Bedwetting Question

12 Replies
sophandbob - February 25

My 9 year old step son still wets the bed. He's done this ever since I known him - since he was just turned 7. His mum hasn't taken any steps to stop this - and I was just wondering - am I right to be thinking this is not normal? He really soaks it - it is not just a tiny amount. I've asked him questions about school, and he is happy. He has a large group of friends and I am confident he is not being bullied, plus also it is not like the bed wetting has just started, he's been doing it since coming out of nappies and it has never been address. Even my partner, his dad, seems to think it is OK say that his elder brother didn't stop doing it til he was about 13! Do I really have to put up with him doing this for another 4 years? I do wake him up when I come to bed and make him go to the toilet. I also limit his fluid intake an hour or so before bed, but he still does it. I am tired of having to wash urine soaked sheets and to have a house that smells of wee. I have put rubber sheets on his bed, but it is still ruining his matress, and that is a major expense to have to keep replacing. Plus it is not very hygienic. I've suggested those nappy type pants for older children, but it has gone down like a lead balloon. What do I do?

 

eclipse - February 25

Is he going through a growth spurt? I know that sometimes if they are doing that for a long time, their bladder can't keep up and that is why he is wetting the bed. Maybe talk to your ped, see if there is anything they can suggest? Plus, he could be lying about the stresses at school or home. I was the queen of lying about my personal tortures. I know that both me and my brother wet the bed sometimes and I think we grew out of it. He must be a really hard sleeper. Maybe that is something that needs to be looked into as well.

 

sophandbob - February 25

he's never grown out of it. My partner doesn't seem interested in doing anything about it. because my steps sons oldest half brother did it til he was 13 it seems like it is accepted as the norm. I'm at the end of my tether - I'm sick of having a house that smells of wee, because a problem which could be easily sorted with a trip to the dr is being ignored. I think I shall get those training pant, because maybe then his mum would do something. When he comes to our house he smells of wee, so that must be being picked up on by his friends.

 

Steph - February 25

My DH's 8 year old daughter wets the bed as well. My dh wet the bed until he was 13...and then suddenly he stopped. Unfortunaltey, there's really not any magic that a ped can do about it...they truly have to out grow it. I do make the stepdaughter responsible for her bed wetting though. She does wear a pullup at night. I make her deal with taking it off, taking a bath every morning and taking the pull up to the outside garbage every morning. I would INSIST that your dh let the son wear the pullups for big kids. Or, you can tell your dh to do all the freaking work...to me there's nothing grosser than washing p__s filled sheets. I can only imagine how gross that would smell.

 

Rabbits07 - February 25

Bed wetting can be a problem for some children well into puberty. Sometimes the cause can be psychological but in those cases it usually starts suddenly when it hadn't been a problem before and as you stated this isn't the case. There can also be medical causes such as frequent UTI or abnormalities in the urological system...but theses are rare. Usually it is just that the child's bladder is not strong enough to hold the urine they are producing while asleep or they are just a really deep sleeper and the urge to urinate doesn't wake them. There are books and programs that give ways to train the bladder to hold more, but that would definitely be a longer term process that would need to include the biological mother as it would need to be an all the time thing, not just while at your house. There are also alarms and stuff that you can buy, but they are expensive and are also supposed to be to train the child to wake up (eventually) on their own, so it would need to involve the bio mom as well. The simplest short term solution would be the night diapers. I would maybe discuss the subject again with dh and ask why it is such a taboo thing. His son would have to be a happier child waking up dry than drenched in smelly urine.

 

sahmof3 - February 25

I agree Steph. My 6 1/2 yo still wets the bed and I did until I was 7-8 and dh did later.... about 10-11, I think. I can remember my mom being so upset with me, but I just could not wake up. She eventually bougth this thing... it was a thin metallic like "sheet" that went under the sheets and was attached by a wire to a sensor that would buzz really loudly when it sensed wetness. That's what worked for me as a kid. I don't know if they still sell anything like that, but I'm thinking of looking into it, because my ped said it is very common and there's not realy anything she can say to do except limit drinks a few hours before bedtime and get up with him at night to take him to the bathroom.... but his timing isn't consistent night to night, so I never catch it right. He does wear a pull-up type thing, but it almost always leaks. I pretty much do like Steph. I make my son change it and shower himself every morning and he also strips his own bed and washes his own sheets. I just do one sheet on his bed and one blanket (his comforter) to make making te bed back up easier and I have several sets of sheets, too. It's very frustrating, but I guess he'll just have to outgrow it. Man, I hope my other two don't do it this long, but if they take after me and dh... AAHHH!

 

sahmof3 - February 25

lol Rabbits... I guess I was still typing when your response posted!

 

Steph - February 25

LOL sahmof3! I'm hoping that Trevor doesn't wet the bed either! I know that my dh had the wire sensor to wake him up at night, and it just wouldn't work for him. His parents tried everything known to man to try and help him to stop, and it just wouldn't. There is a pill that doctors are able to perscribe for the kids to take OCCSIONALLY that will make them not wet the bed. They perscribe it so that way kids can go to sleep overs and camp,and not be totally humiliated about wetting the bed. I know that my stepdaughter is totally embarrased about it and we never make her feel badly about it. The only time I have yelled at her was when I caught her on a weekend up in her room playing and had not taken a bath....and she was still in her pullup. Blech.

 

Kara H. - February 25

A friend of mine has been dealing with this as well. He's 7. She recognised that it was hard on the kid emotionally, and made him feel like a baby waiting for his bladder to catch up to his body. She did two things: 1) She bought him his own alarm clock that had dual alarm settins and a CD player. It would awake him at two evenly spaced intervals and they put a heavy metal CD in it and turn it up really loud. 2) At 7 yr old, he was more than capable of stripping, washing, and remaking his own bed. He initially resisted, but she said she that it did make him feel more proactive and he really took pride in the fact that he was taking care of himself. He has WAY fewer accidents now. Now sometimes he wakes up on his own to go to the bathroom. Because he feels better about himself, he asked for Goodnights but only for sleepovers - which were out of the question before. He may have one or two accidents a month, but when he does, he takes care of all the cleanup.

 

Shea - February 25

I actually wet the bed until I was 8. I don't think there has to be any major issues to cause it, and of course they didn't have the overnight diapers back then. I hated it, really did want to stop because of the sleepover issue. My mom did limit my fluids after dinner, but really it just sortof stopped on it's own.

 

3babies - February 25

Hi Sophandbob... I worked in a continence clinic so I can give you a few answers. It is considered normal to wet the bed up until about 6 years old, after this a doctor will treat it. Before that they usually wont. Boys tend to be later to night train, and it is very strongly related to family history so if your dh was a late bedwetter, it is more common for his son to be. The best course of action is always to check for a UTI (can be low grade and longterm undetected), then look at his daytime pattern. What is he drinking? Any caffeine based products need to go. He should be drinking a litre of fluid at his age (preferably water) if urine is too concentrated it will stimulate his bladder to contract reflexively. He will need to be encouraged to empty his bladder 2 hourly during the day even if he thinks he doesnt need to go. (These kids often delay going to the loo during the day and end up with a floppy desensitised bladder that then doesnt signal well when it is full). Also teach him to completely empty the bladder each time so he doesnt retain urine (another common problem as they tend to rush the job, or the bladder doesnt contract well). This will take quite a while to allow the bladder to return to it's normal elasticity and capacity. You can still limit fluids before bed, but with any of these kids, its not the wetting that is the problem, it is the fact that they are not rousing to the stimulus of a full bladder. This is where the bedwetting alarm can have good results. You can usually hire them and often after 2 -4 weeks you have good success. Another thing is to ensure he isnt having any consipation issues as this can irritate the bladder too. If you try everything first, then I would definitely have him investigated by a specialist. Some kids do go into overproduction at night and require something like minipress that suppresses the amount of urine production ... however all the other avenues are much less interventionist and will do the trick 90% of the time ... only problem being you will really need to enlist the help of his mum as it wont be successful in a 2 days on 5 days off approach.

 

3babies - February 26

Sorry I hit submit! Do I remember you are in the UK? In Australia we have eneuresis clinics through the health system that can treat this. I worked as a womens health physio and we had an eneuresis clinic and nurse as part of our practice). If a GP or someone tells you they cant do anything they are wrong. Night time problems can indicate problems in the day that could be causing damage to his kidneys. I would ask for a referral to an eneuresis clinic or a paediatric urologist if you dont have any luck with some of my suggestions. People are really mixed on the "nappy " idea as to how your child feels about wearing them. If he is really flooding the place though, they may not do the trick. Best of luck to you!

 

Emily - February 26

while I do not have kids that age, I know it is completely normal to wet the bed well; into puperty. They make pull ups or good night. they make them in bigger sizes with more absorbancy for bigger kids. my co-worker has twins that are 7 and they still wear pull ups to bed.

 

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