16 years old and still wetting the bed....


New Member
My 16 you difficult child is still wetting the bed. He has many different explanations/excuses. This has been going on since 4 yo and can not get anywhere with it. We have tried medications, behavior encouragements, complete medical checks,etc. He has given me in the las t6 months alone the story he knows what the problem is, he forgot to use the bathroom before going to bed, then there was it's because he didn't sleep with the fan on(in February),too much to drink. You would think reminding him not to drink after a certain time would work, he just sneaks it. Then there was an altercation with his father(due to disrespect and disobedience)he stayed at the Safe House/Sage Station, he told the social worker there that he just never wanted to tell us that he has nightmares. He said one was about water and sharks, but no story for all the recent bed wetting times. What's next? When trying to talk to him he just gets up and walks away(which usually leads to most of the confrontations)and says it isn't going to listen to us. This has become his normal whenever to confront him on any behavior issues. I am so exhausted!!!!!!


No real answers to life..
Have you tried any medications for this? DDAVP is a nasal spray that worked for my son(he wet until age 12). There was another medication in pill form that we tried, but can't remember the name, it began with an f I think. Maybe to ease the pain for a while put a waterproof cover on the mattress and let him wash his own sheets. I occasionally threatened to make my son sleep in the bathtub, but never resorted to it....

This is a frustrating problem for all. Especially when there is no physical cause, or at least you can't find the cause....

Hoping for a dryer future for your son.....


member since 1999
If he's had a thorough medical exam (and at 16, I'd be more than tempted to take a trip to a urologist as well), then I'd let it go. Get the plastic mattress protector (they zip up). If it is strictly a matter of restricting fluid intake/going to the bathroom before bedtime... not much you can do, realistically. Doesn't sound like *he* thinks it's a problem, so let him deal with- the sheets and laundry.

A thought though, in terms of easy clean up. You know those chux pads they use in hospitals? We got reusable versions of those for Boo (incontinence and lousy adult diapers, as well as the occasional leaking feeding tube, are major issues around here). It's quilted on top, waterproof on the bottom, maybe 3 feet wide so it just covers the at-risk areas, and has extra long sides so they can be tucked under the mattress. Trust me - saves immensely on wear and tear on sheets and your washer/dryer. We got 2 of them about 4 years ago and they're still going strong.


Then there was an altercation with his father(due to disrespect and disobedience)he stayed at the Safe House/Sage Station...

From what I remember of that post, there was no altercation, your husband beat the snot out of your son and the only provocation was that your son ignored him. It doesn't surprise me that he doesn't want to share things. I don't know if that was an isolated incident, but teenage kids don't share things with their parents as a general rule anyway. If there are trust issues, they're just not going to open up.


Active Member
Excessive urination can also be a sign of diabetes. FYI. Good luck. My son occasionally wets the bed, but he is only 9. I would have him wash his own sheets, and I bet he cannot help it. I do not know any 16 yr old who would want to wet the bed.


Former desparate mom
It's hard to imagine that anyone would want to wet the bed. It's not very comfortable. I'd drop it for 3 months. Let him clean up his own bed and reassure him that you know it is a difficult issue to deal with from a teen/body image point of view. No arguing, no yelling. Take some of the emotion out of a very emotional situation. No confrontations and definitely no physical punishment for wetting the bed.
Other that a good doctor,medication and a good therapist, I can't see what else you could do that wouldn't harm this teen emotionally.


New Member
I agree with the others. I can't imagine this is something he WANTS to be doing. It would be one thing if he were awake and urinating in other places of the house, but he's asleep and urinating in the bed. It's got to weigh heavy on his self esteem, especially when people keep badgering him on WHY he's doing it. I'm pretty sure he has no idea and the fact that people keep asking him, he just keeps making up excuses so people will stop asking.

Everyone has offered great suggestions...A Urologist, try the suggested medications, a great mattress pad, and leave it alone. He's old enough to wash his own sheets if you can't be bothered.

Hope this resolves itself soon. I know after 3 1/2 yrs I'm sick of changing diapers and dealing with all of the overflow...I can only imagine 16 years!


New Member
I haven't posted here in a very long time but thought I'd post to this. I have a step difficult child who will soon be 16 in Residential Treatment Center (RTC) who also continues to wet the bed. Unfortunately, DDAVP does not work for him. His doctors can't explain why it doesn't other than he's got some kind of "misfiring signals" in his brain because he checks out fine physically. For him, they are treating it more as a behavior problem because it's not just confined to the bed.



New Member
My son is 12, and still wetting the bed and occasionally his pants. DDAVP didn't work for him either. He has been checked out medically, but in my opinion not thoroughly. I'm going to take him again and have him checked out. Sometimes the odor is very strong, and my husband thinks it's just lack of hydration. I'm not so sure.


New Member
My 11 yr. old difficult child wets his bed every picking night....I am sooo tired of washing sheets. It really bothers him too that he still has to wear Good Nights(pull ups for big kids)each night. He just doesn't wake up, he is a really hard sleeper and I have read in many different books that bed wetting is a symtom of Bipolar....so we have those hospital pads(chucks)on his bed to protect the mattress. He is growing to big for the Good Nights, so I guess we'll have to try the depends...Good grief!


Here we go again!
We used a low-dose imipramine for my son since DDAVP made him hostile. He eventually stayed dry by about age 10.5 or 11.

Now my daughter, who was dry for two years from age 5 to 7, has started wetting at night again for over a year now.

I just got wetness alarm that's supposed to wake them when it detects moisture so they "learn" to wake up when they need to. Since school's out, I thought we'd give it a try. She tried DDAVP for several months but had no response.

If he's having nightmares, maybe there is an anxiety component that's at play here?

He has my sympathy -- that's got to be tough on his self-esteem.

Good luck!