Why are two of my older children wetting the bed?

One of our directors, Leslie Miller, sat down with the mother of two children who completed treatment with us.  While she is happy her children are free from the burden of bedwetting, she remains frustrated that bedwetting is still misunderstood by doctors, and that there is so much misinformation on the internet that leads parents astray.  She is speaking out because she wants this to change, and we couldn’t agree more! (We are referring to this woman as “Mom” for purposes of this article).

Mom – When I told my pediatrician that my second child was wetting the bed–my daughter–it was the same response as when I sought advice for my son who wet the bed. I already knew I was going to enter her in your bedwetting treatment because it worked for my son, but I was just curious to see what he would say. He basically said not to worry, she would outgrow it. He never asked about how my son was doing with his bedwetting.

Parents need them to know about your clinic because you only work with bedwetting. And since the bedwetting is not the real issue, this can be very confusing. When I was so frustrated with the lack of direction from the pediatrician for my son, I decided to research the heck out of bedwetting! Your website came right up for me, and I read everything. The sleep part and the other symptoms, it described my son – and now my daughter. Pediatricians don’t know about you. They need to know about you.

Leslie – Some know about us, yet there are roughly 85,000 pediatricians in the United States, and we haven’t been able to reach them all….to educate them.  We have found over the past 44 years that pediatricians tell you not to worry and wait until your child outgrows bed wetting. This is the first and foremost suggestion.  The next step for a pediatrician is to rule out a physical cause, which leads to a referral to a urologist. Less than 1% of bedwetting is caused by a physical problem. There is nothing physical or psychological in origin about bedwetting.  Even if someone fell into the 1%, there wouldn’t be anything a urologist could recommend to remedy the problem. Fortunately, there are specialists who are in the know, and we have received referrals from physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, and social workers.

Mom – They don’t know about you here in Texas. They should know. They should know it is a sleep problem. They think there is something wrong internally with the person. Like my son was six – bedwetting. Seven – bedwetting.  And then by age eight, the doctor said we will try something to stop the wet bed. I mean he’s 8 now. Living 8 years with bedwetting. And now he said we will give him pills and try to stop bedwetting. Then I researched the hell out of the pills, and you know what, they dry up the urine and dehydrate the body,  and have a ton of side effects.

Leslie – Was the medication called DDAVP? It actually slows down kidney function and may limit urine production temporarily.  It does not cure bedwetting. Thousands of parents have called us and reported trying DDAVP*.

If it worked for someone at all, they have seen the bedwetting return when they stop dosing. Or it doesn’t work to begin with even at the highest dosage.  The worst thing we hear is that a doctor assured someone their child can attend a sleepover and not worry about them wetting their sleeping bag because the drug will prevent it…and then the child actually does wet.  It’s disheartening, unfortunate, and unnecessary. The pediatrician is not looking at the root cause, they are looking at treating the symptom of bedwetting, and we all know that’s not an effective means to permanently change anything.

Mom – Exactly. They are really not a bedwetting specialists, are they. They are not paying attention to the impact the bedwetting is having on someone. It was having an impact on my boy. His sleep was terrible. He was difficult to get up in the morning–cranky and tired. That tiredness carried through his school day.  He was always worn out from using up his energy during school. Then he had a great deal of homework. We had to constantly keep him on track to finish his homework. And then this poor kid wakes up wet, does not know why, feels terrible, and we couldn’t bring much comfort to him. It was exhausting for the entire family. I know he was embarrassed and frustrated. He was refusing offers for sleepovers. I asked him what worried him the most and he said that he would be bullied for life. His friends would turn against him, and he would be alone. It broke my heart.

Honestly, I find it hard to recommend you to people. No one talks about it openly. When you gather around with friends, you don’t bring up “oh yeah, my ten-year-old still wets the bed”.  I mean really, nobody talks about it because it’s embarrassing. I want to talk about you and the success my son had because I know there are people who need your help. Out of all of this, I think the most important thing people need to know is how crappy the sleep is. It’s hard for them to put two and two together based on the misinformation you come across online.  For my son now, the fact that he is getting ridiculously good sleep impacted his life right away…in every way. Once you understand, bedwetting is really the secondary issue. I just don’t know how to phrase it in a way that will help others without embarrassing my son and my daughter.

Leslie – What do you think is the real concern here?

Mom – It’s like taboo. Nowadays people who are gay are coming out, but bedwetting is such a shame…still that it has to stay a secret. It is a stigma and sad. I was not about to have my son wet year after year and suddenly he is a teenager and wetting the bed.  I read about how teen bedwetting is on the rise because parents wait and wait. They aren’t to be blamed. They’ve just been brainwashed that that’s what there is to do. To wait. I found also that some people believe that the person who wets the bed has a problem…like they are doing it on purpose. I have heard people say bedwetters are babies, refuse to grow up, or have mental problems. Can you believe in 2018 that anyone would think that?  It’s truly unbelievable that few people know it’s a sleep problem – truly a sleep problem. Crappy sleep. How can someone do their best if they are not getting good sleep night after night on top of feeling terrible and tired, and for my daughter, feeling sad and as though something is really wrong with her, especially wearing pull-ups at age six. If everyone would just go to your website, it would become crystal clear.

Parents need to Google for an expert. You will show up and tell them everything. Everyone thinks you go straight to the pediatrician for this problem. Western society is like that.  They don’t give you a clear-cut plan or pay attention to everything that is going on with the sleep. They really don’t know, and they won’t admit they don’t know. I guess they also don’t have time.  You need to train the pediatrician about the cause, not just the symptom of a wet bed. I think underneath it all, they are interested in treating the source for their patients, but if they can’t get to it, they go with helping someone live with the symptoms of their illness or challenge, and that is truly unfortunate.  I think you need to go right to the medical schools and tell them what you know.

Leslie – What an insightful idea. Thank you so much.  And thank you for your time today. We appreciate you, and it’s been a delight to work with you and your children.

* https://www.kidney.org/patients/bw/BWmeds

* Desmopressin Acetate (DDAVP)

  • DDAVP is a drug to treat children with bed-wetting. Although DDAVP does not cure the condition, it does help treat the symptoms while the child is on the drug. Numerous studies report reduction in the number of wet nights.
  • DDAVP is a man-made copy of a normal body chemical that controls urine production. The therapeutic benefit of DDAVP might be due to a reduction in the overnight production of urine or possibly to an effect on arousal.
  • Many studies have attempted to identify those childrens most likely to respond to DDAVP. Older children are more responsive. Children with a normal bladder capacity are more likely to respond than those with a small bladder size.
  • The drug can be taken as a nasal spray or tablet. However, the tablet has several advantages. If your child has no problems swallowing pills, the tablet is more discreet for sleepovers and other special occasions. Additionally, the tablet has reported a better response rate. The nasal spray can be affected by a stuffy nose from colds or allergy. DDAVP should be given at bedtime. Because it works right away, it does not need to be given everyday to be effective.
  • DDAVP has few side effects. The most common side effects with the nasal spray are nasal discomfort, nosebleeds, tummy pain, and headache. The only serious side effect noted in children treated with DDAVP is seizure due to water intoxication. This serious problem is preventable with care not to overdo fluids on any evening that DDAVP is taken. Children should take only one eight once cup of fluid at supper, no more than 8 ounces between supper and bedtime, and nothing to drink in the two hours before bedtime. Early symptoms of water intoxication include headache, nausea, and vomiting. If these symptoms occur, the medication should be stopped and the child should be seen by a doctor immediately. Caution should be used in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder since they are often impulsive. These children might require especially close monitoring of their fluid intake.

Case Study of 11-Year-Old Twins Who Wet the Bed

Patricia, 42, a mom of twins we’ll call Adam and Aaron, reached out to our Bedwetting Clinic as a referral from her pediatrician’s nurse practitioner.  This practitioner had seen many youngsters come into their office whose parents were trying desperately to stop bedwetting only to have to tell them there was nothing they could do except wait and hope it stops.  The alternative was a drug with substantial side effects, and which could only provide temporary relief from the wetting—if that.   The medical profession feels that bedwetting is caused by a physical problem.  The nurse practitioner revealed to Patricia that it’s been seen as a physical issue in less than 1% of all reported bedwetting cases.

Patricia remembers being a devastated 13-year-old who wet the bed, and she didn’t want her twins to reach their teen years still wetting the bed, especially since there was no guarantee they would. She continued having vivid memories of shame.  She remembers being subjected to all sorts of invasive tests and had to wear disposable diapers in middle school.  She refused to go to sleepovers for fear of discovery.  She said it was a “dark family secret” that she did not share with her husband…that is until the twins continued to wet the bed beyond potty training. She did not want her twin boys to miss out on the social development opportunities like sleepovers and making important childhood connections.  An added worry in her mind is that one twin might stop wetting before the other, and she didn’t even want to imagine the potential psychological impact of that experience.

Fortunately for Patricia and her boys, the practitioner started to see some of her patients returning to them dry at their annual wellness visits.  This is how she came to discover Enuresis Treatment Center’s specialized programs that provide a proven bedwetting solution.

Our Initial Assessment:

Our initial assessment is a purposeful inquiry designed to understand a child’s circumstances, patterns, behaviors, and challenges prior to them stating the program.  This is essential to being able to develop a specialized protocol for each patient to meet their particular needs.  The information and insights we obtain are also essential to be able to tell parents what to expect as it relates to their child’s particular protocol.

The twins were delivered six weeks premature.  They were healthy and showed no medical issues, yet they remained in the hospital for seven days.

Patricia wondered if premature birth might have been the cause of their very heavy sleep as well as the wetting the bed.

At their first encounter with the nurse practitioner, it was when the boys were seven and a half years of age.  The nurse suggested they wait until they were eight to see if the bedwetting resolved on its own.  Six months later, they were back in the office.  The next step was a prescription for Desmopressin, otherwise known as DDAVP.  Aaron was also prescribed Zoloft for symptoms of anxiety with which he presented.  As it turns out, the boys took the DDAVP for four years with only sporadic results.  They would have only one or two nights a week when they would be dry, even though they were both at the highest dosage allowable.  What the medical profession is calling “bedwetting medication” is actually intended to slow down kidney function and limit urine production.  Essentially it is creating a condition of dehydration.  When Patricia decided to stop the intake of medication, the bedwetting ramped up to every night of the week.

In addition to the medication, Patricia was told to restrict fluids before dinner.  It was recommended that an ultrasound be done of the kidneys and bladder.  They explored the idea of enemas for constipation, which is sometimes believed to cause bedwetting.  Yet the boys did not present with constipation symptoms.  All methods were expectedly unsuccessful to end bedwetting

As for the twins’ father, he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea two years ago, and currently wears a c-pap device, also known as continuous positive airway pressure therapy to help regulate breathing.  Since we learned that the father was a former bedwetter, sleep apnea is not an uncommon diagnosis stemming from the sleep disorder that both of the boys have.  Bedwetting is one symptom of the disorder, and apnea is another.  It’s the result of an inherited gene.  The father’s brother also wet into his teens.  Another brother was a sleepwalker as well as their father.  This is another common symptom inside the sleep disorder, which can also include night terrors, teeth grinding, and heavy snoring.

Side note:  Bedwetting (enuresis) is treatable.  The other symptoms are not.  The only possibility somebody has in living with apnea, for example, is to manage these symptoms as best as they can.  For the father, it’s wearing the c-pap device.  Since the bedwetting symptom was “outgrown” by their mother, father and father’s brother, the detriment it poses is that these other untreatable conditions can effect their quality of life, and if the boys’ sleep pattern is not changed, they stand the possibility of experiencing future untreatable symptoms like apnea.  Almost three times as many males wet the bed than females.  Three times as many males as females have sleep apnea.


Adam, born three minutes before his identical twin brother, was daytime potty trained at age 2.5.  He is slightly below average weight for his height and age and has no medical diagnoses, nor is he currently taking any prescription medication. He has a good intake of fluids, very athletic, and plays two school sports.  He sometimes talks in his sleep.  Adam experiences multiple wets every night.  It was determined that he wets the bed approximately three hours after bedtime, and again closer to morning.  He wears underwear with pads to bed.  He will wet through a pullup and does not wake up, even when Patricia attempts to change the pullup.  Adam has zero recall in the morning and would argue with her stating nothing happened in the night.

Adam has daytime symptoms of urgencies and dribbling during the day.  The daytime dribbling has increasingly become an issue at school.  A change of clothing needs to be in his school locker, and a few students have mentioned the smell of urine.   We have found that if a child is discovered by his peers to have accidents or even come to know that they wet the bed, bullying can become a real problem.  There is also a real concern about challenges arising relating to one’s self esteem.  A child can feel traumatized, withdrawn, and even depressed.  At this time, Adam is not presenting with those symptoms, although he is extremely sensitive to his condition.  He also feels very tired during his waking hours.


Aaron has a stockier build, no medical abnormalities, a low intake of fluids, and an average level of activity.  He sweats and thrashes while sleeping.  He presented with a sporadic wetting pattern.  Patricia was unable to pinpoint a time frame as to when the bedwetting might be taking place.  It is likely he has an underdeveloped bladder because he has to use the bathroom quite often during the day.  He also experiences lethargy during the day.

Aaron suffers from anxiety.  He was diagnosed with Acute Anxiety/Mild Depression, and he was put on small dosage of Zoloft.  (.05)   Patricia reported that he is also “easily triggered” by things people say or do.  His teachers say he is beginning to have trouble focusing on tasks that she gives to him.

Patricia reported that both boys have a “horrendous” time waking up in the morning.  It’s “impossible” to awaken them at night, and clearly very difficult to awaken them in the morning.

This private assessment was conducted via a Skype call since the family resides on the west coast, and was unable to visit the clinic for the clinical assessment. It was explained that even though they were not able to come in, the treatment is no less effective than if they were to see us in person.

Given the important preliminary information provided by the parents in their assessment, it was clear that needed to develop different protocols for each boy, even though they are the same age and have similar genetic presentations given their twin status.

Our Bedwetting Programs:

Dr. Roger Broughton, a neurologist and foremost sleep researcher from McGill University in Montreal, is an expert upon whose findings led to the development of our successful and specialized programs.  He conducted an extensive and long-term sleep study of people who wet the bed which was entitled “Sleep Disorders: Disorders of Arousal? Enuresis, Somnambulism, and Nightmares Occur in Confusional States of Arousal, not in ‘Dreaming Sleep’.”

The result of this seminal study shows the differences in healthy, normal sleep patterns and those of someone who wets the bed.  In normal, cyclical sleep, individuals fall slowly from Stage 1 (lightest sleep) into Stage 4 (deepest sleep), and then back to lighter stages where it’s easy to awaken.  A full cycle takes approximately 90 to 100 minutes to achieve.  An individual who wets the bed–which can include a child, teenager or an adult–falls quickly into deep sleep and stays there for longer periods.  This is the problem.  The brain is not supposed to stall in Stage Four.  Rhythmic cycling doesn’t take place consistently throughout the night, and the bedwetting occurs as a result.

The study’s findings concluded that all individuals who wet the bed share a particular type of sleep: A very deep and heavy sleep.  Our bedwetting center has decades of clinical and anecdotal experience which proves that the only effective treatment and cure for bedwetting is to change the heavy and unhealthy pattern of sleep, and that’s what we do.  Chronic bedwetting is the symptom caused by the inherited sleep disorder.  According to Dr. Broughton, this same sleep disorder causes sleep apnea, excessive snoring, sleepwalking, night terrors, insomnia, and bruxism.

This type of deep, heavy sleep produces a poor-quality sleep rather than a high-quality sleep.  This is essentially a sleep-deprived event and can result in:

  • Irritability
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Memory lapses or loss
  • Impaired moral judgement
  • Severe yawning

–    Symptoms similar to ADHD

  • Impaired immune system
  • Increased heart rate variability
  • Risk of heart disease
  • Decreased reaction time and accuracy
  • Tremors
  • Aches
  • Risk of diabetes Type 2
  • Growth suppression
  • Risk of obesity
  • Decreased temperature

In the past 44 years that we have been ending bedwetting for children, teens, and adults, there is validation that a new pattern of sleep is needed regardless of the age of the individual, their circumstances, their diet or fluid consumption, and regardless of any physical or psychological condition. Creating a new pattern of sleep will not only eliminate bedwetting, it also prevents the possibility that any of the untreatable conditions—especially the life-threatening condition of sleep apnea–will arise.

As of this writing, both boys are progressing wonderfully as expected.  Their counselor laid out the proper protocol plan of action for each boy, and walked the parents through the process step by step.  As a result, a comparison is becoming available between “good sleep and bad sleep”, (before treatment and after treatment), and it’s now clearly seen that the good sleep (new sleep pattern) is positively effecting mood, energy levels, their ability to focus, and Aaron no longer needing Zoloft.  His symptoms of depression lifted once his brain was able to get what it needed through healthy sleeping.

Mornings are much easier during the awakening progress, and each boy is down to wetting an average of once every two weeks.  Both outcomes indicate that the sleep pattern has changed drastically, and the treatment is nearing completion.  They will be entering an observation phase wherein we can be certain that the new sleep pattern has taken root and the bedwetting has been permanently resolved.  Because of our bladder and pelvic floor muscle exercises, daytime issues have been resolved for the boys.  With everything in place, soon they will successfully graduate from our care.

Author:  Michael Stallsmith, M.A., Sp.A.

The Enuresis Treatment Center’s Director of Treatment is also a school psychologist.  Michael has been involved in successfully treating over 20,000 children, teens, and adults who wet the bed.  He is responsible for overseeing the counselors on our staff who work directly with the patients, and he is effective at implementing what’s needed for any challenging situations that may arise during treatment.

Michael continues his outreach with the medical community and school systems educating them about bedwetting and its relationship to the non-arousable sleep disorder.  Michael has been on staff at the Enuresis Treatment Center since 1982.

Summer Camp Tips For Bedwetting Child or Teen


This is the time of year when we hear from parents about the fear of letting their child attend summer camp.

As for the child, they are torn between terror and excitement.  The excitement is because, of course, it’s summer camp…a time to do nothing but laugh and play.  And then there’s the terror.  That is the most fitting word to use, because we hear and we know that the thing all bedwetters dread the most is being discovered, and they’ll go to great lengths to hide their condition. 

We spoke with a mom last week who thought she had fully prepared her 13-year-old son to attend camp and to completely conceal his bedwetting with the use of Pull-Ups.  Her careful planning was undermined by a member of the camp staff.  She was devastated when she discovered what happened that put her son at risk for exposure.  This mom gave us permission to tell her story with the hope that other parents can avert the kind of experience she had. 

Here is her story.  Following this are the 5 Critical Steps we recommend to ensure you greater peace of mind.  

This mom, (Lydia), and her son, (Bryce), agreed that wearing a diaper was the only way to feel comfortable to sleep in a cabin with other campers.  At her son’s insistence, they purchased all diaper brands and sizes so he could do what he called “test driving” all of them in search of the “quietest” one.  All of this to prevent someone from hearing the sound of moving around in a diaper.  After all, it’s a noticeable sound.  They practiced how he would slide it on once he was in his sleeping bag at night, and how he would discreetly dispose of them in the morning.  Not the most exciting thing to have to add to a care-free camp experience.  

Typically this plan is the most successful.

However, Lydia did not learn until nine months later–as we were discussing a plan to put an end to Bryce’s bedwetting–what occurred during her son’s camp stay.  When he had checked in with the camp director as his mom advised him to do, Bryce was told that they required he use their own chosen disposable diaper for legal reasons, and that they needed to exchange them before he could be admitted.  In our consultation with this family, Lydia discovered that Bryce was afraid to challenge them since they were in charge.  As you can imagine, Bryce was terrified that someone would find out he was wearing a diaper, so he chose not to wear a diaper and stay awake all night to avoid a wet.  He said he was typically exhausted all day, which prevented him from participating in a few enjoyable activities.  He would take a nap wearing the camp-issued diaper because no one was around.  Bryce told us that he didn’t tell his mother that he was miserable because he didn’t want her to be sad.

Summer camps may report to parents that they know how to deal with bed wetting, even bed wetting teens. However, you need to be assured that your child will be protected from potential harm just as with Bryce, so we encourage you to have an in-depth conversation with a director before the day arrives.  

Here are The Five Critical Steps:

1.  Identify not only the director(s) of the camp, but also the person(s) assigned to your child’s cabin.  You need to be assured by them that they will be discreet.  Ask them what their protocol is.  Make sure they can provide special assistance to ensure the bedwetting won’t be discovered.  Discovery is devastating for a bed wetter.  That discovery can certainly cause long-term damage to self-esteem. 

2.   Notify the director that you will be providing your own privacy package which may include the following:  Diapers, non-scented wet wipes, a trash bag, a suitcase with a lock, and whatever else it is you feel would help put your child’s mind at ease.

3.  Ask to review their procedures for dealing with this issue.  You need to become partners on behalf of your child.  Present different scenarios and ask how they would deal with each scenario.  For example, if a camp counselor is unavailable, then who would be able to assist your child during if needed.

4.  Don’t assume a so-called “bedwetting medication” will keep your child dry.  The medication is intended to slow kidney function and limit urine production.   It is NOT reliable and should not be depended upon to ensure dryness.  Even if the drug was used in previous camp stays or overnights and it was successful in keeping your child dry, there is no guarantee it will do they same again. Additionally, the medication has a dehydrating effect on the body and requires extra hydration during the day, so make sure you child has a water bottle available to him when active.  

5.  Daytime accidents are often a symptom from the nighttime bedwetting.  In the event of daytime leaking or accidents, you need to know what the counselors will do if your child reports leaking to them.  Make sure there is a plan for a change of clothing as well. 

Once you have established a clear plan with the camp, review it with your child.  Your child, tween, or bedwetting teen needs to have confidence in their camp team, to know they can be trusted, and that everyone understands the situation and will be there to help.  Let your child know that you’ll be one phone call away.

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC

Outgrow Bedwetting – When Do They Outgrow It?

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: My son is 8 and wets the bed a few times each week. We have tried a variety of things to help prevent it from happening, including stopping beverages two hours before bedtime and using a mattress pad with a bed-wetting alarm. Should we take him to see a specialist? Don’t kids usually outgrow bed-wetting by this age?

Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Patricio Gargollo’s response (see below) of an 8 year-old who wets the bed was helpful but at the same time contains important inaccuracies that we wish to correct.

Dr Gargollo is correct when she states that bedwetting is not a medical problem and that there is no need for medical involvement to deal with it.  

  1. However, she is incorrect when she writes that, “most children outgrow bedwetting when they reach adolescence”.  While some do, many do not.  Bedwetting can continue well into adulthood or never spontaneously end.  We have worked with thousands of individuals who continued to experience bedwetting, never achieving the dry bed.
  1. Allowing a child a child to “outgrow” the problem may sound comforting and benign.  However, Dr Gargollo fails to consider the massive psychological distress and possible life long psychological consequences that can impact a child the longer he/she suffers with the disorder.

Her mentioning of the possible anxiety a bedwetter might experience speaks to her lack of appreciation about the stress the disorder can cause.

While it is true that bedwetting is not a life threatening disorder, if untreated it creates venerability to shame, low self esteem, feeling “different” feeling failure and a profound fear of discovery.  Someone who wets the bed always wonder why he or she fail at something that “everybody else can do”.

Children who wet the bed live in fear of sleepovers, overnight camp or any circumstance where their problem is open to discovery by their peers.  In our experience, we have encountered horror stories regarding merciless teasing, harassment and rejection of bedwetters by their peers.

Very importantly, a large percentage of child who experience bedwetting suffer from daytime control problems that intensifies their terror about discovery and their sense of shame.

So, “waiting to outgrow it” sounds simple and benign.  It isn’t!  Parental support by comforting the child helps but cannot keep the child safe from bedwetting threats to his/her psychological well being.

Dr. Gargollo is correct when she writes that, “bedwetting tends to be more common in children who are heavy sleepers”.

  1. However, she is only partially correct.  In our 42 years of treating bedwetting for children and teenagers, we know that in 98% of the time, the real bedwetting cause is because of a deep sleep disorder that disrupts the brain bladder connection that the doctor mentioned.  We use the following mantra: “all deep sleepers are not bedwetters but all bedwetters are deep sleepers.”

The deep sleep/bedwetting connection was discovered in 1969 by Dr. Roger Broughton at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.  His ground-breaking research confirms that deep sleep, while necessary in the healthy sleep cycle, occurs much more often than it should for someone who experiences bedwetting. The sleep is so deep, sound, heavy that it fails to automatically direct the bladder muscle to remain closed when it receives the bladder’s signal to empty.  It simply cannot be sufficiently aroused by the bladder’s signal and therefore it fails to do its job.

The deep sleep/bedwetting connection is not anecdotal.  We have seen it in almost virtually all of our successfully treated patients over the past forty years.  Our findings have been confirmed by articles published in well-regarded journals of pediatric medicine.

In addition, the deep sleep disorder that causes bed wetting is almost always inherited.  The thousands of history’s we have taken reveal chronic bedwetting history always contains a blood relative who has experienced enuresis.  

Dr. Gargollo is correct when she states “there is nothing the child can or cannot do to prevent bed wetting and you should never punish a child when it happens”.  Children and teenager never “want” to wet the bed, nor are they too lazy to stop it.  They simply cannot control the faulty deep sleep/bladder connection.  They suffer because of this.

  1. The doctor is quite incorrect when she writes, “limiting liquids before bedtime and using a bedwetting alarm may help and are reasonable steps to take”.
  2. She is also incorrect when she writes, “it often takes two weeks to see any response and up to 12 weeks to enjoy completely dry nights”.

If this were true, enuresis would be eradicated and withholding fluids before bedtime and using bed wetting alarms would be the same cure for bedwetting as Dr. Salk’s vaccine is for polio.

Bed wetting alarms alone do not awaken the child from this profoundly deep, heavy, sound sleep. The arousal disorder that is the cause of bedwetting will not allow a bedwetting alarm alone to fully awaken the child and will not end the problem.  

So many of our children’s parents report that their child could sleep through vacuuming, a severe thunderstorm or a very loud voice urging them to wake up.  School mornings can be fraught with frustration.

Dr. Gargollo is correct when she writes that “medications are available that can slow nighttime urine production, calm the bladder or change a child’s sleeping and waking pattern”.  She is even more correct when she writes, “these medications do not cure bedwetting.  When a child stops taking them, the bedwetting typically comes back”.

  1. She fails to mention that these medications can have serious side effects that can compromise overall biological functioning.  We have thousands of cases we have confirmed that bedwetting is not the result of too much urine production or an overactive bladder.

We have devoted 42 years putting a stop to bedwetting and have seen many so called bedwetting solutions come and go.  A vast majority of our patients have experienced deep disappointment at the hands of these bedwetting solutions before reaching out to a real bedwetting expert.


Dr. Patricio Gargollo answer to the above question

ANSWER: bedwetting is common in children your son’s age, especially boys. Most of those children outgrow bed-wetting without any medical care by the time they reach adolescence. If he’s not having any other urinary associated problems, such as accidents during the day or urinary tract infections, it’s not necessary to take your son to see a doctor. If you notice other medical problems that could be connected to the bed-wetting, however, then an appointment with your son’s primary health care provider would be a good idea.

Toilet training is a complicated process. The sequence of events that must happen in both the brain and the bladder, and the connection between the two, for a child’s body to regulate bladder function effectively during the day and at night can take several years.

Many children have no trouble staying dry during the day and yet have persistent nighttime wetting. It’s not clear why some children have problems with bladder control at night, while others do not. But bed wetting tends to be more common in children who are heavy sleepers.

There is nothing a child can or cannot do to prevent bed-wetting, and you should never punish a child when it happens. The techniques you’re using to try to curb bed-wetting — limiting liquids before bedtime and using a bed-wetting alarm — may help and are reasonable steps to take. Just be patient as you work with your son, and try not to become discouraged if the problem doesn’t stop. It usually takes time. For example, with a bed-wetting alarm, it often takes at least two weeks to see any response and up to 12 weeks to enjoy completely dry nights.

If you notice any of the following symptoms, contact your son’s health care provider: unusual straining during urination, a small or narrow stream of urine, dribbling after urination, cloudy or pink urine, bloodstains on underpants or nightclothes, redness or a rash in the genital area, or daytime as well as nighttime wetting. Also, talk to his health care provider if your son is having pain or a burning sensation when he urinates. These symptoms could signal a urinary tract infection, or a bladder or kidney problem. In some cases, accidents during the day as well as at night may be an early sign diabetes, although that is uncommon.

If your son hides wet underwear or bedding to conceal wetting, or if he seems particularly stressed about it, talk to his health care provider about ways you may be able to help your son feel less anxious about bed-wetting.

Rarely, prescription medication may be used to control bed-wetting. Medications are available that can slow nighttime urine production, calm the bladder or change a child’s sleeping and waking pattern. These medications do not cure bed-wetting. When a child stops taking them, the bed-wetting typically comes back.

Keep in mind that most children eventually outgrown bed-wetting. Often, all that is needed is time, support, understanding and patience. — Dr. Patricio Gargollo, Pediatric Urology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota

Also read: Light at the end of the tunnel

Help for bed wetting – Light at the end of the tunnel


We recently had a consultation with a family from Indonesia.  Their six year old son is a bedwetter.  This family shared that they were anxious about the issue of bedwetting since it was not something that people in their community ever discussed.  We explained the same is true no matter where you live.  Bedwetting is a very common issue—just not commonly discussed. 

Even though their child was only six and they hadn’t tried multiple things to end his bedwetting, they didn’t feel that anything being offered made sense, so they were growing more anxious.  They didn’t like the idea of medication, they didn’t see how restricting fluids would be useful; they didn’t want to awaken their child randomly in the night.  They read on blogs that constipation might be the cause of the bedwetting, or that maybe the food they fed their son was creating allergies that triggered bedwetting.  They knew in their gut that none of these were accurate assessments or suggestions.

So now they felt both anxious….and baffled.

When these parents began to hear about how we treat bedwetting from its root cause—the source issue—they began to make sense of it all.  For the first time, the pieces of the puzzle fell into place.  And then they said these exact words:  “This is brilliant.  We can actually see a light at the end of the tunnel before we even start”!  YAYYYY!

We so wish to fill every family with this kind of relief, excitement and possibility!  Everyone deserves to have this experience, because bedwetting can and will be treated!  Nobody has to live with this depressing, frustrating, misunderstood issue.   Call us and find out how!

Also read: Dad and daughter thrilled with bedwetting program

GaileGaile Nixon,
International Director and First Patient of ETC