My 15 year old son still wets the bed, like a toddler. What else can I do?

Julie - posted on 07/04/2012 ( 25 moms have responded )

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My son is 15 years old. He wets his bed at night, I'd say, 5 of the 7 days a week. We've tried the typical
1. Waking him up at night to use the bathroom (his wetting times are not the same all the time),
2. No drinks after a certain time at night (although, he doesn't seem to care and sneaks drink when he thinks I don't know),
3. Making sure he uses the bathroom before he goes to bed,
4. Seeing a urologist, having tests on the bladder for defects, using medication, etc. Tests are normal. I'm told he sleeps too hard and needs to train himself to wake up.
5. Leaving it up to him to resolve the problem, aka, taking ownership.
6. Using a "Potty Pager" alarm (which he refuses to wear).

Nothing is working. He is at the point that he doesn't seen to care anymore. His bedroom STINKS!! He is responsible to take care of the sheets everyday, hoping this will be a push to have him care about this, and take the necessary step to help prevent it. I gave him the potential reward of getting new furniture/mattress when the issue is resolved, and it is still not enough!!

He's not allowed to spend the night at friends' house, because of the obvious. His self esteem is in the toilet (no pun intended). What can I do?

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Jodi - posted on 07/04/2012

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"So, let me ask you this...have you ever been faced with this delicate situation?"

Actually, yes I have. I have a child who wet the bed until he turned 13. We tried everything too. But I would never have spoken about him in the ways you have spoken about your son here. Which is why I found your post full of offence.

I don't know how old your son was when you tried the medication, but it may be worth trying again. My child tried it once years ago, and then again just in the last 6 months. The first time it didn't work, this time it did.

And for the record, I didn't suggest you *treated* him like a toddler. But you certainly referred to him as like one, and that is an insulting thing to call a teenage boy (even if not to his face) just because he wets the bed, something he has no control over.

Amanda - posted on 01/14/2013

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My son Jacob is fifteen as well and I was wondering Julie have you found a solution to bed wetting yet

Jodi - posted on 07/04/2012

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OK, firstly, you stop referring to him as "like a toddler". Your entire post is FULL of nasty inuendos, and that's just WRONG. I'm actually quite disgusted at the language in your post.

Has it occurred to you that maybe he can't help it? I have a brother who wet the bed until he was 16. That's right, SIXTEEN. It happens, and it is NOT their fault. It's not your fault either, but putting pressure on him and ridiculing him is NOT going to help, and in fact, will only serve to hinder the situation. So while it is rare, it does happen. There are ways of dealing with it. Maybe he doesn't care because he feels helpless and feels like you are blaming him. Maybe not caring is his defence mechanism?

No wonder his self esteem is shot, when you talk about him this way.

I think you should go and talk to some counsellors about how to deal with the situation. At this point, I do agree it has to be on him, BUT, he has to learn how to manage it, and that's not going to come from you.

Sarah - posted on 07/04/2012

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Hi, my daughter is 12 years old, going on 13 and has wet the bed since she was potty trained. I tried everything as you have. Finally up until about 3 months ago, I found a doctor who prescribed her a medication called imipramine. She takes one of the lowest doses, only 20 mg right before bed every night. It helped immediately. It's actually considered an anti depressent, but is for bed wetting as well. It would only work as an anti depressent if you take a much higher dose. So worrying about the whole side effects of the depressent part, no need to. I was worried as well until I got a second opinion. Like I said, she's been on it for almost 3 months and has never had an accident since. After this last bottle is out, I'm going to schedule her another appt to see if we can try to ween her off it. If she ends up having an accident, we'll go back to the regular dose and try again in a few months. I know this works, so take your son to a doctor and ask him about imipramine. A god send for me. No more wet bed, no more stinky room. Good Luck hun.

Cherish - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Julie..
What you could do as a temporary solution(if smell is bothering you),let mattress are out and steam clean it.Let it dry then get plastic sheets for under his sheets or disposable chux (if the Dr writes a rx for them your insurance may cover them),if you want the # to the people we use let me know(they can tell you if your insurance will cover them and get the rx taken care of for you)

@Holly,
You tell me to grow up and say you are not fighting with me,thats fine,but you WERE being rude saying "He needs to see a DR. Its not normal for a 15 yr old to wet the bed!! I'd make him wear the diapers and take him to a psychiatrist. " a nicer way to say that is "I do not know if a 15 yr old wetting the bed is normal,maybe you could try adult diapers and call his Dr or consult a psychiatrist"
I do not believe I was attacking you...Again your reply sounded judgmental/rude..I was simply pointing that out,it is constructive criticism,my bad if you felt personally attacked

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Teri - posted 1 day ago

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My mother wet the bed in to her Twenties, she had 12 siblings and none of them were bed wetters. I had two sisters and neither one of them wet the bed, but I did until I was 24 years old. My sons father was a bed wetter also and so is my son. My son is now 33 years old and is still battling it. It was awful for me growing up and it has been awful for my son. He has tried everything. The correct medical term is Nocturnal Enuresis. So far no success. It is definitely not a great thing for a child, man or woman's social life. All I can say is keep talking to the doctors. Keep hope. It is awful. It is not your sons fault. It is a medical condition.

Julie - posted on 09/03/2014

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Hi Tina,
I just replied to another mom. He's moved out, since he is now 18. After a while, when he became involved with a girl, he would hide the evidence, aka, put the bedding in the wash. I don't think the problem was ever resolved.

Since he's moved out, I believe that things have gotten better. He feels better about himself, I think.

Good luck and love your son, even if it's frustrating at times. He's worth it! Trust me!

Julie - posted on 09/03/2014

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Hi Amey! My son is 18 and has since moved out. I think that while it has gotten better...it still happened. He just got rid of the evidence before I got home. He was treated for his ADHD/ODD with Vyvance. It seemed to help with his ADHD in the beginning, then he just refused to take it anymore.

As a mother who has watched, with an aching heart, and who probably made the wrong decisions from time to time.....please get your son the help that he needs. I'm sure he's a good boy, just like my son is. He needs a massive amount of encouragement...I mean MASSIVE! I'm going to guess, that his self esteem isn't too high (I'm sorry if I've over stepped). Please try to get that up, and see if it helps with your issue.

Since my son moved out, he has gotten better. He's on his own, and I think that's a huge boost in his ego.

Good Luck! ;o)

Tina - posted on 09/02/2014

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Hi,
Indeed, Julie I understand you fully. There are times when I feel so bad that my 15 yr old son wont even put his wet bedding sin the wash at least . I have probably said a few harsh words to him hoping its going to help but he still wets his bed at least 3 to 5 days a week. Have you sorted out your problem yet??

I love my son so dearly and I know for certain that he has no control over it.

Ameyburkhart - posted on 01/09/2014

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Hi Julie! I am just curious if this got better? My son is 14, has ADHD and ODD, and has frequent bedtime accidents. He is not in medication for the ADHD or ODD (I made a bad paretning decision by not trying the medicine and made it worse). We are in counciling, and have tried everything! I am hoping when his doctor calls me back we can start medication for his other medical problems and it will maybe help with bed wetting too. Anyway, what helped him ffor a while was miralax. His doctor told us because he doesn't have regular enough bowel movements that it adds pressure and causes hI'm to wet the bed, and sometimes even just a little in his pants while he is awake. Hope you found or find a solution for your your son and please share it with me if you do :)

Holly - posted on 07/04/2012

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I wasn't being rude to you. State your opinion that's fine but dont call me annoying or mock me. Like I said I gave my opinion and I stand by it. Its pretty obvious this situation struck a nerve with you so whatever your problems are I wish you the best with them.

Holly - posted on 07/04/2012

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@Cherish
Im not going to argue with you on here. I never said anything rude to you. Why do you feel the need to call me annoying? Grow up. Stop attacking me for giving my opinion. Isn't that what these are for?

Louise - posted on 07/04/2012

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I would go back to the doctors there are things that can be done here. He does not sleep that soundly not to wake up when wet through. He needs help bless him. If it were just down to sleep he would train himself to wake, soon he will be thinking about girls and sleepover parties. He needs this sorting out now, if your doctors have no answer then ask to see a specialist in the area. There is help out there you just need to find it.

Cherish - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Holly,
You said "it is not normal",when 2% of teens still wet the bed,it is not abnormal....I did not know you are a urologist What is normal to you anyhow?
If you were not trying to be offensive that's super,perhaps it came out wrong.
wetting the bed is not necessarily a psychological issue.
It could be physical,and if it is he has no control over it.
I love how parents with toddlers say "I would do this"..lol I too at one time had a single child and I was like that,but now I see how annoying it is.
@Julie,
Teen boys are weird.My oldest is 19 and my nephew who lived w/me is 16,I know how they get.They don't want to talk about there problems with their mom or a female.Boys are self conscious,and seems to me they take EVERYTHING wrong and they take it personally.
Does you son have anything else "wrong"(I mean ADD/ADHD,PDD,ODD..or anything like that?) or is her fairly "typical"?

Julie - posted on 07/04/2012

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Just to set the record straight....he has and IS attending a counselor/mentor. He has weekly sessions with him at the house. He has been to a psychiatrist. He is getting all the help/mentoring that I can offer. There has to be something else out there that we haven't tried.

Holly - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Julie , I hope I didn't offend you. I had a cousin that wet the bed late in life and he had to see a therapist. It helped him!! I hope you guys figure out what works and get past this!!

Julie - posted on 07/04/2012

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Thanks, Holly! I have been beaching the mattress as much as I can. I also use a waterproof liner on it and rinse/bleach it as well. I have tried the adult diapers, but, he wets right through them. I am really feeling like nothing will work.

Cherish - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Holly,
I think making him wear a diaper and taking him to a psychiatrist is absurd.How many 15 yr old boys have you had?(probably none,you probably only have one baby or toddler...HA! Did you know 2% of teens still wet the bed?(that is one in 50)I think people that say hateful things when they are adults is psychological

@Julie.
I do not think it is "abnormal",Maybe he seems to not care b/c he himself has no control over it and does not know what to do.When my 19 yr old does not know how to handle something he often gives up.He could have a weak bladder or maybe he is a deep sleeper.
Here is some info that may(or may not) be helpful:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/200...
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases...
http://kidshealth.org/teen/diseases_cond...

Holly - posted on 07/04/2012

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Ok, have you tried adult diapers at night? It'd save the sheets. And for the smell id bleach the mattress. Just scrub it with bleach. I think bedwetting past a certain age is psychological. He needs to see a DR. Its not normal for a 15 yr old to wet the bed!! I'd make him wear the diapers and take him to a psychiatrist.

Julie - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Sarah - Thank you for the kind words and advice. I don't recall the Doctor mentioning that medication before. We've tried the Desmopreson (sp?), to no avail. I will definitely ask about this one!! ;o)

Julie - posted on 07/04/2012

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@ Jodi - has it ever occurred to you that perhaps I am expressing my frustration or failure as a mom? My son is NEVER treated like a toddler. Perhaps who misunderstood the comparison? He is loved deeply. He is encouraged, as seen by the multiple methods, to help himself. As said before, and as you said, it IS up to him. He needs to want to help himself.

When a frustrated mom has tried everything is her power to help her children with an embarrassing issue....who are you to ridicule? How about just offering advice, instead of harsh words? It is to my understanding that these blogs are to express frustration, advice, and well wishes to moms who need it. Hammering a mother when she is down, is cruel.

So, let me ask you this...have you ever been faced with this delicate situation?

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