HELP! I can't get my 4yr old son to stop peeing the bed!

Jessica - posted on 12/23/2009 ( 32 moms have responded )

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I'm a mother of three boys and my middle son just won't stop going potty on himeself over night. It's really frustrating but I can't seem to crack him of it! I've even taken away any liquids after 7pm (he goes to bed at 10pm so he can tell daddy goodnight when he comes home). Worst yet, he doesn't tell me he's wet the bed until much later. I don't want to embarass him in front of his older brother but I don't know what to do. Any ideas to help stop the accidents?

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Carla - posted on 12/24/2009

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Use Goodnights, or such. It is a physical thing that he has NO control over. He is not trying to be a problem, he just cannot help it. Our bodies go thru several sleep cycles at night, going in and out of deep sleep and relaxed sleep. These cycles are VERY important to the growth and restoration of our brains and our physical bodies. This is when children grow, heal, and restore their minds. During these periods, should we need to urinate, a chemical is suppose to release to tell our brains that we need to wake up to urinate. This does not always happen as young as we would like, and children are sometimes bed wetters. This is not in their control. There are methods that you can take that must be done thru the help of your doctor, but in the long run, you have to wait until your child outgrows it. His chemical process will kick in eventually and he should not be made to feel like he is doing something wrong, embarrassed, etc. This will only destroy his self esteem and make him feel as a failure, very sad, considering he has NO control over it in the first place. Our physical bodies develop at different rates. You need to be supportive and take the attitude with your son that he cannot help it and you will help him thru it by providing him the tools he needs to develop at his own pace, such as using Goodnights or such and being understanding. He may need to bathe in the morning after he wakes instead before bed as he should not be embarrassed for smelling, etc. Hang in there, consider yourself lucky, for children go thru many more serious ailments that cannot be just waited out. Embrace the child God has blessed you with and teach him to overcome obstacles he may face with the knowledge that his parents are always there for him and love him unconditionally. Good luck! Have a great and wonderful life with your son!

Mary - posted on 12/24/2009

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Something to try that helped with my kids was a snack with protein in it (like peanut butter crackers or string cheese) just before bed. Sometimes the child's blood sugar can drop too low too quickly during the night and that triggers bedwetting. A protein snack will even out the absorption of sugars into the blood stream and prevent peaks and valleys in their levels that can lead to this problem. I had a very heavy sleeper that just didn't even wake up when she wet the bed, and this helped her.

Kathryn - posted on 12/24/2009

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I agree with giving him a pull-up and/or putting a watertight sheet on the bed. However, I wouldn't wait any longer to talk with the doctor. I kept waiting with my youngest son because when I asked the doctor he would say things like, he'll grow out of it, etc. Then we got a different, better doctor, and he said, let's send him to a specialist and see what the specialist has to say. I am so glad. The specialist took one look at my son, and said he had a very common birth defect that should have been corrected before he was a year old. Having that surgery at 7 was traumatic and something my son will never forget, but I am so glad for professional input.

Jodi - posted on 12/23/2009

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Actually, just a little tip if you decide not to go with the pull ups and just try the matress protectors/rubber sheets, etc. I used to "double-sheet". What I did was have 2 of the waterproof pads, and I would put one on, then a sheet, then another waterproof pad and a sheet. If he woke up wet through in the middle of the night, it was as simple as removing the top layer, and underneath, the mattress was already made up. SO much easier to deal with in the middle of the night.....

Jodi - posted on 12/23/2009

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This is actually quite normal among children this age, more so for boys than for girls. In fact, 5% of children are still wetting the bed at age 10, so you shouldn't worry. A total of 20% of children are still wetting their beds at age 5. My step-son only just stopped wetting the bed in the last few months and he is 10. There was absolutely nothing wrong with him medically, just the "wiring" needed more maturing.



It is generally suggested if a child is still wetting the bed by age 6 or 7 you should take them to a doctor to ensure there is not medical reason for it. It is often hereditary, and while there are measures you can take, at the age of 4, I don't believe it is really of any concern.



I agree with Sharon. Waterproof mattress pad, and just check him every day. Alternatively, you could consider just putting him in a pull up every night (which is what we ended up doing), and see how he is going in a couple of years. You really need to check his mattress each day - i often found my step son wouldn't say anything, so I would check.

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Cindy - posted on 12/28/2009

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I am a holistic practitioner and I have seen that there is an emotional side to every issue. From what I have studied, the emotional attachment to wetting the bed for boys is that they have some sort of issue with their father. Maybe it's because he doesn't get to see him very much and he misses him too much. Maybe have some sort of note from dad during the day or a phone call that will help tide him over until dad gets home. I think the reason they don't inform you of it is because it happens in REM stage of sleep and they have no idea. It does seem to linger on into age for them for some reason and it may be hormonal. Maybe this will help stimulate some ideas for you!

Lorrie - posted on 12/27/2009

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hi jessica i am a mother of five 3 girls and 2 boys , i am 61 , my family have all flown the nest , but my youngest daughter hiedi leigh alwaays wet the bed , up untilshe got engaged at 18 . we allowed her to sleep with her then boyfriend , she peed all over him and has never ever done it again,she is now 29 , dont beat yourself up we tried allsorts qalarms ,no drinks , scolding her, given good marks taking away privelages, and nothing worked, i promise he will grow out of it, to make thing easier for you, try , puppy traing mats, because the dont let the wet through, old sheeting that prepaps you can through away . try to ridethe storm , i do understand you thing its a failing in you as a mother, IT NOT , some little ones are bedwetter and some are not , the lest fuss we made the less she tried the more fuss we msde the more she peed , so try not to let it get you down it one of life pests it will go away , please belive me ,

Denise - posted on 12/26/2009

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Goodnight underpants were a godsend in our house. My oldest son simply could not stop wetting the bed every night. He was a very sound sleeper and had an immature bladder. We had him checked by the doctor and were told, that 30% of boys at age 4 still wet the bed, by age 10, its down to to less than 5%. Stopping water, using alarms and stuff simply make the child ashamed of something they have no control over. Use goodnights and one day you will realize that your son doesn't need them anymore. My son came to me just before his 14th birthday and proudly advised me that I did not need to buy goodnights anymore, as he had been dry for over a week. We were both happy that if finally happened. I am happy that he is a happy well adjusted young man, who will one day understand if his child wets the bed.

Ailish - posted on 12/26/2009

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Ya, the doctor says that it isnt their fault at all and nothing can be done until they go out of it...it can last until double digits, so be patient!!! If it contiunes and it bothers you, there is medication available, ask you doctor....

Stacy - posted on 12/26/2009

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Limit liquids from 6 on. Put him to bed at like 8ish. Then when dad gets home, have him get him up and take him to the bathroom and put him to bed again. My nephew has a devise that is an alarm that goes off if he wets even a little bit. Mom and Dad says that it is working great! I don't know where they got it but their Dr. told them about it. Good luck

Judi - posted on 12/26/2009

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3 of my grandkids wet the bed until they were 5...don't worry, it happens and they will stop. If they don't after that take them to the Dr. see if something's wrong.

Donna - posted on 12/26/2009

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i have two boys, teenagers now, but we used pullups, and mattress protecters. dont waste money on those 'alarms' they just shock the chilld when the alarm gets wet! They outgrew it when they were 13, and 9 ys old. just had to wait for their bladder to mature....

Tracy - posted on 12/26/2009

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My 4 year old son also still wets the bed at night. I think it's just a maturity thing, especially with boys, my friend's son was the same way. My son wears overnight pull-ups to bed. Some nights he stays dry and some he doesn't. I'm not really worried about it at this point.

Holly - posted on 12/25/2009

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I've had 4 kids (2 boys & 2 girls). The youngest 2 (B/G twins) had trouble until about 6-7. And also have an occasional accident. We used pull-ups at night. They got to the point they didn't want to use them, so we instilled the rule if they could go 2 weeks without an accident they could go without pull-ups. Don't be too hard on your kids, they can't help it and you just make them feel bad.

Brittany - posted on 12/25/2009

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10pm is too late for a 4yr old to go to bed...try putting him too bed at 7/7:30 & wake him up between 10 or 11 so he can urinate and also say goodnight to dad...
Or even call his dad when he goes to bed and wake him up around midnight to go potty.

Tabitha - posted on 12/25/2009

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my son wet his bed until he was about 7, I ended up getting professional help. I used a bell and pad alarm, worked fantastic. It took a while about 2 months but now he is dry every night. I used drynites pants until he was 4 or 5.

Tessa - posted on 12/24/2009

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It can be all kinds of things to be honest. As much as it hurts to say I was much older then all of these kids when I finally quit wetting the bed. For me it was how I was potty trained by my grandmother. She potty trained me when I was two while my parents were getting a divorce. Needless to say I was yelled at when I had an accident and sometimes the sheet I peed on was next two my face after I did it. No wonder I had the problem I did. My brother was trained by her as well and he was 17 when he Finally quit peeing in his bed. I am positive this is not the case with you and how you are training him you sound like a concerned caring mother. :)
What I did to finally overcome it was like you do I didn't drink after 7 but I also set my alarm clock for 1 in the morning. If it happened before that I would fix the clock for the next night. I also was a deep sleeper as well and my dad had to buy me one of those alarm clocks that pretty much sounded like someone screaming in your ear. I use to blame it on my cat because I was so ashamed of myself.
Just be postive and supportive. He will overcome this I promiss. Right now we are potty training our son and our number one rule in our house is no Negative reactions if he has an accident because of what happened to me. We have not gotten to the step of night time potty training because I know he is not ready yet but when it happens I will do it how I trained myself. Every child is different when they are done peeing in the bed.

[deleted account]

Quoting Jessica:

HELP! I can't get my 4yr old son to stop peeing the bed!

I'm a mother of three boys and my middle son just won't stop going potty on himeself over night. It's really frustrating but I can't seem to crack him of it! I've even taken away any liquids after 7pm (he goes to bed at 10pm so he can tell daddy goodnight when he comes home). Worst yet, he doesn't tell me he's wet the bed until much later. I don't want to embarass him in front of his older brother but I don't know what to do. Any ideas to help stop the accidents?


It could be stress. Whatever you do don't show frustration or anxiety and do not be angry with him. He may not be telling you because he is ashamed ect.. My 4 year old has accidents from time to time, when maybe we have had a hectic day. When we first moved here she had them every night for months.  He is most likely not doing it on purpose.  If you take away fluids he will see it as punishment. I mean think about it from 7 to 7 or whenever he wakes up is a long time to not have anything to drink, and will cause him more anxiety. The way I see it you have 2 options. You can either put him in a pullup at night (the only issue there is that if he doesn't tell you he has had an accident he might get a rash or uti from a pee pee pullup or you can get up around midnight or 1 am and take him to the potty and put him back to bed. I do both. It's really not a big deal, most kids go through something like this at one time or another. I would just make sure I talked to his brothers and made sure they knew there would be dire consequences for making fun of him. My 4 year old has stopped peeing the bed. Yours will stop on his own eventually.

Jessica - posted on 12/24/2009

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THanks for your input everyone. I have been being supportive of him and he does go to the bathroom before he goes to bed. I just wish his older bvrother (he's 5) wouldn't make fun of him wetting the bed. I've tried to explain that he did it as well but it doesn't seem to matter. I do the rubber sheets so the matress doesn't get ruined. The pull up and ther goodnights seem to inhibit him going more. Hopefully his bladder will catch up to the rest of him soon.

[deleted account]

My oldest son, didn't stop wetting the bed until about 13 - 14 years. It was really hard for him. He wasn't able to sleep over at friends places or anything. I used to get angry with him at first, but then realised this wasn't his fault. It wasn't going to go away in a hurry, and I just had to relax and deal with it. We had a waterproof cover for the mattress, and he knew that he had to strip his bed, and put out to the laundry every morning. He missed out on a lot of cuddles with mum and dad in the mornings, as he had to have a bath and get dressed first. However, it all worked out in the end. Have patience, and help him learn to deal with it.

Cindy - posted on 12/24/2009

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my son is now 15 and he spent his life going to doctors to figure his issue out. He would sleep on the floor just to try to avoid peeing the bed. It broke my heart. But now its under control due to some meds he has to take for his bladder. Your son is very young but if he very honestly tells you he doesn't know its happening... he may not. And a doctor may not be able to help until his body grows more. I KNOW the Goodnites are expensive, but that may be all you can do for now. Good luck

Silvana - posted on 12/24/2009

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try to have ;him go to the restroom after he says nite to dad... or wake him up before you go to bed to have him go... they say there bladders are not strong enough to hold it...

[deleted account]

Don't settle for waiting for your child to outgrow bedwetting. Purchase and use the Potty Pager! It works if you stick with it and follow the instructions. The child can wet the bed again months later, but just get it out again and use it for a few more nights. It really works. One of my sons had trouble until he was around 10-12 years old, as did I when I was young.

[deleted account]

Sharon... 1. I believe the issue here was bedwetting and Not when a mother chooses to put HER son down for the night. It would've very much sufficed had you given your #2 & #3 reply.



Jessica... He will be just fine. My firstborn son did great potty training & night time training, however it was not that simple for my 2nd son. He is 10 now and is doing very well, but I would wak him up to go potty before I would go to sleep and as soon as I got up in the morning. (and on weekends when I don't work, I would set my alarm still just to get him up)



Good Luck

Jennifer - posted on 12/23/2009

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Some kids wet the bed, it's just the way it is. I myself and I know alot of people who wet the bed till we were about 9. Under-developed bladder. Eventually I learned to change my own sheets! Be patient and I recommend getting one of those plastic covering to save the mattress.

Debbie - posted on 12/23/2009

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Try rubber pants over his underware. I also have boys, 4. My baby is now 18 and they all still love me. lol The rubber pants (that you would use over cloth diapers) will let him feel the wetnes more and cause him to wake up and want to change. He will get tired of that quick. Good Luck, Praying for success!

Joy - posted on 12/23/2009

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Night time wetting can come from habbit, it can come from deep sleep, and it can simply come from an immature bladder. Although some people have great tricks and no problem training kids to sleep through the night, some kids physically can't do it. I think most pediatricians don't even consider it an issue until around 7yrs. It is usually us moms who have the biggest problem with it because we are tired of changing sheets. Late bed wetting is also very hereditary. My oldest son, of 3 boys, (but second born) is 6 and goes through spurts of wetting and not wetting. We put a secondary matress pad on his bed that just goes where he sleeps and makes it easy to change if that is all that gets wet. If he does wet he knows he has to take a shower first thing in the morning and bring his bedding to the laundry. If it is a spurt where he has been wetting and I don't have time to deal with constant sheet changes than he wears a pull-up. He hates wearing them and is eager to stay dry a week to not use them again.
Hopefully your son will grow out of it soon. Don't be discouraged. Work with your son to come up with a game plan and reward.

Michelle - posted on 12/23/2009

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My son didn't stop wetting the bed until he was 6 and my niece didn't stop until she was 10 some kids just do not have the bladder control at night to alleviate the wet bed I just put him in a pull up at night and that helped and I would get him up to go pee when I went to bed which was around midnight just be patient he will stop when his body is ready

Sharon - posted on 12/23/2009

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1. 10 pm for a 4 yr old is to late, daddy night nights or not.



2. wake him up a couple of times at night to go potty



3. There is nothing you can do. He just hasn't matured enough to control his bladder at night.



Its not his fault, its not the liquids, its his body.



Some kids are so deeply asleep they stay asleep in their urine. In which case - YOU need to wake up and change his sheets. There is nothing to be embarassed about he's only 4yrs old. Tell him its important he wake you up when these accidents happen.



Buy a waterproof mattress pad, extra sheets and change his bed nightly.

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