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Sudden onset of bed-wetting in 4 year old

(7 Posts)
PrinceCorum Mon 06-Jun-11 09:45:15

Can you help us get to the bottom of this and find a strategy to deal with it?
For over 6 months our (just turned) 4 year old boy has been dry at night time and so sleeping in just pyjama trousers without pants or nappy. Then 4 weeks ago he started wetting the bed consistently about twice a week. We can not think of what might have brought this on. The timing does not coincide with any traumatic events in his life or in the family, nor any significant changes such as new nursery or starting school. We're truly puzzled.

We are changing the bed so often now that we feel we have to resort to trainer/night time pants for him, at least for a while. He sees this as humiliating and associates them with being a baby, so is quite resistant. We don't want to make him feel this way, but at the same time we can't be changing the bed in the middle of the night so frequently either as we are getting really sleep deprived (our 2 year old wakes us quite often as well).

Any ideas why a dry sleeper would suddenly start bed wetting and this then continues indefinitely, given the lack of stressors outlined above?

Are we making a massive mistake putting him in night pants/trainer pants?

How else should we deal with this? We both feel bad because we do sometimes lose our temper when it's 2 in the morning and we have to change his pyjamas and bed clothes - we know that getting cross is wrong and it might make things worse, but when we are sleep deprived we can't always parent "by the book".

I'm sorry if this kind of topic has been asked a million times before - if it has, just point me to the relevant threads !

Thanks !

mamalocco Mon 06-Jun-11 11:52:20

Assuming you've ruled out any medical problems (eg infection - presumably no change in toilet habits during the day?) - I have a bizarre suggestion that worked for my dd. I raised the foot of her bed by 6 inches (couple of phone directories should do it). She had been dry at night for over a year and then wet the bed every night for 3 weeks. My grandmother suggested this (apparently my mum had wet the bed for years until someone told her this idea) and it worked. Lowered the bed after 3 or 4 nights and she wet the bed again. I put the books back for a week this time and after that removed them and she was fine thereafter.

When you make up the bed, place a waterproof sheet, then the regular fitted sheet and then another waterproof layer and fitted sheet. Then if he does have an accident you just have to strip the top ones off - less hassle than trying to put clean sheets on in the middle of the night.

PrinceCorum Mon 06-Jun-11 13:52:33

Thanks for this. Would a urinary tract infection manifest itself in a temperature normally? He doesn't have one.

PrinceCorum Tue 07-Jun-11 10:34:34

anyone else able to help?

Threadworm8 Tue 07-Jun-11 10:38:41

I don't know if this is relevant but with my children I found much more bedwetting during the summer just because they were much more active during the day (and often later to bed) and consequently more tired at night, sleeping too soundly to wake up for the toilet.

I think just a bit of overtiredness, or just a slight illness, is often enough for a temporary regression.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Tue 07-Jun-11 10:42:12

DD1 did this too for no obvious reason.
Does he have a cold or something else? It can trigger disrupted sleep and bedwetting.

Don't up him back in nappies.

what worked for us is making sure:

she didn't have a lot to drink just before bedtime,
she went to empty her bladder just before bed (very important every time DH forgot she peed in bed)
when bedwetting was often, driving her asleep to the toilet when we went to bed. (we did it max of 10 times)

If he had an UTI, he would pee a lot during the day and be in pain way before having the fever.

MooM00 Tue 07-Jun-11 10:43:40

Oh mamalocco I am so pleased you suggested 2 layers of sheets. I'm off to layer up dc1's bed now.
PrinceC dc1 has been bedwetting on and off since he was 4. I'm not sure that pullups are the answer, we use huggies disposable bedmats under the sheet . When he's 'off' bedwetting the bedmat stays on for a couple of months, then he's started wetting again this week so we're getting through the bedmats again.

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