Should I Diaper My
Bedwetting Son?

Question: Should I diaper my bedwetting son? He is seven years old, and has accidents 2-3 times per week.

Answer: It depends. Was your son dry for a period of at least six months, and then began to wet again? If so, there could be something psychological or physical going on.

I would suggest that you first take him to the doctor to rule out anything physical (such as diabetes). If the physical comes back okay, pay attention to stresses he may be going through in his life. Did he recently have a new brother or sister? Is it the beginning of school, or did you just move to a new house? Sometimes kids (especially boys) can begin wetting the bed during times of extreme emotional stress. Rest assured it will pass with time.

As for your have the option to take two routes. You know your child best, and can decide which one will work for him:

  • Decide that you are going to diaper him again for a little while and explain it in an easy to understand manner. He may be upset by this, but you will need to sit and explain to him that wetting the bed is difficult for everyone involved (for him because he is embarrassed, and for you because you have to change the bed every day). Most kids will not like it, but will agree in the end. Let him help you change the sheets in the morning for a few days, and he will witness what you mean. Remember, don't make changing the sheets a form of punishment though, but simply a time to chat about why sleep pants are necessary for a little while.

  • The other option is to let him decide what he wants to do. If he says that he does not want to wear a diaper, you need to be clear that he will need to help you clean up in the morning, and make sure to stick with it. He is making the choice to not wear his nighttime diaper, therefore he is making the choice to have to help with cleanup each morning. If he is anything like my seven year old (who doesn't like to clean), that option probably won't last very long!

The most important thing to remember when diapering an older child is to not make him feel bad about it. No one wants to wet the bed, and you can bet that he feels worse about it than you do. Talk to siblings in private and explain the issue, and be clear that you will not tolerate any teasing from them.

For more information on this topic, see our Bedwetting Page.

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