Soon to be 7 year old son still wears pull ups at night - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 01-21-2014, 02:19 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi all:  So, as the title states, I have a son who is turning 7 in two weeks.  He has been fully potty trained since he was 3 and doesn't have any day time accidents.  However, he still wears a pull up at night and every single morning it is soaking wet.  When he was a baby I would read all the books about potty training and the main theme for no more night time diapers is when the child starts waking up with dry diapers.  Well, in his 7 years he has woken up with a bone dry diaper maybe 5 times.  He is usually sopping wet in the morning…sometimes so much that he has actually wet the bed itself. One of the things that I thought was the culprit is that we allowed him to drink water at night as his water consumption during the day is not good. We kept a zippy cup of water by  his bedside. So, I consciously made the decision to allow him to still wear diapers at night so that he could continue to drink the water.  In the last two months we have done away with the nighttime water drinking as he is old enough to reason with and he is drinking more water during the day.  This hasn't helped any.  His diapers may be SLIGHLTY less wet but they are still wet.  I have done a lot of reading on this and have spoken with his pediatrician (I will be bringing the subject up again in a month at his well visit-I haven't spoken with her since our last well visit a year ago).  All signs point to the fact that his body isn't ready and that he may just be delayed in this area.  My husband (husbands!!!!) thinks its laziness.  He thinks we can teach our son to stop wetting his diapers.  I have talked with my son and he says that he doesn't get that "have to go" feeling at all during the night.  He is a very heavy sleeper.  We had about 2 weeks awhile back where we had bought two packs of bunk pull ups….there was something wrong with them.  He peed through them every night in copious amounts.  The diapers were defective.  However, I thought I would use this as a training tool.  I let my son know that these diapers weren't good and that he was going to pee in his bed every night unless he woke up and went to the bathroom.  He never woke up, and peed in his bed every night which was not a long term option for me.  I don't have the time to wash sheets every day nor do I have the inclination to spend that kind of money on our water and electric bill.  So, we bought new pull ups and the problem of wetting the actual bed was resolved.  Anyway, my husband still thinks he can be taught.  I think he clearly isn't ready yet.  So, I throw it out to the great internet universe and would like to see what you have to say.  Do you have any tips?  Have you had any successful actions you have used?  Are your children still in nighttime diapers?  Do you have any words of wisdom or a story to share?  I am all ears!

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#2 of 10 Old 01-21-2014, 05:11 PM
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DH had the same problem for the same reason-- deep sleeper, no signals--well beyond 8yo.  My daughter was difficult to work with at night as well, occasional accidents until 7yo (and counting) which can be unusual for a girl.  Same reason.  Can't wake up enough to use the potty.  Fortunately, she stayed just enough awake when I rousted her to use the potty, but at some point I simply could not carry her any more, so we are at the mercy of nature here.  Some kids cannot wake up enough even to sit on the potty for their parents and use it, even if carried.  It is not something you can definitively teach.  It can be something they outgrow, but your husband needs to understand this is incredibly normal, especially for boys, and even at more advanced ages than 7.  I think perhaps a talk with your pediatrician might convince him.  Otherwise, I have no other advice.  I have simply taken steps to avoid accidents by waking her and taking her to the potty and have waited for dd to outgrow this phase.  This doesn't necessarily teach them to respond to signals, though you might have some success if you know what time he is most likely to go.  Waking him up regularly at that time *might* train his body clock, if it done in conjunction with his natural cycle.  Or maybe not!  Our troubles are not on the same level as yours, so take my advice with some extra salt.

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#3 of 10 Old 01-22-2014, 12:48 PM
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Our former pediatrician was very old-school and not "enlightened" about many parenting issues (so we switched) BUT one thing she was completely clear on is that children cannot be taught to be potty trained.  She claims that there is a hormone that the body begins to create that reduces the amount of urine produced during sleep.  For most kids, that hormone kicks in by age 4 or 5, but for some (like my 7 year old!)  it takes longer.  I have not been able to find much evidence of this hormone, but I use this story to explain to my mother-in-law why my son is not night trained.  Attempts at night training often do nothing but frustrate parents and make children anxious.  I think it is important for your husband to understand kids are not willfully disobeying us in their sleep when they wet the bed.  The part that's hard for us is because we still co-sleep and my husband and I really hate waking up in a puddle of pee and we don't force our 7 year old to wear a cloth diaper we have ended up using night diapers.  I hate that we are buying them, but washing our sheets daily isn't very environmentally friendly either, so I have come to temrs with that reality for now.


Good luck!

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#4 of 10 Old 01-26-2014, 07:08 PM
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People become dry at night at different ages. You can get some children up and walk them to the toilet about an hour after they fall asleep. Many times they can pee on the toilet without coming fully awake. This was done for me when I was a child. According to some male relatives of mine, there are boys who wet the bed til puberty, then nighttime erections help them stay dry.
Bed wetting runs in my family so I was very happy to save laundry with the nighttime disposables. My older daughter started staying dry at 7 but took awhile after that til she was dry every night.
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#5 of 10 Old 01-27-2014, 10:35 AM
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My 7 year old has to wear GoodNights every single night. She is never ever dry. She is a heavy sleeper and does not wake up. I can try to wake her but most of the time I can not physically wake her. Or if I manage to get her to the bathroom, she can't wake up enough to pee most of the time. I'm not concerned. Our doc knows all about it and has told me many times that do the level of DD2's inability to wake up and the fact that we know she pees multiple times a night, it is going to be years still before she is able to dry at night. I have 4 kids, and DD2 is the second child, and the only one not dry at night. It's just her. She hasn't had a day time accident since age 2!

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#6 of 10 Old 02-02-2014, 09:51 AM
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i don't have any advice but my 9.5 yr old nephew still wears pullups at night. I agree with the pp that said it's got to do with heavy sleeping. dd has been diaper free at nights from age 3. she is comparatively a rather light sleeper and the slightest sounds could wake her up.

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#7 of 10 Old 02-16-2014, 04:15 PM
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My 8 year old still wets the bed almost every single night. For a couple months he was on a medication called DDAVP that is prescribed to reduce urine production at night. He also has his last full drink around supper and is reminded to use the bathroom before bed. I tried waking him up in the middle of the night to go but I couldn't get him woken up. I understand you can also try a bedwetting alarm that goes off when it gets slightly wet. We found the DDAVP worked for awhile and then stopped working, and are now taking him for urine and blood tests per the Dr to see if he has a medical problem. I have also read that, for some kids, constipation causes night time wetting and when constipation is managed they stop. Bedwetting is fairly common, especially for boys, and often runs in families.

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#8 of 10 Old 02-16-2014, 05:01 PM
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I would just accept it and let him get it on his own with time. It happens. Not his fault. 

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#9 of 10 Old 02-20-2014, 06:20 AM
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I wish I had a solution for you. My son, who is almost 9, still wear pull ups at night, and they're still soaking wet every single morning. I can remember two times in his life when he woke up dry. Both my husband and my brother wet the bed regularly well into elementary school, so I think there's something to the whole "runs in families" thing. Also, FWIW, I usually wake up several times a night to use the bathroom. I think DS is like me, but, since he's a really sound sleeper, he hasn't learned to wake up at night. We're considering using a bedwetting alarm to help with that.


I think you said you've already tried reducing liquids in the evening and found it didn't help. At your son's well visit, ask to have him abomen x-rayed to see if he's constipated. In some kids, this is what causes the bedwetting because it puts pressure on their bladders. In those cases, the bedwetting goes away when the constipation is taken care of. And, yes, kids can be constipated and still poop regularly. Again, we went down that route with our son and he actually was constipated, but we've fixed that and he still needs pull ups.


By all means try out some things you haven't tried and consult with your doctor, but don't stress out. Companies make nighttime pull ups in large sizes for a reason. Your son isn't the only 7 year old in town who wears pull ups at night. It's something that parents usually don't talk about, but it's not something for either you or your son to be ashamed about.

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#10 of 10 Old 02-21-2014, 11:37 AM
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A lot of kids have this issue...My son was 11 before he stayed dry at night...We tried plenty of meds..nothing worked after a few weeks..just time...
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