Bedwetting At Age 8

by Amy
(North Pole, Alaska)

My SPD son successfully potty trained during the day (both pee and poop) at age 3. However he is almost 8 and still wearing Pull-Ups at night. We've tried DDAVP and I have an alarm on order to help wake him to the sensation but he's becoming increasingly embarrassed about it. He wakes up with a full Pull-Up almost every morning and leaks onto his waterproof pad a couple times a week.


I understand your concern for your son, and especially his self esteem. If you have not had him evaluated by a Urologist, you might want to rule out any underlying physical problems. There are a couple thoughts I have on this. You said he was potty trained during they day, but never has been at night. Hmm, that is not so uncommon with our SPD kids, to achieve a level of control while
they are awake and alert. He may be having more subtle signals of sensation than you realize, or even he realizes since the kids do not know how strong the sensations of having to urinate or move their bowels can be for the rest of us.

Once he is sleeping, if these signals or sensations are mild or subtle, he may not wake when he feels it.

There are a couple strategies that may help him right now. An hour before bedtime give him the last drink of the evening. Make sure he uses the restroom before he goes to sleep. Then about midnight, or right before you go to bed, gently walk him into the bathroom and encourage him to try again. That should completely empty his bladder for the night and he should wake dry. I know this would not be easy for you, but it can become routine, and help his emotional well being, knowing he is waking up dry. If you can do this, there may be no need for the Pull-Ups.

To work on the awareness of sensations, as this is an Interoceptive sense (regulation), you may want to get him back into, if he is not currently attending, Sensory Integrative OT, to work on regulation deficits. Listening Therapy through Vital Sounds has at least three CD's that have helped many SPD children with this issue. If you are unfamiliar with this type of therapeutic intervention, you can read more about it at:

Resuming a brushing protocol for a period of time, as recommended by his therapist may also address this remaining deficit in regulation. Please know that this can and does get better, when we address this issue.

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Sep 10, 2014
Compression for SPD Bedwetting
by: Anonymous

My daughter had a fairly mild sensory processing disorder when she was younger. She was fully potty trained during the day and many nights for several months. She began to wet the bed around 3 years old and it continued for about 8 months. I had her evaluated by OT for SPD due to the bedwetting and some other things I had noticed. In therapy, they utilized brushing and compression to help her because her body was craving the input. I figured, what the heck, lets try compression at night. I bought one of those abdominal bands that people use for increased weight loss when exercising (Wal-Mart, $10.00). I began to wrap it around her every night pretty snug for the compression. From the first night she stopped bedwetting. We continued it for about 5 or 6 weeks then stopped and she has not wet the bed since. Though it might not be the solution for everyone, for kids with SPD it is certainly worth a try, cheap and easy. A couple of times we forgot to put the band on her and she would come ask for it and remind us. I hope everything works out and you find a solution that works for you!

Mar 31, 2011
Common issue
by: Sarah

Our child's pediatritan said this was typical at age 6. Especially if they are a sound sleeper which ours is, she sleeps through thunderstorms! We use "Goodnights" at night only. She has SPD.

Aug 15, 2010
Bedwetting protection
by: Debra

I have an 8 year old and a 6 year old that wear Happy Heinys XL and XXL to bed each nite. I stuff them with a premium prefold wrapped around 2 m/f towels. Both beds are dry in the morning. Each of the kids has 3 of the H.H.'s and they work well for us.

Bedwetting is a pretty common problem and the use of night time protection ensures that everyone gets a good nights sleep and is well rested for the next day. That means a lot.
Bedwetting runs in both families and so I'm not stressing about it.

Jun 27, 2010
Do NOT wake up your child !!
by: Anonymous

This is VERY bad advice. Not only do you disturb the child's much needed sleep, you will also not train his body to become aware of the sensation to urinate. You will only get the child in the habit of waking up at your prompting or at that certain hour every night (and waking up at that hour...again...disturbs the child's needed sleep).

Bedwetting for children are not rare at this age and is more common in boys than girls. The best solutions are to cut down liquid intake two hours before bed. Have the child empty their bladder after dinner, after brushing their teeth, before going to bed and possibly after reading their bedtime story. Two or three times before sleep is ideal. This will postpone the urge to urinate closer to the morning hours.

I am not a fan of overnight diapers for these reasons:
~ they ARE diapers..that can really affect the esteem of a child who may be too old to be associating themselves with wearing one
~it trains them to not be on alert for the sensation to urinate when they are sleeping..the overnight diaper becomes a crutch

Invest in cloth bed pads (the kind they use in hospital beds). It keeps the mattress from getting stained and wet. It keeps the child from being uncomfortable on a plastic waterproof bed pad. And, since it is cloth, the child will have more of a chance to feel when he begins to wet him/herself.

One last note, the more predictable the child's daily routine is the faster the bedwetting will go away. Predictable routines and consistency puts a child's body and mind at ease and in a lesser state of stress. A relaxed mind and body is more able to feel subtle sensations such as the urge to relieve him/herself.

This route does indeed require a LOT of patience from parents but it actually is the quicker route.

Nov 05, 2007
Thank you!
by: Amy

We have been waking our son during the night and it seems to be doing the trick. He's waking up dry or almost dry each morning. I still haven't received the alarm we ordered but will play around with that too.

I'm not familiar with a brushing protocol. I can check with our OT. Has anyone done this or can explain?

Oct 23, 2007
Sensation of having to go to the bathroom
by: Joseph Krok

I have a 5 year old diagnosed with SPD, he is also a bed wetter. We have tried limiting drinks before bed time and wake him up in the middle of the night, which is not a picnic for him, but it works. My comment is about daytime. There are times when he will signal to go and we have to remind him to go. He also will tell us that he has to go and when we get to a bathroom he tells us he dosen't have to go anymore. I never thought there could be a connection with SPD and bed wetting. My wife and I are not concerned yet, but the topic has enlightened us. We will discuss this with his OT, but it does make sense to us.

Aug 01, 2012
Bed Wetting
by: Anonymous

I agree with waking the child up at midnight, this is how my son was potty trained and it worked. Children also bed wet when they are constipated. Even if they poop every day, even more than once a day there is always a possibility that there is an obstruction in the bowel that rests on the bladder at night. A proper diet of 3 meals a day with a snack, with meat, fruit, veggies and grains, with mostly water and milk to drink will help. If that does not seem to resolve the situation then use Miralax, it is safe for adults and children, it's safe to use everyday if needed. It is not a laxative, all it does is add more of your body fluids to your bowels.

Sep 29, 2011
tight pull-up stopped bedwetting in SPD 9 year old
by: Anonymous

I read that wearing something tight can reduce bedwetting. for 3 nights we ran out of pull-ups for our 9 year old and he used his brother's which were quite tight on him. He is seldom dry all night, but 2 of the 3 nights he was and on the 1 where he was wet, it was much less than usual. I had read somewhere that as part of OT children sometimes get some sort of tight clothing to wear to decrease bedwetting and this tight pull-up seemed to serve that function.

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