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I Was a Teenage Bed Wetter

I Wet the Bed

Right up until I was around 14 years old I had a problem, I knew that when I woke up in the morning that I would be lying in a puddle of my own urine. I was a bed wetter through most of my childhood years.

I was ashamed and I hated myself but no matter what I tried, I still woke up every day on a wet sheet stinking of my own pee.

I would get up strip my bed, put the bedding in the laundry basket, and take a shower or a bath before getting ready for school.

My parents knew about my bed wetting problem and they were very understanding about it, they even tried to get medical help for me but nothing ever worked.

The only thing that really helped was a rubber sheet which was there to protect my mattress from being ruined by my nocturnal bad habit.

Sheets Blowing in the Wind

A common sight during my early years.

A common sight during my early years.

The Problem with Bed wetting

Although wetting the bed is not dangerous to your health there is another embarrassing problem which is caused by it. In any of the stories that I have read about bed wetting this problem never seems to be mentioned.

Diaper Rash

Every parent knows diaper rash when baby has been wearing a diaper overnight he develops a painful rash around his private parts and around his inner thighs, Diaper rash is common in babies and as a bed wetter I often suffered from the same thing.

Diaper rash is very painful, I can attest to that, it feels like sunburn but in the most sensitive part of your body, even putting creams on to cool it down feels like someone is rubbing a naked flame up and down it. Walking is painful because your trousers are constantly rubbing against it with every step. Sometimes the rash was so bad that by the time I got to where I was going the blood would be running down my legs.

The only cure was diaper cream until it dispersed but sure enough it would be back a week or two later.

The diaper rash was not only painful but it was also embarrassing, I felt self conscious, particularly because I thought that I was walking funny, trying to keep my legs apart to stop the chafing and the pain.

Gym class was the worst, wearing shorts and hoping that no-one would notice the red marks on my thighs, but they always did and I always told them it was eczima because that is what my mom had told me to say.

Wetting The Bed

Sometimes I would try to stay awake all night to try to stop wetting the bed.

Sometimes I would try to stay awake all night to try to stop wetting the bed.

When Will My Child Stop Wetting The Bed?

Bed wetting or Nocturnal Enuresis is quite common in children up to seven years old, but it can continue through the early to late teenage years as it did in my case.

What Causes Bed Wetting?

There are many different thoughts on what causes a child to wet the bed from being a heavy sleeper to stress in the family home. Bed wetting can also be caused by slow growth and development of the bladder which means that it can't cold much water. Urinary tract infections, bladder or spinal cord abnormalities, seizure related disorders or diabetes can also lead to regular bed wetting. Your doctor should be able to run tests if he thinks that it can be a sign of a more serious problem.

If your child wets his bed at a time when you are sure that he should already have developed full bladder control even at night, the first thing to do is to seek medical advice.

Is There a Cure For Bed Wetting?

If a doctor finds an underlying physical cause for your Childs bed wetting, then he may be able to prescribe medication that will stop it.

If there is no physical cause then your doctor will often offer advice on how to try and stop it including the use of a moisture alarm which goes off as soon as your child begins wetting the bed, this is supposed to train your child to waken up when he/she has a full bladder.

Coping With Bed Wetting

It wasn't something we really talked about in my family and although my parents were supportive I still felt that I was still their dirty little secret, I was ashamed of myself and embarrassed by the whole thing and I even began going to bed naked so that I at least had clean pyjamas to put on when I got up in the morning, a habit that I still do to this day.

Plastic or rubber sheets below normal sheets will protect the mattress.

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Try not letting your child have a drink at least 3 hours before bedtime avoid caffeine drinks, these are natural diuretics.

Make sure that your child goes to the toilet before going to bed.

Children feel bad enough wetting the bed never chastise or punish them for it.

Always remember that your child will naturally grow out of bed wetting even if it does take until they are a teenager.

No More Wet Beds

I did eventually stop wetting the bed when I was around fourteen years old and that was a major milestone for me, it did not happen overnight though, I had one dry night then a couple of days later another before long every night was a dry night.

My dry nights coincided with puberty I was starting to grow hairs on my body, my voice had broken and my genitalia was growing. My own theory for stopping the wet beds was the teenage boy problem, you know the one I would awaken with a strange sensation down below the waist and find that I needed to go pee.

Luckily for me none of my children have had to suffer the same humiliation and embarrasment that I went through.


Dave on November 01, 2015:

I was a bedwetter well in to my teens, at one point my mom had enough of the laundry, smell and mess. She bought a plastic cover for the bed and went to a home medical store and bought me diapers, the were bigger than the typical baby diaper but still went on the same way, one of the worst nights I can remember was mom having me help her put the cover on the bed and then tell I was going back to diapers until I was done with this bedwetting, my mom had the diapers in my closet and got them. At the age of 13 I was laid down on the bed and diapered by my mom...

Stanley on February 01, 2014:

I am 33. I have been wetting the bed since age 13, and wetting during the day since age 20. I hid my problem till I was 20 years old when the day time problems made it impossible to hide from family/friends as I had to wear diapers during the day. Wearing them at night was easy enough to hide. These days I run a support board/site for those with bed wetting and incontinence issues called I also wanted to say thank you to the author of the article for sharing his story. No one should have to feel ashamed or embarrassed because of a problem they can't control.

inferno on November 29, 2013:

as a child i wet the bed regularly and was in pull ups and diapers till about 10 made fun of by my dad and friends,so so as a teen now, as an adult, it has resurfaced and i'm back in diapers at night and just want to die, i want a girlfriend again so bad and people are so non understanding, (so very said)

peachy from Home Sweet Home on June 17, 2013:

All I want to say, you did better than my daughter. She stopped bed wetting at age 18 years old, this year. She hated to be reprimanded about the shame so I never ask or talk about it. Just took the urine stinking bed sheets, blankets and clothes into the washing machine. She had a bad time already, so never mention about it to avoid shaming her. I thanked God for hearing my prayers.

Terrye Toombs from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map. on August 07, 2012:

Great hub, and very helpful for those who suffer from bed wetting.

teacher stories from San Diego on August 02, 2012:

Love it!

marthamuldoon from Austin, TX on August 01, 2012:

Yes, we've seen a doctor. We tried the alarm. Again, I'm following his lead. He will go for long periods dry at night, then start again, but it's gradually improving. Thanks for the encouragement. It sounds like you don't feel there's much that you would have done differently. I know there are also new medications that one can take at night (as in the case of a sleepover) that will stop urination for awhile. He's got an overnight school trip soon, so we may try that. Not eager to, but not sure how else to handle it, and I don't want him to miss it or be embarrassed.

Here's info about the meds, in case others are interested:

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on August 01, 2012:

Hi Martha, Thanks for your visit, The answer is quite simple, I didn't hold or attend sleepovers because of it, my parents tried many different methods even waking me up every couple of hours and making me go to the toilet but it didn't work.

I have heard that the alarm is very successful in helping to train your bladder maybe you should try it with your son.

I agree with you that your son would stop wetting if he could, after all he cannot help it, offer encouragement and support and visit a doctor, they are there to help.

I wish you and your son all the best wishes and leave you safe in the knowledge that he will grow out of it hopefully a lot earlier than I did.....jimmy

marthamuldoon from Austin, TX on July 31, 2012:

Can I ask how you handled sleepovers as a kid? Have a 10-year-old with the same problem, though it's intermittent. Do you wish your parents had handled it differently? For example, encouraged you to use the alarm? We're trying to follow our kids' lead. I figure he'd stop if he could. Would love to hear your opinion.

Jimmy the jock (author) from Scotland on July 31, 2012:

Thanks Chrissie for reading and your comment.

Thanks lady Guinevere, it was difficult for me to write this but it was a story that I had to share, children and parents of children who wet the bed should be aware that they are not alone out there according to medical statistics 1 in 10 children regularly wet the bed.....jimmy

Debra Allen from West Virginia on July 31, 2012:

Oh Jimmy, it must have been hard to announce this to the world. You inspire me to do the same. I wet the bed until I was 16 no less and it was quite embarrassing. Unlike your parent's mine did not understand and [punished me for wetting the bed with such things a rub my face in it and putting me to shame. Then I also found out many years later that my daughter did so until she was 7 and found it was also hereditary. We used one of those pads that alarmed her with a loud sound when there was a drop of wetness and that worked on her. They did not have those things when I was growing up.

Maybe you will inspire others to come forward and release the guilt and shame that they have felt for many years and help them find something that might work. I was also small as a child and so was my daughter. There are other people in my family that had to deal with this too and being small as a baby seems to be the link in all of them.

chrissieklinger from Pennsylvania on July 31, 2012:

Great hub and I'm sure teens with this condition will be hopeful they outgrow it as well.

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