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Managing Accidents: Tips for Bedwetting Boys

Young boy sleeping soundly in his bed.

Last Updated: 2/22/2021
Read Time: 3 minutes

Though there are many similarities when it comes to raising boys and girls, not everything is the same. In the bathroom, of course, there’s the obvious difference that boys stand to pee, and girls sit. And boys often take longer to potty train than girls. It’s just the way things are! Boys are also more likely to wet the bed. If your boy is having nighttime bedwetting experiences, read on for details on how you can support him.

If you think your boy is having potty training accidents at night, it’s important to know that bedwetting is different than potty training. Many kids continue to wet at night for months or even years after they’re potty trained. It’s simply a matter of their body needing to develop so they can hold their urine overnight or know when they need to wake up and go.

Bedwetting Boys: More Common Than Bedwetting Girls

“My son wet his bed until the middle of first grade; my daughter was trained before she turned three,” says Laura Salter, a mother of five from Florida. “There is often a gender difference. I’m not sure why. But in general, I found my little girls were more mature; they spoke earlier, read earlier, and toilet trained earlier.”

Yet, she says, “Assuming there is nothing medically wrong with your child, eventually boys do outgrow nighttime wetting and stop peeing in their beds. Trust me — I’ve seen it all!”

The National Association for Continence (NAFC) notes bedwetting can occur from a delay in learning two things: the signal from the brain to the bladder to relax it and hold more urine, and the signal from the bladder to the brain that it is full, alerting the body to wake up.

Nighttime Underwear Can Keep the Bed Dry

For kids, learning to use the bathroom before they go to bed may be able to reduce their nighttime wetting. Encourage your son to develop this habit, just as you would encourage him to brush his teeth and wash his hands. If it doesn’t help him get through the night without wetting, products like Goodnites® Boys NightTime Underwear provide targeted coverage for bedwetting so he can still sleep soundly.

Self-Esteem Struggles and the Importance of Showing Support

Wetting the bed can be a source of embarrassment, anxiety and stress. As a parent, you should make sure your son doesn’t feel bad about bedwetting. It’s a developmental phase of childhood that he shouldn’t be worried about as he’s enjoying growing up.

When accidents happen, parents can quickly change the bed, try to not make a big deal of it and advise their other children not to make fun of their sibling. But what about friends or peers?

Kids can be notorious teasers, and your son may feel ashamed if he’s mocked by his peers for wetting the bed. Some boys may avoid sleepovers or overnight trips because of it, even though they are a rite of childhood that he would likely love experiencing.

There’s no need for him to skip the fun if you make some advance preparations. Laura Richards, the Massachusetts mother of a longtime bedwetter, had a great idea for helping her son when she couldn’t be there to assist.

Laura says her son struggled when sleepovers started for his peer group. “He would panic about them and often decline invitations or skip the sleepover part,” she says. That all changed when, with her son’s permission, she enlisted his best friend’s parents to help.

If you and your son are comfortable sharing the information with select people such as his friend’s parent, that’s one option. But if your son doesn’t want other people to know about his nighttime wetting, there are other ways you can show your support. Encourage him to attend the sleepover. At bedtime bedwetting underwear for boys can easily be put on in the bathroom under his pajamas. You may also have him put an extra pair at the bottom of his sleeping bag or somewhere in the bathroom for a quick change, just in case.

Time Will Tell

Bedwetting can be frustrating for children and their parents, but it can be a valuable experience — especially for first-time parents. Leslie Elia, a mother of three from Ohio, notes, “It was a great lesson for me to learn that I cannot control everything in my child’s life and development.”

Nighttime Wetting Tips for Parents of Boys

If you’re going through nighttime wetting with your son, try to spend less time worrying about it. Shift focus to the joy of watching your boy grow up instead. And remember this key information:

  • Boys develop more slowly than girls. HealthyChildren.org, powered by the American Association of Pediatrics (AAP), states that in two population studies, boys were about 6 months behind girls when it came to potty training. This may influence boys’ likelihood of wetting the bed.
  • For most children, bedwetting gradually stops as their bodies mature. Almost all kids have outgrown bedwetting by the time they’re teens.
  • You can show your support and love rather than frustration. Remember that he’s not bedwetting on purpose!
  • Be patient. All-night dryness will eventually happen, and you’ll all sleep better and through the night soon.

These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, consult your doctor as needed.

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