?  Try 8, then again at 10.  Good luck.

    Have you had a sleep study done? My brother had a similar issue and it turned out he had sleep apnea, causing poor sleep for much of the night, and exceptionally heavy sleep for the rest. Once he started using a CPAP machine, he was able to wake to use the restroom almost immediately after first use. 

    I'm sorry to hear about your 7.5-year-old's challenges. Our son was a similar deep sleeper, and he & his cousin wet the bed off and on until their early teens before growing out of the condition. When he was 7 or 8, he as referred to UCSF, which has specialists focused on this issue. The appointments were expensive and didn't ultimately work for us, but I'll share the link just in case it helps. The site now recommends medication as a first approach, whereas with our son, they'd focused on Miralax cleanouts and alarms.
    Bed-wetting | Conditions | UCSF Benioff Children's Hospitals (

    We also tried the Therapee system (Bed Wetting Solutions, Bedwetting Treatment, TheraPee ( ) when he was a little older. It's basically a pad-based alarm, which was easier to manage than the underwear clips. That alarm helped reduce the frequency and had an online progress tracking tool, which he bought into, but this also ran its course due to the challenges of all of us waking up in the middle of the night a few nights per week. We still have the unit, which I'd be happy to pass on to you if you want to have the moderator put us in touch.

    Our 7 year old is still in diapers, too, and we're doing our best to not make him feel self conscious about the whole thing.

    He wears the "Goodnites Nighttime Bedwetting Underwear" that's appropriate for his size. I was so glad to find them and see that they have The Hulk on the diapers so that it's still kid oriented and not like a boring adult diaper. We leave a spare near his bed if he wakes up in the middle of the night NATURALLY (without us waking him up), and the one he is wearing feels full. In those cases, he knows to change into a new diaper and go back to sleep. We're slowly working on getting him to get up and go to the bathroom, but it's a little scary to do the walk in the dark. We've tried several times before, a few months apart, to go the route of waking him up when we think he should wake up to go pee, but all those times did not work out.. 

    We also put a "pee pad" on his bed. Don't bother with those disposable flimsy paper and plastic film ones. We buy the kind that hospitals and nursing homes uses, and it basically covers the whole kid sized bed. If it gets wet one night but not saturated, I'll lay a a bath towel over it for the next night so that I don't have to wash the pads every day. If you need a hint on what to look for, this is the title of what we buy on Amazon "100% Cotton Big Size Washable Bed Pad / XXL Incontinence Underpad - 36 X 72 - Mattress Protector - Blue". I have three of these pads in rotation.

    You can probably get by with a pad that's half size if your son doesn't roll around all over the place at night like ours does. When we go on vacation, we bring the half size and have him sleep in our bed between us so that he's wedged and can't roll. If the pad gets wet, I put towels over it to cover it up if I don't have a way to wash and dry it. 

    Lastly, we never say to him "you wet the bed" or "you peed the bed". We always say "the diaper leaked". It's just a different way of framing the situation so he doesn't feel bad about himself and his body. We also tell him that everybody grows at different rates, and everybody's BODY PARTS grows at different rates, and that his bladder just so happens is still trying to grow and catch up with the rest of him. 

    the first thing is to make sure there is no constipation (all the poop is out with soft squishy poops daily) as any hard poop or not pooping daily will compress the bladder and make it harder to be dry at night. 

    the other thing is that few kids who bed wet will wake themselves with the alarm and the parent has to help by sleeping in the room and waking the kid at the first noise for the first few weeks. a great book that helped us a lot is: Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: A Practical Guide for Parents of Children with Bedwetting, by Renee Mercer. my kid went from overflowing pullups to being dry within a few weeks when we followed the book to the letter. hope it helps!

    That sounds rough! I found something called a Peapod mat, which I use as backup for blowouts and dribbly milk with bed sharing with my baby, but it’s designed primarily for bed wetting (and we might need it for that later!)

    I come from a family of bed wetters. For one sister, this lasted until she was ten years old. Somehow we all outgrew it. I don’t know what the theories and treatments are now , but my mom handled it with a lot of patience. There were no pull-ups in those days and she just washed the sheets. I do remember her getting my sister a thick washable sleeping bag so she could go to sleepovers without shame. It sounds like your child is a very deep sleeper. 

    Our daughter wet the bed till she was 9. She was just an incredibly sound sleeper. After all the limiting of liquids, getting her up to pee, etc. for years, I finally did my own guided imagery approach because she was so worried about still needing pullups by the time she went to summer camp for the first time. Every night for almost 3 months, as she was going to sleep, I would sit on her bed and talk to her very soothingly, having her imagine that she was very relaxed, that she was going to sleep, that she was falling asleep, that she was sleeping, that she was dreaming, and then that she started feeling a little feeling like she had to pee. Then I'd have her imagine wanting to stay in bed but paying attention to that little feeling, and then OPEN HER EYES to wake up, then get out of bed, go to the bathroom, get on the toilet, and pee. At each step, I'd have her confirm she was imagining it so she didn't *actually* fall asleep. After a week, the bed wetting decreased, and it was completely done after about 3 months. And she had no accidents when she finally went to summer camp! Looking back, it seems pretty miraculous. I know 3 months sounds like a long time, but if you're like I was, you do a bedtime routine anyway. Good luck!

    This sounds very familiar - our deep sleeper wet the bed until she was 8. People told me to ride it out but I wanted her to be fully able to do sleepaway camp, sleepovers with friends, vacations, etc. We tried a bunch of different things but the Therapee system was actually what worked, so I would definitely recommend it. I'm sure it doesn't work for everyone, and like someone else said, it does involve waking up in the middle of the night for at least the adult going to help, if not everyone else in the house. But it was worth it. 

  • Bedwetting alarms - recommendations?

    (8 replies)

    My 6-year old son still wears pull-ups at night, but is motivated to stop bedwetting.  Our doctor recommended trying a bedwetting alarm.  Has anyone successfully used one, and, if so, what brand do you recommend? (I know  this question appears in the archives, but most of the responses are quite old).

    We used the SleepDry Alarm for my son, who was still wetting the bed at night at almost 10yrs old.  It worked the first night we used it!!  He still would occasionally have an accident, but the issue resolved 90% of the time.  

    Dear bedwetter Mom,

    I don't have advice but wanted to share my story. My son also was a bedwetter all the way to age 7 or 8. We didn't try anything except for buying high quality mattress protectors and avoiding fluids after 6pm. But truly we were so busy raising kids, working, and remodeling our house that the bedwetting was always a 'surprise' with me having to get up and change sheets and dry my son in the middle of the night. He was so mortified that is was not possible to do anything but work fast to get him in bed again nice and dry. The good news is that it eventually stopped.  Very likely your son will soon stop. The alarm might work so that he empties his bladder before it happens. Much luck.

    My stepson was a frequent bedwetter at that age, and would even occasionally wet the bed up to age 12. Our pediatrician at the time gave us a pamphlet from the National Kidney Foundation that was really helpful - they now have it online: and there is a section for kids.  At this site there is also info on what to look for in a moisture alarm and how to use one. My stepson was such a sound sleeper that alarms didn't work, and it was really difficult to get him up at night to pee. In any case, one of the big take-aways from this info is that bed wetting is not the kid's fault and that there can be physical reasons why they are doing it (smaller bladder or they produce more urine at night than most kids), and it can run in families. Our pediatrician gave my stepson bladder stretching exercises. 

    We used a Chummie bedwetting alarm with my eight-year-old son. He was peeing twice a night, every night in his sleep when we started, and so was still using night diapers. We used the Chummie for about a month, after which he stayed dry for 10 nights in a row and we stopped using it. Sometimes the alarm came unstuck from his underwear and therefore didn't sound when he peed. Sometimes the alarm went off but didn't wake him up. But even with those fails, the process as a whole worked. Other considerations/tips for use: (1) The child needs to want to be done with the night diapers: it was no fun for my son (and me) to be woken in the night and have to change his underwear and the bedding (use a waterproof pad on top of the sheet to minimize what needs changing) and reattach the alarm, but my son tolerated it because he was invested in the end goal. We did the training during the school year (because we had a busy summer of traveling coming up), and it turned out okay, in terms of sleep not being too interrupted. (2) Definitely make your child go to the bathroom after the alarm wakes them up. After the first few days, my son would stop peeing right after the alarm sounded, and was convinced that he had already peed everything out in the bed--because he wanted to go back to sleep--but in truth he hadn't, and would have another accident an hour later unless we made him go to the bathroom and empty his bladder the rest of the way out. (3) We always rinsed and dried the detector with a microfiber towel before reattachment, and didn't have a problem with false alarms. (4) When we ran out of the tapes that came with the package, we used duct tape: it stuck really well, although it did leave a temporary residue on the underwear.

    Bedwetting alarm was useless for my son.  It buzzed a few seconds after he had already let loose!  And the wire broke after 3 weeks.  His doctor finally recommended Desmopressin at age 10, because he was wet most nights and pull-ups couldn't contain the sheer amount of his urine.  By 12, the doctor started decreasing the Desmopressin and at 12 1/2 he was off it, without wetting anymore.  

    Since you didn't get great responses to your question, I thought I would chime in. My daughter (now in high school--shocking) was a deep sleeper to the point that bedwetting was an issue. I can't remember the exact age but it was something like 1st or 2nd grade when she was determined to be done with pull-ups at night. We ordered an alarm online from Malem that did the trick. At first it was torture--like having a newborn again with middle of the night wake-ups! But the issue was that she really did not feel anything when her body had to go so she needed the alarm to wake her up. At first, it is after the fact--obviously, since the alarm detects moisture. (Like a previously poster mentioned--make sure your child gets up and uses the bathroom.)  But eventually her body learned to anticipate it. She went through a phase when she would get up at night to pee, but now, years later, she sleeps (heavily!) through the night and has to use the bathroom first thing when she wakes up. It is a bit of a pain, but the alarm definitely can work. It did for us.

    My daughter is a bit younger at 5, but she had the same issue. She's a very deep sleeper, so she would wet the bed most nights. We started carrying her to the bathroom a few hours after she would go to sleep and right before we would go to bed. She hardly ever woke up or remembered in the morning. This kept her bed dry and eventually she stopped needing to pee in the middle of the night. It worked really well for us.

    We used the book "7 steps to night time dryness" which was amazing. follow the steps exactly really worked amazingly well. We used a Malem alarm (the metal clipped to the front of the underwear to sense the first drop of pee). We had to sleep in his room (90% of kids will sleep through a smoke alarm, let alone a bedwetting alarm) to wake him to it. He hated the noise and being woken up but once we explained that it needed to be obnoxious so that his bladder would learn to keep the pee in so that it wouldn't hear the noise, he understood and tolerated it. Also for many bedwetters, stool retention is the issue and once you get rid of that, the issue goes away (see the website 

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Dry nights for 2 year old?

Sept 2007

My 25-mo-old son has been potty-trained for six months (during the days) and two months (overnights, with one potty-sit at midnight or so). Lately (the past three weeks or so), he is peeing in the bed, despite me getting up at 12:30 or so to put him on the potty. Sometimes, he will still be dry when we wake up in the AM (7:30 or so), but by the time we finish our morning nursing, he has peed.

I have asked him if he would like to wear diapers while he sleeps again (in a very ''no big deal'' way), and he is very vehement that he doesn't want to. We have family bed, so the laundry is starting to get overwhelming! (Washing king sheets twice a week really hogs up the washer.)

I was thinking of putting him on the potty at 12:30 and then setting my alarm for 3:30 as well, and I am okay with the interruption of sleep. I am wondering how other folks have managed this? Specifically, I am wondering if by starting to set the precedent of waking him up twice per night, then he will start to get used to it and it will stick for years? Many thanks! wet mama

If he wants to keep trying to sleep without a diaper, I suggest letting him. You could get an absorbent pad to put under him. And maybe try getting up to pee before nursing the a.m. If you stick him back in diapers, you might find him still in them 3 or 4 years from now after he's lost this impulse of motivation. My son was very motivated at 22 months. I wasn't. But we went with his impulse and he did figure it out. emi
I think it's totally unrealistic to expect a 25 month old to be night potty trained. My son was also day potty trained at a very young age. He was not able to go thru the night dry until about 4 years old. Why push it? I suggest you get some information on boys and bed wetting from the National Kidney Association. We got information from them when my stepson was 8 and still wetting the bed at least 2 times a week. It was extremely helpful to us for setting realistic expectations. It is NORMAL for boys to take longer to potty train at night, and the NKA said for some boys it takes up to age 12 to stop bedwetting. Such was the case for my stepson. With my stepson we tried the waking up at night as well, but it is not healthy - - you are often waking them up out of a deep sleep and at the wrong time in the sleep cycle. You're the boss, not your son. Insist that he wear diapers/pull ups at night. Give him a reward if he does. Tell him he can have xy or z if he does, or give him a sticker. It doesn't take much to convince a 2 year old, but they know when they can easily push over their parents. anon
The choice should be: wet nights with a diaper, or dry and no dipes. Again, keep it no big deal, but make it a firm thing of ''one week with no wet dipes means you can go to undies again, when you're ready''. He is probably going through a developmental stage, which means he regresses on potty training, but under no circumstances should you encourage him to keep you awake at night or add more laundry. Not a great longterm solution. Him not wanting dipes is a great motivator for him to handle this. Also, no nursing until trying to go potty first (if he doesn't go and then goes later in your lap, that's okay - you're just getting him used to the idea). Potty training on child's schedule, while respecting Mom/Dad

2-year-old daughter is refusing pullups at night

September 2002

Hi, I saw the responses about a 2 year old wanting the pullup only to poop, and I remembered my problem. My 2.5 year old daughter is toilet trained except for the night time and we usually have her wear a pullup at night. Of late, however, she has been refusing to wear one. Im not sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with the fact that only the younger kids wear pullups at her montessori. Its leading to a lot of laundry loads and sometimes when she doesnt wake up immediately when she wets herself, Im concerned that being cold and wet may result in a cold. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas on how I can handle this? Thanks a lot in advance! V.

This suggestion is directed not at how to get your daughter to wear pull-ups, but how to avoid the need for them in the first place. I offer advice from the point of view of a mother and of someone who wet the bed until she was 12. My problem was that I slept too soundly to be awoken by the discomfort of a full bladder. After consulting several specialists, my parents simply set an alarm to wake me in the middle of the night. I would visit the restroom and finally there were no more wet sheets. Eventually I learned to wake myself. As a mother, I wanted to avoid the laundry problem and her embarrassment. This is what I did when my daughter was little. Each night when I got up to use the restroom myself (or before I went to bed late at night), I went to my daughter's bed, picked her up, and set her on the potty. Usually she awakened enough to sit upright on the potty (I provided support when necessary), but even when she appeared completely asleep, she would urinate. Then she either walked or was carried back to bed where she fell right back to sleep. You might try this with your daughter. After the first dry night, you can heap praise upon her and the positive reinforcement will help her feel good about herself. I kept this up for several months and then tapered back my intervention. She never wet the bed again, so either she was learning to get up herself or developing a stronger bladder. Good luck! Been there!

When can my 2-year-old stop night-time diaper?

My 2 year 4 month daughter has been potty trained during the day for a few months now. She is a very good potty user during the day, and does not need adult assistance in using her potty. She also takes her 2-hour afternoon naps without diapers. In fact, we usually place the potty in her room just before she naps, telling her the potty is there just in case she needs to use it. She has used the potty a few times during her naptime, without calling out for help. At night, we continue to put her in diapers, and her diapers are always wet in the morning (since she always drinks milk before bedtime). Some mothers have chided me for putting her in diapers at night, saying that this will confuse the kid. Of course there are other mothers who told me that most kids need night time diapers till at least 4-5 years old. My questions are How do I know when my daughter is ready to get out of her diapers at night? Is this something that needs to be trained such as waking her up in the middle of the night to go to the potty? Is it possible to train her to use the potty in her room without waking anyone up? How do other parents help their kids transition from needing diapers at night to saying goodbye to them?
I suggest that you should keep your child in diapers or pull-ups (or, if bigger, overnights) until you regularly find them dry in the morning. You'll know she's ready to be rid of them when she no longer pees in the night. Lots of kids still use nighttime protection until well past 4 or 5; let it be no big deal.
I was told to wait until my daughter woke up dry before I took her out of diapers at night. Luckily, I didn't listen to them! One day I just put her to bed in underwear and she was dry in the morning! She did go through a short period (later) where she would wet the bed. We started getting her up before we went to sleep and had her pee. We did this for 6 weeks and then stopped to see what she did. We have found that she gets herself up now. All that said, 2 1/2 is young to be totally potty trained. It is possible and I suggest giving it a try but if it doesn't work I would give her a few more months in a diaper at night.
I have 2 boys who potty trained very differently from each other. My suggestion is not to make a big deal out of it. Your daughter will be dry at night when she's physically able. Some children sleep so deeply (as my older son did) that they can't wake themselves up to pee. Eventually they grow out of it and can last through the night. Maybe the critisizm from other mothers makes it seem a bigger deal to you. It's really a matter of physiology and physical maturity. I know that as a parent we like to see our children progressing developmentally (along with their friends) but this has nothing to do with controllable behavior. Good luck.
I think 2 1/2 is still pretty young to stay dry all night. Most kids learn to stay dry through the night when they are physically able to do it. If the diapers don't turn up dry by age 3 on their own and the problem continues you should probably not use the diapers. Modern disposable diapers do such a good job at keeping the moisture away from the skin that the kids don't know they are wetting. My daughter has a severe wetting problem and with the diapers on she would sometimes think her diaper was dry in the morning and that she had accomplished her goal, but she really hadn't. As they get older with a wetting problem they need to know when they are wetting so they can use the muscles to stop it or wake up and go to the bathroom. It can be a lot of work for the parents to change sheets everyday, but there are bath towel size water proof pads that I place on top of the sheets (also using a waterproof mattress pad under the sheets), then a bath towel on top of the pad helps keep it in place so then you only have to wash the pad and towel. Both my kids were daytime trained by 2 yrs old but both are very deep sleepers. The older one wet at night until 6 yrs old and then finally out grew it. The second one is even worse, at 6 yrs she doesn't even wake up after she has wet. I have just started to read a book called Getting to Dry which takes a very in depth look at solving this problem and the different physical conditions that can contribute to it. I have just started reading, but they do suggest physically taking your child to the toilet in the middle of the night to build this habit for them. I do know from experience that a child may remain asleep during the whole trip to the toilet. Good luck

Nighttime potty training for 2.5-year-old

Oct 2007

Need some insight from other parents.

We potty-trained our son shortly after his 2nd birthday, largely because he just hated wearing diapers. It was a struggle to change him! He has truly done well during the daytime, but nighttime is completely hit or miss.

I have read so many things: Don't let them drink several hours before they go to bed vs. Let them drink whenever, even as they are trying to fall asleep... Don't put them in diapers ever again vs. Letting them pee the bed will make them become chronic bed wetters...Wake your child up at 11p.m. and take them to the potty vs. Don't take them to the potty, because they will never learn to take the initiative themselves....

What has worked for others? Currently, we are washing a lot of sheets but talking with our son every morning if he woke up dry or not. If we do opt for a ''non- diaper'' type nighttime option, are there any non-disposable options out there that truly absorb a lot of pee?

Any wisdom, direction, even a funny story would be most welcome... Thank you. -Mama to an energetic 2.5 year old

He is still young. Think about all the kids you know who still aren't potty trained at all! Waking up to go pee isn't something he can really learn, it is just something he will do. We were lucky, ours started waking up to go pee at the same time that she started going potty in the daytime. If he never ever wakes up to pee, you may as well keep using diapers/pull-ups at night until he starts waking up dry. The only difference is less laundry for you. He's not learning anything more from a wet bed than he would with a wet diaper. anon
At first I thought you were joking. I can't imagine why you would want a 2 year old to be dry at night. And why would you want them to experience the 'failure' (wet sheets) when it is so unneccesary? Our daughter wanted to go dry at night and we told her, to take the pressure off of her, that she couldn't do it til she turned 4. Then when she did it it was no big deal and she was used to being dry. Very few wet sheets and a happy child
Hi. I'm one more parent who potty trained my son at two and it's been working ever since. He is three now, all I need to do is go wipe, I'm not even needed at pee-pee time. I left him in diapers for night time a couple of months after everything else was working during the day, then one day I just did not put a diaper on him at night, but left him in training pants (double/triple fabric underpants, not pull-ups). And that was that. We did have a few occasional accidents, usually when he drank more water before going to sleep. Sometimes he'd wake up at night to tell me he needs to go pee. Or woke up because the bed got wet and he really did not like it. We did not talk much about it though. It appeared to me even before that questions (do you need to go? just tell me etc.) were rather useless. Good luck. Few months and you'll be dry. Diaper Free
You'll probably hear this often, but 2 is probably far too little to expect a child -- especially a boy -- to be dry through the night. My son was daytime potty trained very easily at 2 and a half; he finally started making it regularly through the night dry at almost 6. In between, it totally didn't matter when he had gone to bed, how much he had drunk, etc. His ''night training'' happened naturally, without any particular help from us. He sleeps very hard, deep and long, and I think his bladder just finally got big enough to hold it.

After considering all the options, I just put him in disposable overnights and let him (and us parents) sleep. I told him that someday his body would learn not to pee at night, and until then he would wear the overnights -- and he was OK with that. It never interfered with his using the toilet in the daytime. And it saved us all a lot of stress. I don't know if there are any non-disposable options out there -- for me, I figured the water and energy saved from sheet-washing was worth the relatively small addition of a single night diaper to the landfill. Expedient, perhaps... I don't know. Karen

2.5 year old waking us at night to use the potty

January 2007

For a number of months, our 2.5-year-old son has been potty trained during the day and wearing a diaper just at bedtime. The past few weeks, though, he has been waking up in the middle of the night and screaming for someone to take him to use the potty. He still sleeps in a crib so this is not something he can do himself (plus, at 2.5 y.o., I don't really think he has the physical skills to get up in the middle the night, take off his pajamas, use the potty--even a little training potty in his room--and get back into bed). Although it seems a little counter-intuitive to encourage him to use his diaper at night, we've told him it's okay to pee in his nighttime diaper, but he still cries out to be taken to the bathroom. We've tried limiting liquids in the evening and stopped letting him take a sippy of water into his crib, to no avail. We've also tried to outlast him, figuring if we don't take him to the potty right away, he'll have no choice but to use his diaper, but this feels a little cruel and hasn't been terribly successful (it's amazing how long he can hold it at 2:00 in the morning while screaming his lungs out, whereas at 2:00 in the afternoon I have about 30 seconds to get him to a bathroom!). I'm reluctant to wake him and take him to the bathroom when we are going to bed for fear that he won't go back to sleep. Any ideas?
We thought the midnight wakings were long gone

Take him to the potty when you go to bed. He'll most likely not really wake up but he will be able to pee, I'm pretty certain. Then he shouldn't have to go again. (We called this The Sleepy Pee.)
-Check it out.
Why not just take him to the potty and be done with it? He's doing FANTASTIC in letting you know that he needs to go, and waiting. Please keep supporting him in communicating his needs and helping him. The ''interruption'' seems to be only once a night, and a real need, so I'd consider it cruel NOT to help him. He already is quite awake, from what you describe, but if it makes it easier for all of you, consider a night light or dimmer in the bathroom so noone has to be brutally awake for the potty visit. And remember, it's only a phase, like so many things, so pretty soon his bladder will get into a different pattern and not wake him/you at midnight. Or he will actually develop the skill to go potty himself - maybe some easy-on/off PJs, a nearby potty, and some help the first few times will do it. But please, keep supporting him in going to the potty, not the diaper...
Hooray for the little communicator
You should be very happy that your 2.5 year old is so far along in potty training! He/She is doing really really well. It could be quite confusing from your child's perspective that you are saying sometimes it is ok to pee in his pants (diaper), and sometimes not. Consistency helps in matters of behavior expectations; I think you will need to take him to the potty when he calls in the middle of the night, and praise him for being aware, as so few children have this awareness so young. We moved our 2 year olds to mattresses on the floor which solved several problems. A mattress on the floor would allow him the ability to safely get out of his bed (though developmentally, it is a lot to expect a 2 year old to urinate, flush, wash hands, and go back to bed quietly...) Check with your pediatrician. Anon
Well, yeah. Obviously, it's time to get the 2.5 year old out of the crib and into a bed where he can go to the potty by himself at midnight. Leave a light on in the bathroom - a nightlight works well - and let him at it. This is not a problem, this is good potty training!

Did you see the note below yours about the 5 year old still wearing pullups? Do you really want to prolong this so that you don't have to wake up at midnight? I can't figure out why anyone would want their child to pee in a pullup when the child WANTS to be potty trained. Again, it's not a problem. It's a success. anon

This may sound weird ... but maybe try to transition him in a toddler bed and get some Chinese split pants or other nighttime pants that are easy-off so he can get up and go by himself at night? I know the midnight wakings must be a pain, but look at how well potty-trained he is! My son didn't start waking up to go to the bathroom at night by himself until he was four (and he still calls out for us sometimes even though he's physically able to get up and take his pants off by himself), so I think it's really great that your little guy has picked up on it so fast.
Don't let this window of opportunity pass you by! If your child is waking to go potty -- great. I got less sleep when my daughter was 2.5-3 years old than at any other time, but it was completely worth it because it meant no more diapers. Get him a toddler bed and two-piece PJs so he can start trying to go alone.
-- a mom
I think its time to put your child into a big boy bed and let him use the potty at night. Put a nightlight in the bathroom and get him PJs that are easy to pull up and down. Put big kid underwear on him. Out boy did this of his own will at this age and we were amazed (shocked!) that he could do all this in the dark. He would get up, do his business (this was pre nightlight so it was really dark) and then march himself right back to bed. He obviously wants to be trained at night, so why not?
Mommy of a dry kid
You need to take him to the toilet! Is it really that much of a hardship for you? If you just go to him and take him to the toilet before he has to scream for you very long, he will go back to sleep without too much hassle. He uses the toilet now, just like you. How would you feel if you had to go in a diaper at night? This may just be a phase he's going through--to see what the potty is like at night. You can also cut back on liquids at night and make sure he goes right before bedtime.
potty 24/7
You should have him sleep in a regular bed so that he can get up at nite and use the potty! You are so lucky that he even wants to use the potty at nite instead of going in his diaper. That's the ultimate goal of potty training, and you're holding him back by keeping him in a crib. At 2.5 yrs old, he's definitely old enough to get out of bed use the potty and get back into bed.
you can let your 2.5 year old sleep in a regular bed. If you're worried about him falling out of bed, you can get those rails that attach to the side of the bed. Get some easy sweats for pajamas, no zippers. It must be difficult for your 2.5 year old to know when he can pee in his pants and when he can't. You are causing more confusion. Be grateful that you have a 2.5 year old who is already potty trained. Get safety gates if you have stairs. anon
That is great that he is potty trained AND asking to go pee at night. I would just get up and take him. It sounds like he realizes that sleeping in his pee is not so comfortable. I bet that he would just pee in the potty, feel relaxed that he was able to empty his bladder and then sleep the rest of the night and stay dry. I think you should definitely go with his request as people often have a hard time teaching their older kids to wake up to pee. I've talked to frustrated parents of 4 yr olds whose children are so attached to their disposable pullups that they can't get them to stop wearing them at night. The earlier you start this the better. It will also save you money and landfill space (assuming he's in a disposable) Our son was potty trained at 2 yrs 10 months and by 3 yrs he started waking up to pee. We took him for a few nights then he started just sleeping through the night again but stayed dry. Some kids can hold it all night and some kids need to get up every night to pee. Are you concerned that he would have a hard time falling back to sleep? Or are you not wanting to get up with him? If you're worried that he would have a hard time falling back to sleep then just talk minimally, keep the lights low (put a night light in bathroom) and act really sleepy yourself. Then hopefully he'll realize that it is not a time to socialize, but just to go to the bathroom and go back to sleep. good luck!

2.5 yr old and middle of the night potty

April 2006

Background: Our daughter is two and a half, and she's semi- toilet trained. She has been out of diapers during the day for about five months, and at night too (for the last month); she lets us know when she needs to go, we accompany her, and give her a hand with getting on to the toilet and wiping. She doesn't use a training potty, we just started her on the adult potty. Also, we recently switched her from a crib to a toddler bed, so she's just starting to realize she can get out of bed by herself.

Situation: Before she was toilet trained, she used to sleep through the night just fine. But these days, she typically wakes up between 2-4 times in the middle of the night and ''asks'' us to take her to the potty. (Sometimes by the 3rd or 4th time there's hardly any pee, only a few drops.) I say ''asks'' because she actually tends to wake up crying or yelling ''potty''. We would love her to go on her own, but she's so used to our taking her that she refuses. We think everything is set up for her to go by herself - her room is right next to the bathroom, there's a footstool, and there's a nightlight in the bathroom (but not her room). We tell her when we put her down that if she wakes up, she has to go by herself, but we still end up helping her - so thus far we haven't really backed up our words.

Advice needed: My wife wants us to go cold turkey and not get up to help, letting our daughter realize she has to go by herself, even if it means a few accidents. I'm worried she could hold it in and hurt herself, and that it may also result in a regression in toilet training. I'd prefer to try to gradually help her less both during the day and night, so that she becomes completely independent, and going by herself will become no big deal. But perhaps this might just perpetuate the current state? Thanks in advance for everyone's help.

I would go cold turkey but get a little potty, too. She is very young--and the big potty (even if it is all she has used) is scary at night alone! Get a little baby bjorn Little potty (one piece, very easy for kids to use alone) and put it in her room or right in the bathroom door (we put a little changing pad underneath ours because sometimes when alone our son misfires). Tell her that she can use the potty at night all by herself-- it is her potty. And then I would go cold turkey. She may be so happy about the little potty that it is a distraction from you not helping her anymore... My son loves his little potty. He can go on the big potty, too--but he really likes his little one. It is an inexpensive item ($10 new) that you can pass in easily. Laura

2yr 10 mo old daughter wakes us up crying to potty

Nov 2004

Our 2 year 10 month daughter has been potty trained during the day for about 6 months. She's now initiated nap and nighttime potty training, refusing to wear a diaper or pull-up. Because of this, she often wakes up crying during the night when she has a full bladder. We tried initiating a sticker system - every time she gets up and goes potty without waking mommy or daddy she gets to put a sticker on the piece of paper we've taped next to the toilet. When she fills all the squares, we get to go to the toy store and she picks out a potty prize. This worked well for a week or so, and she ended up with one prize, but she seems to have gone back to crying and waking us. Sometimes it's only once a night, other nights it's 3 times. I thought maybe if she saw her portable potty when she woke it would be more successful than walking to the bathroom (which is only one room away from hers), so we then tried putting her little potty right next to her bed, with the stickers and sheet posted next to that. This also hasn't worked. I think she's just too tired and in that sleepy haze to remember what she needs to do.

Before this self-initiated nighttime training began, she consistently slept through the night since she was 9 months old.

I'm looking for other advice/ideas. I'm happy she wants to be trained at night, but the 2-3 times per night is making me a cranky mom, especially now that our 8 month old is sleeping through the night. nap times are not as much of a concern since she doesn't wake us and her nap usually just gets cut short if she has to go potty. I do try to limit liquids at night, but she does tend to be thirsty before bed.

Has anyone been successful with other incentives or ideas? Or is this just something that time will work out?

need a few nights of uninterrupted sleep

Time will work this out. DO help her to the bathroom at night. This is much better than giving her a complex about bothering you when she needs help with something, or paying for pull-ups. Maybe trade off which nights mommy will help and which nights daddy will help, then she and you will know who gets to sleep and who gets to help.
a mom
I think nighttime potty training this young is a hard road towards independence. Especially hard on parents. Similarly to your daughter, my son was daytime potty trained around 2 took off his night time pullups at 2.5. 2 years later he still wakes at night about twice a week, and requests our help. No amount of reward system worked, as in his sleepy state, it was too difficult to remember all of that wakeful stuff, when desperate to empty his bladder. The times he has, he has peed in the tub, on himself or missed a vessel altogether. What we found to work was to limit liquids an hour before bedtime, pee before bed, and if we're up until 11 or later, get the sleeping child up to pee before you turn in. As your daughter grows, so will her bladder. Sorry you're so sleepy.
on the winding road to a full nights sleep
I think that children's nighttime needs are very different from their daytime needs. It's great that your daughter learned to use the potty so easily, but I believe it's asking too much of her to take herself to the potty when waking from a sound sleep in the dark. I'd encourage her to return to diapers or pull-ups for the nights. However, the most important thing is to help her out when she needs you at night. Since she made it for a week without waking you, she's letting you know that your presence is more important to her than any reward. I bet this will pass soon enough.

2.5 year old refuses to wear pullups at night, wets the bed

Sept 2002

Hi, I saw the responses about a 2 year old wanting the pullup only to poop, and I remembered my problem. My 2.5 year old daughter is toilet trained except for the night time and we usually have her wear a pullup at night. Of late, however, she has been refusing to wear one. Im not sure why that is, but I think it has something to do with the fact that only the younger kids wear pullups at her montessori. Its leading to a lot of laundry loads and sometimes when she doesnt wake up immediately when she wets herself, Im concerned that being cold and wet may result in a cold. Has anyone else experienced this? Any ideas on how I can handle this? Thanks a lot in advance!

This suggestion is directed not at how to get your daughter to wear pull-ups, but how to avoid the need for them in the first place. I offer advice from the point of view of a mother and of someone who wet the bed until she was 12. My problem was that I slept too soundly to be awoken by the discomfort of a full bladder. After consulting several specialists, my parents simply set an alarm to wake me in the middle of the night. I would visit the restroom and finally there were no more wet sheets. Eventually I learned to wake myself. As a mother, I wanted to avoid the laundry problem and her embarrassment. This is what I did when my daughter was little. Each night when I got up to use the restroom myself (or before I went to bed late at night), I went to my daughter's bed, picked her up, and set her on the potty. Usually she awakened enough to sit upright on the potty (I provided support when necessary), but even when she appeared completely asleep, she would urinate. Then she either walked or was carried back to bed where she fell right back to sleep. You might try this with your daughter. After the first dry night, you can heap praise upon her and the positive reinforcement will help her feel good about herself. I kept this up for several months and then tapered back my intervention. She never wet the bed again, so either she was learning to get up herself or developing a stronger bladder. Good luck! Been there!
Unfortunately, I've had a good deal of experience with the nighttime wetting thing. The only idea I have for you is to involve your daughter in the consequences of wetting her bed. When I expected my son (and later my daughter) to strip the wet bed in the morning, I think it made their wetting mean more to them personally and motivated them to stop. If you change the bed at night, maybe have her fold the clean linens the next day or do some other related work that's created by her accidents. Caution: don't make the ''work'' she does into a fun, rewarding time she gets to spend with you playing like a grownup. (Also, don't make it a punishment: just a simple chore that needs to be done.) Incidentally, being cold and wet doesn't cause colds: viruses do, so no need to worry there. Susan
Our 2.5 year old also refuses to wear diapers. During the day she uses her potty, but she can't make it through the night dry yet. So we let her fall asleep without a diaper and put one on her as soon as she is in a deep sleep. In the morning she takes it right off ! another mom
Once our twins were no longer wearing diapers during the daytime, for years we took them to the bathroom just before we went to bed each night (about 2-3 hours after they went to bed). It only takes a short while for them to learn to go pee when they're still mostly asleep, and then it becomes automatic. We just picked them up out of bed, carried them in, put them on the toilet seat, (or in my son's case, stood him up in front of it when he was tall enough to reach it) and then put them back to bed once they had gone to the bathroom. Never in 4 years did they ever wake up. They virtually always went to the bathroom (if they didn't it was a sign to us that they hadn't had enough to drink over the course of the day). When they got too heavy, we walked them in, holding up their shoulders and steering them to the bathroom. We considered it 1) a courtesy to them so they could sleep more comfortably; 2) an aid to avoiding bedwetting, and 3) they slept longer in the AM because the need to go wasn't so urgent. We quit diapers early (2.5 years) and never had any problems. It was both easy and a time to be very loving with a child who is more than half asleep. If they needed encouragement, we said softly ''let's go pee.'' We finally quit when they turned six! Mary

Need advice for nighttime potty training for 3yo

March 2011

My 3 year old is doing well during the day with potty training. Need advice for nightime potty training. What works? What did you do? Any products that protect bed sheets from bed wetting so we don't have to keep doing laundry? Thanks moms and dads out there!

I just wanted to tell you about one trick a friend taught me. When you make the bed, put down a sheet then a bed sized waterproof barier, then another fitted sheet on top. That way if there are accidents in the night you can just quickly rip off the top sheet and the bed is slready made with a dry sheet underneath. Also have a clean blanket easily accesable. Really makes those inevitable night time accidents easier to deal with. Good luck! G
I think 3 is still pretty young to expect your child to be dry every night. Although, my daughter was dry every night by then, but my son--whew--was a bed wetter until he was 10 or 11.

Our best solution was to buy a very large pad, which was the width of a regular top sheet. It was waterproof underneath, but white sheet material on top. It took up about the middle third of the bed. We would lay it down and tuck it in, then if my son wet, he could easily take it off himself (your child is probably still too young for that), put it in the bathtub, change his pants, and go back to sleep. I made a second one out of a waterproof mattress pad.

His issue was that he was and still is a very heavy sleeper. We tried the bedwetting alarm and he always slept through it!!!

So, basically, his bed was all trussed up with a plastic casing around the mattress, waterproof mattress pad, sheets, then the special waterproof pad thingie.

In case they have not yet come up, here are several basics that often help.

  • avoid liquids entirely during last two hours before bedtime
  • use toilet on way to bed
  • if you go to bed several hours later, consider waking your child on your way to bed to give her a chance to use the toilet one more time
  • temporarily, ask her to wear as few bedclothes as possible (e.g., just panties) and use as few blankets as possible
  • if you are a heavy sleeper, make sure you have a way to know when she wakes to pee (e.g., use monitor) so you can assist and praise
  • lots of praise for success; very matter of fact for accidents (oops, try again)
  • mommy and/or daddy clean up, not child
  • arrange a.m. incentive, e.g., preferred breakfast if clean and dry, ''regular'' breakfast if not
  • make a success chart
  • involve other family members (e.g., grandparents) in success
  • no hint of punishment or anger about accidents
  • try to stretch out the intervals between toilet times during the day, maintaining success

    Three is pretty early for all night success, but not unreasonable. Different parents choose different targets: retain all night, pee on arising; wake up and go once during the night; etc.

    Best wishes and positive thoughts - Frank

    One tip we tried (it may have helped - hard to tell), was to not put undies on our daughter at night. She would sleep commando under her nightgown. The idea was that we didn't want her body to register panties as ''diapers'' in her sleep.

    Other than that, my understanding is that they just physically have to develop into being able to stay dry all night. Good luck

    3-year-old doesn't want to wear diapers at night

    Feb 2008

    Hi everyone, I am looking for suggestions on how to help my daughter stay dry at night. She is 3 years old (and I realize this is on the young side for this) but has been daytime potty trained for about a year now. She recently told me that she doesn't want to wear diapers anymore, but wants to wear underwear at night. She is never dry in the morning, but recently has been going to the bathroom just upon awakening, and it is a good amount of urine, so I know she CAN hold it when she's asleep- I'm just not sure for how long... The second issue is that she has always worn cloth diapers, and currently cannot undo her diaper by herself. Does anyone have good suggestions for cloth type pull-ups? I'm okay with washing diapers still, but she seems ready to move on... Thanks Have a big girl now

    My 2.5 year old uses Bummi diaper covers with the velcro flaps. She pulls the velcros off and lets the diaper drop to the floor and then climbs up to the toilet to potty. She has expressed the desire to wear underwear to bed, however, since she doesn't go potty when she first wakes up (even though the diaper is dry at the time), we've not actually done that yet. However, we have agreed that if she can wait up two mornings in a row with dry diapers and ask to go potty upon waking, we will let her wear underwear to bed. We also put doggy training pads under the sheet in case of accidents. crystal
    My son said the same thing. He said diapers were for babies so we put him in underwear at night & protected the mattress. We had some wet nights but he got it down pretty quickly. And then, he got up to pee for awhile and now he sleeps through the night. Another thought, maybe she's wakes up wet because she's in a diaper & knows she doesn't have to get up. I say take advantage of her desire to wear underwear now before she changes her mind! And, IMO she is not on the young side, if she's ready, she's ready. Follow her lead! anon

    Almost 3-year-old wakes us up at night to use the potty

    July 2005

    For the past few weeks my almost 3 year wakes at night to go pee. He is still in a crib so we have to get up with him. He has been potty trained since 2 1/2 except at nighttime. He goes right back to sleep however occassionally he wakes up his brother in the same room. It also often takes me a while to go back to sleep. We have wondered about moving him to a bed, but still think he will cry out for us to help him in the middle of the night. Prior to this his diapers were almost always wet at night - now they are dry. He generally doesn't get any milk before bed but does drink water in the evening. Is this something he will just outgrow? Any advice??
    tired mama

    First, let me say that I sympathize with your sleeplessness. The solution is simple...get him a bed and make SURE he goes potty right before bedtime. My daughter is three and sleeps in a pull-up. She is in a big-girl bed and we do not allow liquids within 30 minutes of bedtime. Also, going right before sleep allows them to empty what little may be in the bladder. You have to be strong and consistent! Good luck. never wet at night
    I know this feels like a problem due to loss of sleep, but by the books this is GREAT that he is aware and able to initiate going to the potty rather than wetting the bed or regressing back to diapers. Of course you can limit liquids before bed to decrease the need but short of that, I would actually be praising him for his ability to seek out the potty. When he's in a regular bed he will be able to bring himself, or if he's still scared to go to the bathroom alone you could have a child's potty by the bed. If he then still wants assistance it may take some time and positive reinforcement for him to gain confidence to go himself at night without assistance. Deb
    A 3 year old is pretty young to be expected to get up by herself at night without your assitance, if she has to go. If she pretty reliably needs to go every night and you're worried about her waking the other child, you might try waking her up yourself a bit before she usually wakes herself, to avoid the noise. Just for comparison, my 6 year old stopped needing help around age 4 and no longer gets up in the night, while my ten year old still gets up, and still on occasion needs our help. Each kid is different. anon
    Wow, it doesn't sound like much of a problem that your child under three is so well potty trained he wakes up at night to use the potty! I wish my 4 year old did that - she sleeps so soundly, she still has to use a pull up or she will wet the bed.

    The standard advice in this situation, I believe, is to wake your child to use the potty just before YOU go to sleep. Then there's a better chance the child will make it till morning. Restrict liquids before bedtime. You might also try a regular bed - your child may learn from you how to go use the potty by himself at night.

    But from my perspective, I wouldn't try to discourage night time potty visits, because once they start going in the pull up at night, it's difficult to get them to stop. anon

    Don't let this window of opportunity close for 100% potty training! Get him a bed, let him sleep in underwear. Waking you up at night for help will probably only last for a couple of months. Mom of a 5 year old

    3-year-old twins' endless trips to the bathroom at bedtime

    Sept 2005

    Our three year old twins are doing well with day-time potty training but bedtime is becoming a circus. If they are not quite settled down at bedtime (which happens a couple of times a week if they happen to nap that day) they get up several times after lights are out and tell me they need to go. These trips drag out bedtime to 10pm as we pace back and forth to the potty.

    Like I said, once in a while they seem to need that nap and then I have to extend bedtime a half an hour or more, past 9pm. We have a set routine that includes potty time before bed but if they say they need to go after lights out, I feel I always need to treat that seriously. They do go, even if just a few trickles, about 80% of the time after lights out. Also, if they need to go after lights out, we don't turn up the bathroom light much, I don't allow more books, and I just put them back into bed (as opposed to kisses and hugs which have already gone round).

    But also, because they are not night time potty trained, they still wear a diaper to bed, so the extra trips to the potty not only drag out bedtime but I'm putting back on diapers 3-4 times per kid (that's eight re-diaperings in about 30 minutes). Whew my back!

    Is this a phase (to drag out the bedtime ritual) that will pass or are there tricks I can use to get them to go potty and also think they are done? I don't want give them a message they cannot get up to use the potty so I'm a bit stumped. Potty mama

    Pullups are MUCH easier to deal with than diapers. If your kids can get up and go at night without involving so much of your time of attention, maybe they'll stop yanking your chain this way. Sara

    When will 3.3 year old be ready to stop wearing diapers at night?

    April 2006

    My son is 3.3 years old and has been out of diapers since he was 2.5 years old. He sleeps like a rock and becomes EXTREMELY irritable when awoken ''before his time.'' When do I know he's ready to stop wearing diapers at night/nap? How do we get him to stop wearing diapers during his sleep? I have seen him sleep through wet clothes and sheets so I don't think that it would motivate him to not pee in bed. We already try to limit his liquid intake and make him pee before bedtime. Is there any way to train him without waking him up in mid-slumber? He now has occasional dry diapers in the morning but they're mostly wet. Any tips would be helpful- thanks. eugenie

    My son is just a little older than yours (3 yr, 8 mo), and I think he was in exactly the same place yours is at 3 yr 3 mo. He was pretty much dry during the day, we'd put him in pullups for night, and he'd sometimes have a dry one in the morning but not usually. A few months after that he started waking up when he needed to pee and crying, and we'd bring him to the potty. Now he wakes up and says that he needs the potty.

    We didn't do anything special... just continued with that. Today he told me, ''Mama, Friday is the last day that I'll wear a pull-up. AFter that I'm going to wear underwear to bed.'' We did have a week or so where he wore underwear to bed about 2 months ago and stayed dry, then after a night where he wet his underwear he started asking for a pullup again. Lately though his pullups have been dry every morning.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that we've entirely left it to him (of course, getting excited with him about being dry in the morning, but otherwise no pushing one way or the other)... and he's on his way to night potty-training himself. will be happy when he can take himself to the potty though!

    If your son is over three and still wearing diapers then he is not potty trained... But don't worry! I think you just need to stop letting him rely on the diaper for nap/bed time and just go for it. You may have a bed wetter for a six months to a year (the older the child, the longer it takes) but he has got to learn to wake himself up or hold his pee. It is better now than when he is older! The diaper is not letting him learn. Do not use pull ups or any disposable diapers. Get him in the cotton training pants--you can even fold a cloth diaper in thirds and put this in the training pants if need be. A good way to deal with the bed is to buy some extra shower curtains. Cut them in half--and then put one on top of the top sheet and then place a big towel on top of that. Then another plastic sheet, then another towel. I wouls set an alarm and check him every three hours or so at night. When he is wet immediately wake him up or change him if he will not wake up at all (he will cry, but he needs to learn this)--remove the first towel and plastic sheet and put him back to bed dry. This way you don't have to make the whold bed in the middle of the night. Two weeks of this and you will notice him changing. Sure he'll still have accidents, but all kids do. Try to keep positive and just keep saying ''we need to keep you clean and dry.'' Cloth Diapers Rule
    My advice for you is to just let it go for awhile. Especially at night, there's probably nothing you can do with a three-year-old boy to get him to wake up when he has to go; nor can his bladder probably hold enough to get him through most nights. He's just going to have to grow out of it. Everything I have read says that many kids, boys especially, may have to wait until they are at least 6 before they can make it through the night. My son's almost 5, and sleeps extremely deeply; he wears the ''good- night'' kid diapers. Just in the last month or so, he's started to have more than a very occasional dry diaper. When more than 50% of his diapers are dry, I'll think about it. In the meantime, it's just not worth worrying about, as it is perfectly normal. Karen
    My 3 year old has also been potty trained since 2.5 yrs. He doesn't wear a pull-up at nap time, and has no problem with that as long as he pees right before going down. At night he still wears a pull-up, and I am prepared to do that until he's 5 or so.

    It's quite common for boys to have a hard time w/ bed wetting at night. Our other son, who's in his teens, wet his bed at night at least once a week until he was 12. According to the Nat'l Kidney Foundation, that's totally normal in boys. Even waking him up at night didn't help, and other things we'd heard said that was bad to do as you interrupt their deep sleep regularly. Small bladders and other conditions in boys are also common, and for older kids there are bladder stretching excersises that your doctor should be able to teach him. anon

    My son is almost 6 years old and is soaking wet every night. Why? Because he sleeps deeply and is not ready to be dry at night. Many, if not most, boys are in the same boat. Our ped. is not even going to recommend nighttime dryness methods until he is 8 because it just doesn't work this early.

    Contrary to what someone has said, your son IS potty trained even if he is not dry at night and he very well might not be ready to ''learn to wake himself up or hold his pee.''

    He has no control of what his body does when he's sleeping and pushing the issue might lead to worse problems. My advice, let it go and he will be dry at night when his body is ready to be dry. Good luck! Jen

    Diaper Leaking at night - 3.5 y/o boy

    April 2005

    Help with advice for best night time disposable for a 3.5 y/o boy whose diaper overfills/leaks often. He pees before bed and has milk 1/2 bfr bed. Any recomendations so that we are not waking up at 4:30 and 5:00 with wet jammies? Thanks

    Try Huggies Overnights, purple package, hard to find, look at Walgreens. Carolyn
    I used to use diaper doublers but the drug stores near my house don't carry them anymore. I now just use a nighttime maxi pad and it works great. I usually fold under the top inch or so just to give extra coverage at the very top of the diaper. anon
    Get the GoodNites brand of night time pull-ups. At this point diapers and regular pull-ups won't work. Make sure his penis is pointing down too! Been There

    Friend says I should have stopped 3.5's diapers cold turkey

    Aug 2003

    Hello, Our 2 3/4 year old daughter is potty trained, but still uses a pull up or diaper for nap and night time. We just did this because that's what we saw friends of ours with older children do. Recently we had some friends over who have a 3 1/2 year old who said we should've stopped diapers cold turkey at all times when she potty trained .Do any of you have advice on transitioning out of diapers for nap and night time? Thanks so much!

    The process of potty-training our daughter was in phases, and I really feel this was the best. My daughter is over three. She first became potty- trained for everything except nap-time and night-time. Now she can get through her nap in her panties. We still have her in a diaper at night, and she wakes up most mornings with a very wet diaper. I talked to our pediatrician, and she said some children simply cannot hold their bladders all night. I would hate to think of the daily struggle of cleaning up a messy bed every morning in an attempt to go cold turkey (both effort-wise and my daughter's self esteem). If your child is not that wet after nap/night-time, you could talk to her about trying to stay dry for her naps, and then move on to night-time from there.

    Also, we encourage our daughter to drink lots of water all day. We know we will have to do a better job of tapering this off at night, but with the heat and her high activity level, we have let her drink what she wants. Monitoring your child's fluid intake may be something that works for you, but I think 2 3/4 is pretty young to be completely potty trained. Elizabeth

    My daughter was finally potty trained during the day, around her 3rd birthday. A couple weeks later she was dry all night, for a week straight. We kept her in Pull-Ups after she was day-trained, assuming it would take months for the night training to follow...but it happened spontaneously, and fairly quickly. Once she'd been dry every night for a week, she switched to sleeping in panties, with only a rare accident once or twice since (it's been 6 months). I don't think there's much you can do to speed it along, it just happens...their muscles & brains have to connect, and once they do, they stay dry all night. Best of luck! Heidi
    I have been very pragmatic about this issue -- I don't see how you ''train'' kids to do something while they're asleep. Both my older kids eventually stopped peeing during sleep on their own -- but rather later than other kids did. Basically, when your child is dry through the night for several nights running (or through nap time, which ususally happens first), then you take off the pullup. I get the kids to pee before bed and try to limit fluids. Otherwise, what can you do? Mom of 3
    My friend did the biggest favor by lending us her absorbent bed bads (they absorb without leaking) that were similar to lap pads but much larger. That night we put one on my daughter's bed and one on our bed, and have not put her in pull-ups since. She had about 7 accidents and as soon as I figured out that her last drink had to be one hour before bedtime, the few accidents stopped altogether. It's been great! Good luck. am
    Just because it worked for their kid doesn't mean it's best for your kid.

    I think 2 3/4 is pretty young to be dry at night. My boy trained during the daytime quite early (about 22 months) but he's now 3 1/2 and just recently stopped nighttime diapers (naptime diapers stopped at about 2 3/4). It's a big challenge and there are still lots of accidents, and most of my friends are telling me that's too young!

    What ended up happening for us is that at naptime he was quite often dry afterward, so we just stopped using them. Bedtime happened when there was a miscommunication and nobody put him in a diaper one night, and he woke up dry. After that, we used a reward system (stay dry seven nights and get Bob the Builder underwear) that worked just fine. Anon

    4-year-old is leaking out of diaper every night

    Sept 2005

    My 4 year old son wets his bed several nights a week. I realize this is common at his age, but the problem is that we can't find a diaper to contain the urine. He often wets through the diaper and wets his sheets and blanket. We use Huggies Goodnites (pull-up types of diaper). He is 42 lbs, and that is the only brand that I have found in his size. Are there any inserts out there to help absorb the urine? I've started putting in maxi pads, but is there another option? Thanks. anon

    My daughter wet her bed at night until she was about 5. Here are 2 things you can do (if you don't find better diapers).

    Put a crib protector on his bed over the bottom sheet (one of those diaper pad things you put in a crib to protect the crib mattress...they are absorbent and leak proof. Then put a large beach towel folded in half over that. This way, if his diaper leaks it will wet the towel and possibly the pad, but not the sheets and everything. Much easier to change the towel and let the pad dry out (unless very wet in which case it may also need to be washed) than to change the sheets and everything. Make sure you put something over the crib pad...they are very cold (I tried napping with my child once and forgot the towel...couldn't stand the crib pad).

    Also, with my daughter, she could not wear diapers at night after she was potty trained...they tended to give her diaper rash (the doc said it was because she wasn't wearing them during the day and her skin was no longer as ''tough'' as it was). So, I started taking her to go to the potty when I went to bed (around 11pm) or when I woke to go to the bathroom in the night. I would carry her from bed to the bathroom (still asleep), sit her on the toilet and shake her a little and tell her to pee. She would usually wake up a little, pee then immediately fall back to sleep. Another friend of mine who's child weighs more than mine, walks her child to the bathroom kind of in front of her between her legs. I did this with my child too...she is really mostly still asleep but I could get her to walk to the bathroom usually. You have to wait until about 2 hours after they first go to bed...if I tried to do this with my daughter too soon, she was just too deeply asleep to go potty. But usually, in the middle of the night, she was able to do this.

    This usually prevented any bed-wetting that night. I did this for about 1 year. I would try every once in a while to skip and see if she was able to hold it yet. Eventually she no longer needed this. Good Luck Anon

    They do have disposable diaper liners/doublers available. I usually can find them at the Albertsons in Montclair. They are in a yellow package (it may be an Albertsons brand) and they look a lot like maxipads. I bet that would solve your problem. Mom of a heavy wetter
    We've had similar issues with our 3 year old, who insists on drinking a cup of milk and a cup of water each night. What's worked for us is having my husband change her diaper right before he goes to bed. So she gets one diaper when she gets into her jammies at around 8:30, and a new one when he turns in at 11:30 or 12. We've been doing this for long enough that she usually manages to sleep through the diaper change. Most of her pee seems to be released into the first diaper, so even though she wears the second diaper for a longer time each night, she rarely ends up wetting the bed. Hope this helps. Janice
    My son (almost 5) also wets the bed somewhat frequently. We no longer use pull-ups at night, but I have another suggestion for you. Buy saddle pads from One Step Ahead or Target. It is a waterproof sheet a couple of feet wide that tucks in across the bed above the bottom sheet. When the bed is wet, you simply pull this off and the rest of the sheets are protected. No changing the entire bed in the middle of the night. It is machine washable and dryable, but buy two so you're covered when one is in the wash. When you want to abandon the pull-ups (I think it helped decrease the night wetting--) I'd suggest a spare washable blanket too! Good Luck! Hoping for dry nights
    Hi, We had the same problem. What helped, (though there are still occasional leaks), are (1) moving up to the largest size of GoodNites-XL and (2) using inserts. What we use are Depends incontinence pads which are designed for use with disposable underwear. If you use maxi-pads, make sure that the urine can flow through to the diaper - e.g. no plastic backing. Also, with any pads, make sure that the edges are tucked under the elastic on the diapers, otherwise the urine gets channeled straight to the bed. Don't bother with the new Safeway version of GoodNites - they led to quite a few wet nights. KB
    I'm so interested in what we all may find out! I have a almost 6 year old son. still in a nightime pull up. 42 lbs too. we wear the goodnites also. i have to add 2 adult pads (depends, assure etc) which can do the trick. I would love to also hear if someone has a better idea. Wouldn't it be great if there was a nighttime pull up that is really made for big kids. Big kids = alot of urine! looking forward to not spending $on pullups!
    You could try to wake him up at the time he usually gets wet, and put him on the potty. I made it with my 1-year old daughter for a period and it worked. When she anyway woke up a little bit (around 1 a.m.), I put her on the potty and then she was dry after that the rest of the night. After a while she was completely dry the whole night through and I rushed to put her on the potty in the morning. At daytime she was then almost diaper-free. You can have the potty in his bedroom, so you have not to turn on lights that can disturb him falling asleep again. MiaL
    We found the problem wasn't so much the diaper leaking -- it was that our son would, well, play with himself at bedtime and end up falling asleep with the tip of his penis either sticking out of, or just really close to, the waist of the pullup. (We use the Goodnights also; as far as I know they are the only thing available for kids this size.)

    So now we wait until he's solidly asleep, and then yank his pullup back up, making sure nothing is sticking out and his pjs aren't tucked in to it either. No more wet sheets! anon

    Diaper Doubles work. They come in a light blue package. I can only find them at the Safeway on Broaway and 51rst. They are tucked in between the diapers, so look hard for them. They look like a maxi pad, but without the plastic( the plastic stops urine from getting to diaper,which you want). Plus they are a lot less expensive then maxi pads. mom

    4-year-old is wetting the bed every night - back to pull-ups?

    Nov 2003

    Recently, my 4 yr old son has ''graduated'' from pull-ups at night. For two weeks all went well. He woke up at night and went to the bathroom if he needed to. Then all of a sudden it's been a bed wetting bonanza EVERY single night - in our bed and his bed (sometimes he sleeps with us). We try to make sure he pees right before bedtime, and are no limiting how much milk he drinks. Nothing traumatic or unusual has occurred in his life over the past few weeks to bring about the bed wetting. Is this normal? Should we go back to those expensive pull-ups?
    Tired of washing sheets everyday

    Go back to pull-ups!
    Hi, my 4 year old also started wetting her bed after a few 'lucky' days without pullups. Now I am extremely strict about not drinking anything after 6:30 (she goes to bed at 8:30-9:00). This includes grapes or other food high in water content. She has to pee right before going to bed. Now she sleeps all night without any accidents. I told her to drink as much as she can during the day, since water is important for our bodies. Laura

    4-year-old daughter bedwetting

    I have a 4-year-old daughter who is having a real problem with wetting her bed at night. She is perfectly potty-trained during the day, and has been for over a year. But she has never been able to be consistent about not wetting her bed. Sometimes she will go for as much as a month without wetting, and just as my husband and I are thinking she's finally over it, she will start wetting it 2-3 times in a week. The pattern of bedwetting is very irregular. One thing we have noticed is that she seems to have a VERY hard time waking up in the middle of the night. On those nights when she wakes up to go potty, she can't manage to get out of bed and go potty by herself. She sits up in bed with her eyes closed and cries until one of us comes in to get her. Then we try to wake her up (talk to her, shake her gently, etc.) and get her to go potty. We get her out of bed and she will start wandering vaguely down the hall in the opposite direction from the bathroom. I've even tried using cold, wet, washcloths to wake her up more, but it doesn't seem to work. I suspect that her inability to really wake up at night has a lot to do with the bedwetting, but I don't know what to do about it. My husband and I are thinking about putting her back into diapers or pull-ups at night, but since she hasn't worn them for over a year I am concerned that she will somehow feel disgraced or punished by wearing them at night (our concern is more for keeping the bed dry!). I don't want to do any psychological damage. I am also considering taking her to see the pediatrician about this, but when I suggested that to her she did not like the idea at all. I am really at my wits end about this, and would appreciate any help/information I can get! Thanks so much!!

    P.S. I don't know if this makes any difference, but she is the oldest, and has a 2.5 year old younger brother. She was not potty trained before he was born; became potty trained about 9 months after he was born; he is almost potty trained now (wears diapers only at night). The bed-wetting has been going on with her, off and on, ever since she started wearing underwear. It is not a new/recent development.

    to the parent concerned about 4-year-old bedwetting: Our daughter is four years and five months old and is often not dry at night. We don't think of it as bedwetting, but as not being night-time toilet trained, i.e. she's just not there yet. She wears pullups at night and sometimes she's dry, sometimes not. It doesn't seem to make much difference whether she goes to the bathroom shortly before bed, drinks or doesn't drink etc.

    Our pediatrician says don't worry or even do anything until she's five--some children's bladders are just not physically mature enough to last the night. I don't know if we're doing the right thing--I just have my fingers crossed that she'll outgrow it. We've encouraged her to try to stay dry and offered the reward of getting to wear panties, but whenever we've tried the panties the bed ends up wet. Mostly we haven't made a big deal about it, and, for better or worse she doesn't seem to mind wearing the diaper or be embarrassed about it. We did buy a vinyl mattress cover for her futon at Sears which simplifies life when she wants to try panties. I know this information may not be very helpful, but maybe you should try consulting your pediatrician by phone before taking your daughter in. If the doctor says just wait till nighttime dryness happens, then you might spare your daughter some embarrassment. On the other hand, if anyone has any techniques that have helped children this age stay dry, I'd like to hear them!

    This sounds familiar in more ways than one. Both of our children took a long time with night training, and both were very heavy sleepers. It sounds like your daughter is highly motivated and really doing pretty well, but consistent control might have to wait on a change in her sleep patterns (which I think is wired in--nobody can do much about it).

    Your pediatrician should be aware of this, of course, though it's probably not a sign of anything serious. If s/he wants to examine her, s/he probably should. A phone call certainly wouldn't hurt, and with cold season coming on you'll probably have more than one occasion to bring your daughter in anyway! Of course you could take the bull by the horns and tell your daughter, I know you don't want to see the doctor about this, but this is the kind of thing we have doctors for.

    Both our children, around the age of seven, licked the problem once and for all by using an alarm (Sleep-Dry is one brand name). I want to emphasize that this tactic has to be the child's choice--if it's forced on them it probably won't work and will probably do more harm than good. It's important that this be THEIR battle, project, challenge, whatever.

    Another tactic that might be good is the use of chucks--absorbent disposable sheets, about 2 x 3 feet, with waterproof backing; they're used a lot in hospitals, and I think you can get them at most drugstores. They protect the bedding but aren't as intrusive (or humiliating) as a diaper.

    My husband and I are thinking about putting her back into diapers or pull-ups at night, but since she hasn't worn them for over a year I am concerned that she will somehow feel disgraced or punished by wearing them at night (our concern is more for keeping the bed dry!).
    I think if you present this to her in just that light, she'll understand it that way. I mean, you should specifically say, This is not a punishment or anything bad--it's just something to help you keep the bed dry.

    Good luck. Learning to keep the bed dry is a bit of childhood learning that is consistently underrated, when you think of what we ask the brain/mind to do: relax, lose consciousness, dream--but remember this one thing . . . . [My children would probably prefer that this remain anonymous!]

    Night-time potty training at 4 1/2

    Feb 2010

    How do you potty train a child at night when you've missed the window? my daughter was potty trained very easily the minute she turned 2. At the time, her pull-ups at night were mostly dry. She seemed so young that there didn't seem any urgency to potty training her at night, and my husband and I just couldn't face waking up in the middle of the night to change the sheets, so we left the pull-ups on at night. Fast forward two and a half years. Her pull- ups are wet every morning and have been for at least a year. She doesn't feel it anymore, and so when we let her go without pull-ups, she sleeps in soaked pants and soaked sheets without waking up. I can wake her up to pee in the middle of the night and she will still soak the bed, and sleep soundly through it. At this point she wants to start doing sleep-overs and I am finally realizing that we have a deadline here to get her potty-trained at night. How do you potty train someone at night once you've missed the window and they have become de-sensitized? Do we have to go the route of getting an alarm? tired mom

    You're going to have to get up in the middle of the night. No drinking liquids after 5-6 p.m. Go to the potty before bed. Wake up in the middle of the night to pee pee first thing in the morning. No way getting around the work. M
    We've been dealing with the same issue with our 4 1/2 year old son (was dry at 2, is dry during the day, pull ups wet in the morning) and finally we decided that he was probably just being lazy and wetting the pull up at night out of habit more than anything else. Just last week, I decided to take him out of pull ups for good, and committed to just dealing with the night time bed changing ritual (similar to sleep training or other ''cold turkey'' habit training) until he was inconvenienced enough by the wakings himself that he just stopped. I didn't make him clean up his own bed sheets but he did have to change himself in the middle of the night, clean up his underwear, etc and he was NOT a happy camper doing any of that at 2 in the morning. I also committed to staying calm and not getting upset (difficult, I know!) so as not to load my own emotions on top of his, which were already pretty defeated. If he did wet the bed, I would say to him, ''It's okay, we'll just try again tomorrow night.'' I wouldn't get overly comforting or too invested in the outcome. Before bed each night, I'd say ''okay, try to stay dry again tonight. Wake me up if you're wet.'' I should also mention that the first few nights he slept with no underwear or pajama bottoms so it would be easier to feel when he was peeing. In order to avoid the total disintegration of the mattress, I went to CVS and purchased one of those thick linings that go between the sheets and the mattress so the clean up was only sheets. This was really difficult for 3 nights, but on the 4th night, he was dry...and has been dry for the last 5 nights. One thing I've learned in parenting is that sometimes the most simple solutions are also the most effective, despite their inconvenience on us parents. Having said all of that, my doctor also swears by the bed alarm. HM
    Do you let your child drink any beverages, even just a sip, after 6:30/7 pm? That might be your problem. My daughter will be 3 in March and has been potty trained for 2 weeks. This week was a no diaper at bed and we cut out all beverages after 7pm. She is allowed to have a sip of water when we get on pjs, then she has to pee, then to bed. Seems to be working fine now. This is also what we did with my son at 3.5.

    Another thing could be sleepover discussions. Tell her she can't have a sleep over until she can go 1 week with no pull up at night. That might help along with no drinking before bed. djb

    You haven't ''missed a window'' so stop kicking yourself. :) It's *totally* *totally* *totally* normal for a 4-5 year old to not be dry at night. And you don't necessarily have a deadline, because you can simply send her to a sleepover with a pull-up (GoodNights or UnderJams, which are designed for overnight, not the toddler-diaper type pull-up), and a small plastic trash bag for disposal in the morning. At age 4 she's unlikely to even be embarrassed about that.

    But if you want to try for nighttime dry, then yes, get an alarm. If your child is ready it works very quickly, though not without some effort on your part. Lots of useful info:

    We're waiting for summer, when there's no need to get up on time for school, to use the alarm on our 5 year old daughter. It took only a couple of weeks with her older brother and he's been dry all but one or two nights in the last 6+ months. Keeping the Diaper Pail a While Longer

    My daughter had same issues. Solution: made sure she went potty right before bed (around 7:30/8:00 pm). Then before I went to bed myself, around 11 to midnight, I'd quietly get her out of bed (either carry, or walk her in if she partially woke up), put her on the toilet, get her to pee, and then take her back to bed. She did it half-asleep, but she could then make it through the night reliably. After a while she got into the habit of waking herself up to go at some point. No pull-ups; I figured it was better if she just had the accident. Of course there was still the occasional accident, like peeing before she made it all the way to the toilet, but that's to be expected -- she'd come and wake me, and I'd clean it up. I don't think there's a way to avoid being up in the middle of the night sometimes; just part of the drill. It seemed like a pain at the time, but now that she's a teen, what wouldn't I give to have her small enough to carry into the bathroom again, feeling her warm sleepy body in my arms? We forget to appreciate what we have till it's gone. Mom
    I am really concerned about the postings I read about nighttime toilet training. Most children are still using diapers at night for some time after they are dry during the day. Developmentally, they are just not ready to control their bladder and wake up when they need to pee. It is not just laziness or stubbornness or anything else. Some children are not dry at night until 6 or 7 and that is totally normal. So please, if your child is like that don't make them feel embarassed or ashamed, it isn't their fault, their body is just not ready! mom who had to be patient
    We used an bedwetting alarm and it worked for us after a few weeks. Having kids go to the bathroom right before they go to bed and again in the middle of the night when you wake them up isn't the way to do it.

    They need to wake themselves up when their body notices that they need to pee. The alarm does that. It wakes them up right after they pee. Eventually they learn to get up first. If anything you want to have them drink before bed so they learn quicker.

    We got the kind that attached to their undies. That works better than one under the sheet. When it goes off, you get up, take them to the bathroom, they change their clothes and you change the sheets. We used two sets of sheets with a waterproof pad in between. That way we could just take off the wet sheets, put them in the washing machine, take off the waterproof pad and rinse that in the tub. Then get our kid (and us) back to sleep as soon as possible.

    For one of our kids it worked after a week. Our other took a little longer and had a couple of relapses so we had to use the alarm again. Until they stay dry for 2 weeks with the alarm, keep using it.

    I would suggest doing it in the summer when they can go to sleep with just a shirt and undies. Good Luck. The alarm works. Alarm Parent

    4.5 YO Bedwetting after 6 mos of being dry

    Oct 2003

    Our 4.5 year old son (who is a deep sleeper) has suddenly started wetting his bed at night, despite waking up once a night to use the bathroom. He's been potty trained for a year (daytime) and a half year (night time), so this seems strange to us. The only signifigant change in our lives was the birth of his second sister (now 6 mo), and his regression seemed to last a few months (but not now). He's very close to both of his siblings so we don't think he's doing it to get attention. We limit his drinks (no more after dinner, 6ish) and have him use the bathroom before bed (8pm). We're also thinking about waking him when we go to sleep 2-3 hrs later. Any other ideas?? Help!!

    My slightly over 4-year old son could not make it through the night if he were to last pee at 8 in the evening. (As well, he is a deep, deep sleeper.) We awaken him between 12 and 1A to pee (''pot'') him and, then, again, in the dark of the morning around 5 or 6 (if we can get up). This seems to stop him from having bedwetting incidents even though he has been diaperless since about 3 1/2. Know also that it is reasonable that the diapers not be able to contain all of the urine that a 4.5 year old can produce. I would try ''potting'' him at least once (if not twice) after the 8 o'clock peeing session. When I watch/hear my son pee, I realize that he can produce and store so much pee that it would make sense that a diaper, if he wore one, could not contain all of his pee. You can pot your child even if he is wearing a diaper of pull-up at night. Take heart; by the time he is college-bound this will be a non-issue. I also know that sleeping boys are so much less responsive to their need to pee than sleeping girls. Good luck
    Dry sheets

    4 1/2 year old son is bedwetting

    I know this topic has been somewhat addressed in the past and I've read the posts, nevertheless, wouldn't mind some fresh thoughts. My son potty-trained at about 3 years old. We were pretty lazy about the night stuff and kept him in a pull-up until recently. He is now 4 1/2. He was the type who always got complacent as soon as he got his pull-up on, and even if he were still awake, he would use that rather than the potty. About a month ago, he decided he wanted to be through with pull-ups completely. We had a week or two of accidents, then suddenly it appeared that he got it. For two weeks in a row, he would wake up in the middle of the night, go pee, then go back to sleep (in our bed, but that's another post!!). But now, for the past week, he doesn't seem to be able to wake up until after the accident. We are being very careful about restricting the fluids after dinner, and making sure he goes right before bed. Yet its not working. My husband works at night, so at first we had tried having him wake my son up when he came home. This met with mixed results. There was usually a lot of crying and struggling, (the poor guy was being roused out of a sound sleep!), but often he would pee. I'm thinking we need to go back to this method, as unpleasant as it is. Any thoughts??
    My first advice is to remember that his bedwetting in not necessarily something your son has control over. His body needs to recognize when the bladder is full and that it is time to get up and visit the bathroom. You did not mention limiting his liquid intake before bedtime or whether you require him to empty his bladder before bedtime. Do not ask him to do something over which he may have no control.
    This is for the parent who was concerned that her son wet his bed at 4.5. Don't worry! That is normal. All kids develop differently, even in their bladder control. My daughter used a pull up until she was 6 years old. There were a couple of her friends who did the same. She is now 7 and doesn't need any sort of diaper. Your son will get there, he just needs more time. His bladder obviously isn't developed enough to hold urine all night.
    I would like to respond to the person who was concerned about a 4.5 year old boy wetting the bed at night. I have two sons 9 & 11 and neither one of them stayed dry at night until they were 6. I may be blocking this out, but I think my oldest was almost 7!! They were both day-time potty trained at 3 but couldn't stay dry all night for years more. I think it is very early to get worried about these types of accidents. My two didn't mind pull-ups since I didn't make a big deal about them wearing them, so maybe if you can back off this issue a little, your son won't mind pull ups either. It may be a while from my experience and I can imagine washing bed clothes everyday would be awful. But I'd suggest dropping the issue entirely for a while. I don't know whether boys mature here slower than girls, but I don't remember my friend's sons staying dry this early either. Relax, it will happen when he's ready and then, as mine have, go on to bigger and better ways to make you crazy.
    If your 4 year old is bedwetting at night, it his not under his volitional control, as in the day. He probably just needs to be a bigger boy with a bigger bladder. How he views pull-ups probably has a lot to do with how they're presented, and if he was taken to Disney for obstensibly giving them up, then it wouldn't be too surprising if he saw using them as a failure. I'd suggest a low key and matter of fact approach: kids who wet the bed pretty regularly need pull ups, and when you're bladder is a little bigger, you won't need them anymore. NO shame, embarrassment or berating, just that's the situation for now.

    My son wet through age 5 and had occasional bedwetting with once or twice per year til 8 or so. I have friends whose kids wet past 7 and have heard that boys especially can go up til 10 and be within normal limits. Huggies finally started making large sizes after enough requests. My son had a friend sleep over twice who wet the bed: my only rule was that he put the bedding in the bathroom and crawl in to a dry bed. After the second time, I asked his mom to provide pull-ups that he could discreetly put on under his pyjamas, but she said he wouldn't wear them. Too bad.

    We haven't even considered taking our almost-5-yr-old out of pullups for the night. If he's not yet dry on his own, why make the extra fuss/discomfort/work? I understand that lots of kids aren't ready to sleep through the night without peeing by this age -- and even later. Their bladders may not be large enough yet, or the body control just there isn't yet. I'd change tactics and not make it an issue anymore -- no blame, no shame. Get him back into pullups in a non-shaming way, or get those larger, less-bulky pretend underpants that are advertised in a lot of the parenting magazines.
    My daughter, now 10+, had the same problem and did need to wear pull-ups until almost 6. I understand that it can be quite frustrating, above all when you have to change the bed every day; luckly she was ok with pull-ups, so that made things easier.

    One thing that seemed to help was that for quite a while, after we decided to give it another shot to night without pull-up, I would wake her up around 11:30pm or so and ask her to go to the bathroom which would ensure that the rest of the night would be dry. And there was no drinking from 1/2 hour before she was going to bed. It took some time (2-3 months), but it worked.

    To the parent worried about your son's bedwetting: I wet the bed almost every night until I was twelve. It didn't have anything to do with lack of motivation get up. Rather, I was a very very heavy sleeper. Eventually my parents brought in an expert to diagnose my sleep patterns. I had to be trained to wake up (at least once) during the night so that I wouldn't wet the bed. I would recommend investigating the web or the library for more information on sleep cycles and bedwetting. My guess is that if you could help him wake up in the middle of the night (or before you go to bed) until he got into the habit of waking up on his own, that his bedwetting would diminish. I only wish my parents had brought in the expert earlier in my life as it would have saved me years of embarrassment. Good luck!
    I would like to respond to the person who was concerned about a 4.5 year old boy wetting the bed at night. I have two sons 9 & 11 and neither one of them stayed dry at night until they were 6. I may be blocking this out, but I think my oldest was almost 7!! They were both day-time potty trained at 3 but couldn't stay dry all night for years more. I think it is very early to get worried about these types of accidents. My two didn't mind pull-ups since I didn't make a big deal about them wearing them, so maybe if you can back off this issue a little, your son won't mind pull ups either. It may be a while from my experience and I can imagine washing bed clothes everyday would be awful. But I'd suggest dropping the issue entirely for a while. I don't know whether boys mature here slower than girls, but I don't remember my friend's sons staying dry this early either. Relax, it will happen when he's ready and then, as mine have, go on to bigger and better ways to make you crazy.
    According to my pediatrician, about 12% of children are still not dry through the night by age 6 or 7. This is largely due to the fact that some children are such sound sleepers. I would talk to your pediatrician. If your child is drinking a lot however, and peeing a lot, have your doctor check for diabetes. Those are two classic symptoms of the disease.
    I wet the bed until I was 8, and so did my sister. I really think it has to do with sleeping too heavily to wake up when you have to go to the bathroom. I was humiliated by my parents' efforts to cure me by playing a song called I Woke Up in a Dry Bed. Stress might have something to do with it (I stopped wetting the bed when my mom left work), but I think it is something some kids just have to grow out of. It is definitely not something kids can control -- what 8-year-old would choose to wet the bed?
    I don't think it is uncommon for a 4.5 year old not to be dry at night. My son, now aged 16, toilet trained himself when he was 2 years old, but he was not dry at night until he was 6 or more. It has, in part, to do with how soundly the child sleeps and whether or not she or he wakes up to the need to pee. My son did wear diapers (pull-ups weren't around yet) for many years. In fact, his younger brother (3 years younger) was dry at night while the older still was not. I was encouraged to know that his situation was well in the realm of normal and tried not to stress myself or him about it. I think the key is to not consider it a problem. We did use an alarm for awhile. Pinned to his underwear, it would buzz when he first started to pee. It had the positive effect of waking me up, so that I could wake him up. He slept right through it. Hope this helps.
    Probably you will get lots of advice from experienced parents (which, as a parent of a two-year-old, I am not) on this, but just in case you don't, I wanted to chime in on this. I've read a far amount on this issue, including on this list, if memory serves. As far as I understand it, bedwetting in a four-year-old is not at all uncommon--not the norm, but I think somewhere around 15-25% of kids this age, particularly boys, wet at night. It's typically not bad behavior that's causing it, but usually very deep sleep: the child sleeps through the bladder's wake-up signal. I think it's not even considered an official problem until age 7 or 8. There are all kinds of coping stratgies, from instituting a practice of pee three times right before bed, to limiting fluids after seven p.m., to parent-led awakenings during the night, to hypnotherapy, and onwards to more intrusive measures involving electronic moisture sensors and buzzers. How about talking with your pediatrician about this, since there is also a possibility that there is a medical issue underlying the situation. But above all, and this is why I decided to pipe up here, it is most important not to shame or punish your child for his accidents. Most likely this is something out of his control. Try to keep the tone light, not serious, when you address the matter with him.

    About the strategy I've read about is to make up the bed with several layers of bedding, with waterproof layers in between. Then if the bed gets wet, you only have to strip off the wet layer, and the clean sheets are already ready to go. As for pajamas--how about sleeping bottomless, or how about poly-propylene long-johns, which stay warm even if wet. Best of luck to you in coping with this--it will surely pass.

    A friend of mine had two sons, who both kept wetting their beds at night. She tried various methods over time, but the one that worked was the alarm method mentioned by several people in the previous post. If their pants were even a little wet, the alarm went off and woke them up so they could go to the bathroom.
    I've read all the answers to the mom whose child is wetting the bed at 4 1/2 and I agree with the majority of responses that said don't worry, he's normal. I also agree with responses about use of an alarm system for older kids, but it my experience it's best to wait until they are much older, 7 or 8 and really motivated on their own. If you persuade a younger child to try it and he gets upset with being awakened or the device doesn't work for him, he may be unwilling to try it again later. I have a much longer piece about this in Parents' Press in the next month or so (it really is a common question!). You'll have to pick up the paper since they hold copyright on my columns. Meg Zweiback
    When my daughter was about 3 years old she began to refuse to wear pull-ups at night. The problem was that she did not stop wetting her bed regularly (so can you call these accidents?) for another couple of years. In fact for several more years she would go through phases of wetting her bed every other night or so. We talked to a couple of pediatricians about this, and they both said that some children do not develop the hormone that prevents people from urinating in their sleep until quite late. Another explanation was that our daughter would not want to miss any play during the day, so she would hold her urine in until she couldn't possibley stand it. This trained her body to not awaken her at night until it was too late. This pediatrician recommended having her try to urinate every two hours during the day so that she would train her body to feel uncomfortable before the bladder was completely full. This strategy seems to have been the one that finally worked. So, I would recommend that you talk to your pediatrician about your 4 year old's bed wetting. It will probably put your mind at rest, and your pediatrician will probably have some good advice about how to deal with it as well. Hope this helps.
    I actually asked Par. Dig. readers about this issue last year. My 4/12 yr. old daughter was wearing Pull-Ups at night and wetting during the day. She was starting kindergarten in the fall and I was getting nervous. The advice to just wait worked out. Without any pressure, she eventually stopped wetting all by herself, just before her 5th birthday
    I noticed a couple of parents recommended not giving their child anything to drink after dinner to prevent the bedwetting. While I suppose that would work, I know that my son who is 4 1/2 is so busy during the day that he probably doesn't remember to stop and drink as often as he should. We can't expect day care providers to keep tabs on the fluid intake of all the kids. I think I'd rather let my kid drink in the evening and wear pull ups than risk his not getting enough fluids. Of course, there are some drinks which run right through their little systems, like coke etc, and those should be avoided.

    As for the deep sleepers, I have a friend whose 7 year old daughter had this problem and repeatedly wet her bed. His doctor suggested she stop drinking milk, as she may have some mild allergic reaction which made her sleep so soundly. Anyway, it worked -- I'm not sure I understand why!

    Waking him up is exactly the wrong thing. His body needs to recognize when he needs to pee, and wake him up. Waking him up saves you some laundry but doesn't help the problem. Maybe he needs to grow up some more?
    I had a problem with my daughter wetting the bed at night- several times. Several children in my family have had this problem. This went on for years and the body does not learn to wake up. Apparently the problem is twofold. One, the body should not produce so much pee at night, and two our children sleep too deeply to wake up in response to the need to pee, which is considered a sleep disorder and causes the body not to get enough of the sleep they need. The only solution to the nightly pee production was a nasal spray (hormone) and I did not opt for that.

    I started taking my daughter to the bathroom several times a night to avoid changing the bed - she would not wake up through these visits to the toilet. This did not help. Then I was told (by my sister who is a nurse and did some research on the subject for her own children) that I actually needed to wake her up and take her to the bathroom and that this was the way to resolve her sleep disorder. I began to do that (not easy believe me) and she stopped wetting the bed every night within two weeks and within a couple of months did not wet the bed at all. When my son turned out to be a bed wetter also, I immediately began to wake him up a couple of times a night to go to the bathroom and his bedwetting was resolved shortly after he got out of diapers.

    4 1/2 year old son having accidents every other night

    My son is almost 4.5 years old and he is having accidents every other night! I wonder if I can call it accidents anymore since it happens so regularly!

    We have tried bribing him by toys and reward for staying dry and even took him to Disneyland when we thought he graduated from pull-ups during the summer. but alas...

    Should we go back to using pull-ups? He hates wearing pull-ups and refuses wearing them, but I am afraid that sleeping in wet clothes may cause a cold or other problems. besides, it is not fun to wash linens every day. We have talked to him many times, but seems like he cannot control it.

    I am also getting a little concerned because I not seen children over 4 with bed-wetting problem.

    To the parent who asked about bedwetting -- I think this is not all that uncommon. Our daughter wet the bed until she was about 6. It gradually tapered off, and now, at nearly 8, she never does. I think it was a combination of immature muscles and the fact that she is a deep sleeper. I have also heard anecdotally of other children also up to about 6 or 6 and a half who wet the bed. I think I had heard that it was usually boys who had this problem, but I know of at least two other girls like my daughter. It did help a little if we made sure she went to the bathroom before going to bed. Other than that, I would put her in pullups or else get a mat for the bed and a few sets of sheets! (That, in fact, is what we did.) I think we were a little worried that it was some deep-seated psychological problem (or an attempt to drive us insane), but it now seems that her muscles were just slow in developing.
    Some hints about night time bed wetting: Approximately 10% of children have night time bed-wetting, and this is normal. It's clear that even when children are very motivated they often can't wake up to go to the bathroom. It's not uncommon for some children to still wear pull-ups when they are 6, 7, or 8. You just don't hear people talking about it much. One plan that has worked for some people is to increase water intake! You want to have your child drink lots of fluids during the day to try and help to stretch his bladder(you can talk with your Pediatrician about how much is ok). It's ok to limit fluids some in the evening, but make sure to increase it during the day.This is a key piece that can work very well for some children. Then with a child who is older (over 6) who wants to stay dry I would try the alarm. The problem is that most of these kids are very deep sleepers, and they don't hear it when it goes off.Parents try it a few nights and then give up. SO, what you can do is tell the child that you want to help them learn to wake up.If they too want to stop bed-wetting they will probably go for this plan. Take a mattress and put it on the floor of your bedroom. If you have a partner you can take turns getting up each night (this is worth doing, even though it takes work). Put the special Enurisis alarm (different types..cost approx. $40-60) in place after your child has gone to the bathroom. When you hear it go off in the middle of the night wake your child up and take him to the bathroom. DO this every time it goes off until your child learns to wake himself up. Again, the key is to increase the fluids during the day....their bladder can hold more so they feel more pressure...and hopefully it will be towards early morning when they need to go and at that time they are not in such a deep sleep.DIfferent things work for different families...this has worked for some I know. Good luck, and keep in mind that the worst thing of all is for a child to feel ashamed about wetting the bed. Pay attention to your facial expressions and tone of voice when he or she is wet in the morning. If possible just say something like, OK lets get the sheets off into the washer Some folks also just put a towel under the child in the middle of the night so the sheets can wait to be changed till morning. Mattresses that smell like urine can be thrown away, a child's shame stays with him for life.
    Regarding the 4 year old bedwetting. My child had this same problem which also came with a family history of it. When he was five we asked the pediatrician about it. He said that it is not unusual for boys to go up to age 7 with this problem. They usually outgrow it he said. Well, 7 came and went and he didn't outgrow it. We went back for more help and were told we had two alternatives. There is a nasal spray that somehow helps. And an alarm pad method which alerts the bedwetter with a buzz at the first drop of wetness. The nasal spray sounded like a drug to me so we went with the alarm pad. Within 2 weeks the problem was solved and we have never had the problem again. You can buy the alarm pad from your pharmacist without a prescription. They keep them behind teh counter and come with great instructions. Remember, the child has absolutely no control over this problem. It is not a sign of laziness. It is unusual at all. A large percentage of children suffer from bedwetting and for some reason boys suffer from it more than girls.
    My son's dr. said not to consider them bed wetters until the age of six. He further stated that we should just be matter of fact and not make a big deal, but continue using the pull-ups until he was dry 3/4 of the time. If your son is giving you trouble with the pull-ups I would just explain that until he is ready to get up and go to the bathroom at night he has to wear them. I would stop talking about it so much and just wait for the sign that he is ready.
    My 4 year old also has accidents, but his are during the day. We have not yet dealt with night time issues. However, we have recently started a reward system for him that seems to be working. One of the main advantages is that it has been a lot easier for me to deal with my frustration when these accidents occur. Simply, he gets stickers for peeing or pooping in the potty. If he gets enough stickers in one day, 5 in his case, he gets to have a special treat. He and I came up with the treats - such things as watch a video, blow bubbles, play blocks, chocolate milk, etc. If he has an accident, then I don't feel inclined to give a lecture, etc. He just missed an opportunity to work toward his special treat. It has successfully helped him take responsibility for himself in this area, and helped us emphasize the positive results. It may also be that your son is not ready to stay dry every night.
    That your son wants to stay dry but can't despite your attractive incentives seems to suggest that there is a physiological side to the problem. May I suggest that you contact a Jin Shin Jyutsu practitioner who can teach you how to do Baby Pose on your child. I can teach you this pose over the phone or give you a referral.
    My husband wet the bed until he was 5, and he said that his parents got a Wee-Alert or something -- a pad that sounded an alarm when wet. He said that really taught him how to read his body's signals when he was asleep.

    Tips and ideas for getting 4-year-old out of pull-ups

    August 2008

    My son is going to turn four at the end of the year. He has day time potty training (and naps) completely down. He still needs a pull up at night, though. I've been trying to ease off liquids in the evening, but so far, nothing is working. He sleeps very hard, which is amazing (especially to me, an insomniac).

    Does anyone have any tips/ideas? I haven't made it a huge priority so far, but I do mention things that he may be able to do when he's able to sleep in his undies. I believe they're called bribes.

    Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks. Momma

    If he sleeps really hard, it's quite possible that nothing will work. My advice is, drop the bribes, accept the pullups, wait a couple of years. My son went from wet pullup every night to no nighttime accidents ever, in about 4 months. At age 5 1/2. anonymous
    Nighttime potty training takes time, especially for boys. It's OK to just leave him in the pull up for now. My own son nailed daytime potty training before he was three but took much longer to be dry at night. When talking to him about it once he started crying and said ''maybe there's something wrong with my body.'' I felt horrible, told him his body was just fine, and immediately backed off. When he was ready - which was, remarkably, the night before he started kindergarten - he woke up dry and never wet the bed after that. (FYI, he's in college now and I still feel bad about this!) So please try to be patient and he'll be fine. Dry In Time
    For some kids, four is just too young to expect nighttime dryness. We've had this problem with my older son and his pediatrician explained that nighttime dryness just really isn't in some kids' control until they're older. My son's now 7 1/2 and is starting to wake up during the night to go to the bathroom on his own, but he too has always been an incredibly heavy sleeper and would just sleep through his nighttime accidents before. We solved the problem for us by just taking him to the bathroom one last time before we went to bed. He sleeps so heavily that he never really woke up or remembered it, but it saved us from having to change sheets during the night. It might be worth a try! Good luck!
    I wouldn't worry about night time potty training so much. I think this is a much more common problem than you might expect - at least judging by the sleepover buddies who packed ''secret pullups'' and sleeping bag liners. My son didn't night time train until a full year later than his sister. Like your boy, mine is a very heavy sleeper and just wouldn't wake up when he needed to go. It's something he grew out of on his own. (He does fine now and hasn't had an accident in years.) Tanya
    Our son was daytime potty trained at 2. However, he wore pull ups at night till he was 5! Our pediatrician explained that some kids (sounds from your post like your is included in this group) are such heavy sleepers that they just don't wake when they need to pee. Bribes won't work. Our son finally stopped peeing at night and could wear underwear, but he never gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. I think the combination of few liquids at night and a larger bladder have done the trick for him. My advice is to have patience with him. been there

    Getting 4 y.o. out of night diapers

    December 2002

    Our daughter, just turned 4, is finally potty-trained except she still wears pull-ups at night. She wakes up wet 9 out of 10 times, but I suspect that she's wetting right when she first wakes up or is about to wake. My evidence for this is that one night she mysteriously removed her diaper (which was dry) and when I came in to her room to change her brother, she was dry. As soon as she started to wake up, she wet the bed. Also, when I send her in to use the toilet in the a.m., she often doesn't need to go. Suspicious, eh?

    So, here's my question: She's still in a crib, but moving into a ''big girl'' bed after Christmas -- do I take the diapers off, put her on a rubber sheet and let her figure out that it's better to get up and go? Or do I wait until she starts waking up dry more frequently? There were a couple of times a few months ago when she woke up in the middle of the night saying she needed to go potty, but that hasn't happened since. I'm afraid to misstep here and would appreciate hearing other people's experiences with this. Thanks, elisabeth

    Your daughter is almost certainly NOT ready to sleep through without a diaper. Putting pressure on her will make everyone miserable. Some people don't manage to ''bed train'' themselves until they are quite old - even as old as onset of puberty. (Yes, puberty.) My mother was one of those, as was my older brother, and so was I. Now my older daughter is showing signs of not being ready until later. This is not nearly as uncommon as we're led to believe.

    Remember that YOU don't ''train'' her - she trains herself, and nothing anyone can do will force her to do what her body is not ready for. Four is not that old. Trust in her body's ability to decide for itself. Believe me: nobody likes waking up wet.

    The canonical determining factor for ascertaining whether a child is ready to go diaperless at night is if she is dry every morning for a week. Don't do a thing until that happens on its own. Even then, expect a setback if anything upsetting or unsettling happens in life. Refer to those old standbys, Sears, Spock and of course Penelope Leach. A late bedwetter

    My husband's family are from England, and they have a technique there that no one here seems to do, called ''lifting''. I learned about it while living there with him, and now we do it with our 3 1/2 year old, with absolutely fabulous success.

    Basically, our daughter goes to bed at 8 or 8:30, and then we go to bed at 10 or 11. I usually am up at least once in the night to drink something or pee, and at that point (usually about 2 or 3) I go pick her up and carry her to the toilet, where she basically ''sleep pees'', then I put her back in bed and she sleeps beautifully until pretty late (no bladder waking her up early).

    If you go to bed later than that, you can simply do it before you go to sleep. The point is that with less pee in her during the night, she sleeps better (many nightmares are bladder- related), she sleeps later, and she doesn't do what she used to do, which is wake up with a bladder so full that she can't make it to the bathroom. Somehow sleep supresses the urge a bit, so if we don't lift her she goes longer than she would if she were awake, which means she simply can't hold it any more.

    This method is not for everyone. Some people simply don't wake up at night, and to be honest there are some nights we forget to do it (and lately we are actually okay, she makes it). But if you are someone who wakes in the night anyway, or if you have a baby who wakes you or one of you goes to bed late, it works wonderfully! I don't know why more Americans don't do it. Heather

    My daughter was in night diapers until 4 and a half. What happened at 4.5 was me instituting you have to pee before bed time deal. Before that, I would suggest peeing, but did not make her, and she would never go (she never much liked having anyone else in control of her bodily functions). For a couple of weeks, she would have to sit on the toilet before bed and I would run water. If that didn't work, I would wake her up every hour until she did pee. My daughter is a very deep sleeper, and I'm sure that's why night-training took so long, although when she was initally potty trained she would not pee at night or during nap. Everyone said to restrict fluids at night, but my daughter often didn't drink much during the day and was often very thirsty at night. If your hunch about wetting her diaper right before she wakes up is correct, maybe you could try getting her up early to go to the toilet then. Bethany
    Don't worry about your 4 y.o. who wets the bed at night. Approximately 40% of 4 y.o.'s still wet the bed sometimes, and this is something they grow out of. In those who wet at an older age, it appears to be a combination of being a ''deep sleeper'' and having a smaller bladder capacity. I recommend just continuing the Pullups, not making a big deal, and wait till she's dry all of the time. It's not her ''fault'', and it is generally not something these children can control (unlike daytime potty training at this age). So save yourself the trouble of constantly washing sheets, and your child the embarrassment, not to mention discomfort, of sleeping in a wet bed. BTW my daughter potty-trained at 2 but wet at night consistently until age 5yr. 4mo. After she was dry every night for over a week, we took her out of Pullups and she's been dry ever since. It was never a big issue for us or for her. Margery
    I'd let her stay in diapers until she's waking up dry more often than not. It is NO fun to be changing sheets at 3 a.m. and when you get tired of that, it might well be that going from no diapers back to diapers could make your kid feel as if she's failed. Some children are just heavy sleepers and need longer to recognize those nighttime signals. I'd wait until your daughter begins to wake up dry with some regularity. Then you can take her to pee every night right before you go to bed. But I know plenty of kids his age who still need a pullup. Big deal. They all get there. Wendy

    Bedwetting solutions - 5 yr old

    July 2008

    My 5 yr old daughter is still wetting her bed. Not every night, but on average every two or three nights. She is a very deep sleeper, so I'm certain it is something she cannot help. Does anyone know of non-disposable underwear that will help to contain the pee? I hesitate to use the disposable diapers like ''Goodnites,'' every single night, and I'm also not wanting to waste time/energy washing sheets so often. I'd like to try something like the Gerber training pants, but seems they only make them for toddlers (up to 3T). Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks. Sarah

    My son is 5 and stays dry a few nights, wets a few nights. We tried the Gerber pants because he still fits a size 4T, but they really only hold a little. We were getting him up every night once or twice to help him to the bathroom to pee, hoping to instill a pattern he'd catch on to. Tried that for about 3 months, didn't work. He's a really sound sleeper and barely remembered getting up with us. We didn't want to change the bedding every time, and our child doesn't care what he wears, so we save ourselves the work and stick with the pull ups for now. anon
    I remember wetting the bed at that age. I am now expecting a child and have discussed this with my husband in terms of ''what would we do'' and while considering this I realized that what my parents did was quite smart and changed my habits. They set an alarm for me at 2am every night on low volume. This alarm only woke me up and I would get up and go to the bathroom. I believe that for the first week my father did get up with me to make sure that I went. After a time, I would turn the alarm off and use the restroom on my own without even remembering. At some point my parents took the alarm away and I woke up naturally, much like I do before my alarm goes off in the morning for work. I hope this helps. Stacey Hunt
    Try the bedwetting store, They have washable bedtime pants and various other bedwetting-related items. Ilil
    You don't say why you don't want to use overnight disposables. Are you opposed to what they do to the environment? Is it a cost issue? Because with the drought and the cost of energy to the environment, it's almost a wash, I'd guess. Training pants don't contain pee at all -- they are for training a child to feel the wet and make the connection to the feeling they had PRIOR to becoming wet. At night, there is no feeling, thus the pee in the bed. I'd say use the ''Goodnights'' every night and on the nights when she doesn't pee in it, just save it for another night. I've used the same one over and over again until it got wet and did this for each of my kids. Some kids just don't get over night peeing until they are 7, 8, 9 -- and it's physiological and not their fault. Why not make it easy for all of you? Love my ''Good-nights''
    We used cloth diapers for my son, from 4 yrs to 4.5 yrs, to avoid the constant bedsheet washing. We had 10 large-sized pre-folds and 3 large covers that we washed & line-dried each week. They were large enough for a 5+ year old: my son definitely could have worn them much longer. We didn't use them all the time, the cycle went like this: bedwetting and general lack of sleep due to sheet changing for several nights, diapers on for 3-4 nights until we had caught-up on sleep, diapers off & bed dry for several nights, wet bed for several nights, and on and on until he just stopped wetting after 6 months. BTW, my son was never dry in the morning with diapers on, but they gave us sleep to boost our hopefulness and he was always motivated to try again after a few nights in wet (uncomfortable) cloth diapers. ms
    my 3 year old and 5.5 year old both have cloth pull-ups for overnight, they're available online, called Little Beetle Learners. wetters' mama
    We had the same problem with our son, many years ago. One thing we did was buy a pad for bedwetters. It is like a huge version of a waterproof lap-pad. It went on top of the sheets and tucked in. That way, if he wet it, I only had that piece to wash, not the all the sheets and mattress pad. I forget where I got it, but I bet you could google it. Also, I made a couple out of a waterproof mattress pad. I got a large one and cut it and hemmed it. My son was (and still is, at 13) a deep sleeper and we just had to wait for him to outgrow the bedwetting. Trying to wake him up when we went to bed never worked, restricting liquids before bed didn't help much, he slept through the underwear alarm thing we bought, and so on.
    I used overnight cloth pants (Nikky all night pants) from I bought 2 or 3 pairs, (it's been a few years now, so I can't remember). The main difficulty was that they were so thick, it was hard to dry them. They needed about 3 dryer cycles to dry. So I just tossed them in the dryer as I did the rest of my laundry, and that worked out fine. Jen
    I wrote your exact post almost a year ago and got no replies and could find nothing in the archives. I also hated using disposables every night and couldn't find anything in cloth sufficient to hold the volume my daughter would produce. We ended up using those blue disposable bed sheet squares they sent home with you from the hospital when you had your baby. We kept one under the bottom sheet and also kept a clean spare set of sheets to change the bed with. At least we only disposed of plastic waste when she wet the bed, instead of using a disposable diaper every night whether she used it or not. I believe you can purchase them at medical supply stores. I've also used ''puppy pads'' and they seem to keep the mattress dry, at least. Good luck!
    My daughter still wets the bed regularly at almost 6. She stopped wanting to wear pullups at around 4 and since then we just do a lot of laundry. Recently, we've been staying at friends and at a cabin with no washer and together we decided to try ''goodnights'' since it was going to be more difficult to deal with a wet bed. She really didn't like them (uncomfortable and embarrassing). I also found she peed MORE regularly at night with them on. So, we're back to doing laundry. I have to say, it gets a little bit better all the time. Very slowly, but certainly, she is having more dry nights. Good luck! Jenny

    5-y-o ends up really wet in the nightttime

    Feb 2008

    My son is now five years old, and he has been potty trained for years. He trained pretty early, a litle past the age of two, actually, but he actually has pee accidents sometimes during the day, and he ends up really wet in the nightttime. What can we do to break this cycle? He just doesn't wake when the pee comes. I am looking for advice and suggestions on how to help him with this! Thanks!

    Our child is 6 and still wears pull-ups at night. We've had a few dry nights, but this has been ultimately a result of dehydration (whilst ill) or luck. I would not do anything if I were you (except to maybe put him in pull-ups so he doesn't wet the bed) and let it be for a while. There is much stigmatization surrounding the bed-wetting issue as if this was psychological (there's been some change or new stress factor in his life) or something your child can contro, which he probably can't. You mention he is a deep sleeper. Not all deep sleepers are bed-wtters, but all bed-wetters are deep sleepers. It's very possible that your son, like our kid, has a combination of factors going on. 1) he's a deep sleeper as you have mentioned. 2) he physically is not capable of storing a whole night's worth of pee, meaning he has a small bladder and 3) he doesn't produce enough of the hormone (yes, there is one) that tells his brain whilst he's sleeping, to wake up and go pee. The other factor is that this condition is hereditary. Were either you or your spouse bed-wetters?

    I have spoken to two pediatricians about this. The first one said every year from the time our kid was 4 ''let's worry about it next year.'' She has three daughters, one of which was out of pull-ups at 4, one at 6 and one at 7 (not necessarily in that order). The second ped said it's very common and if it's still happening by the time our child is 7, then we can address it then.

    I don't believe in limiting my kids fluid intake. And I'm not likely to ''lift'' in the middle of the night as I am a fairly sound sleeper myself, and that doesn't teach your child to wake up and go anyway, IMHO. Your son is still fairly young and I would advise to you to relax, let go of the stigma (because you and more importantly, he is not doing anything wrong) and wait a while to see what happens. He could eventually just do it on his own. anon

    I fear this will not be popular advice, but it worked so well for us that I can't imagine not sharing. First, let me say that our pediatrician argued that kids will nighttime potty train when they are ready, not before, and that boys especially can take up to seven years or even longer to complete nighttime training. Second, there may be many other factors in your son's experience, including simple bladder ones (especially since he pees a little bit during the day), and if those are present, what worked for us may not work for you. But anyway, we had a fully daytime-trained five year old boy who was sleeping in diapers when we decided to start training. We tried lots of things, including simple incentives, dietary changes, restricting liquids in the evening, etc., but nothing worked consistently. One day my husband said, ''it's too bad there isn't an alarm that wakes you up when you pee at night.'' Turns out, there is.

    I know this may sound mean, but the idea is the kids are too deeply asleep to sense their bodies' cues, and the pee alarm trains them to start associating that feeling with needing to pee. With our son, the first few times the(totally safe and comfortable) alarm went off we had to go in there and wake him up and take him to the bathroom (usually he had already peed). Then we helped him change the sheets (it's important that the child participate, I learned). After that he woke up the next few times and was able to get most of the pee in the toilet. After two weeks he never peed again and we stopped using the alarm.

    This solution isn't for everyone, and you might be wondering why anyone would put their child through that.. In our son's case, he wanted to be done with diapers for sleepovers. It may, in fact, help to have a motivated child.

    p.s. I don't know whether or not this list allows specific recommendations, but we used the one mentioned here: We liked that the company provided a ''success chart'' and after 30 or so dry nights (symbolized by stars), we sent it in and they sent us back a ''star badge.'' That was neat for him. Leila

    We had a late-bloomer, too. Last year we started taking our then-6yo son to pee between 10 and 11 pm every night for about 8 months (we had tried this when he was 4 and again when he was 5 but gave up because he just wasn't ready) -- it's a technique called ''lifting.''

    After about two months of this, he started waking up with a dry pull-up in the morning. He was very excited about switching to underwear at night, but we continued the lifting for another 6 months. Finally, during last Thanksgiving break, we decided to ''see what happens'' and after two non-consecutive nights of accidents, he has been dry ever since.

    We opted for the lifting technique, as opposed to a bed-wetting alarm, because he shares a room with his sister and we didn't want it to wake her up, too.

    I think that success really depends on the developmental readiness of the child, and there isn't a whole lot you can do about that. No matter what technique you use, if he isn't ready, it isn't going to work, and you will all end up frustrated, which isn't good for any of you. Stay positive! Good luck!

    Night time peeing or bedwetting is also a symptom of Sleep Apnea. Does your son have any of the following symptoms - snoring, sleeping in strange positions, daytime crankiness or hyperactivity or sleepiness, excessive sweating at night, mouth breathing?

    With sleep apnea, the bedwetting happens because the lack of oxygen and overabundance of carbon dioxide causes their hormones to get out of whack and this causes them to produce too much urine.

    If he does have any of those symptoms, take him to his dr right away as sleep apnea is very destructive over the long term. With children it's usually the tonsils and/or adenoids which are too large and the child doesn't get enough oxygen when they sleep, which is critical for a developing brain and body (by the way some drs are not up on the latest studies and still recommend waiting and seeing - get a second opinion in that case). anon

    My suggestion is to put him in pull-ups and leave him be for another year. It's extremely common for 5 year old boys to need pull-ups at night. My son is also a very sound sleeper. No accidents during the day ever, from 2.5 on, but no dry nights ever. Until, all of a sudden, just a couple of months before his 6th birthday, he began waking up dry more days than wet.

    During all of this time I just used pull-ups at night and told him ''his body'' needed to learn to wake up dry (to try to make it clear to him that it was nothing he was doing wrong). When the dry mornings started, I then started being sure he didn't have much to drink after 7:00 pm, and told him that when he had a week of dry mornings in a row, we would try it without the pull-up.

    Within a very short time, he started waking up dry almost all the time. We then got a waterproof sheet, and started letting him sleep without the pull-up. And for a period of 3 or 4 months, we had maybe one accident a week. Now that he's almost 7, I don't believe we've had an accident for 6 months.

    I basically think his bladder just needed to grow big enough to make it through the night. It's only been recently that he's woken up to go to the bathroom. And I don't think it's worth working too hard at it before the child starts waking up dry a fair bit of the time --everyone is just going to be frustrated. Karen

    5 year old son pees 4 times a night!

    Oct 2007

    Our 5 year old son pees 4x a night! We don't know what to do, our routine is to:
    Stop liquids at 6:30, 7pm the latest (usually a glass of milk at dinner). Pee before we get ready for bed 7:30 Pee after books 8ish Wake him up at 10:30ish to pee Wake him up at 1ish to pee Wake him up at 4ish to pee Wakes up on own at 7ish to pee
    If we don't wake him up he pees in his bed. They are full pees and he is soaked from neck to toe. The other night he had 3 accidents in one night. Sometimes he will wake up on his own. Any suggestions on how to get him to hold his pee or how to get him to wake up on his own? We don't have any problems with our younger daughter she can have water during the night and be fine. too much pee pee

    How about having him wear a night time pull-up? I think they are sold as ''Good Nights'' at Safeway and are meant for school aged children. Maybe he just needs some more time to be able to wake up and go on his own. A little bit of pee in the bed makes a huge damp mess, so maybe there's not actually as much urine output as it seems. It always a good idea to check in with the pediatrician too. anon
    Sounds like a lot of work and over thinking...there seems to be a lot of emphasis on going to the potty from getting ready for bed through the night! Five is still young for many kids, especially boys, to be night trained (it's developmental) and obviously he is not. Why don't you do all of you a favor and put him in night diapers and just let this go until he's ready? That way, everyone can sleep through the night and not worry about wettings..... you must be killing yourselves waking that many times each night to get him to the potty! anon
    How often is your son peeing during the day? Is he thirsty all of the time? Sometimes frequent urination and thirst can be a sign of diabetes. Alternately, why not put your son in a diaper at night? He's only 5, right? It doesn't seem worth it to interrupt his sleep or yours so often just so he can wear underwear to bed. anon
    As it turns out, I just finished researching and writing an article about bedwetting. Here's what I found out. Up until they're six, it's extremely common for kids to wet their beds at night. Pediatricians don't even call a kid a ''bedwetter'' until they're at least six -- it's just a common, normal developmental stage. Some kids stay dry at night sooner, but a lot don't.

    The most important thing to know is that kids can't help it, there's nothing they can do about it. It's not their fault. ThereMostly you just have to wait it out until their bodies/brains mature enough for them to stay dry.

    You can also try one of the wetness alarms, but those can take a couple of months to work and often the parent is the one who is woken up and has to wake the child.

    If it were me, I'd just put him in pullups at night until he starts waking up with a dry pullup. It will happen, just be patient and don't let it worry you. Your son has a lot of company. Jennifer

    i have to bring up - that sounds physiologically abnormal. why should anyone that is not getting any fluids need to urinate 4 times at night? mention this to your dr. and just make sure this sounds normal to them. anon

    5 year old still in pullups at night

    Jan 2007

    My 5 year old daughter is still wearing pullups for sleeping at night. I just don't know how to potty train her so she wakes up to go pee. She does wake up when she has a bowl movement but this happends anyway more during the day and is kind of rare at night. I know she is a deep sleeper because I can actually vacuum her room and she doesn't wake up from that. Her pullups are pretty much always wet in the morning and every once in a while it's actually so full that it leaks on the sheets. She does use the bathroom before she goes to bed and she told me that she wants to use the bathroom during the night when she has to go. We tried it without pullups for a while but the sheet where wet everytime. The last few days I also woke her up at around 11:30 pm to use the bathroom. She did pee but her pullup was still wet in the morning. I think she drinks a normal amount of water. I have to use the bathroom at least 3 times a night (weak bladder???) but my friends say that's a lot. I guess it's normal for me and maybe my daugher and I are just the typ of people who have to pee a lot. Does anybody have an idea how to potty train a five year old at night ? anon

    Is there some reason you feel the need to train your daughter NOT to wear them? My daughter is 5.33 yrs and still wears pull-ups at night. Lilke yours, my daughter is almost always wet in the morning, and her pull-ups are quite full. Once in a blue moon they are completely dry. This has nothing to do with her fluid intake before bed. At her 5 year appointment, I asked my pediatrician about this and she said, of her three girls, one was out of pull-ups at night by age 4, one at age 5 and the last at age 7. Kids develop at different rates. My ped says that some kids just don't produce enough of the hormone that tells their body that they need to wake up and go potty, like my daughter. As for you, getting up 3 times in a night is A LOT, and not to scare you, but I would get tested for diabetes if I were you. It's a classic sign. I think you can stop worrying about your daughter, though. Good luck. OK with pull-ups
    Don't worry about your daughter. My daughter was potty trained during the day quite easily at 2.5 years. She was a very sound sleeper and just simply did not wake up to feel the signals about needing to urinate at night. She stayed in pull ups also, and partly because we didn't want to get up and change the sheets in the middle of the night. Her pediatrician assured us it was nothing to worry about and pretty common. One day she said she wanted to try going without the pull ups. She was dry all night and hasn't worn them since. Sometimes she gets up to go, but mostly she sleeps through the night and doesn't need to go until morning. Maybe it has also to do with bladder control in some kids -- being able to ''hold it'' longer or something. Anyway, don't worry, she'll give them up when she's ready. Maybe check with your pediatrician if you are worried. been there
    If the pull-up is wet in the morning, I suggest she's not ready to give it up. My daughter was 4 1/2 or so when dry pull ups started appearing in the morning. Before that they were loaded, sometimes leaked, and she had worse diaper rash on her butt than at anypoint prior. Once the dry pullups started occuring in the morning we attached a reward (a new barbie I think) to multiple nights dry. I think some people's bladder sphincter to brain control starts later than others. We do insist on her peeing before AND after stories. If sitters forget the second or skip the first we do have the occasional wet sheet. it tends to be in the wee am hours. Personally, as someone who wakes to pee at night, I decided to try and avoid taking her in her sleep or teaching her to wake up to pee at night. And she for now sleeps through and is dry unless she sleeps an extra 45 minutes to an hour, but even then she wakes herself up before there's any damage beyond pjs and tears into the bathroom. To alleviate shame/frustration, we keep a rubberized flannel on under the top sheet just in case. If you can wait a few months it might resolve itself is the short version of my reply. anonymous
    My daughter wore pullups until she was just shy of her 6th birthday. My husband and I argued about the situation, my mother-in-law weighed in on the situation and was furious with me for allowing her to still be in pullups. I decided that the stress of waking her in the middle of the night; the humiliation of a wet bed for her; and the pain of frequent sheet changes for me was not worth it for any of us. She was also a deep sleeper and clearly was not able to rouse herself. The situation was resolved when a cousin, a year younger, came for an overnight. My daughter was humiliated to note that her little cousin wore big girl underwear at night. There was suddenly an incentive for her to correct the situation on her own and this clearly coincided with the development of her ability to hold her urine in her bladder throughout the night. Within weeks pullups were ancient history. ANON anon
    I say, let her outgrow it. My older son stopped pull-ups around 9 years old, he was ready to work on the problem himself. My 7 year old still wears pull-ups, and I don't fret about it. He says some of his friends tease him at sleepovers, so last time he took a sleeping bag and no pull-up and we laundered the sleeping bag after. But he doesn't seem ready to stop the pull-ups at home. Certain kids just have more tendency to this: we come from a family of ''bedwetters'' and deep sleepers; with time, the issue will resolve itself. Not so worried with the 2nd child
    Don't fret! My 5 year old son is still in Pull-ups at night and they are almost always wet in the morning as well. I have been told by many that this is fine and normal. Some kids wet the bed at night for years. When my son is really engaged in something, he has occasional accidents during the daytime hours, so imagine how hard it is to be that kind of kid and have to wake up, get out of bed, and use the potty. Be grateful that she is such a good sleeper and that you don't have to get up in the middle of the night to change her sheets! anon
    Dear Pull up Mommy!

    Don't worry about your daughter's age and the fact that she is still not out of pullups at night. My own daughter was also a VERY HEAVY sleeper and no matter what I did - limit water, chocolate, sugar, wake her up multiple times a night - she would rarely have a dry morning. Her pediatrician never worried about it (but I did!) and kept telling me that she would eventually outgrow it which she did. Some kids outgrow this quickly and others do not (my daughter was 10 when she finally stopped wetting). It was a test of my patience, but like the doctor said she did outgrow it and is no longer wetting the bed. My best advice is not to worry about it and let your daughter's body figure it out. As long as we all got a good nights sleep was all that really mattered.

    One thing that helped with the constant wet sheets was moving up to Goodnight's - they seem to be more absorbent than pull ups and fit better (more like underwear) so the leaking factor is less of a problem.

    Good luck to your family from someone who has been there. anon

    Sounds like my daughter. Please do not stress about it. I was just grateful that they invented those pull-ups for nighttime use. (pull-ups were wet every morning) I think I remember researching and discovering that there is a hormone that needs to come into play that decreases the amount of urine during sleep hours and that the age at which the hormone starts being produced in adequate amounts is very variable. So I think it is simply a developmental issue. If her doctor is not concerned, you should just relax and let nature take its course. It is unusual, but probably if everyone were to come clean, not that unusual. I actually remember consulting the Huggies on line site for reassurance. My daughter probably wore pull-ups at night until she was about 9. I understand some kids (maybe more often boys) are not completely done until 12. She won't go off to college needing them! As for us, my daughter has stopped even getting up at night to use the bathroom. I am not sure when that happened, but she is 16 now and it is all a dim memory. Good luck, don't stress and don't let her stress either. everything will be fine
    How do you night train a heavy-wetting, heavy-sleeping five year old? You wait about two years. ;-)

    And you thank your lucky stars that you live now, when night- time pull-ups are readily available, instead of a generation ago, when you'd've been washing cloth pads and sheets all the time!

    I've heard that devices like pee alarms can help, but really, it's too early for you to worry about it. Some kids (more often boys, but sometimes girls too) just aren't physically/neurologically ready to stay dry at night until they are 6 or 7 or 8 years old. Any push to train your 5yo now will only lead to stress and upset, for no purpose. Also still buying GoodNights

    Our almost 6yr old daughter is also still in pull ups. The facts around my d sound just like yours. I'm interested in what others have to say, but for now I have decided it is just perfectly OK. I wet my bed until I was 6 or 7 because I was a deep sleeper and just couldn't or didn't wake up. I was ashamed of the wet sheets and smell etc. I think just not having it be a big deal is the way to go, since I can't think of any way to change it. And from all I know of life most of us learn eventually how to wake up! Seems like no big deal
    The ability to wake up to pee is a purely physical development that is not under conscious control in any way. I also think that the normal range for this development is up to 7 years old. I really wouldn't worry about it until then. (What does your pediatrician say?) I think it would only be a problem if she were to be too embarrassed to have a sleepover that she would otherwise enjoy. In that case, my advice would involve either the discreet use of pull-ups and possibly sheet protectors and/or talking with the other kids and parents. (BTW, I had a 6 1/2 year old friend of my daughter's pee in her bed during a sleepover and it was not a big deal.) --also took a long time to develop that ability
    What we did was to cut our kids off from liquids at 5:00. We were very clear with them that it was their choice, but that if they wanted to stay dry (which they did) this would help them. We explained to them that if they drank no liquids in the evening, their bodies would really need a lot of liquid during the day to make sure they stayed healthy and hydrated. Also, we took them to the bathroom (essentially in their sleep as they are very deep sleepers) around 10 or 11 at night (whenever we were going to bed ourselves). Even though the night time diapers had been soaking wet every morning before we tried these things, we took away diapers cold turkey when we started and the kids woke up dry almost every time right from the start (a puddle pad on top of the bed sheet worked to handle any wetness and meant no hassle of changing sheets). Good luck! Julie
    My daughter who just turned 6 in December is also still wearing pull-ups all night and our situation sounds identical to yours. I was concerned so I discussed it with her pediatrician at her 6 yr old check-up. He guessed that she was a very heavy sleeper - which she is. He wasn't overly concerned and said that if she is still not able to sleep without pull-ups when she is 7, there are things we can do to help her with it. So, we have just decided to let it go and see if it gets better before she is 7. Her older brother did not have this issue and was completely dry at night by the age of 4. I have a waterproof mattress pad on her bed and sometimes put a towel under her sheet to absorb any leakage. She isn't bothered by it, so I decided I shouldn't be either. I hope this helps. Mom of heavy sleeper
    We had the same issue with our daughter and received the same advice you have been getting here, except one- to try a bedwetting alarm. We did, with excellent results. Our daughter had her first dry night ever the third night, and used the alarm a total of 2 weeks before going it alone. She has been successfully waking herself to use the restroom ever since.

    The brand we used was WetStop, but there are several to choose from online. The alarm has a moisture sensor that attaches to underwear and sets off an alarm to wake your child at the first sign of wetness. It helps your child learn to identify the sensations of needing to urinate while sleeping by waking them immediately. Sharon

    Bed wetting alamd for 5-year-old deep sleeper?

    March 2005

    My 5 year old daughter is trying very hard to stay dry at night. (Although my husband and I initially suggested that she try, this is now something that is very important to her and not something we feel that strongly about because it seems that she may not be ''ready''). Unfortunately, she is very determined to sleep in underpants AND she is a VERY deep sleeper. About 3 nights out of 7 she wakes up wet. Over a year ago our pediatrician mentioned that for children who really want to sleep in underpants, but whose bodies are not waking them up when they need to go pee, a ''bed-wetting alarm'' may help ''train'' their bodies. Has anyone had experience using these? How do they work? Are they likely to work for someone who sleeps very heavily (through her younger brother crying/screaming, through alarm clocks, etc...)?
    tired of changing the sheets

    Our son was still wearing Pull-ups to bed as he was approaching his 7th birthday.

    We tried wearing underwear at night, but he just didn't seem to care if his bed was wet. He would just sleep right through it into the morning. I happened to be at the Ped's office for something else and saw a brochure for an alarm called Wet-Stop.

    You attach one part of the alarm to the underwear and the speaker part attaches to the shoulder of the pajamas. (All the pouches and velco comes in the kit) When the sensor feels the wetness, the alarm sounds, waking the child. At first the parent goes to the child and helps to finish emptying the bladder, change underwear and go back to bed. Eventually the child can do this alone. With my son, he taught himself to just sleep through the night without needing to use the bathroom until the morning. It took him about a week of being awoken, then a couple weeks of occasional wakings and then permanently dry. I think that in his case, he just didn't know how to stop the flow when he was asleep. So, yeah, they do work. You can find the kind that we used at
    Sleeping Better

    We used bedwetting alarms and it was like magic. My son was 6 at the time, slept like the dead, and was wet almost every night. Using the alarm, he was dry on his own in about 9 nights. We haven't had a single incident since. My daughter was four at the time and not as sound a sleeper, and she was dry within two weeks. It is hard as the parent to get yourself out of bed and take them to the bathroom ( a must even if they are already wet at that point), and my son hated the alarm by about night 4 or 5, but we stuck with it and had great great results. If your room is far away from hers, you might want a baby monitor in your room and hers so you wake up when the alarm goes off. The funny thing is that they both manage their bladders differently at night: my son just goes before bed time and then as soon as he wakes (still pretty much sleeps like a log, although on the very odd occasion he will go to the toilet at night), and my daughter gets up regularly in the middle of the night to go. But it worked equally well with each of them.

    Follow the directions carefully and good luck!

    We used one I found on the internet -- It had ''starry'' in the name, I can't remember the exact brand but I believe they were in Santa Cruz. I called them and they shipped it out immediately and we received it within a couple of days. happy dry nights

    We used a bedwetting alarm very successfully with our younger daughter. We used one by StarChild Alarms which hooked onto her underwear and when it got wet the alarm went off. The point is that the alarms wake up you and you wake her up to get up, go to the bathroom and change the bed.

    I do have to add that my daughter was 7 when we did this; some children just are not ready to be dry at night until that age. But if your daughter is motivated then you should give it a try, it really worked quite well for us in a matter of weeks. Glad we tried it

    We did not have success with one of these alarms. I think they do work with some kids, but it's definitely not 100%. If the bedwetting is secondary to psychological issues, your success rate may be lower. Our older child was traumatized by a divorce when she was young and we found out way down the line that her bedwetting was due to this. In the end, time pretty much cured it. anon

    Night-time toilet training for 5YO

    Nov 2004

    My 5 year old son has been toilet trained by day for almost 2 years but has NEVER had a dry night. He's still wearing pull- up's and shows no interest in giving them up. I'd hoped he'd have a few dry nights which would be the start to sleeping in underwear. Has anyone been through this? Should we start waking him up to pee, putting him to bed in underwear or continue waiting for him to show some readiness? All we've done so far is limit drinks in the evening, have him pee before bedtime and talk vaguely about rewards... Thanks! Tired of Pull-Up's

    I really wanted to respond to your request because I've gone through the same thing. Our son did not become dry at night until he was 7 yo. I read books, tried waking him, tried using the cloth training pants at night (he would just sleep all night in a wet bed)... I finally tried to let it go. It didn't bother him at all, even when he understood that other friends didn't wear pull-ups at night. And everything I read stated that until a boy is 8yo, it's not usually a physical problem, but rather an issue of developemental readiness. Every few weeks, we would ask him if he was ready to try to stay dry, but he never was. I started worrying that maybe he was afraid to try. Anyway, one day at the ped's office (for something else) I picked a brochure for a bedwetting alarm. It's called Wet-Stop and is made by a company called Palco ( It fits on your child's underwear and when s/he wets the pants an alarm sounds, waking the child to (hopefully) finish emptying the bladder in the toilet. Well, I showed it to my son, explained to him that I thought that he was ready to try and that this would help him. He was game and so we did it. He set off the alarm about 3 nights in a row, and got a little discouraged. But he kept trying and within the week he was staying dry (he can actually sleep all night without needing to go to the bathroom). I think that, for him, the issue was understanding how it felt to have a full bladder at night, and what to do about it. Hang in there. Keep trying things gently, but don't give up. Chances are good that one day soon it will all come together for you and your child. ruth
    we went through the exact same thing with our 6.5-y.o. son who had a similar attitude. a 6.5 y.o. friend of his had success with wearing a monitor/alarm (made by malem). his friend gave our son the device, and our son was interested in being dry. it seems cruel and our son was upset when the alarm sounded in the middle of the night, but he did really well and has been consistently dry after just a few weeks. we'll be passing that monitor on to another 6-yo friend of ours who has the same problem. no more pull-ups!
    I strongly recommend getting a bedwetting alarm (clever device that, soon after urination starts, senses the wetness and sounds a buzzer and wakes the child) Sears used to sell them. They are everywhere. They cannot electrocute your child. They just sit under the sheet and wait for wetness. It helps to sleep naked (the alarm gets the wetness quicker) but is not necessary.

    As a child I went through many silly privations (no water late in the day) and probably harmful recriminations (if you don't...) BUNK and a waste of time. Your kid is very likely a sound sleeper and needs help training to recognize the feeling of a full bladder and to have that sensation stimulate waking up. All you need in most cases is some classical conditioning which is what the bedwetting alarm provides.

    A quick explanation to your child that he or she is a sound sleeper (a good thing probably) and the alarm is to help them learn how to wake when they need to use the toilet. It takes a little time but you can usually sense the progress as there are usually ''almost got it'' nights on the way to success... If your child has a scientific bent it might be interesting for them to keep a log of how it is going. This could give them more sense of control and efficacy.

    Please do not make this a ''growing up'' issue if you can avoid it. If it is treated as a learning project like kicking a ball or drinking from a cup (you just develop a feel) you'll get farther faster with less of a downside.

    Remember standing near your child as they climbed up and down stairs? They did so with greater and greater facility but still occasionally fell. You gave advice but they still had to do it over and over and get the sense in their body. Here you are again training a different part of the nervous system (and at a less convenient time of day, sorry to say, but the process is the same: they try, you give feedback and cheer.)

    I wish someone had told this to my mom and dad. dry dad

    Our former developmental pediatrician pointed out to us that some children have bladders that need to be trained to hold urine throughout the night and the muscles need to strengthen in order to keep it in. With these children, rewards for staying dry throughout the night are not enough because their bladders just don't have the control. Her recommendation to us was to have our child pee before he went to bed, get him up to pee before we go to bed, and then set the alarm for 4:30 (or whatever interval your child is able to successfully stay dry), wake the child up and have them pee again. Stick with this interval for about a week, and then move the time back to 5:00 a.m., 5:15 a.m., 5:30 a.m., etc. until the child is able to go all night without wetting. We did not use this method with our son since he was only 2-1/2 when it was recommended to us (this was our last visit before our beloved pediatrician retired and she was filling us up with information), but it does sound logical and might be worth a try for a 5 year old. You might also want to check with your own pediatrician to see if he/she has any other ideas. anon

    5-year-old girl with bed-wetting phases

    May 2002

    Anyone out there with a 5 year old girl who goes through phases of regularly wetting her bed? She has had urine tests-- everything normal. No unusual stressors. The pediatrician says she will outgrow this, but in the meantime, any advice? Thanks!

    If your 5-year-old is still wetting the bed, and all the tests are normal, then don't worry about it. It takes some kids longer to awaken at night. My daughter didn't start staying dry at night until about 5-1/2. We just kept her in Pullups, made no big deal about it. To keep your/her stress level low, I strongly recommend the Pullups. There's no evidence that having a child wet the bed shortens the course of bedwetting. There's nothing ''wrong'' with your child, he/she just sleeps heavily, or has a small bladder capacity, or both. These resolve with time. margery
    Both my daughters wet their beds - only at night, not even naps - until they were 6 years old. It can/does just stop abrubtly. The older one stopped right at 6 years, the second one was going past that and I was frustrated and tried the ''wetting alarm'' because I believe they were both deep sleepers and just didn't feel it until it was too late.She did stop wetting not long after using the alarm, but I am not sure if that was it or if it was just the time she would have stopped anyway. I would use water proof pads (made for this) and a towel or two on top so that I would not have to change the whole bed each time, especially in the middle of the night. Neither of my daughters has had any problems with this since they stopped. lynn
    Bedwetting can recur when the diet is too high in sugars. Even 10 year olds can have recurrences, much to their dismay and social embarassment. When I mention sugars, keep in mind anything that tastes sweet--including fruit juices, dried fruit, sweeteners (even natural ones like honey, although stevia appears to be safe), juice squeezes and sodas-- would be best avoided. If you have no progress there or your child doesn't have much sugar in her diet, try a Jin Shin Juytsu practitioner who can address the underlying cause, be it emotional (very common in illnesses), digestive or other physical stress. Self-help is freely given to parents and the children accept this bodywork as they know it is helping them. Nori

    5-year-old son needs diaper at night

    How do you get a child out of pull-ups at night? My 5 year old son potty-trained just fine but still needs a pull-up at night. He routinely wakes up with it very full. We haven't pressured him to lose the pull-up or anything, but he's starting to feel a little embarrassed about it now. He is an extremely sound sleeper and is afraid of the dark, so it's hard to figure out how best to help him to learn to wake up and go pee. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
    Our 5 year old is still in pull-ups at night and I am just going to wait until he's more ready. He is also a very deep sleeper, but for the first time ever, he has recently mentioned that sometimes he wakes up at night and just decides to pee in his pull-up rather than get up. So I suppose if I wanted to get up, I could tell him to wake me, but I'm not ready for that yet. I wet my bed til I was 7, my husband was also a bedwetter and we both remember just growing out of it. My sister was 11 or so before she outgrew it and my mom would send her to sleep-overs in a sleeping bag that she could just roll up and bring home.
    In reply to the issue of the five-year old still in pull-ups at night: we have a daughter who got out of nighttime pull-ups at age 9 1/2. It seemed at times she would never be able to do it. We played it real low-key and waited for her to start being really unhappy about it, which she began to be quite a long time before she could do anything about it. Every few months we would give it another try for two weeks, but after the lack of sleep both she and I experienced stripping wet beds and pj's we would give it up for a while. It was helpful to log on to the web site that is sponsered by I think Huggies. Although it is not really discussed much, there is a fairly high percentage of kids, esp. boys, not dry up to the age of 12. I know that sounds like forever to you now, but something does happen when they are physically ready. My daughter also slept very soundly, I've personally watched her throw up in her bed and hardly rouse. But for many of these kids, there is a hormone not yet produced in their bodies that concentrates the urine in the bladder at night, so the volume is greatly reduced and the kid can make it through the night. Some physicians actually think this is the biggest cause of night wetting and can prescribe something to help this along. (But as soon as the drug is stopped, the wetting recurs) In our case, our daughter did get out of pull-ups, but does get up 2-3 times a night to go to the bathroom. I wonder sometimes if she has just trained herself in spite of the lack of the production of the urine-concentrating hormone. I also wonder if she didn't get a better-quality night's sleep when she didn't have to get up 3 times. However, this is just to say that if you really polled everyone, you would find there are many of you out there- kind of like finding out how many people actually let their kids in bed with them for the night. Somehow it is just not what we think everyone else is doing. Someday, he'll be out of them and that will be that.

    Five year old still in pull ups at night

    Sept 2003

    My five year old still wears pull ups every night. He hasn't needed diapers since he was about 2 1/2 and is generally a pretty mature guy. I didn't want to work on his going without pull ups at night during the kindergarten transition, but now that that has happened I'm wondering when to do something and what to do. Also, he sleeps in a top bunk so I'm wondering if getting up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom will be more difficult for him. Should I keep waiting until he stops needing a pull up on his own, or try to do something to help him make this transition? Any advice? Anon

    I would say wait it out. You're already ahead by having him wear pull-ups so you aren't washing sheets everyday. As for being in the top bunk it's a possible but not likely situation. Plus if you take him out because he wets the bed it well make him hurt and angry. Some children aren't ready until they are in a ways to grade school. So just wait for him to be ready. Five is still pretty young. Anonymas

    5 1/2 year old still occasionally wetting bed

    July 2008

    Hello, I'm not sure if this should concern me or not but I have a 5 1/2 year old who occassionally wets her bed at night. It happens maybe 1-4 times a month. She's a highly anxious kid and lots of things worry her. I'm not sure if this is a symptom of her anxiety. Anyway, I just wanted to know if this is a normal occurrence for a 5 1/ 2 year old. She's not too concerned about the bed wetting. We never reprimand. Any other bed wetters out there? When should I start to worry? When should I expect her to be completely potty-trained? Thought we were over potty-training

    My son is 5 and stays dry a few nights, wets a few nights. We tried the Gerber pants because he still fits a size 4T, but they really only hold a little. We were giving his last drink of the night an hour before bed, peeing just before bed, getting him up every night once or twice to help him to the bathroom to pee, hoping to instill a pattern he'd catch on to. Tried that for about 3 months, didn't work. He's a really sound sleeper and barely remembered getting up with us. We didn't want to change the bedding every time, and our child doesn't care what he wears, so we save ourselves the work and stick with the pull ups for now. I'm going to read up on it and hope to hear other good advice from your post, but sounds like we're in the same boat. anon
    My 6 year old son is still in pull-ups at night. I don't know whether this is normal or not! But our friend's son was also in pull-ups at age 6. anonymous
    Please see my response to a similar question above. I wrote the one recommending waterproof sheet protectors.

    5 1/2 yr. still wants diaper at night

    Jan 1999

    My healthy 5 1/2 yr. old daughter still uses Good Nights(the big kid version of Pull Ups), and has no interest in kicking the habit! And, she refuses to go to the bathroom before she goes to bed to reduce the chances of her peeing. The Good Night usually has been used by morning. I think she's afraid to try to go without a diaper though I've tried to make it a completely non-judgmental endeavor. She doesn't want to discuss this topic at all. Is this something that she'll grow out of? Thanks in advance for any responses.

    My 41/2 yo son still has some trouble staying dry at night, too. I'm told that this is normal, especially for boys, and that he will eventually out-grow it. He wears pull-ups to bed. We put him on the toilet when we go to bed (11ish). He doesn't usually wake up, but if we carry him in and put him on the toilet (running water in the sink), he will pee. We have been doing this for the last month or so, and he has been dry in the morning for about 15 nights. He is so proud of himself for staying dry that he makes sure that he pees before bed, and one night he got up on his own at 3 am and when to the bathroom. Good luck!

    My daughter is also 5.5 and still wears a diaper at night. My pediatrician has told me that 12% of kids still use diapers at age of 7 so in his view my daughter was doing fine (well within the range of normal) and I shouldn't worry. He said that some kids are such heavy sleepers in their early years that they are not developmentally able to rouse themselves to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. My question is--are there diapers larger than size 5 for bigger kids? Where do you get them?
    I have a suggestion for the parent who wrote about the 5-and-a-half-year-old wearing Good Nights to bed: Good for you for not shaming her about it. I have a thought that hypnotherapy might really help get to the bottom of the why of it, and also get to dry sleeping. Probably your hunch about fear of going without a diaper has a good basis, but the way I read what you you wrote, it sounds to me as though she is happy with the way things are. Maybe she keeps on this way because she feels comfortable peeing without getting up during the night, and is afraid to go without the diaper because then the bed will get wet. If she is happy this way, there will have to be some motivation to change before change will happen. Maybe outgrowing the largest size of the GoodNights would be motivating? Until then...hypnotherapy works principally by finding appealing ways to attract the mind to the desired direction. It could help find a fun (i.e. motivating) reason for or approach to dry sleeping.
    My daughter wore disposable diapers until she was eight, but after many nights of dry diapers and her no longer choosing to wear a diaper at night, she stopped. Several years ago (when she was five or six), my pediatrician told me that some children do not experience light sleep cycles while sleeping. So in my daughter's case, since she didn't experience light sleep, she was incapable of waking herself up to go to the bathroom even if she needed to. This may or may not be the case for your daughter.

    My pediatrician also said that bladder size is a factor. As a child grows her bladder gets larger and her sleep patterns change, all of which contribute to fewer wet beds (or diapers). Your daughter may just need the security of a diaper at night right now, but I bet that when she is ready to give them up, she will. I would encourage you not to make a big deal about it. The only thing I don't understand is why your daughter won't pee before bed. Maybe if you let her wear the diaper even if she pees before bed, then she'll get in the habit of peeing before bed, and after many dry diapers will decide to give them up.

    This is in response to the questions about diapers at night. We just got our daughter out of the Good Nights about 6 months ago right as she turned 6. She had been able to get up and go by herself at 3-31/2, then just started having accidents over Christmas while we were traveling. After changing sheets every night and getting her up to go before we went to bed, we started using the Good Nights after a couple months. That lasted about two years. We checked several times for urinary infections, but there was no medical reason for the change. It seemed like she was sleeping so heavily that she didn't even wake when she wet.

    Some friends in the same situation gave us a device called a Potty Pager that they used with success. It is a pager-sized device that has a moisture sensor and vibrates when it gets wet. I sewed a little pocket into her underwear to hold it in place. She hated it because it woke her up, cried and complained everytime we put it in her underwear, but within a couple weeks she wasn't having any accidents and after that didn't have to wear the device. She later said she liked wearing diapers better because she didn't have to get up. I loved the thing because it put the responsibility on her - if she took the Pager out after we put her to bed, she had to clean up the accident. Now when she wants a big drink before bed, I make sure she understands that she is responsible for getting up to go or cleaning up.

    I, too, have a 5 1/2 yr old daughter who wears pullups at night and shows no real urge to get rid of them. She's not even in a hurry to take them off in the morning when they're soaking wet. She was dry, wearing the pullups, for several weeks last August and then kindergarten started and she started being wet almost every night again. I suppose that was a natural response to the stress of starting school, but there hasn't been any improvement as the school year goes on. Our pediatrician, whom I trust completely, says just wait, don't worry, and if she's still wet at night by her sixth birthday she can try those electronic wake-up sheets that buzz when they get wet. My daughter is a very sound sleeper--sleeps right through the loud wails of her baby sister, and I wonder if that's part of the problem. Do any of you have kids who magically became dry at night at age six? I guess I'm just being lazy, partly, taking a laissez-faire attitude, but I also don't want to put her through a lot of traumatic effort if her body's just not ready, as her doctor suggests. Any advice?
    July 1999

    I know this is going to sound odd, but have you looked at the ADULT diapers such as Depends? They are probably TOO large, but it's easier to fold down something large than stretch something small...

    We use Good-nites pull-ups, 45-65 lbs. We started these when our son was 40 lbs. When we first started these, he wet through them maybe once a week. Now at age 4, it's maybe once every 2-3 weeks. You can get them at most grocery and large drug stores, but not Berkeley Bowl. They weren't at costco last time we were there, either.
    I was grateful to find that Huggies and Pampers have both introduced SIZE 6 diapers. Also, one of the major brands makes big kid overnight pullups that come in a HUGE sizes -- definitely for kids over 40 lbs. Often they don't carry these sizes in grocery stores. Rite-Aid has has them. As does Pack-N-Save.
    Two thoughts came to mind. How come that there is still so much pee at night? Are liquids consumed past dinner time? If so, decide to serve only water after dinner and then gradually cut that back to 3 ounzes. Worked well for us. In the early days, we created better sleep for all of us (you can doze through feedings, but diaper changes ensure waking up) by wrapping the baby in 2 diapers, with a hole cut into the bottom of the first one, so the overflowing pee can be absorbed into the second diaper. Gradually switched to just one diaper for the whole night as pee decreased. Never had to change sheets at night so far.
    I think I've seen size six diapers at Toys R Us. If not there, then definitely a big store (like Target) which has a lot of diaper inventory.
    I was grateful to find that Huggies and Pampers have both introduced SIZE 6 diapers. Also, one of the major brands makes big kid overnight pullups that come in a HUGE sizes -- definately for kids kids over 40 lbs. Often they don't carry these sizes in grocery stores. Rite-Aid has them. As does Pack-N-Save.

    some thoughts: 1) There's something on the market called diaper doublers, which are strips of the absorbent stuff you find in diapers. You place these inside the regular diapers to increase the absorbancy. I saw them at Longs a while back. 2) I have found Huggies Overnights to be quite effective for nighttime, but she hasn't outgrown size 4 yet, so I don't know how they work in the next size up (I assume they are available in a size 5, but they weren't at the Safeway near us when I looked the other day). 3) Huggies also makes some thing called Good Nights which are overnight pullups for larger kids. But I think these are for kids 45 lbs and larger. Depending the shape of your son's legs, they might work now, though. I got a coupon last week at the Safeway to try these free (one of those that are mounted on the store shelves, with the flashing lights). Good luck!

    In response to the person looking for larger diapers, Pampers (I believe that's the brand) makes a size 6. The Lucky's in Montclair carries them. I would also like to say that it's most likely that your child just needs a larger size diaper. However, if your child is peeing excessively, please check for diabetes. My daughter was leaking through her diaper at night even though it fit fine--it got to the point where she needed two a night and had accidents at nap time--and she was diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Other symptoms include excessive thirst and weight loss. Good luck.

    5 1/2 yr. daughter still wearing diaper at night

    Jan 2002

    How ridiculous is it for a 5-1/2-year-old girl to still be wearing diapers at night? Is it fairly common, or unheard of? And how does one break the habit? The diapers are definitely wet in the morning. Pullups seem silly to me - just a different form of a diaper - or am I missing something about them? Is there a way to use them that would be helpful? I'd appreciate any ideas and suggestions!

    My 6 1/2 year old is still in pull-ups. I think the only advantage of pull-ups over diapers is that they are kind of socially acceptable among the kids. Jennifer
    Our 6+ year old daughter just had to start wearing night-time pullups. She was wetting the bed on a regular basis and so I was washing the sheets, her quilt etc. everyday. Not only was this tiresome, but nothing we tried seem to help correct the problem. She would sneak in to get drinks before she went to bed, if we got her up early to use the bathroom, she often went in her pants again. This got worse after her baby sister was born a year ago. Anyway, we have been putting her in nighttime pullups for 2 weeks and have found that 1/2 the time they are still dry in the morning, so maybe it is helping? CT
    The alarm is a moisture detector which clips on the front of underpants. It detects the very first few drops of urine, and sounds a buzzer next to the childs ear. This wakes them up, and then they go to the bathroom. After a while, there is a Pavlovian conditioning linkage - instead of a full bladder leading to a few drips leading to a buzzer leading to waking up leading to going to the bathroom, the full bladder leads directly to going to the bathroom.

    A few caveats: your daughter may still be too young for a buzzer system. I think it really works much better if the child is self-motivated, and 5 1/2 is still, I think, well inside the age when being wet at night is pretty normal. Also, the first week or ten days, the parent has to get up with the buzzer to make sure the child really goes to the bathroom. Our son was such a sound sleeper that he would have just lain there with the buzzer by his ear and never gotten up. Finally, there will be backsliding. The particular product we had measured success as 30 consecutive dry nights. Our son probably was dry 50% the first week, then went about 10 days in a row, then 15, then the full month. So it was about 2 months before we could declare victory and stop using the alarm. Since we borrowed our alarm, I can't tell you who sells them or what they cost, just that it did work with a (then) 8-year-old. David

    Some children regularly wet the bed as late as the onset of early adolescence (11-13). More often the very late ages is a boy phenomenon. Generally this is related to a hormonal issue - the hormone that tells you wake up, your bladder's full hasn't developed yet - in our experience the child is SO asleep that sometimes there is no realization that the bed is even wet until the morning. The child WILL outgrow it (unless there's a underlying physical problem, which can be ruled out by your pediatrician - usually if the uncontrollable wetting is only at nite, its hormonal). You can help by limiting evening fluids, making sure that your daughter goes to the bathroom right before bed, setting an alarm or waking up your child at night, etc. but quite frankly that only helps some. There IS a prescription nasal hormonal spray which can be applied each night which will take care of the problem. Personally, I rather a child naturally outgrow it but bed wetting ends up being such a BIG self-esteem problem as the child gets older that I understand why some parents opt for the spray. Its no comfort to the child that alot of kids have this problem - but the truth it is a rather common problem that's just not talked about. I'm glad that our family's experience with this is just about over.
    Our take on this situation was that the diaper itself was preventing our daughter from learning not to go to the bathroom during sleep hours. Diapers are so absorbent, so that it is not uncomfortable to sleep with a wet diaper. My daughter was still in diapers at night LONG after she was potty trained. Eventually we surmised that the diaper's absorbency was the issue, and once we stopped using diapers, it only took a very short time before she stopped wetting the bed. Daphne
    Our son just turned five and still wears a diaper. We don't make a big deal about it, sometimes it's wet, sometimes it's not. It doesn't seem to bother him and we'd rather do the diaper thing than change sheets, etc. I figure he'll get to the point where he'll outgrow it. Lisa

    6 year old daughter continues to wet the bed

    January 2005

    My 6 year old daughter continues to wet the bed while sleeping. She started almost a year ago. At first I did not have her wear a pull-up, but I was tired of changing the sheets, so now she must wear one everynight.

    We have had discussions about her bedwetting. She says that she does not want to get up and go to the bathroom and she seems to like the idea of wearing a pull-up. She is also a heavy sleeper and loves her bed and to cuddle. At one point my husband was waking her up at midnightish to go to the bathroom. This seemed to work, but it is not consistent.

    I do not want to make a big deal out of this, because I know eventually she will grow out of it and I do not want it to affect her psychologically. However, she will be 7 at the end of the summer and I am concerned she is getting to old to wet the bed.

    If anyone has any suggestions or experience w/bedwetting, it would be appreciated. Thanks, -mm

    I'm a believer that some things are only accomplished when the child wants to do it. You can't negotiate with a sleeping child, so this is even more true for issues in bed.

    Our 6 year-old (almost 7) daughter is on an all-time streak of 7 nights in a row with dry pull-ups. Her day-time potty training was ''normal'', but she is a very heavy sleeper. Quite frankly, I bribed her with prizes based on getting to 3, 4 & 5 nights and within a couple weeks she got to 5. Until then, it just wasn't important to her. I do think she is getting a little ashamed too, but as recently as 6 months ago she wore pull-ups to a slumber party with no problem.

    I still remember when she stopped needing a bed rail. One of the first night w/o a bed rail, when she was no more than 3 or 4, she rolled out of bed and hit her head. Not that I recommend that as an approach, but even though she is a very heavy sleeper she never rolled out of bed or needed a bed rail again! She continued to roll around IN bed, still does. Motivation is more powerful than negotiation. anon

    Hi! I was a late bedwetter (I can't remember exactly how old I was, but at least seven or eight). All I can remember is that I was responsible for cleaning up and changing the sheets, such that I didn't get any parent involved, and I was not wearing any kind of ''diaper.'' So I had to deal with all the consequences of bedwetting on my own, which I found very uncomfortable. One night, I decided I would not wet the bed anymore, and I repeated over and over in my head, ''I will not pee the bed tonight!'' I'm not sure how many nights it took, but not many, and I actually stopped wetting the bed! This makes me think that kids need to feel some sort of motivation to stop, but that it may have to be on her own timetable. prior bedwetter
    We just recently got over this with our almost 7 year old. I think it took a sheer act of will on her part, when she was ready. What seems to work is having her pee 3 times in the hour before bed. I bought a ''piddle pad'' for her bed (about 18'' strip of cloth with plastic underneath that goes accross the bed under her bottom) so that if she has an accident, she can discretely deal with it herself....just take out the wet pad and throw it in the wash, get another from the drawer. Her mattress also has a waterproof wool protector. If you want to change the situation, it sounds like you have to take the Pullups away. On the other hand, I'm sure she'll stop peeing in the bed when she's ready, so you could also let it go,,,, mom to 3
    When I was a child I too wet the bed - until 3rd grade! I must say that I was incredibly embarrased to have friends spend the night or to sleep at their house and it really affected my self-esteem. Eventually my doctor (Kaiser in the 70's) gave my parents an alarm that was activated when I'd start to urinate (this was sewn into my underwear). While I did have a small bladder, it really grew into pure laziness.
    This message is in response to the woman with a six year old who still wets the bed. I wanted to include the following information which may be helpful, as nothing like it is currently posted in the potty training or bed wetting issues section of the old postings. Our son was a five year old bed wetter. I was changing the sheets between 3 and 5 nights a week, tried diet modification, withholding liquids, waking him and sleep walking him to the toilet in the middle of the night, etc. None of it worked. It was exhausting for me and so unpleasant for him.

    After some research, we discovered that he had serious obstructive sleep apnea. There is a documented link between sleep apnea in children and bed wetting at these later ages. (See Stanford Sleep Centers articles). After having his tonsils and adenoids removed by Dr. Wesman at Children's Hospital, our child can now get into the proper sleep cycles which apparently allows the proper chemicals to reach the brain signaling a full bladder. After the surgery, this problem has miraculously disappeared. Our child has wet the bed once since last August.

    Interestingly, our 75 year old neighbor said that her physician father removed her adenoids in Italy more than 60 years ago because she was an 8 or 9 year old bed wetter and the problem went away. Look online under childhood sleep apnea and bedwetting. There are quite a few articles with signs to look for in your child. It seems like such a strange connection, but it was really true in our case. Our child's life is so much easier now that he is getting forty dry winks and I am able to work on some much needed beauty rest! mother of a previous bed wetter

    6-year-old's leaky night-time pull-ups

    Jan 2005

    My almost six yr old has been using the ''Good Nites'' pull-ups every night for a few years now. Lately he has had leaks every morning that end up soaking his bedding. I suspect that he is sleeping with his hands down inside the pull-up, thus creating a big enough gap for the urine to leak through. We're both exhausted: he's awakened by this and can't go back to sleep; I am already feeling zonked because I have a newborn. He is a very deep sleeper and the waking-him-up-to-use-the-potty method doesn't work with him. I'm not sure what else to do. I know he'll eventually outgrow the problem but what do we do in the meantime? Soaked

    Our 3 yr old's pull-ups kept leaking, even though the fit & weight were fine. We first used the diaper pads we found at Albertsons for extra absorbancy which usually worked well. When on holiday, we couldn't find anything similar so we started using Depend Boost Liners. These work better - they absorb more, have a sticky strip and are easier to find. Just make sure to get ones that don't have a plastic backing - you want the urine to go through to the pull-up. anon
    We have switched to the next size up: Good Nights. Even tho my son can still wear the large size of pull-ups, the Good Nights are much more absorbant, and he doesn't have wet PJ's when he wakes up in the mornings. jen

    7yo still needs pullups at night - bedwetting alarm?

    May 2011

    My daughter was easily daytime potty trained at the age of 3. She is 7 now and still needs to wear pull-up diapers at night. We have never made her feel ashamed of this. She knows that almost all of her friends are completely out of diapers now, and she will cheerfully explain to you that she still wears pull-ups because she is a very deep sleeper.

    A while back I had read great things about the effectiveness of the bedwetting alarm for nighttime potty training. (We got the WetStop 3.) I explained the idea to my daughter, and she was happy to give it a try.

    This evening at bedtime we decided to try it. I attached the bedwetting alarm to her pull-up, and she fell asleep easily, as is typical. About an hour later I heard the alarm beeping. I went to my daughter and tried to wake her. I shook her and called her name. Then I turned on the light in the room. But she still kept sleeping. I then called her name even more loudly and told her to wake up. I even pinched her. She sort of opened her eyes, but then went right back to sleep. At that point I gave up (and disconnected the alarm from her diaper and turned it off).

    Has anyone encountered this? Any suggestions? Rip Van Winkle's Dad

    Don't use a pull-up with a bed-wetting alarm. Use underwear and get the kind of alarm that attaches to the underwear (not a pad underneath). This is the kind we used: Malem Ultimate Bed-wetting Alarm with Vibration - Gold 8 Tone

    It is very loud, flashes and vibrates. It clips to the shirt up near the top.

    You want the alarm going off as soon as the first pee comes out. A pull-up is designed to absorb moisture and will delay the alarm. That is counterproductive.

    Your daughter may have trouble for a while, so you are going to have to make sure you can hear it and wake her up, take her to the bathroom, have her sit on the potty, change her clothes, change her sheets and get her back in bed.

    Eventually she will hear it. It takes a few weeks.

    We used two sets of sheets with an absorbing pad in between and a waterproof cover on the mattress.

    Summer is a great time to do it since your daughter won't have school and it is warm enough to wear minimal clothing to bed making it easier to change things.

    The other thing is don't restrict liquids; you want the alarm going off. That is how she will train herself to wake up. Good luck. --Alarm worked for us

    Hi - Your daughter sounds exactly like my son a few years back. Two suggestions, first, don't attach it to a pull-up, she should be wearing regular underwear. A pull-up it too absorbant and the bed wetting alarm isn't as effective. The point of the bed wetting alarm is that the child wake as soon as they start to wet the bed and they should feel the wetness. If she is wearing a pull-up it will take awhile for the sensor to detect the moisture and so it won't wake her and stop the flow of urine. Just get bed pads and put her in underwear

    Second, my son was also a VERY heavy sleeper and also cheerfully explained that as why he was still wetting the bed. Keep with the alarm - he did occasionally sleep through it, but more often than not he would wake up. It was important that our son was not over tired, when he was overly tired he went into a VERY deep sleep and had trouble waking up. If the alarm does go off and she doesn't wake up - take her to the bathroom anyway. Have her empty her bladder, put on fresh underwear and walk her back to bed.

    finally, it did not completely stop the bed wetting, but there was huge improvement. What it did help him do was train him to wake up. He is 12 now and often gets up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, but hasn't wet the bed in at least 2-3 years. Been there

    Have you ruled out another issues like sleep apnea (does she snore), is she getting enough sleep in general? Could it be that you have an over tired kid who sleeps threw her body cues? It's not uncommon for 7 year olds to wet the bed, hopefully she will start to out grow it. Kids sleep heavy, but maybe there is something else going on here. You should be able to wake even a heavy sleeper. Have you spoken to your pediatrian about this? Nancy
    I nannied a little boy who had the same issue. If your daughter's alarm went off an hour after she fell asleep I would say she needs to se the bathroom on her way to bed, literally. He had an 8:30 bedtime and we pretty much stopped fluids at dinner. (6-ish) His parents never enforced the bathroom before bedtime thing so I used quarters as incentive. If he remembered he got 50 cents, if his brother remind him they each got a quarter. the jars were left in the bathroom and it set me back about $25 bucks-it was SO worth it! Mary Poppins
    I was just going to second the idea of sleep apnea.

    Good idea to just observe to make sure your son does not have any other symptoms of sleep apnea as bedwetting is one of them and sleep apnea is under-dx'd in children.

    Children often have a combination of obstructive AND central. Obstructive being too large adenoid or tonsils and central is stopping breathing for short periods.

    Other symptoms can be mouthbreathing, snoring, sleeping in strange positions, hyperactivity, difficulting focusing, tantrums etc. anon

    You have probably thought of this but making sure your daughter is fully ''drained'' right before getting into bed can make a big difference. We learned the hard way how critical this was.

    I also would be a bit concerned about the deep sleep. The alarm sounds like a moisture detector that will only alert you when it is already too late. Have you considered a carbon monoxide alarm for your daughter's room? Maybe a cooler temperature in the room as well. I would try to get to the bottom of the deep sleep as it sounds worrisome. been there dad

    Bedwetting 7 Year Old

    May 2010

    My son is 7 and he wets the bed every single night. He has woken up dry exactly once and that was when he was sick and dehydrated. We get him up each night to pee (which he never remembers) and yet he is still soaked through most mornings. Because he always leaked with just a pull-up, we now put him in a Goodnites pull-up with a men's Depend shield to try and contain the pee. This usually does not work either. When we tried putting him to bed in just his jammies for a week to see if he'd wake up, he slept through soundly until the morning, despite being in an enormous cold puddle.

    His doctor's take on it is that this is just something that happens. I know he is a really heavy sleeper and that he comes from a long line of bedwetters, but I am starting to wonder if there is something else we should be doing. I am so tired of the pee smell and the constant laundering of sheets and pjs. We are paying a small fortune for pull-ups while destroying the earth with all of our non-biodegradable trash. And overnights with friends and camping in a tent are probably going to become really embarrassing for him soon.

    Is there some solution I am missing? Is a specialist he should see? He is a normal, happy, fit and active kid with no known health concerns but right now it honestly seems he will thoroughly wet his bed every night for the rest of his life. Mom of a Super Wetter

    It's a rotten thing to have to go through, that's for sure. Our son wet the bed, heavily, just about every night until he was 8, then sporadically til almost age 9. We used the Lucky's brand goodnites, which were cheaper and seemed more absorbent, and like you, we used the men's depend strips [super absorbent], and we also had 2 large plastic mattress protectors on the bed, right under the sheet, so that our laundry usually only consisted of the sheet and the protectors.

    There's no easy answer for this, except to say it will get better. My nephew also stopped between 8 and 9, so maybe there's a little something that clicks at that age for the kids whose brains didn't get the earlier clicks. Good luck staying sane. -anon

    Bedwetting among older kids is so frustrating! I just wrote an article (I'm a journalist) about this very topic for the May 2010 issue of Parenting magazine's School Years edition. No, you don't have to wait for him to outgrow it. But it will take some work to overcome. Probably about 8-12 weeks. If you have a children's hospital nearby with a pediatric enuresis clinic, they can teach you a program to stop the night wetting, and also rule out any other medical problems that might be contributing. Or you can get ''Waking Up Dry,'' a great book by pediatrician Howard Bennett, MD. He told me the underwear alarm (get one with both a buzzer and an audible alarm) is the only real answer. And you'll have to follow the directions very closely on how to do it. If you're haphazard, it won't work. Good luck!
    Practical suggestion - put a good waterproof pad on TOP of the bottom sheet, then towels on top. Less bedding to wash, easier to remake bed, and easier to pull just that out in the middle of the night instead of stripping the whole bed. Sorry I can't help with the rest of it! -anon
    I also have a seven year old who has had less than a handful of dry nights in his entire life. We kept him in pull-ups at night and, per our pediatrician were not at all concerned. The pediatrician said biologically, it is normal to have bedwetting, or ''enuresis'', even into high school and not to worry, unless he is worried. Now he wants to go to sleep-away camp with a buddy this summer and doesn't want to get teased about wearing pullups. So I asked our pediatrician and she directed us to the book ''Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness'' by Renee Mercer and suggested we start using an alarm. The book is very informative about the causes of bedwetting (the ''long line of bedwetters'' being a factor) and various solutions, butis pretty clear that the alarm route is the most effective. It walks through the process of selecting the right alarm and preparing everyone mentally and physically for its use. The purpose of the alarm is to train his body to wake up when he needs to pee. I was very lucky to get an alarm from Alameda Freecycle, but they are generally about $80 new (I looked on e-Bay and Craigslist, too). We just started using the alarm last week and have already had our first dry night! The sensor attaches to his underwear and goes off at the first sign of wetness and wakes him to go pee. We put a waterproof bedpad on his bed, which we have had to change a few times. But he is very proud that he can pretty much handle it all himself (though we get up to help, too). Some parents report that the whole process to permanent dryness took two weeks, but the book says to expect anywhere up to 12 weeks. has starter kits with the book, the alarm and the bedpads for a package price. I would start out by checking out the book and seeing if it seems like the right soluction for you. So far, it is for us! Good Luck!
    There is a link between bed wetting and sleep apnea that is rarely discussed in pediatrics or popular literature on parenting. Our son was a bed wetter until the age of five when he had his toncils and adenoids removed by Dr. Wessman at Oakland Children's Hospital. (they were grossly enlarged). A child with sleep apnea does not get into the proper sleep cycle to release the chemical in the brain that triggers the bladder/brain connection (if I remember correctly).In our son's case, the problem went away immediately. He only wet the bed the day after surgery and has been dry ever since for 6 years! Look up the Stanford Sleep Centers site under apnea/bedwetting or talk to an experienced ENT physician. I came across this wierd connection after tons and tons of nights with soaking wet sheets/pjs/frustration and lost sleep for both us and our child. Incidentally, our 86 year old Italian neighbor had her adenoids only removed (father was an ENT) for this specific reason in Italy 80 years ago. Maybe this is worth looking into? mama who remembers the nightly wet sheet routine

    7-year-old daughter still wears pull-ups at night

    Our almost 7-year-old daughter still wears pull-ups at night. Just this last week I ran out, and we tried going without. All went well for three nights, then, on the fourth and subsequent nights - soaking bed. She pees before she goes to bed, and we put her on the potty before we go to bed at around 11 or 12. Still she pees. She was very late in potty training (four!) and still has problems pooping in the toilet. She is otherwise a normal (if slightly high strung) girl. Her 3-year-old brother potty-trained himself this year and stays dry all night. My question is this: At what point should I take her to see someone? Will she grow out of this? My husband and I are perplexed. Thanks for any advice. tired of buying diapers.
    We finally got our 8 1/2 y-o boy out of pullups, by committig to wake him up at least once during the night (and sometimes once is not enough, or we don't get him up early enough), because he still will not wake up himself to the sensation of needing to pee, and won't even wake up after he wets himself. We still wash bedclothes about twice a week, but it's a lot better than it was. He can't make it through the night without our assistance yet, though, and he's now 9. We've read and been told by Drs that it can be up to 12 years old before some kids fully mature so that they (1) don't have to pee as often, or at all, during the night and (2) can feel it and wake up in time if they do. Unless there are other symptoms, or she used to be able to make it through consistently and now can't, there's probably nothing wrong and you just need more time. anon
    I do not think you should ''take her to see someone''. I also do not think four is ''late'' for potty-training. You really should continue buying pull-ups or goodnites until she is comfterble sleeping without them because wetting the bed means everyone is upset in the morning and she feels guilty about something that is not at all her fault. I think now, more than ever is when she needs your support and being okay with her ''taking her time'' with nightime potty-training because it can be very hard when a younger sibling masters something like potty-training at night before the older sibing does (luckily me and my brother were never bedwetters but there were other issues about different things) esspecially with something like this where they are helpless in how to make it better exept what you are saying you are doing and there is so much pressure to have nightime accidents history by age five. Just keep buying pull-up until she grows out of it and if you are really concerened then talk to her doctor at her next appointment about prescribing something for camping and sleepovers. Try not to make a big deal about it though, simply a condition that well outgrow as far as the family goes, with her doctor though, you can express concerns and talk about them in a light, matter-a-fact way to your daughter. Sara
    Ok, I'm going to remain anonymous on this one but share with you that I also wet the bed and had to wear diapers at nighttime until I was 6 or 7. I'm now a healthy, normal adult. I think there are medical conditions/bladder issues that kids outgrow but you'd need to talk to your dr. for details. I don't remember my parents taking me to a dr. about this. My biggest piece of advice is to never shame her about it. I remember being very embarrassed and ashamed and I wish someone had told me that it was something I'd outgrow. anonymous
    Give it a few more weeks. My 5 yo daughter was in diapers at night until my (european) sister-in-law found out while my daughter was staying with her. S-i-L insisted: no diapers! She was so right. We, too, were dry the first few nights, but began wetting again for a few weeks until she figured it out. Just buy one of those clothe-covered-plastic sheets to put under her meanwhile, and do a few extra loads of laundry til she gets it. Karen

    7-year-old still not potty trained

    Does anyone have experience with a child not being potty trained by age 7? The girl in question apparently is not embarrassed by her lack of control and has learned means of coping with the situation (like bringing a change of underwear to school, washing out her own panties and wearing a pull-up at night). Thanks!
    My 7-year old is still in pullups at night, after toilet training at about age 3.25. My wife and I were both late bedwetters (boy do I hope this is being posted anonymously), so we figure he's genetically entitled. We don't worry about it, just enforceit to save ourselves the laundry load. He's embarrassed about it, and hides his pullups from the sight of others when he has a sleepover or babysitter. But he's an incredibly deep sleeper (he slept through a smoke alarm 15' away once), and just can't manage to wake himself up at night. We stopped waking him up at night ourselves because that wasn't teaching him anything, he didn't remember it in the morning, and then we had fights where he insisted he had been dry all night.
    Our 12 year old still has occasional problems... If he drinks too close to bed time, or fails to urinate before falling asleep it's pretty much a sure thing. Relax. Don't let him drink in the last hour before bed. make sure he goes just before climbing into bed - right after brushing his teeth without drinking any water!
    I had a coworker who had this problem. It caused him a great deal of embarrassment during his childhood, and made him a bit of an outcast. He ascribed it to the malevolent influence of his grandmother when he was starting potty training. As an adult he's a bit of a clown - likes to make people laugh - is a very serious martial arts practitioner, likes somewhat dangerous sports, and shies vigorously away from intimacy (as in I have never heard of him having a steady girlfriend although he's very interested in women, and he's in his mid thirties). For what it's worth. Sorry no recipe for success - he didn't get there reliably until he was 10 or 11.
    Jin Shin Jyutsu (a touch therapy) has been known to help in these cases. Sounds like a physiological (but not mechanical) issue perhaps related to bladder maturation. Everyone's different, as I tell my 5-1/2 year old son. Two local practitioners I recommend for their work with children are Barbara Baiardi (235-0616) and Leah Statman (525-5080). My son has had Jin Shin since he was 2 and was fully trained (no overnight accidents) at 3-1/2, much to our surprise and wonder. Sometimes it seems he has the bladder of an elephant! Could be hereditary, could be the body work...
    Also, my sister as a child had lots of problems wetting the bed and even staying dry during the day (through age 8). It turned out that she had chronic bladder infections from a milk allergy. When she stopped drinking milk, the incontinence completely cleared up.
    My daughter is seven years old and has been in and out of pull-ups at night for the past year. She is a VERY heavy sleeper and rarely wakes at night.

    Over a year ago I talked to her pediatrician about my daughter's inability to wake up at night and go to the bathroom. My pediatrician said that some children do not cycle through light sleep. So even if my daughter's bladder is full, she won't wake up because she never is in light sleep mode.

    When she was younger (less than six years old), I just kept her in pull-ups at night and didn't worry about it. But when she started having long stretches of dry pull-ups at night, I started having her sleep without them.

    Now she very rarely wets the bed, but she still never wakes up at night. I think that her bladder must have gotten to the point where it can hold more, which is why she doesn't wet the bed. But the potential is still there.

    When she does wet the bed, it's usually because she had a lot to drink in the evening or there's been some change in her schedule (like going on vacation or to a party, etc.).

    What I do is the following:
    * I don't let her drink much if anything after dinner. No warm milk before bed.
    * If she insists on a glass of warm milk before bed, then I ask her to wear a pull-up.
    * And ... I drink a glass of water before bed. Then when I wake up to go to the bathroom, I get her up too. It's still not easy to get her up, but she's used to the routine now. She barely wakes up. may seem drastic, but it's less disturbing than changing sheets at night, and fortunately, neither my daughter nor I have any trouble falling back to sleep.

    Since I never made a big deal about her wearing pull-ups at night, she doesn't feel any stigma when she wears one at night, especially since it's her decision, i.e., if she wants warm milk before bed, she has to wear a pull-up.

    If you have a heavy sleeper, and it sounds like you do, I'd recommend pull-ups until she's older and her bladder is bigger. Also as she matures, her sleep cycles will probably change, and she may be able to wake up and go to the bathroom. But do talk to your pediatrician at her next check-up or just call your pediatrician and talk about it over the phone.

    The thing to keep in mind is that it's not her fault if (1) she has a small bladder and (2) is a heavy sleeper. Bedwetting is a drag, but don't blame her for what she can't help.

    My advice: if your child is wetting the bed past the age of 6 or so, do some research on Enuresis and ask your doctor about DDAVP. The poor kid can't help it and is probably miserable. This will eliminate the misery.

    My son wet the bed off and on till he was in his early teens. He is a very deep sleeper and just couldn't wake up to pee. Over the years we tried the buzzer (woke us up but not him) withholding liquids (no effect), waking him to pee (very difficult - he was not awake and we'd half drag him to the toilet where he couldn't wake up enough to pee). The ONLY thing that worked was a prescription nasal spray called DDAVP. I wish we had tried it sooner because his self-esteem suffered so much over the years. It worked right away and the whole family got happy again. By the time he was 15 or so, he could reliably sleep through the night without DDAVP and without peeing. So he stopped taking it and there were no more accidents after that.

    Sorry to say that some kids inherit enuresis and there is not too much you can do about it. DDAVP, a nasal spray, will help. Ask your pediatrician about it. My child was 15 before he outgrew bedwetting but if he consistently took a spritz of DDAVP he'd reliably have a dry night. I hope you have an earlier resolution! But be aware that some kids are just sound sleepers combined with a predisposition for enuresis.

    7.5 year old still wets the bed

    Nov 2010

    My son is 7.5 years old and still wets the bed. I've tried everything and nothing has worked. My son gets depressed and we are both tired of changing the sheets and blankets in the middle of the night. I've spoken to the pediatrician about putting him on medication to help him and wanted to hear from parents who have done the same. Did your child experience any side affects and what were they? How long did they take the medication? Most importantly I wanted to know how your child felt about taking the meds? Was the treatement successful? Concerned mom of bedwetter

    Your question was pretty specific to views on medicine for this problem so maybe you've already covered all the possible reasons for the bedwetting - if so, just ignore this.

    But my son had this problem although at a younger age and it was caused by his sleep apnea which is much more common in children than one thinks.

    The way it works I believe is that with lower oxygen at night from the sleep apnea causes the hormones to get off balance which then causes increased urination at night which frequently results in bedwetting.

    There are 2 types of sleep apnea - central (stop breathing) and obstructive (large adenoids and-or large tonsils) often children have bothfor some reason.

    Other symptoms - snoring, restless sleep, sleeping in strange positions (for instance our son slept with his head backwards almost at a 90 degree angle in order to open up his air passage better, but there are other common positions they sleep in), mouth breathing, cranky, hyperactive, attention problems,slowing of growth (our son shot up 1 inch in 2 weeks after having his adenoids removed), temper tantrums.

    For us, once I figured out the problem (and btw his doctor was no help) we took him to a ENT specialist and removed his adenoids. Made a huge difference in his life and bedwetting stopped. We didn't bother with a sleep study because his symptoms were really for obstructive sleep apnea.

    The other thing though is in all my research on this, I found there seem to be other reasons for bedwetting that a homeopathic doctor or alternative doctor could help you with if you do not want to go with the regular medicine. anon

    I was a bed-wetter until 2nd grade when I was put on a med (this was in the mid-70s). I took 2 pills a day for a couple of weeks then went to 1 pill a day, then down to 1 every other day & just stopped when the pills ran out. I think within a month or so I stopped wetting. (Sorry, don't known what the med was.) To this day I still remember how relieved I was that the wetting had stopped (could do sleep- overs, no more icky laundery,...). Taking the meds was a big deal to me in a positive way. I was excited to think that the ''baby'' wetting would soon stop & I'd finally be a big kid. I did wonder why we hadn't started them at an earlier age (probably wasn't the right time for me physically). I don't recall any side effects. Former Bed-Wetter
    I just wanted to share some research with you about bed wetting. And I apologize if you know this stuff already. Studies show that while medicine does work, relapse is really high once the medication stops. The pad/bell method has shown to be most successful, maybe even in combo with meds. The pad/bell helps reduce relapse in future so it has better long term effects. And Im not sure if you are familiar with the bell/pad method but basically it's a pad you put under your child at night, and if they pee the bell will ring causing them to wake up and go to the bathroom. I'm not against either method but just wanted to share this with you. Monica
    My son wore pull-ups until he was 10 yrs. old. I was incredibly anxious all the time wondering about sleep-overs and sleep-away camps. We came up with some good camouflaging techniques for the pull-ups during sleep-overs (hiding dark plastic bags and pull-ups in sleeping bags.) At the end of my son's 10th summer, he decided he was really ready and used one of those clip-on alarms (can be obtained on-line for about $15-$20.) I helped to wake him up at least once at night to pee in the toilet. I think it took about 3 nights and he has been completely dry since (maybe one accident?)

    It seems to me, that when the kid's body and psyche is ready, they will succeed. I gave serious thought to medication but I think the pre-adolescent hormone shift made a difference. As well, I didn't make too big a deal about his wearing the pull-ups at home and I think that gave him the space and reduced anxiety to be motivated himself. We often forget that each individual kid has a varied schedule for maturing. - ''Relieved'' Mom

    I was a bed-wetter as a kid, and my parents tried everything. Basically, the medicine just makes you sleep less soundly, so that you can become aware of the urge to pee and it actually wakes you up. If your child has a similar condition, the main issue is that he sleeps so soundly that he doesn't wake to pee. The medicine just made me groggy all day because I couldn't sleep the way I needed to. I think I was on it for less than a year. The doctor said it would stop once I hit puberty, and right up until my first period I still wet the bed, though not a single time after that. With boys there's less of a dramatic marker, but probably around age 12-14. Until then, my mom woke me up once in the night every night until I was about 9. Then we set an alarm. I had a cut-off of 7:00pm for food & drinks. At sleepovers, my friends knew I had a medical condition and no one made a big deal about it. I just put a towel down after a wet night to get through until morning, and washed sheets the next day. It did happen more and more rarely. My parents really minimized the significance of it and I don't have any traumatic associations with it from childhood (am now in my twenties). Every kid has something they have to get through; maybe this made me more empathetic in some ways. Best of luck to you and your son- Anon.
    Our kids are nearly 9 (a girl) and 5 (a boy) and still wet the bed, as my husband did for years, as did his uncle, until the pre-teen years. They kids are in Pull-Ups until this resolves itself. We tried the Hyland's tablets with no success, and are reluctant to try drugs. But with Pull-Ups (or Goodnights) we all sleep through the night. While you're searching for a solution, put your son in Pull-Ups so everyone can get some rest. Mom of 3 in Berkeley
    My son wet his bed every night until just recently (he turned 9 in June). We just kept him in big kids pull-ups, and tried to play it down. I figured worrying about it wasn't going to help, and nobody is still wetting the bed at 18, so he'd grow out of it. However, we decided to be more proactive because he started to get invited to lots of sleepovers.

    Basically, our approach was like nighttime potty training. In the beginning he emptied his bladder before bed, we took him at about midnight, and again at 5:30am. Slowly he started to learn to wake himself in the mornings and we eliminated that trip. Now we set an alarm and take him every night at 11:30pm - and thankfully he's been dry for three months. He even is beginning to get himself up at night, or make it the whole night.

    My understanding is that the medication simulates a hormone that tells your kidneys to concentrate your urine at night. We figured we'd exhaust all other possibilities first (including, literally, exhausting ourselves). Most people I know that went that route used it only for short term help like for classroom camping trips. I've seen a lot of recs for the bed wetting sheets with built-in alarms. Whether you do it yourself or with a sheet alarm, it's basically behavior mod and retraining that does, eventually work (if you've eliminated any possible physical problems). I'm not a big believer in taking a pretty strong medication for a problem that could be fixed another way. Of course, there is a time and place where medication is appropriate and that's best discussed with a doc. K

    I'd be really careful about any medicine you give your child and research side effects. I'm not advising you to rule meds out, just be careful. A friend of mine gave a tricyclic antidepressant to her daughter for bedwetting in 1999, and it kicked off a whole host of horrific events for them. Her daughter has never been the same. I looked up some of the other types of bedwetting medicines (other than tricyclics, which are prescribed for this purpose sometimes) and they seem safer, with fewer side effects, but I'm not as familiar with those. I would just caution you to research everything and be prepared. Good luck. Mom who cares about kids
    Hi, I was also a bedwetter, although I had already been potty trained and started wetting the bed again around the age of 7 (and I was a girl). I realize that that differs from your son's situation, but since no one knew why I had started wetting the bed again, my doctor prescribed me bedwetting pills. I remember clearly taking these pills daily and I really hoped that it would magically help me from wetting the bed. It didn't make a bit of difference, 'cause that wasn't the real issue.

    After my mom gave me these pills for about a month, she decided that they were bogus and that something else was going on. The doctor thought I was too lazy to get up at night, but that was clearly not the case, 'cause I hated waking up wet and would very quietly take off the bedding and put clean bedding on. It would've been a lot easier if I could've just gotten up and gone to the bathroom. My mom insisted on a physical and that's when the doctor discovered enormous tonsils. Because they were chronically infected, my body was always fighting an infection and therefore I would sleep so much deeper at night. Once they were removed, I never wet my bed again. My body corrected itself immediately and the problem was gone. I hope that you find a solution for your son soon. It's no fun for him either! joj

    My son who is now in his 20s used DDAVP nasal spray for bedwetting between the ages of 9 and 13. We had tried everything else, more than once. Nothing else worked. DDAVP was a godsend. He had no side effects. He just sprayed it in his nose before bedtime and then he didn't wet the bed. You can google it, but basically it is the synthetic version of a hormone that the body produces to limit urine production. With puberty, bedwetting went away so he stopped using it. anon
    Children's Hospital Urology Department does a good job with all sorts of incontinence, daytime and night time. They are very busy and it can be a long wait to get an appointment. Because of the volume of referrals they deal with they insist that parents attend a parent-only talk on the causes and treatment choices of the typical issues they see, then you will be able to make an appointment to see the Nurse Practitioner in person who will help diagnose the reason for the problem and present options for treatment. My soon to be 8 year old boy is dealing with day time problems and next we deal with the night time wetting. Attending this clinic has made all the difference in my child's confidence and self esteem and has taken the emotional strain out of the issue. Good luck. Happier Mom.
    Our pediatrician explained that without the hormone that tells the brain to either hold the urine or to wake up and deal with it, kids continue to wet the bed. The medicine you refer to mimics the hormone, but does not develop it any faster in the child. It's a matter of time that it develops from my understanding.

    We tried the medicine for my son for school overnights and sleep overs a few times from age 8-10 and it didn't really work very well. He was nervous and pee'd anyway on one of them, but wore a pull up. It also is a totally short-term solution.

    My son is now 11 and is dry about half the time. We're still waiting for the hormone to kick in. He's cool with it and is very discreet with his pullups on sleepovers. He wears them at home too - It's much better than the shame of wet sheets and the laundry. still waiting

    This may not be what you're expecting, but I would suggest seeing a homeopath. There are many conditions that are not easily 'fixed' by Western medicine, and which can better be rebalanced using a different approach. It is non-toxic and effective medicine, very useful when there is a behavioral or emotional component as it works on all those levels.
    Just wanted to echo the poster's advice regarding removal of adenoids. We simply couldn't even dream of doing night time potty training as our daughter's diaper was very soggy each morning. For other reasons (sleep apnea and snoring), we had tonsils/adenoids removed and not only did the night time wetting end within a month but attention and behavioral issues ended as well!
    I know this may sound odd as a remedy, but in the Waldorf schools, students learn a movement art called eurythmy. There is also a therapuetic branch of eurythmy. I have heard that therapuetic eurythmy has very good outcomes for ''curing'' bed wetting. You might consider this option if you do not want to go the medical route. Maybe you could contact the East Bay Waldorf School and ask for a referral for practitioner. Good Luck. heather

    8-year-old is very tired of bedwetting

    March 2008

    My 8 year old still wets his bed and he is getting very tired of it. He is an active child and all around great kid. He sleeps so soundly that he doesn't wake up. He shares a room with his brother so we need a solution that doesn't impact him. Any idea?

    we used a bed-wetting alarm when my son was 6 and a half. it worked quickly, and he was done in 2-3 weeks. my son was also a heavy sleeper. we tried limiting liquids, waking him at night, and nothing was working. the alarm was recommended by another 6 and a half year old, and when we were done, we passed it to another 6 and a half year old. they were all boys who succeeded with the alarm. i don't feel that it was cruel in the least bit. it freed him to be dry through the night. glad the other 2 are girls...
    Both of my children wet the bed until they were about 9 or 10. Like your son, they were very active and really sound sleepers. I read somewhere that children don't develop their adult sleeping patterns until about aged 10. Sure enough, very suddenly, the bed-wetting stopped altogether without intervention. If I were you, I'd have him go to the bathroom right before bed and wear a ''Good-Night''. (It must be a fairly common occurrence if they make such products.) Relax, and give it a little time. anon.
    Now that your son is ''very tired of bedwetting'' you may be able to have some success. We tried alarms, waking up in the middle of the night, etc....but admittedly half-heartedly because frankly, I always felt like he wouldn't go off to college in pull-ups. But of course, when there was somewhere to go overnight outside of our home, it was an issue. I was in graduate school and had access to medical and psychological databases and came across information on Korean Hand Therapy and Acupuncture and Acupressure to treat primary nocturnal enuresis. I took the research to my pediatrician who was great - she in turn took it to an acupuncturist. She got back to me that he had helped kids before with it and could help us. So we went to see the acupuncturist - my son was two months away from turning 9. Like your son, an elephant could walk through his room and he would never know. We had a long son was interviewed with me there, to get him comfortable and to find out his motivation, etc. In the end, what we were given was a demonstration, then written instructions and map of where to apply pressure points every day, along with moxibustion sticks to additionally apply. Each pressure point aligned with an internal organ function....midway on the small finger, on the outside below the knee, on the inside of the upper ankle, down either side of the spine, and lower back etc. My son was able to apply pressure during the day himself, when he thought about it (empowerment), and then I would do his spine at night, along with the pressure points with the moxibustion sticks (be sure to get smokeless - they're not 100% smokeless but they are 1000% better than the super-smoky kind). We did it for about a month. We mostly did it every day, but there was a week where we missed 3-4 days, and other weeks where we missed one. Even his sister wanted to help so she did his spine a few times. It was great for him to have what was essentially a massage every night, and it was also great that he could do much of it himself. The belief is that these points (whether done with acupressure or acupuncture) normalizes bladder function by invigorating the kidney, spleen and brain, calming the mind, and adjusting Qi of the lungs, vital energy and blood. Stimulation of the appropriate acupoints is thought to induce homeostatic changes. (The previous two sentences taken from ''Acupuncture for Nocturnal Enuresis in Children: A Systematic Review and Exploration of Rationale'' by Wendy F. Bower, M. Diao, J.L. Tang, and C.K. Yeung as published in Neurourology and Urodynamics, 2005.) After about a month, it was like a miracle. All of a sudden his pull-up was dry. Then he wanted to try underwear. Dry. This is a boy who had NEVER EVER had a dry pull-up. He started waking up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. I know because I heard him....still do. He's never looked back. One session....about $75, some moxibustion sticks....about $10, and a month of our time was all it took ! to move on. Do your own research on the efficacy of acupressure, but I highly recommend really have nothing to lose. Happy acupressure mom

    8-year-old wetting the bed- medication?

    Feb 2004

    Does anyone have experience with bedwetting and older boys? Mine has just turned 8, and still wets the bed every night. He sleeps deeply, doesn't wake up at night, and pees like a racehorse. Both my brother and dad wet the bed until early teens. I have read that some kids (usually boys) take awhile before they mature to the point where the brain starts producing an anti-diuretic at night that slows urine production. Until then, apparently you just have to wait it out. Our pediatrician thinks that just telling our son to stop wetting the bed should be sufficient. This is not working. Has anyone tried the prescription med that mimics the brain's chemical? Our doc is not enthused about it. I worry about the effect of wetting and self-esteem, especially if our son cannot control it (yet). Thoughts? Buzzers? Mom of wet son

    Well, this is fairly unconventional, but worth a try. I've used a variety of what might be called ''hypnotic suggestions'' with my child before going to sleep. They are exercises I learned in theatre, dance and yoga, and begin with a relation process: ''Find a place in your right foot, relax it. Find a place in your left foot, right calf, etc., all the way up the body. Point out that tips of fingers and tops of head may tingle as all the tension leaves through those points. Once the body is fully relaxed, take it down a step further: ''Imagine your bed in space, warm, cozy, surrounded by stars. It begins to softly sway, and drift, down, down'' Say things which provide comfort and reassurance - maybe have an orange light, which fills the body slowly like a liquid, ! bringing a peaceful, sleepy feeling. Once the subject is fully relaxed, you can make some very gentle suggestions: As I count backwards from 10, you will start to feel sleepy. You will rest very peacefully, and awaken relaxed and refreshed. If you need to go to the bathroom, you will feel your bladder, wake up, and walk to the bathroom, use the toilet, then come back to bed, where you will go back to sleep. You will not forget to get up to use the bathroom, etc. I've used this to get my son to sleep when he was having a problem, or to wake up in time for a busy day. I use it myself instead of an alarm clock, and after you've done it a few tmes, your body wakes itself up at exactly the right time. It can also be used to remember dreams, quit smoking, cut down on certain foods, control temper, etc, and is a great tool to have even if it proves ineffective for this particular problem. You might want to suggest that he will be able to feel when his bladder is full..weird, I know, but..It's worth a try, eh? K
    My oldest son was a bedwetter exactly as you describe your son, up until he was about 14, at which point he finally outgrew it. Yes it does run in families. Please go see a different pediatrician. I had two pediatricians who helped me on this - Gary Bean is the one who finally got us on the right track with DDAVP - he was really super when my boys were bigger. DDAVP really works and there were no side effects other than less laundry for you and higher self esteem for your son. My son completely took over remembering to use it before bedtime and reminding me when it was time to refill. It was the only thing that ever worked. Believe me I tried everything over the years: waking him up, restricting liquids, using buzzers sewn into his underpants, talking, reasoning, pleading, and of course listening patiently to everybody's suggestions -- a lot of well-meaning people think this has to do with stress or problems at home. Frankly, unless they are coming from a person who has dealt with a kid this age who wets the bed, the suggestions you get are not that useful, and can actually make you and your kid feel guilty and incompetant. Really it is a physical condition that is easily treatable and eventually goes away. Please make an appointment with another doctor and at least try DDAVP for a month. I still feel guilty for not trying it sooner (he turned out fine despite the bedwetting, and your son will too, so don't worry!) all the Best Anonymous for my kid's sake
    My 8 1/2 year old son also still wets the bed. Our pediatricians' office minimizes concern at this point, saying he will likely outgrow it. Coming from a family of bedwetters, I am not too concerned. My siblings stopped between 7 and 12 years of age. Regarding self-esteem, we just dont put a lot of attention on it at home. He wears pull-ups at night and also does so privately on sleep overs. I also know a few other families with same age kids who have this behavior, so I let my son know that this is just a bladder thing that some kids take longer to outgrow. Of course he wishes it wasnt the case. At this point I am not planning any intervention for this behavior, but if he begins to express a lot of concern re it I may investigate some of the suggestions mentioned on this website. I just wanted to give an alternative of wait and see. To me, trying a lot of things that don't work seems more harmful to self-esteem. used to wet the bed
    This is why Walgreen's and the bigger grocery stores stock nightpants large enough to fit most 8-9 year olds, but not teens or adults! My son is nearly 10, and has thankfully just about grown out of the bedwetting habit, with no medication and as little fuss as possible. We used to hide drynites at the end of his sleeping bag for sleepovers and overnight camp, but most sleeping bags are washable and camp staff are generally used to this fairly common problem. Amazingly, the other little boys never seemed to notice anything! sympathetic mom

    9-year-old wets the bed EVERY night

    Oct 2002

    I have a nine year old son who wets the bed. We don't really fret about it (as we were both bedwetters in our day!). But I'm concerned because (a) it's EVERY night and the volume is large (b) it doesn't seem to matter if or how many times I get him up at night (c) he's too frightened by the nightime noise of most recommended alarm systems. What's your advice? Just be patient and wait it out? He doesn't seem miserable, but I'm sure it would help his self esteem to move past this. His six year old sister who has similar issues is terrifically motivated to stop, while he is not. Interested in the experiences of parents in a similar quandry. Thanks in advance. Kevin

    A pediatrician recently told me that olders bedwetters do not have an appropriate increase in their antidiuretic hormone at night. This can be supplemented at night as DDAVP nasal spray. It is also available now as a pill. Given your family history, it sounds as if this could be the case. ellen
    We waited it out - and it wasn't until our son was over 11 that he didn't wet the bed at least 2-4 times a week despite restricting fluids, waking him up, etc. It has been very hard on his self esteem, but we included him on the discussion regarding alternatives - ie. hormone therapy and the fact that his own pediatrician's son had the same problem till over 9 years old and while he would prescribe hormones if we wanted, that our pediatrician DID NOT do hormone therapy on his own child and our son agreed that he didn't want the hormonal therapy. What helped some was that as a family we tried to be matter of fact about it. We talked about the bedwetting as a medical issue that he had to deal with (and brought it up with his pediatrician at his annual check ups so our son got continual feedback about his medical condition from his doctor as well as us), would outgrow (unlike other medical issues that some kids had to deal with like diabetes) and that he could take some responsiblity for (by avoiding bedtime drinking, setting an alarm clock for 1am. but also by changing his own sheets, putting wet pj's/linen in the washer, etc). He very inventively came up with an option that kinda worked for overnights (swimtrunks) and luckily had a couple of true friends that accepted his medical issue without judgement or cruelty (we did agree to avoid residential summer camp though). He will be 12 this month and for the past 6 months has been ''dry'' for more than 6 weeks at a time(with one recent inexplicable return to 4 times in one week), so he knows that he IS outgrowing it. I won't lie to you though, its been a definite self-esteem issue for him over the years and I know its an issue of shame for him despite our efforts to be matter of fact, but I think he would agree that as a family we handled it as best as possible.
    Chiropractic care has had a great track record with treating children with bedwetting problems. There can be many different reasons for this problem. I would be happy to talk to you about helping your son. I have a family practice in Albany and see children regularly for a variety of health problems including bedwetting. Chiropractic care for children is gentle, safe and extremely effective. Lori-Ann
    As the mother of three kids, one (and only one) of them a bedwetter till his early teens, my advice is to seriously consider DDAVP - talk to your pediatrician. My son is 20 now and those days are long behind us, but I still feel really badly that I did not know about DDAVP sooner because my kid really suffered. It is a big blow to a kid's self esteem to be wetting the bed - they cannot go to sleepovers, they live in fear that the kids at school will find out, and they are continually hopeful after a 3-day dry spell and then crushed when it happens again. We found out about DDAVP whe he was about 11. It was like a miracle drug. I had concerns about giving him a drug but my dr. explained it is a naturally occurring substance that some people don't have enough of. I think it is the thing that shuts the kidneys down for the night so they don't keep generating pee all night long. The doc said some people have a deficiency of this and that combined with heavy sleep pattern keeps them from waking when they need to pee. There were no side effects. It's a nasal spray and my kid just sprayed before bedtime and it just worked. He was highly motivated and remembered every night to do it. He was able to spend the night at friends' for the first time. He used it till he was 14 or so, when for some reason he was able to wake himself up, or stopped needing to pee at night, or whatever. ask your pediatrician about it. Wouldn't hurt to try it and see if it works. It was really such a relief for my son. Best - a Mom
    My son wet his bed every night too. My neighbor told me about a buzzer belt that had helped her son and I decided to try it. My son was eight when he used it and, like magic, it worked! I think it taught him to recognize his body needs when in a very deep sleep . He also learned to simply hold it in until morning. I have leant this devise to several friends who have also had great success with it. You can email me for more info if you like but I must say that the directions state that after a child is 8 it becomes much more difficult to learn to stop bed wetting. Still, my own son was so proud of himself for finally gaining control over this, isn't it worth a try? Gloria

    9-year-old has been wetting the bed the past few months

    Jan 2008

    For the last few months, my 9 year-old has been waking up with his pants wet or his bed wet. He feels quite embarrassed and ashamed of himself but he says he can't control it. I'm trying my best to find a remedy as well as trying not to shame him. Luckily enough, he's slim enough, and I decided to have him wear pull-ups and to stop drinking water or milk by 6 p.m. and to relieve himself all he can before he goes to bed at 8:45 but he needs to stop this and anyone have any sons who have gone through this and you have any helpful remedies or suggestions? Thank you. anon

    Our son had the same problem. We finally bought that alarm ($80 at least - I don't recall) and that trained him to get up at night, the very first night . He LOVED the alarm, too! Best of luck to you. a pal
    If you son is suddenly peeing during the night, you might want to notice if he's also lost weight and is very thirsty. These are all symptoms of type 1 diabetes. Our daughter had been potty trained and then at the age of 4 began wetting herself during the night. Unfortunately for us, it was diabetes, but at least we got her to the doctor and had her diagnosed before it was more serious. Undiagnosed diabetes can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal if blood sugars just go up and up unchecked. If there are no other explanations, I would encourage you to have your child checked out. It's an easy urine test in the doctor's office. concerned mom
    No big deal... he is probably just sleeping too deeply to feel the sensation that he has to pee.

    I definitely recommend using an alarm to help retrain his body to wake up when it feels that sensation. It's no fun hearing that thing in the middle of the night, but after a while it really works. My daughter was younger than your son, but we've had no accidents for at least a year! Elizabeth

    I don't think this that unusual. Some boys have a hard time controlling nightime urine. Talk to his doctor, but I think it might be something that goes away as his kidney mature. My 12 yro godson still occassionally pees in the bed. Good luck
    Kids are DEEP sleepers. Wish I could sleep like them. So they don't wake up when their bladder tells them to and they wet the bed. Just very common and normal even in older kids (12, 13) so no big deal. My advice, just do what you are doing, and make sure everyone (that means you and your son) understands that it is no big deal. Key phrase, no big deal. sean
    Is this a new problem? Was he dry overnight before and now is wetting at night? If that is the case I would start with your pediatrician. A physical or emotional change may be the cause. If he has never been dry, I would recommend trying a nighttime bedwetting alarm. It worked for my almost-8yo in about 2 weeks. Good Luck!
    A google search yielded a fantastic kid oriented page on the subject: or you could have checked the archives. What made you think this was a unique problem? a 9 year-old can pick up that you think they have a ''special'' and embarrassing problem. It ain't special.

    Here is the short of it: His nervous system has forgotten (or not learned) how to monitor his bladder when he is asleep: so get a bed wetting alarm. It is a thing you can buy. One version consists of a pair of flexible metallic pads with holes in them that go beneath the sheets. Between them is an insulator. Back when I had one it, the insulator, was paper. They have evolved since then... (for instance there are briefs that do the same thing these days) Low voltage goes into one of the pads and when urine moistens the insulator the circuit closes and the alarm sounds. Safe and quick. Remember Pavlov's dogs? Or how you associate the ''ding'' with the ''dong'' that usually follows in a doorbell. Same deal: your son's brain will quickly learn to associate the alarm sound with a full bladder feeling and wakes up _in anticipation_ of the alarm sound. Once awake, he feels the fullness from that awake perspective and off to the toilet! Soon the fullness feeling is associated with rousing from sleep. This is _Really_ basic behavior conditioning. Works like a charm for bed-wetting. The alarms and the process are quite rewarding (a 9 year-old could track their own progress and manage the project) and quick.

    This scientific/behavioristic approach should also give him a sense of control and mastery. It did for me.

    If I were you, (and I am you: I screw up stuff with my kid) I'd apologize for the pull-ups and the restriction of fluids (dehydration = bad) approaches and suggest a fresh ''you-and-me-against-the-world!'' approach. Dry Dad...

    3rd grader is *ready* to stop bedwetting

    Feb 2009

    Dear fellow parents,

    My 3rd-grader has struggled with bedwetting for years and is *ready* to stop. We have tried the alarms, with no success, mainly because a. they don't wake him up (they wake me up) and b. then, when I wake him up, the sound scares him--not overall very conducive to independence or the necessary tranquility that should go along with the process.

    So I'm looking for advice and tips that go beyond the bedwetting alarm, although I know that this is extremely popular with many--it just doesn't look like it will work for us. I would be interested in working with a holistic-type practicioner who could help address diet, etc. We've tried acupuncture, but he was overwhelmed by the experience. Acupressure? Homeopathy?

    Thank you very much. drowning in the yellow lake!

    My 10 year old son was a bed wetter for many years, and we tried an alarm, waking him up in the night, no drinking after 6:00pm, all to no avail. I think they just have to grow out of it. I was a bed wetter, as was my brother, so perhaps there is a genetic component relating to a small or slow to develop bladder and internal ''notification system.'' I think it is best just not to make a big deal out of it, and frankly, I am troubled that anyone would subject a third-grader to acupuncture needles or other questionable ''remedies'' in an effort to stop the bed wetting. Anon
    My 3rd grade boy has just this year really improved in the bedwetting department and we struggled for a couple of years, until at his 6 year annual check-up the doctor asked about it and said, ''yep - nothing you can do - it runs in the family so just wait it out.'' We discussed further and her take was that it is a primarily genetic behavior and that there is no point in finding a solution because they just have to grow out of it... with that info. we came home, just encouraged him to do the best he could and resigned ourselves to wet sheets... the last six months have been great and with no frustration! Good luck - dry days ahead
    My 3rd grader has also been a heavy bedwetter. We did not do the alarm. We did try the medicine from the pediatrician that is supposed to stop them from bedwetting, but it did not work for my son. We had a referral for the urologist, but ended up not going. We had an appointment with the osteopath, Patricia Weltz, on Santa Fe, in Albany for some other issues. We discussed the bedwetting as well, and the treatment seemed to have a big impact on the bedwetting. So now instead of heavy pee every night, it is some pee occassionally. My son is very proud to have made such rapid progress, and I really attribute it to the osteopath. try it!

    9-year-old has phases of bed-wetting

    Jan 2010

    I know that bed-wetting in kids is variable and within a spectrum of 'normal'. However, my kid goes through phases of bed wetting and is 9 years old. As well, there are minor to major accidents during the day. This does not happen all the time. Rather, it seems to come and go in inexplicable cycles. We've tried all kinds of things (including consults with MDs and PhDs). I know there are anxiety issues, but anyone else out there have experience with this and managed to not develop additional anxiety over it? We don't do sleepovers (of which invites are growing in frequency) and there is a smell and volume of laundry issue as well. I know all the 'don't give water just before bed' and 'wake up on a schedule to pee at night'.... None of it seems to work. Surely, there are periods where it seems to be about control (not going potty when the need arises and then having an accident), but at what age does smelling like pee become an incentive to not have accidents? Oh, and at what age do we get concerned that it is beyond the spectrum of 'normal'? trying to be cool

    I could have written your post a couple of years ago! This has been such a struggle, and I know it helped me to hear that it was happening to others as well. We tried the medications (against my husband's wishes) just to see if it would get our son through sleep away camp, etc. No luck. We tried all the tricks you describe. Last year his behavioral pediatrician said that at 11, he should respond very quickly to the alarm that did not work when he was 8 or 9. This year, at 12, he's going through puberty and has overcome this! Our son didn't have too much anxiety or embarrasment around it, but he certainly did want to go on sleep overs and he is trying to make up for that now. From everything I've read and heard from this doc, 12-13 would be about the end of it. You may be lucky and it may end sooner than that. Good luck! been there
    Sounds frustrating! One thing you didn't mention was whether or not you'd tried one of those mattress pads that triggers an alarm when it gets wet. There was a good article about bed wetting in the NY Times recently (I think it was in the science section) and those mattress pads were the one thing most people thought helped, though I guess they're a real pain until they do, since they tend to wake everyone in the house before the bedwetter wakes up. anon
    not sure if you're open to this, but i found the GAPS diet book by natasha campbell-mcbride illuminating--it fit with our problems. if your body considers your urine to be on the toxic side, it's much harder to hold in. it's a lot more irritating as it sits in your bladder, and you need to pee asap. diet changes are required, and they're biggies--but i have seen the changes work miracles with at least one person i know well. mama on the healing path
    Hey there. I know you'll probably get several responses to this link: The NYT just had a short article in their Health section online about enuresis. Basically, they say that if the kid is reliably dry during the day and the nighttime bedwetting continues past 5, there can be a genetic component. The article also says that a nighttime alarm works very well to retrain a kid to get up and use the potty. From what I've heard (we've seen a specialist too and I think the article addresses this as well), waking them up to pee on a schedule doesn't actually keep them from wetting the bed. We've had occasional episodes, but none recently, which is a relief. Still, I get nervous that it will happen again.

    Our main problem was less about enuresis and more about encopresis. As we dealt with that, we found ourselves having to deal with more pee accidents at night. You may try having him be responsible for stripping and remaking his bed, and also doing his own laundry when it happens. I know it's stressful for you - I expect it's stressful for him too. We focused on behavior training - we got our son a watch with 6 alarms on it and every time the watch buzzed, he had to use the potty. He used the potty every hour and half. the alarm helped remind him at school. We talked to his teacher so she would allow him to go to the bathroom each time without giving him grief about it. the watch buzzes, so he feels it and no on else needs to know.

    Of course, one of the biggest things was for his dad and I to change the way we responded to accidents. He had to change ingrained patterns, we had to change our behavior as well. After working on this for 9 months, we have really come a long way, but we are not finished. I think backsliding is to be expected. If Children's has a specialized clinic that focuses solely on these issues, I would recommend seeing someone there. I took my son to his regular pediatric practice three times for the same symptoms and they did not help me fix the problem at all. It was only after we went to a specialist that we got the help we needed. If your insurance doesn't cover it, pay out of pocket - it is worth it. Good luck!! Anon

    We had a problem as well with our seven year old and tried something that is contrary to conventional wisdom. At his last doctor's appt, the doctor off-handedly mentioned that his body needed to learn that shut down the bladder for the night. It clicked in my head. We had taken him off the overnight pull-ups so that he would feel the wetness, been restricting liquids from dinner on and had been waking him up to pee around midnight with no success for a year or so. But I realized that this was not allowing the bladder to ''learn'' to shut down if it was getting emptied in the middle of the night. We stopped doing that and within two days he stopped wetting the bed with zero accidents for 8 months now. Unconventional but worth a try.
    We have had success using the Malem bedwetting alarm with both of our kids (one girl, one boy). We're finished with the alarm -- let me know if you're interested in purchasing the alarm. Pauline
    Just another perspective, in case you've tried or will try everything (like we did): When my son was 7 and still having these issues I asked his pediatrician, who wasn't in the least worried about it, how long this might last and she said, oh probably not too much longer, but it some cases the child's system doesn't develop fully until age 12. We walked out of there hoping we weren't one of those cases, but 5 years later, literally, at age 12.5, the bedwetting finally stopped, just as the Dr. said it would. NOTHING we did in the interim helped in any long-term kind of way. We just had to get over it, and teach him to change the sheets. been there

    Bedwetting alarm for 9-year-old?

    April 2006

    Our almost 9 year old daughter occasionally pees in bed while sleeping. We've addressed this issue with pullups but we'd like to find out if other parents have had success with bedwetting detectors -- and we'd really appreciate recommendations for a specific one that works well. Our daughter can occasionally wake herself up and take herself to the bathroom in the night but other times she wakes up wet. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks very much!
    Concerned and Wondering What To Do

    We used the Wet-Stop for our son when he was 7 years old. We found it at (I see that they have a new model now, but the premise is the same.) It took him about three nights to get the idea of how to wake himself up and then another two or three weeks to do it consistently and we've had no problems since. I was skeptical at first, but it really helped him understand the feeling of having a full bladder at night. Good luck
    I can't address the detector Q directly, but a study out last week found some interesting findings re preventing bedwetting - caffeine, citrus, and carbonation should be eliminated from a child's diet (see link below). This may help in the area of prevention for you and others with a child with this problem.

    10-year-old bedwetting

    My daughter is 10 years old/5th grade and still sometimes wets the bed at night. She may be dry for a whole month and then she may wet the bed for 3 nights in a row. She sleeps like a rock and has been known to sleepwalk several times per year. She was seen by a urologist who found no physical problem. Our pediatrician prescribed DDAVP to have for camping trips or sleepovers. We never tried the bed alarm - we kept thinking she was going to grow out of the bedwetting any day; that the alarm would not actually wake her up but would wake up her younger sister (who can hold a gallon of pee overnight!). Does anyone have any similar experiences with a child that's older than 10? I know where we can buy the bed alarm but is there any way to try one to see if it'll wake her up? Thanks.
    My nephew is nearly 10 and still has problems wetting the bed. My sister has him wear pull-ups or something like that. They call it his night underwear. Indeed bedwetters cannot control it and no amount of bribery will change that. They simply lack the ability to wake themselves up when they need to pee. Ferber covers this problem very compassionately and thoroughly in his book. He condemns punishment as both cruel and useless. He details several techniques to try, including encouraging your child to hold it during the day by staging a type of contest- marking the level in a container of one pee and then seeing if he can beat that level and then that level- effectively increasing his bladder capacity.

    Bedwetting is much more common than you think. Most bedwetters grow out of it by the age of 12, as my brother-in-law did. It also has a tendency to run in families. I'm convinced that it's a minor neurological disorder that corrects itself as puberty begins, but I have no MD! There is also a very effective medication, but doctors usually wait until the child is much older than your little guy.

    Good luck! Try not to make a big deal out of it- It will only make him feel worse.

    Speaking from personal experience, I was a bed wetter until 4th or 5th grade - same problem - deep sleeper, sleep walker etc. My folks finally bought an alarm system (the kind that you put under the sheets), and it was a god-send. Within a week or so, the problem was done with, and I was so relieved to be done with it. The alarm is not that loud, but, combined with wetting the bed, it wakes you up - not the least bit scarey. Buy one! Good luck.
    To the person who wondered whether a potty alarm would actually wake their child: We are using a potty alarm right now to help train my 6-year-old son to wake up at night and go potty. The alarm snaps on the shoulder of his pajama top, then wires go down to his underpants and snap together in the front. He is a very sound sleeper, but has never failed to wake up. Also, I still don't understand why but as soon as he barely starts to pee and the alarm goes off, he immediately stops peeing! At first I thought the alarm would scare him and he'd keep peeing out of fright, but he really does stop peeing, then I rush in to help him go to the bathroom and finish. The alarm we have is called a SleepDry by StarChild Labs (408-662-2659). I don't know the cost because it was passed on to me by my sister who used it successfully for her daughter who was 7 or 8 years old and a very sound sleeper. Good luck!
    It's great to hear people asking for help on this many children suffer from this problem (I've heard around 10%). I have found a method that has been very successful for people I know. It addressed two key problems. One is that a child may have a small bladder, and so often parents encourage drinking less thinking this will help. The second is that many of these children are deep sleepers, so they don't get the I-have-to-pee cue. I would tell your child that the bladder is like a balloon, and we need to help stretch it some. Fill up a large bottle of water (a quart) keep it in the fridge and have your child drink the whole thing during the day. Send extra water to school. When a child is sad, and tired of the anxiety around sleeping over friends houses etc. they are often very motivated to try anything. Tell them that drinking water will help them stretch their bladder (plus it's good for your skin). Don't have them drink too much after dinner, but you don't have to eliminate all liquids after a certain time. Next you get an Enuresis alarm (pediatricians have info also I'm sure you can find one on-line). Many parents will tell you that they don't work because often the bedwetting child is a deep sleeper and they don't even hear the alarm.. Here's how to address that problem...if you really want to help your child get over this, tell them that you will do anything that it takes and you will all work as a team. Move a mattress or futon into your bedroom (I'm serious) and tell your child that you will wake up if they don't when the alarm goes off. The alarm goes off when your child begins to pee. If you have a partner you and your partner can take turns having a night on duty and off duty When you hear the alarm you quickly wake your child up and send them off to the bathroom. If they've increased their water during the day, they may be able to hold their urine until later in the night or early morning when they are not in such a deep sleep. Tell your child that you are happy to do this with them for as long as it takes. Remember to explain to them that there are many people who have this problem, and that they will outgrow it. It does not mean there is something wrong with them (and of course it is important to check things out with the pediatrician first as you did). It may only take a week or two to help your child learn to wake up. Then you can let them continue on their own in their own bed until they don't need the alarm any more. Having been a bed wetter myself I know how humiliating it is (at camp, and also the looks from parents) and I sure would have liked it if my parents had this kind of attitude. If a child had an illness they would certainly do whatever was needed. Well the problem with bedwetting is that people are not sure what to do, and many people are embarrassed to talk about it. If you try this method with a very positive attitude We're all in this together to beat this problem I think there's a good chance of success.
    Your description sounds a lot like my kids -- especially the 'sleeps like a rock' part. Is this a *new* issue, or one that has been progressively diminishing over the years? How does your daughter feel about it? If it isn't bothering her so much that she's demanding to do something aggressive, let it ride. 3 times a month at age 10 sounds pretty good (within the universe of childhood bedwetters.) If the bedwetting has been diminishing over the years, rather than popping up out of the blue, I'd advise bearing with it until your daughter is 12 or 13. She will probably have grown out of it by then, simply by increasing bladder size as she matures. There is, of course, the obvious point about the timing of liquid intake, though I can't say I've been very firm about denying water to a 'really, really, really thirsty' 9 year old myself. -- A parent with tons of laundry ;-)
    My son, whom we successfully potty-trained at 3yrs, began wetting the bed at 4. By 10 or 11, it was happening only once or twice a week, but still regularly enough that doing sleepovers was potentially disastrous for him. He did not stop altogether until he was 14 years old. Our other children had literally no problems whatsover with this. But this child has always been a very heavy sleeper. We tried everything. The buzzer thingy didn't really wake him up - it has always been very very difficult to wake him, and even when we managed to get him on his feet, he'd trudge with eyes closed into a corner of the hallway or living room and start pulling down his pjs to go into the imaginary toilet he thought was there. You can imagine how humiliating all this was for him, and really broke my heart. Of course pull-ups or diapers were just out of the question by age 6 or so. There just was nothing we tried that worked, so all we could really do was teach him how to do laundry and try not to make a big deal of it. We returned to the pediatrician when he was about 11 (previous consultations had resulted in withhold liquids,get a buzzer,wake him, etc. all of which worked to some degree but not entirely) So, what we eventually did is get a prescription for DDAVP, a synthetic version of a hormone made naturally in the body that regulates how much urine gets made. It is a nasal spray that he took before bed, and it made the bedwetting problem about 95% better. The best thing about it was that my poor kid started to feel like he was getting some control over the problem, and he felt confident enough to start doing sleepovers, etc. He did not have any side effects, but if he forgot to use it, he would have the same rate of bedwetting as before. In the last year I have seen several articles (in Science News and other places) about enuresis, which is the medical term for bedwetting. It runs in families, and it is a physical condition, usually not a response to stress or anything like that. I think that many children outgrow it by age 5 or so, but there are always kids like my son who continue to wet the bed till the teen years. (And you don't hear about them because nobody wants to talk about it!) In this case, I recommend using DDAVP - it really does work. If you want more info, try doing a web search on DDAVP and enuresis - I found this article from the Mayo clinic that way: