Bed Wetting Older Kids


bed wettingBed wetting for a big kid can be really humiliating and can negatively affect a child's self esteem. Moms, too, often have a hard time not feeling some shame about having a bed wetting child--and that's why I want to give thanks to psydney42 for being open enough to admit that her son needs help.

Psydney's son is almost 10, but still has a serious bed wetting (enuresis) problem. According to, he's not alone--about 3% of all 14 year olds wet the bed at night. It is much more common in boys, but does happen with girls also.

The article says bed wetting can be divided into two main types:

  • Primary Nocturnal Enuresis - which refers to persistent involuntary nighttime urination where the child has never had a dry night.
  • Secondary Nocturnal Enuresis - which refers to an onset of nighttime bed wetting after a dry period of at least six months.

Experts make a point of saying that if you have a tween struggling with bed wetting, don't make a big deal out of it. Don' t talk about it to other family members or to anyone else (your child is already embarrassed)--and never punish a kid for bed wetting. Of course, see a pediatrician to be certain that your child doesn't have any physical concerns creating the bed wetting problem. But the problem often goes away on its own.

BTW: A few mothers on CM say that bedwetting alarms are a good remedy!

Do you have a bed wetter? Is he still wetting the bed or has it stopped? What did you do?

behavior, elementary school, health, middle school


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RanaA... RanaAurora

My kiddo is almost 5 and has only wet the bed less than 10 times since being potty-trained.

However, I had issues up until I was 12 or so.  Back then, it was something you kind of hid.  Now we know that there are so many options, from medication, training, alarms, etc.

Raide... RaiderMommy

My son has just stopped bedwetting within the past year and he is 13. It runs in the family almost every last male has had this issue and it stop between 12 and 13.The problem usually is a sleep disorder,nothing too alarming. Just that the child experiences REM sleep immediately once going to sleep and for hours, where usually REM sleep is at the end of sleep and is roughly 20-30 minutes. In this deep sleep the brain is basically only doing what it needs to to keep the heart and lungs working and is not telling the bladder to hold the urine its making.In REM the brain is only regulating the lungs and heart.

Then this leads to an underdeveloped bladder because holding urine during sleep helps it grow and there is the cycle. That is why no matter if you reduce liquids at night they still wet the bed.


Raide... RaiderMommy


My kids former pediatrician was the first one that really knew about this condition and was able to explain it to me so I could stop torturing my son and sending him to bed thirsty. Unfortunately my son was 9 at the time and the meds rarely work after then. My insurance didnt even cover them because they want you to use the alarms, but with this disorder he would sleep right through them because he is "dead to the world". So he would give me the samples the pharmaceutical company gave him for free to use when he went to camp or over a friends.

It all made sense to me once I was told as my son was sleep during labor and born sleep. He freaked the nurses out! LOL I wish this was known back with my uncles and cousins as it would have saved their self esteem. This still needs to get out more though.

sdmarrs sdmarrs

I wet the bed until I was 13 years old. I slept SOOOOO soundly that I did not wake up. This was a great embarrassment to me. I did not sleep over much.

Funny thing, as soon as I had my first child, I havn't slept much since.

I'm sure there are reasons for bed wetting. You have to find the reason to be able to fix it. In the 50s and 60s this wasn't a big topic of discussion. My kids never had this problem.

My sympathies to all the kids. But hang in there. It will get better.

SahmTam SahmTam

My son was still wetting the bed last summer when he turned 8. His ped suggested the bedwetting alarm. Actually she told me about it during the school year, but said it's best to use it over the summer when they aren't in school as it can temporarily disrupt sleep patterns. Anyway... it worked for us within 6 weeks (by the 2nd week were having some dry nights and by week 4 he was staying dry all night, but you are supposed to use it for another few weeks after they are dry consistently for reinforcement)! And I discovered that my son can still have a glass of milk before bed as he likes to.

My 4 1/2 year old daughter then used it when her brother was done with it and she is now 5 and stays dry every night ;-)

I was a bed-wetter until about 7-8 when my parents used an alarm attached to a pad on the bed (the alarms are small and don't require pads these days ;-)). The alarm worked for me. My husband won't even admit how old he was when he stopped bed-wetting, so I know it was pretty late! We were both just really deep sleepers!


artnme artnme

I have three boys the oldest wet at night until he was 9, the middle wet until he was almost 10 and the youngest stopped at 3. We just used pull ups and NEVER made them feel bad or ashamed. Late bed wetting runs in our family and our pediatrician was not concerned. Our middle child stopped one week before he went away to camp for a week. Good Luck and be calm.

Taygan Taygan

Im so glad to hear that this is a bigger issue and more children are right where my eight year old daugher is... Im definantly going to try the alarm.. The peditrician suggested meds but i honestly didnt want to put her on meds for something she will eventually out grow but if the alarm is working for alot of children to me its worth a try...

proud... proud2Bmomma

My 6.5 year old is still bed wetting almost every night.  We had put her in regular panties for a while and THOUGHT she was doing great.  We cleaned her room the other day and found multiple pairs of nasty underwear that she had wet in the middle of the night, taken off, and then hid from us.  (We have never punished her for wetting.)  So, we recently put her back in pull-ups.  I got absolutely reamed by some ladies in one of my groups for doing this.  But, anyway, I'm going to talk to her pediatrician about it next time we go.  Good to see others have been through the same and worse!!  Goodness, I'm hope she is done before she is 14!  The pull ups are already getting too small and she isn't a big kid!!

chris... chrissymk

My son started wetting the bed a week before 4th grade... we had never had a problem with him even during potty training... turns out that he has type one juvenille diabetes, and that can be a cause of bed wetting in older kids too... so talk to your docs about all the possibilities.

mommy... mommyof4ormore

WE are convinced that our daughter's bedwetting stems from enlarged tonsils. She has problems breathing because of them which results in restless sleep. So when she finally fals asleep at night it is such a deep sleep she doesn't wake up to go. We just put a plastic cover on her matress and buy pull ups for her.

We have tried everything from waking her up to go potty, making her change her sheets at night (she foudn this to be fun becuase she got to get up in the middle of the night), to the bed alarm (didn't work just annoyed the rest of to the medicine they can prescribe.

She is 7.5 and we are hoping that her doctor will look at the research we have about enlarged tonsils and maybe try to get us referred to someone who would remove them for us. I know it sounds extreme but if its affecting her in school (being tired becuase of the sleep issue)and at night then this may be a route we need to go....

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