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No More Bedwetting Accidents – Simple Natural Solutions for Almost Every Kid

No More Bed wetting Accidents

Bet you’d never think constipation would have anything to do with bedwetting at night – but it might. I couldn’t believe how many people struggle with constipation in their toddlers, and it’s possible that those solutions will help the nighttime potty accidents as well! I have plenty of personal experience, unfortunately:

You don’t expect to have three kids in diapers when you have them all three years apart.

My first two potty trained very easily, both before two-and-a-half years old.

I remember my oldest (a boy) being dry at night for an entire month right after he got in underwear in the daytime, and I was so impressed! Then for some unknown reason, he regressed, only at night, and it took until age four for us to completely drop the nighttime diaper or pull-up.

Number two, my stubborn little girl, trained quickly in about a week, again just before two-and-a-half. Then ensued a two-year struggle to help her stay dry just during naps, complete with tempting bribes and prizes from my mother-in-law that she would earn when she was finally successful (they didn’t work).

Troubleshooting Bedwetting in Potty-Trained Kids

We had trouble with a few of our kids with staying dry at naptime, and unfortunately, even as some pushed seven years old, they were still not dry at night. And it wasn’t just a matter of occasional bedwetting – one child was wet multiple times per night and often overfilled the diaper/pull-up and leaked on the sheets.

As the years passed by, we’d tell ourselves, “Nighttime wetting is still pretty normal for kids at age four, even five, so we’re not going to worry about it.”

Then at age six, we started to worry that we had a more serious bedwetting problem on our hands.

It was time to put some effort into getting over bedwetting.

How Common is Bedwetting in Older Kids?

A quick Google search told us that about 12-15% of kids were still bedwetting age six, and 5% still at age nine.

We read that gaining nighttime control later often ran in families (neither of us had the problem though) and can be a result of the child growing faster than their bladder can keep up (our kids are all peanuts though, who don’t grow fast at all!). It’s not laziness, but could be because of super deep sleeping (that describes the child who struggled the most), stressful situations, or getting wires crossed between the bladder and the brain.

We tried the basics:

  • limiting fluids from dinnertime onward
  • waking up at 11 p.m. or so to go potty
  • watching the child’s stress levels to try to find some correlation

Fluids didn’t seem to make much difference, although if the child had a popsicle after dinner they almost always peed more, but not having much liquid didn’t always mean dryness. For a while I thought stress could be a culprit, because there are rare dry nights – but we can’t seem to find a pattern of any kind. I was hopeful that when we cut out artificial food coloring, maybe that would do it.

No luck.

The next year I hoped that cutting out all corn and soy would be the magic bullet (the child tested sensitive to them in muscle response testing). Again, no dice.

We even reviewed a sample of Super Undies, basically a cloth pull-up for big kids, hoping that feeling wet would help, but (a) it didn’t and (b) poor kid didn’t like the bulk and began to get more agitated about social issues and other kids finding out, and (c) we realized that you really need to have another child in cloth diapers to make nighttime Super Undies work – they say you can just wash them with regular clothes or towels, but without the second rinse, increased agitation and hot-hot water of the cloth diaper routine, they started to stink. #fail Sad smile

Simple solutions to bed wetting

How Do We Stop Bedwetting??

Online sources continued to tell us that bedwetting in older kids is common, even “normal,” that kids will eventually outgrow it. A friend of mine had an older boy who was still wetting the bed, and her pediatrician told her it can be caused by a hormone that’s just not kicking in and simply doesn’t in about 10% of kids, and that he’d for sure be dry at night by puberty. (That’s a long time to wait!)

Recommendations to fix bedwetting sooner include:

  • limiting fluids
  • using a nighttime bedwetting alarm (found on Amazon)
  • prescription medications, for kids older than age seven typically

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Wish You Knew All the Answers to Keep Your Family Healthy?

How about a crash course?

I’d love to send you a 7-day “Quick Start Guide” email mini-course to give you Health Agency! When something goes wrong in your family, YOU can be the agent of healing and not allllllways have to call a doctor for every little thing.

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Looking forward to connecting to help you learn EXACTLY what you need to know to stock your natural remedies “medicine cabinet,” deal with normal childhood ailments, and even the dreaded, “What’s that on my skin?” issue! 🙂

We looked into that machine, but the child didn’t like the idea of anything inside the underwear or diaper – we were still seriously considering it until I saw something in the Positive Parenting Solutions course list that caught my eye.

My husband and I watched the module on bedwetting, which was a guest lecture from a pediatric urologist who specializes in daytime potty accidents and nocturnal enuresis (bedwetting issues).

Dr. Steve Hodges’ extensive research, logical thinking and easy teaching style impressed us immediately – and then his answer to the whole problem knocked our socks off.

We never saw it coming, but the good doctor pins constipation as the cause of almost all potty accidents after age four.

Constipation!

I never would have suspected that one’s bowel movements could be so tied to bladder control, but the basis of the theory goes like this:

  • Once kids are potty-trained, they get busy, get distracted, like to keep playing, and therefore forget to go potty enough, especially poop.
  • When they’re holding their poop in, they get constipated.
  • Because there’s always some poop in the colon, even at the end where it’s supposed to tell our bodies, “Hey, you need to go now!” the colon physically stops feeling it. The body turns off the sensation because it can’t handle giving constant “poop now” instructions and being ignored.
  • This can cause poop accidents during the day, by the way, but it also puts pressure on the bladder, thickening the wall of the bladder, decreasing its overall size, and also interfering with some of the bladder signals to the brain.

We eventually got up the guts to embark on Dr. Hodges’ solution for the constipation, and it didn’t work immediately. As with anything in the human body with all its variables, who knows what finally worked, but I’d love to share our experience with you – because before this child turned 8, the nighttime wetting problem was solved once and for all.

RELATED: Why I don’t like Miralax in kids

Could You Fix Nighttime Wetting with ONE Simple Solution?

The bottom line according to Dr. Hodges is that if you have an elementary aged nighttime wetter, if you can get your child’s bowels cleaned out and then help them avoid further constipation by making sure they go regularly and don’t “hold it,” you can almost always cure bedwetting problems (and daytime accidents) within a few months.

He says if kids weren’t constipated, he’d hardly have any patients visiting his clinic at all!

I’m so grateful to have a membership (for review) to the Positive Parenting Solutions course – on our list is the module on temper tantrums and whining for our toddler. Amy McCready, the parenting expert who runs the courses, has amazing solutions and non-stressful ways of dealing with all sorts of issues, from homework battles to picky eating, bedtime fights and disobedience at all ages.

More on Great Parenting

Positive Parenting Solutions Free Webinar

You just missed our special KS webinar, but other bloggers periodically co-host the same topic with Amy. You can check to see if one is coming up right HERE.

The information you’ll learn, targeted at kids aged 2.5 through teens, is SO helpful! My husband and I are still using strategies I picked up when I watched the session last summer, and I’m excited to watch it again to pick up more tips that I missed, even with all the notes I took.

You can read more about what the free webinar includes and my thoughts on Amy’s courses right HERE, or just sign up now:

Register for free
The register button will redirect to the page where you can find other webinars coming soon…

More Information on Kicking Potty Accidents to the Curb

Notice that I refer to other sources like doctors – because I’m not one! This is in no way intended to be medical advice, just sharing stories, thankyouverymuch. 

Dr. Hodges has two books, one for parents and a picture book for kids, that you’ll want to check out if you’re struggling with nighttime wetting (all found on Amazon):

  1. and to make sure potty training isn’t a massive power struggle, you might like Amy’s book If I Have to Tell You One More Time…: The Revolutionary Program That Gets Your Kids To Listen Without Nagging, Reminding, or Yelling (but go to the webinar to see her style, I know you’ll love her!)

The End of the Bedwetting Story

Spoiler alert: I’m telling you the end of the story at the beginning!

About one year after seriously embarking on being dry at night, we DID find success.

We used 3 distinct remedies, so who knows what worked – the human body is so complex, it’s always possible a switch flipped on its own. It’s possible the child needed all 3. Or perhaps just the last one was the magic button!

Whatever happened in the body caused the child to become an early riser, quite suddenly a morning person, where before this kid was always the one we had to wake up and was always crazy-haired and cranky in the mornings! It was literally 100% flip, from wet every night to dry every night – and then got up every single night at least once to use the bathroom, usually between 11p-1a or so, like clockwork.

We did NOT find success with Dr. Hodges’ suggestion, and it wasn’t easy, but it was neither traumatizing nor expensive.

Our Experience with Enemas for Nighttime Wetting

The main thing the doc recommended was nightly enemas for a month to get the child cleaned OUT, and then reducing low-fiber foods like white flour and such, and mostly just reminding them to go often and to make sure they attempt a bowel movement and not just rush through urinating and get back to playing.

We used pediatric enemas for 30 days – you can easily find them on Amazon but we grabbed them from our local Walgreen’s. They look like tiny syringes, not the poke-you kind for shots, but the kind that you can use like an eye-dropper to draw up liquid and shoot it out.

They’re pre-filled with some saline solution that seemed innocuous to me.

Each night for a month, I used a little coconut oil on the tip, inserted it a centimeter or so into the bottom, and squeezed the liquid inside. We sat and read on a bed for about 5 minutes and then the child would run to the bathroom, and it worked every night to get out a bowel movement.

Did the poor kid hate it?

Yep.

You bet.

Lots of crying from the child and second guessing from me on the first few nights!! The child was motivated to be DONE with diapers though, so we kept using that as a, “We gotta try something big, you can do this…” encouragement.

After the first few, it was just “mommy and me” time and we both handled it fairly well – although it would have gone better had we seen some results! I think even my dear one started getting discouraged after a few weeks with still nary a dry day. 🙁

We’re stubborn people and we love a good test, so we gave it the full month. And who knows? That may have been the beginning of healing, or perhaps the genesis of being more aware that holding it when needing to go, either urine or stool, may impact night wetting.

Or it might have been a failure.

If I were to tackle constipation as the root cause of bedwetting again, I’d start first with these natural alternatives to beat constipation and the crowd-sourced ideas for toddlers too, especially this topical magnesium formulated especially for kids.

I would NOT recommend using Miralax, especially daily. There have been all sorts of reports about how bad that is for kids – you can Google it yourself, but suffice it to say it’s not passing my kids’ lips.

RELATED: Best Form of Magnesium.

No more bedwetting accidents. Easy tips for combating bedwetting.

What Other Moms Say About Big Kids Wetting the Bed

Over the years, I’ve had a lot of conversations with other naturally-minded moms about bedwetting, including when I first shared part of this story a few years ago.

Here are some other brainstorms that moms have found success with for bedwetting:

  • Wait it out with patience and kindness.
  • Chiropractics
  • Magnesium and/or Epsom salt baths
  • Could be related to mouth/dental formation/breathing (one source in West MI: Dr. Karen O’Rourke and her info on YouTube)
  • Food sensitivities, particularly dairy but not always (some even said simply cutting dairy at dinner only helped!)
  • Histamine Intolerance caused by mineral deficiencies
  • Applied Kinesiology (look for a practitioner near you, here’s one in West MI: AK Chiropractic Research Center)
  • Functional neurologist (in West MI: Dr. Brian Hanks)
  • Sugary drinks or fruit juice, especially in the evening
  • Pin worms
  • Cypress essential oil from Plant Therapy
  • Tonsils/sleep apnea
  • Many mentioned a combo of constipation AND figuring out what foods are causing it, like a sensitivity
  • Preservative 280- 283
  • Drinking MORE during the day so that the bladder remembers it has a job to do and how to do it! (just not more at night)
  • Mixed results with bedwetting alarms, and the Wet-Stop was a fav mentioned (found on Amazon)

The Way Smart Parents Make Beds

It’s pretty important to protect things like mattresses that really can’t handle being washed, because if they get wet and can’t fully dry, you’re going to have mold, mildew or fungus problems. And those are the worst on surfaces where children are sleeping!

Leaking children also doesn’t mean that parents have to spend their lives changing sheets.

I hope you know about the double-sheeting trick, but if not, it goes like this:

  1. Waterproof pad on the crib mattress (or any bed!).
  2. Fitted sheet over that.
  3. Another waterproof pad.
  4. Another fitted sheet.

Then if it’s not a crib, you can make the rest of the bed normally with a top sheet, blanket and comforter. I do all my kids’ beds this way, no matter their age, because you never know when you’ll get a surprise stomach bug in the middle of the night, and let me tell you – it’s a lot easier on everyone if you can just whip off a layer and throw the whole mess in the tub until morning instead of having to remake the whole bed before the sick child can lay back down.

This protects your sheets and your sanity, total win-win!

Need A New Waterproof Mattress Pad?

My family tested out several different kinds of mattress pads, including this organic wool puddle pad. It’s so interesting – you don’t actually even wash it when a child tinkles on it, because the wool is naturally anti-bacterial and just kind of eats up the stink. You hang it to dry and put it back on! More on how it worked and recommendations for use in my big mattress protector review. You might also want to read more about the safety of different types of waterproof mattress pads.

RELATED: Where to Find Natural Organic Mattresses.

Up Next: Chiropractics or Homeopathy?

Our next step was going to be chiropractics (I had a hunch this child might have had low adrenal function too), but I came across a homeopathic protocol that mothers were raving about. I figured homeopathics would be a much less expensive and time consuming route with no driving 3x/week for appointments, so we started there.

The first remedy we tried was a Banerji protocol that was actually formulated from the gonorrhea disease – so it’s a bit “out there” even among homeopaths. We worked with a practitioner to make sure we did it correctly and safely, but – another spoiler alert – it didn’t (quite) work either.

How Homeopathy Works

Homeopathy is extremely diluted, pretty cheap, and very safe to use. Most of the time even using the wrong remedy won’t do any harm. Sometimes, however, certain individuals are going to respond more strongly to the “wrong” remedy. One should try only one remedy at a time and wait 4-6 weeks before re-evaluating.

Learn how homeopathy works and how to get started using homeopathy in this post.

Best option? Find a local registered homeopath to work with one on one.

Our Story with Homeopathics for Bedwetting

We used a Banerji Protocol from JoetteCalabrese.com after speaking with a team member, and at the time the Medorhinum wasn’t even commercially available (but it is now, here on Amazon!)

The Banerji Protocol for Bedwetting is Meddorhinum 200C, one pellet, once before bed. When the bed wetting stops, stop the remedy.

It’s a very strong remedy and had mixed results, which apparently in homeopathy is exactly what healing looks like – two steps forward, one step back. Any positive results are good results! And it’s possible we should have kept trying, but we ultimately switched it up.

This would be an important time to remind you that I’m just a mom – not a doctor, naturopath, homeopath, nurse, or anyone important. I am just sharing what finally ended up helping for one child in our family, because I get it – you’re grasping for straws and willing to try anything. I was there too, and I can’t NOT share with other mamas and kids in need. But please don’t take this as medical advice, and I can’t be held accountable for anything that does or does not happen as a result of me telling our story here. 

Here’s a big overview of how the first remedy went:

  1. After just over a week, the first dry morning! Rejoice!
  2. But wet the next morning…still hope though.
  3. A few days later, we had a dry day and I allowed the child to choose whether to take it or not – there was reticence to not take it, and I didn’t want to cause worry, so I administered a does, but the child was wet again the next day.
  4. Then we had two dry days!
  5. We stopped the remedy per the protocol, but immediately the wet was back.
  6. After another dry day, we did not use the remedy, and the pull-up was still dry the next morning! I wrote in my notes: “Child is so encouraged about 2 days in a row but also I can feel nervous fear – I don’t want it to be like last time and have wet tomorrow; I want to have dry forever. This would be so amazing if it keeps working!!!!!”
  7. We were reminded that healing in homeopathy almost always has setbacks, so I should prepare her for some more wet days.
  8. Three weeks later, still wet every time we stop the remedy, although we had a number of two-days-in-a-row strings. 🙁
  9. We increased the remedy to the next phase of the protocol (two per day), and after two weeks – still not a single dry day. It felt like the child’s body was rebelling against the success!

 

When the bottle ran out, we ran out of steam – BUT I’m still happy we did it. (And that it’s here on Amazon now!)

Eventually I bought two other homeopathic remedies from Amazon based on suggestions from friends:

The Causticum worked for a friend but the Belladonna seemed to fit our needs better. I honestly can’t remember why I started with it – there’s a certain amount of mother’s intuition sometimes, since Belladonna seems to work for everything from the stomach flu to migraines to joint pain to preventing colds, if you read the reviews on Amazon!

I don’t know what it is – and I don’t know all the ways I will be able to use our remaining half bottle – but I do know that 3 a day under the tongue, before bedtime, did not take long to flip that switch from wet every morning to dry every night!

Once it was over, it was over. The child got up every night to urinate for a year, then started doing that less and less.

We’re all so grateful to have bedwetting behind us!

Other Homeopathic Options for Bedwetting

A homeopath student shared a number of bedwetting options with me on Facebook, with the following advice:

  • You need to look these up in an online materia medica (Kent or Boericke are easily found) to differentiate between them.
  • A bare minimum for a match would be a prominent physical symptom, a prominent mental/emotional symptom and a match in modality, meaning something that is making symptoms better or worse.
  • If you’re just going to grab some Boiron tubes, a general starting spot could be a 30C potency, and 2-3 doses ONLY, at 8-12 hour intervals. And then stop and wait and observe for a couple of weeks.

Her list:

We Stopped Bedwetting in an Older Child

Please remember that this combination is what worked for one child – your child may have a totally different root cause of bedwetting, and the solution may be totally different.

But I hope it gave you some ideas!!

I want to hear from you parents in the trenches, too – if you have an older child still struggling with bedwetting:

What have you tried to fix the problem? Have you ever heard of this solution?

Note: As you dive into the comments, know that they’re SUPER helpful with more recommendations than I have in the post (because we didn’t try them all) and also that this post was published previously and then updated, so the dates will vary. 

No More Bedwetting Incidents

Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.

7 thoughts on “No More Bedwetting Accidents – Simple Natural Solutions for Almost Every Kid”

  1. Hi there,
    I’m a homeopath and wanted to say that this article is awesome. You explain everything so carefully even when you didn’t understand everything about homeopathy. Thank you for being an inadvertent supporter…..we need you.
    Kind regards
    Kate Stockford all the way from New Zealand

  2. All 3 of mine are bedwetters. Tests prove constipation no issue and I’m told that they are deep sleepers and their bladders need to catch up to their bodies.. They are 2 girls 8 and 6 and a boy age 4. We are very patient with this and no shaming is allowed and no one outside of family knows about it. Regular night time diapers and rubber pants are the rule here and everybody gets a good nights sleep.

    1. Good for you to be approaching it with love!! The homeopathics are so inexpensive that they may be worth a try for your older girls, especially if it’s beginning to be embarrassing. Totally changed my daughter’s too-deep sleeping! 🙂 Katie

      1. thank you for the reply. I do want to look into the homeopathics and failed to mention that in my previous post. So far there is no embarrassment about wearing diapers as they are put on just as they are getting into bed. We have had talks with all 3 about the wearing of diapers we want them to feel comfortable wearing them and that in no way do we feel they are bad because they wet the bed. They do understand. So yes approaching it with love means a lot to all of them and to us too.

  3. Tests have revealed no issues with our 2 bedwetters and so we seem to fall into the hormone category. Both them and us somewhat dismayed. Offered protection did not want at first and after a lot of wet beds finally agreed to try. Much more comfortable now and everyone getting good nights sleep.

  4. Sharifa Patel

    Hi, this is bit off the topic but my 9 year old has a terrible headache if she’s constipated. Does anyone else have this problem. She also used to be a bedwetter for about a year. She was not allowed any liquid except water after 2pm. That seemed to have helped but if she did have anything except water,she would wet the bed!

    1. I can’t say I’ve heard of that specifically Sharifa, but there is such a thing as the “gut brain connection,” so it’s not unlikely that something in the gut would affect the head like that, perhaps? I hope you can get it figured out! 🙂 Katie

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