Bedwetting and Sleeping Alone issues

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    • #85216

      Hi! New here. My kids are both boys, aged 8, 11. They carry the same diagnoses: combined type ADHD, ASD (comparable to Aspergers), gifted learners and lastly anxiety. So they tend to be hyper, distracted, brilliant… and worried. An ongoing challenge is bed wetting. Another is not sleeping in their own beds. Looking for any ideas, kernels of wisdom, etc from others that have been here.

      Bed wetting: They are both still in night pullups/Goodnights. My younger guy will stay dry 5 of 7 nights (yay!!) whereas my older son is wet most nights. We’ve tried reducing liquid intake in the evening, trying the toilet before bed, waking them to pee at night… but still no luck. If they don’t have a pull up on then the bed will be wet. And… they will sleep right through the wetting!! Awaking in the morning with a wet bed.

      Second challenge – they don’t like to sleep alone. We tried getting them to sleep alone when they were younger but it meant staying in the room with each dude until he fell asleep. Then once the kiddo was asleep we’d creep out of their rooms and sneak downstairs for adult time. But they often woke and cried/screamed for us and we’d have a couple attempts at getting them to stay asleep. And ultimately they’d always end up in our bed at some point anyway that night. As this grew frustrating for us we tried offering small and large incentives to sleep alone/stay in bed, we even tried threats as family and friends recommended and sadly my husband blew a gasket a couple times which was NOT productive and scared the hell out of the kids and me. We discussed the problem with our new pediatrician who suggested getting the kids to sleep together. The kids were cool with that idea and initially they’d alternate bedrooms to start out in but STILL inevitably end up in our bed somewhere in the middle of the night. Which was a tight fit for 4 of us in our bed. Then they decided they liked sleeping in our bed best and not in their rooms. Even if we said no they’d sneak in and we’d find them asleep cuddled in our bed when we came up to go to bed ourselves. So now my husband just crawls in with them and I go to sleep alone in one of the kids’ beds. And inevitably, my younger son will squeeze in with me at some point at night. Now before people get all judgy – we liked cosleeping when they were tiny. Or else we’d have endured the tears, etc of forcing them to sleep in their own beds as was suggested to us by many family and friends. But it felt wrong and mean with their developmental issues and anxiety. We felt cosleeping helped them.

      But frankly, now they ARE really getting too big physically. Our older guy is going to start puberty soon… which to me means he should have privacy and not be sleeping with parents. We have offered incentives for sleeping in their own rooms alone or incentives for them sharing a room. But they don’t see why they should do this. Not to mention the hit our adult relationship has taken over the years living as roommates.

      Does anyone have any ideas to help?

    • #85252

      I feel like I was sent to this site today to answer your bedwetting questions. (I’ve never been here before, and I doubt I’ll be back)

      Your boys probably do not have a bladder problem or anything that can be solved by limiting fluid, getting them up at night, etc, etc. I tried all the same things that you did. What I learned about bedwetting is that in most cases it is a sleep disorder. Your boys are simply sleeping so hard they never go through an appropriate REM cycle. I bet when you get them up in the middle of the night it’s like they are zombies, or sleepwalkers – they probably don’t even remember it the next morning.

      I paid Thousands of dollars to help my son. But I’ll get you started and hopefully with persistence on your part you can accomplish the same thing for little cost. (you might want to do this one boy at a time or you may not get any sleep yourself) Buy a bedwetting alarm (loud) & stop using the pull ups. When the alarm goes off YOU have to wake your son up & make HIM turn off the alarm. Make him change his bed, reset the alarm and go back to bed. This will help him reset his sleep cycle. Use whatever means necessary (no child abuse allowed) to wake him. We always found that an ice cold wet wash cloth on the face or back did the trick, but you can find other helpful hints on the web I’m sure.

      Some more tips
      The best type of alarm is one that lays flat on the bed. Have your son(s) sleep naked on top of it.
      Never punish or belittle your sons. It’s not their fault. Do have them accept responsibility for the mess it makes.
      Keep a diary and celebrate accomplishments – 1st dry night, 1st dry week, etc. Don’t make a big deal about slip ups.
      Protect the mattress and keep plenty of clean dry sheets available for use.
      Teach your kids how to wash their own sheets. Make them responsible (don’t make it a punishment though)
      This is not a quick fix. It may take several months for this to completely work. (My son was 13 and it took 5 months)Others I’ve given this advise to have had quicker results. Each child is different. BE CONSISTENT AND PERSISTENT.

      I used to be on the board of a non-profit called Dry Kid Acadamy. I haven’t been involved with them in years, but their website is If my suggestions aren’t working contact them.
      Best of Luck

    • #102688

      I have the bedwetting and sleep in our bed problem with my son, did you have success with anything? I was keeping my fingers crossed that he’d outgrow it since his maturity age is actually around 5 yrs old instead of his real age of 7.5, but I’m getting worried.

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