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Bed Wetting
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Bed Wetting

My 5 year old son wets his bed EVERY night. Washing sheets every day does NO good if his mattress is soaking...and he tears up the plastic liners you can put under the fitted sheet...even if it WAS in place, I'd still be washing every single day. I'm BEYOND frustrated at this point, and every answer is take him to the Dr....he ADMITS to waking up needing to go, but stays in bed, pees, and falls back asleep in it, says he's too scared to get out of bed. We have nightlights EVERYWHERE! I'm losing my mind...someone, please tell me what to tell this kid to make him KNOCK IT OFF!!!!!
12 Comments Post a Comment
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134578_tn?1404951303
Dealing with the symptom will ease YOUR stress, so do everything you can to cope with it:

There are waterproof mattress pads that do not look like or feel like plastic.  They are white cotton with some quilting, and look more like those mattress covers people put under the bottom sheet, to keep the mattress clean.  But they are waterproof, so if you get one, at least you won't have to keep dealing with a soaked mattress.  You can put it on the bed telling your son (if he even notices it is there) that it is to keep the tired old mattress fresh.

After the mattress dries next time, spray it with some Out or some Nature's Miracle, so it will not start smelling sour.

You could get a blow-up camping mattress (in the single size, at this time of year, they are pretty cheap.)  You could put your child on that while the mattress is drying, it would give you as many days you need for the mattress to dry.  If he pees on it, no big deal, it's easy to clean one of those.

Put your son in night diapers or pullups every night.  

No liquids after 7 pm, and go potty right before bed.

Leave the light on in the hall and bathroom all night if that is what it would take to get him to use the bathroom.

____

Now, to actually work on solving the problem:

Your kid is too scared to get out of bed.  This is the problem, the bed-wetting is just a result.  (He might be scared of you, too, by now, if you are wildly frustrated and let him see it, and that might compound his original fears.)  What you need to do is to figure out is why he is so anxious.

Is your house or apartment scary?  Not to you, perhaps, but to a 5-year-old?  Is someone scaring him?  Does he get to read or watch things with themes that are too dramatic or tense for a young child?  (My son is scared of the Halloween figurines at the store.)  Is there any chance someone is hurting him?

You need to do the detective work, he might be too young to express what is really going on, so you need to have your awareness at a high pitch to look for clues.  Consider every possibility, even ones you find unthinkable and ones you find silly.  Then gently ask him about them at a time he is not stressed.  

If this line of exploration gets you nowhere, in your shoes I would talk to a therapist who specializes in kids' issues.

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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi,  I'd also wonder if he isn't scared of your frustration and just saying he wakes up but doesn't get out of bed.  Up until the age of 9, 12% of all kids still wet the bed at night.  Especially if they are deep sleepers.  Some kids don't get the proper signals to fully wake up and get out of bed.  This is a known fact and could be the problem here.

I agree that limiting liquid after 7 or in the evening is essential.  Making sure he takes a big potty trip before bed.  Use a waterproof matress sheet (they make disposable ones) just in case.  You can try waking up and walking him to the bathroom at maybe midnight and then 5 am.  People often wake at the same time of night if they have to go in the night---  you can set your internal clock.  so, you can facilitate this (or try to).  

But I would imagine that your five year old doesn't like making you unhappy and doesn't like waking up wet.  I'd work on it but not with shame or punishment.  

And if he is indeed waking but too afraid to go to the bathroom, work on this.  Night lights, easy access, etc.  

good luck!  I  know it is frustrating but hopefully you will help him work through it soon.  
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Avatar_f_tn
Thank you guys for the suggestions. I try my hardest to not let him see how frustrated I am about it, but I'm sure he can see it in my face at time...it's just really hard!! Last night we got disposable pads for him to sleep on and tried extra fluids at bed time, trying to make his 'gotta go' sensation stronger...but to no avail. At least it's as easy as washing PJ's today instead of EVERYTHING. I sit down and talk to him as sweet as possible and explain that he's not in trouble, but that it's something we need to work on.
He goes right before bed at 8:30 and I take him again at 11 before I go to bed but it doesn't seem to make a difference. He does seem to be a VERY deep sleeper though, as he stumbles and will try to go all over the house if I don't have me hand on his shoulder, guiding him to the bathroom.
I do find the house a little creepy at night, even as an adult! But there are night-lights literally in every outlet between his room and the bathroom.
If you think of any more things that might be worth trying, please let me know!
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134578_tn?1404951303
Nightlights can in fact make things more creepy.  Turn on the actual overhead light in the hall and in the bathroom, all night.  It is true that some kids are such sound sleepers that they can't get the signal from the kidneys.  I don't recommend giving MORE fluids at night on the theory that he will somehow notice, I strongly recommend NO fluids after 7 pm.  It makes a big difference. Will he wear a pull-up?  Then you wouldn't even have to deal with washing pajamas.   And it's worth noting, my books on getting kids to sleep comment that 5% of kids age 9 are still wetting the bed at night from the inability to wake up, so please don't blame him, it simply could be biology.  
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hey, I did want to clarify that you want to NOT give liquids at night.  A full bladder at bed is gonna empty.  So, slow down liquids to just a few sips about 2 hours before bed time and take a big bathroom break before bed.  

yes, it is not uncommon for kids to night time wet.  My pediatrician quotes 12% Anniebrooke----  so somewhere between 5 to 12% of kids wet at night do to not getting signals to wake up.  And your child is younger, so the percentage of kids having this problem is even higher.  

Be patient and hopefully it will correct itself very soon.  peace
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Avatar_f_tn
I'll try no fluids past 7 and keeping the hall and bathroom overhead lights on for a few night and I'll let you know how it works. I refuse to put him in pull-ups though. I think doing that is irresponsible and lazy, and it sends the wrong message. I'm wanting the behavior to stop, not encourage it.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hopefully this will get read, my woman's two kids have a bed-wetting problem which it seems that it is mostly out of being lazy.  I asked the son after he wet the bed at a sleepover what happened. He said he had to pee and the bathroom was too far away so he just peed in the bed. Another night I heard the daughter tossing and turning, then a sigh of relief, then tossing and turning to get comfortable again.  The same night the daughter was heard "doing the deed" the son woke up and did the same thing, assuming he didn't want to get out of bed since everyone was awake. Both were made to change out their bedding in the middle of the night, trying to keep this consistent. The Good-Nights is yet another fallacy in my eyes as it lets them think it is O.K. to wet the bed.  They were doing O.K. until their father/grandfather/grandmother decided to use these "aids" and it became worse again. So all you bleeding hearts out there need to pay closer attention and ask in a manner that does not intimidate or pressure them into saying they did it on purpose. Generally if they know they are doing something wrong they will lie about it and if the lie works they will lie again, in almost any situation.
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Avatar_m_tn
   Unless, I missed it.  Is this a problem only at night?  Is he fine during the day?
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Avatar_f_tn
amen!!! now for a solution...
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Avatar_f_tn
no issues during the day...EXCEPT for once at my office. His dad had a Dr. appt., so I had him bring them to me. His sister wouldn't walk with him through the shop to the bathroom (which we don't encourage these 'joint trips', going to the bathroom should be done alone). He didn't want to go alone, so he sat there and peed in his pants...at my office...with nothing to change into...
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Avatar_f_tn
Extra fluids, fluid restrictions, taking him before bed, taking him during the night...NOT taking him during the night, bed-pads (he just tosses and turns until they're not under him anymore) NOTHING has worked. He's driving me nuts.
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1006035_tn?1391310794
My 6 year old daughter gets so upset when she has an accident, but I always tell her it's ok. Even us adults have accidents sometimes, right? So, no big deal. I would highly reward every time he makes it through the night without an accident. Maybe even make a chart and when he reaches a mile stone give him  BIG reward. And, like Anniebrooke said, they make really comfy water proof mattress pads that don't feel like plastic. Worst case scenario, put him in a pull up for a few nights so you can get a break.
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