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5yr old starting to wet the bed/having night terrors.

(22 Posts)
Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 19:42:58

DD is a happy, well adjusted confident little girl. She turned 5 in July, and started yr 1/2 (mixed class) this year. She was mildly anxious about it over summer, vaguely so, not a big deal and lots of reassurance and positivity about how much fun she will have etc etc. She took it in her stride and settled in to her first week/fortnight with relative ease. Some other children appeared to be finding it a bit harder on the face of it so we felt quite lucky she was so fine.

DH had a chat with her teacher week before last, sponaneously after returning for a drinks bottle and finding teacher there with no parents to talk to for a change! Teacher gave extremely positive feedback about DD, said she was a joy to teach, no issues, would love a whole class like her, remarked about only positive and when asked directly if there was anything we needed to support DD with, was told nothing other than as we already are with reading etc.

DD has a younger brother aged almost 2, who she adores and who adores her. No jealousy other than the odd 'i want a cuddle with you!' when I am, but easily pacified when I scoop them both up!

There are no behavioural issues other than the normal 5yo stuff like not listening, wanting her own way from time to time, bit of shouting, nothing I would not expect from a child her age, and no traumas at home. However, we have over the last 2 weeks moved her bed to another room, and just been away for 5 days on holiday.

However. Last month, just before going back to school (like the weekend before), she wet the bed. She said she was deeply asleep and could not wake in time. She was literally covered and sopping and seemed to have been asleep for a while in it before waking.

Since this time she has done this around 4-5times, twice in her new room, each time saying she could not wake herself up. She goes to the toilet before bedtime. Does not necessarily drink before bed but on occasion has milk ith her brother. Does not appear to be linked, as she has always managed to wake up and go to the toilet. She ued to have her potty up there, stopped this a while ago. She has not wet the bed since she was potty training, had a couple of accidents. And once, she woke at 6am and was lazy so jus went, then got up (we were not impressed but that was like 18 months ago/maybe 12). Nothing on holiday, and wet the bed badly last night.

She told me a while ago after waking that she almost wet the bed but woke herself up and managed to stop herself, so I know that if she really is aware of it, and can get up, she will.

Also - she used to have night terrors. Not a lot, maybe a handful of times at around 3yrs old. However, she always had them when we went camping. Proper full on screaming unable to stop her/make her aware of us there/quite frightening. Stopped after a short while.

Recently she has had about 3-4 of these. Waking up screaming 'mama mama mama mama' and sort of hyperventilating, not calming with cuddles and not settling. If a bad dream she will be comforted by either me or DH and go back to sleep. She has been really really distressed. She did this once while on holiday.

So, I guess I want some reassurances that this type of regression is normal? she has had a lot of change, with new room/new school - is this likely the reason? What can we do to help her? Could there be another reason? medical, other emotional that we might be missing? Should we just ride it out...

Sorry for my typically epic post grin

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 19:57:02

<pours a glass of red to recover from the start of the week and awaits the brave soul who manages to get through this to post a one word response before falling into a deep sleep>

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 20:26:29


Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 20:44:17

no-one? <sobs>

LizzieMo Mon 26-Sep-11 20:56:14

Couldn't leave your post unanswered!!!!

I am no expert but yes, I would say the changes in her life recently are triggering this. New school year is probably making her really tired so she is deeply asleep for the bed wetting. The night terrors thing I would imagine is also linked to anxiety. My DD did this alot around 3, but started again when she first started school. She will still have the occasional night terror now if something is worrying her. I think you will just have to ride it out and hope that it settles down. On the plus side, at least she is fine going back to school as far as you can tell. Build on that positive!!!

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 21:02:17

thanks lizziemo she has just had another night terror. oh it is so distressing.

She cried proper tears. She was talking in her sleep, tried to get up, tried to tell me something about her brother and about some 'things what I can't remember what they are called' and was anxious but could not tell me about what. did not seem awake but eyes open.

Then started sobbing her heart out calling in a lot of distress for me and daddy. not like she did not know I was there, but like she was trying to get me to hear her. I picked her up and she responded to that, cuddling in to me crying tears.

Went to bed after 10 mins of this, eyes lolled back and she went to sleep (if she ever woke up) grinding her teeth and pouting very badly, not at all comfortable.

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 21:02:52

i am going to repost about the night terrors for some more advice. this post is tooooooooooooo long!

LizzieMo Mon 26-Sep-11 21:07:37

Poor you and her. Have another glass of wine!!! The funny thing is she probably won't even remember if you talk about it in the morning, mine never does. I really don't think you can do much more than yo are doing, offer comfort, lots of hugs. I do remeber someone telling me once that if these terrors always occur at the same time each night, to try and wake her up for a few minutes before hand and then cuddle her back to sleep. I don't know if it works though as I never had the heart to wake her if she was asleep. Hang in there and good luck with it all !!!

pleasenap Mon 26-Sep-11 21:32:22

My DS (6yo) gets night terrors too. He hasn't had them for ages (almost 9 months or so) and just before he went back to school he started having them again (2-3 a week for the first few weeks). And also wet the bed, which he just doesn't do.

They say night terrors are psychological but do with difficulty transitioning through sleep phases. I've noticed a definite link between being over-tired and night terrors (and maybe the wetting the bed too - by being too deeply asleep maybe?). But I think it must've been somewhat related to the stress of starting back at school (he seemed OK about it all, but is a bit of a sensitive wee soul and sometimes overthinks and worries about things).

My DS's seem to have settled down now (sleep terrors wise - hasn't wet the bed again either). So hopefully same will happen for your DD. My DS never remembers them in the morning (which differs from nightmares as he does remember them). Night terrors are DS's last one he was screaming, wild-eyed 'Mummy, help me, help me...' So hard.

kissingfrogs Mon 26-Sep-11 21:49:48

My dd2 has also been prone to night terrors. She still has restless nights - usually sitting up in bed at least once per night, thrashing around, crying "no no no". Some nights it goes on and on, and that's definitely triggered by being overtired, overstimulated.

Her dad was still having recurring nightmares aged 35. He never remembered having them. He appeared to be acting out a scenario that he was hiding from someone which involved sitting up in bed, looking about wildly and Shhh-ing for full on 20 minutes. Same scenario every time.

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 22:00:19

oh I did not consider being overtired. That is a very real possibility, for the night terrors at least. She did not sleep so well last night due to wetting the bed, and coming in with us, and has had less sleep on hols. Also, summer hols meant her sleep was not so routined (bad mummy emoticon) so maybe caught up with her by the end along with anxiety from returning to school.

Maybe I will keep an eye on the times they occur. Prob is the timing is not exact. Last two times have been when I or DH have been awake so prob similar timing, but on other occasions in the night.

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 22:02:19

kissingfrogs DDs camping night terrors were just that, the 'nonononono' endlessly for a long time (waking the whole campsite up on one occasion! luckily mostly my friends) but this last time tonight was very different. I have put her potty in with her, and told her this evening it is ok for her to use it if she wakes, but I really don't think it is laziness.

As long as it is a relatively 'normal' phase I will go with it for now. just seems so unlike her normal character.

yellowsubmarine41 Mon 26-Sep-11 22:05:22

My dd has night terrors from time to time. They're triggered by her being ill, stressed, hot, overtired or a combination of above.

Is her new room warmer than her old one?

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 22:16:31

not warmer, the other way round, although not at all cold. She was in the loft room and we swapped rooms, and blimey her room is very warm indeed. Maybe she got use to the temp though?

Pavlovthecat Mon 26-Sep-11 22:17:36

and she complained of a sore throat this evening, but that would not explain the previous nights bed wetting/night terrors.

It is all very sudden, both came at once over last month. So something must be triggering, must be combination of school/room move?

yellowsubmarine41 Tue 27-Sep-11 09:55:50

She might be coming down with something, on top of the school/room move.

My dd sometimes incubates a virus for a while and is generally unsettled before she is actually ill.

kissingfrogs Tue 27-Sep-11 14:34:19

Dd2s actual night terrors (which thankfully now hardly ever happen) were awful, really awful. Put it this way, I was scared of her. Not for her. Of her. The way she behaved was like something out of the exorcist, bar the spinning head. She would be very active and very vocal. If this was years ago she would have been considered possessed. I did actually have to remove myself from the room sometimes because of it scared me silly. Logically, I knew that this was just dd2 and would always pull myself together to make sure she came to no harm until the terror had ended, but the spine-chilling feelings it gave me were unforgettable.

Thankfully, they are just night terrors and, apart from broken sleep, are harmless. Most people outgrow them, with only a few exceptions.

Blu Tue 27-Sep-11 14:43:02

DS did this at 5.

Having been reliably dry snce he was 2, he started having wetting accidents at school, and a resurgence of night terrors which he had had when over-tired or feverish since he was tiny.

The night terror episodes were terrifying and disturbing for me - but we found that the less we did, the quicker they subsided, If we tried to talk to him, wake him or cuddle him, it just prolonged the attack, as he reacted to us. He never remebered them, and seemed perfectly calm in the morning.

Blu Tue 27-Sep-11 14:43:45

I meant to say - it just went away. He stopped having accidents and night terrors.

We made sure he was well rested, and as calm as possible.

Good luck!

crazygracieuk Tue 27-Sep-11 14:47:45

On the prinary education board there is a thread about y1 being a much harder transition than nursery to reception.

My ds behaves well at school and finds year 1 very boring. They have to sit down and do lots of writing and there's no choosing, outdoor play and hardly any toys. He's August born and loved learning through play and being outside last year.

My ds has a lot of night terrors too so I can't really help on that front apart from offer tea and sympathy. I can't wait until he outgrows them.

Pavlovthecat Tue 27-Sep-11 20:44:03

crazygrace that does not surprise me abut yr1 being harder. She has two lots of homework in the second week alone, and none last year. I am not sure it will be too traumatic as the work is not much different to things we do with her anyway through the week, but if we did not do reading writing/spelling/numbers etc at home anyway she would be quite shocked I think.

I guess all the things going on all at once are having a bearing, coupled with tiredness. I had not considered that but reckon that does have something to do with it. DH and I have agreed we will address that somehow, but she has a lot going on each week suddenly! (gymnastics, dancing, multi-skills!) it sort of just happened, not planned! maybe that is all not helping, although only actually done one week of stuff so far, and not all of that til this week.

No wake up yet, but she went to bed late as was just very hyper after dancing and would not settle, so she might wake later.

Pavlovthecat Tue 27-Sep-11 20:45:39

kissingfrogs i love the image od your DD2 when having night terrors. I can so see what you mean. DD has not been that frightening, but last night she did have few seconds of demonic look about her and I thought of the exorcist and wondered if this childhood behaviour being witnessed by some parents sparked the idea of that kind of film being made! How scary for you though!

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