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Would a star chart help with bedwetting?

(13 Posts)
womblingfree Sat 13-Jun-09 06:44:47

DD (4.9), has been competely dry at night for 2 years but in the last month or so has starting wetting the bed on a very regular basis.

Have taken her to the docs a couple of times but it appears there is nothing physically wrong.

My hunch is that it is to do with anxiety about starting school in September. This seems to be borne out by the fact that this week she has wet the night after receiving a letter from school telling her which class she will be in, and 3x(!) last night after we had an induction session yesterday (which went fine but I guess it is perhaps playing on her mind.) We are now trying to dry off our entire collection of DD's bedding (she refuses point blank to wear 'dry nites' and I don't really want to go down that road if I can help it as would rather just sort the problem out).

DH and I have been sympathetic, obviously but - and please don't flame me here - I am starting to wonder if it is entirely accidental.

Initially she was very obviously half asleep and upset when she told us she had wet the bed. Now she increasingly seems wide awake and not particularly bothered. On one occasion last night she called out to me for something completely unrelated, I went out of the room again briefly and then she announced she'd wet the bed. DH has also been to see her a couple of times when she's done it and said to me he's sure she'd sat there and done it on purpose. I wasn't convinced but now am starting to wonder. Her behaviour has been a bit off lately (although touch wood has been better the last week or two) and it's certainly not beyond her to tell small fibs.

I figure a star chart will give us a better idea of whether it is all purely accidental (I don't doubt for a minute that at least some of it is completely genuine). I'm not going to tell her that we're having doubts, just say would you like to do this (she loves star charts).

Obviously though I don't want to make the matter worse by making her feel guilty or as though she's 'failed' if she does wet the bed.

Don't shoot - am just completely bemused and frustrated with the whole situation sad.

purepurple Sat 13-Jun-09 07:32:06

Sounds as if she is worried about starting school, which is totally normal and sometimes has side effects such as you have described.
I work with pre-schoolers and have found that they do get anxious and start behaving weirdly around this time of the year. Things like wetting themselves during the day and having hysterical crying fits over silly little things. It gets to a point where we have to stop saying the 's' word!

I am not convinced that a star chart would be the best strategy for your DD. It might just put more pressure on her.
She is anxious and bedwetting is one of the top signs of this.
I guess you will just have to ride it out, while trying to allay her fears about school.
Has she got any more visits planned?
Are you anxious about her starting school and has she picked up on this?

We have a variety of stratagies in our nursery to help with the transition to school.
We have school uniform and book bags in the dressing up.
We have PE lessons where they have to get changed into their PE kit.
We have changed our dinner routine so it is more self-service like school.
We have had visits from the teachers and story times with them.
Also a lot of the schools are doing home visits which is a lovely idea as they can see the child in their own home environment.
have you tried talking through all her concerns? They worry about little things like not knowing where to put their coats and not knowing where the tiolets are! It might be that she has some concerns and talking them through might make it seem less frightening and bewildering.

Anyway, good luck!

YeahBut Sat 13-Jun-09 07:32:09

I'm not sure that a starchart would be particularly helpful in this instance.
I'd be more concerned that perhaps she has a urinary tract infection. My dd is prone to these and long, long, before she exhibits any of the classic symptoms (fever etc.) she starts wetting the bed at night (not enough control to get to the loo on time, even if she does wake up) and her behaviour really changes for the worse. Take her (and a sample of wee in a clean container) to the GP first to get checked out.

Astrophe Sat 13-Jun-09 07:58:58

I probably would try a star chart - but only if I knew she wouldn't get upset if she didn't get the star. You said she loves star charts, so if she would enjoy it, it might be worth a try. If, however, she ended up distressed because she didn't get a star, then obviously you'd have to abandon it very quickly!

My DS is 3 and has been dry for weeks ata time and then wet again, then dry again and so on. We are doing a star chart now (because he wets in the morning as he wakes up - not on purpose, but a bit of motivation to get up and out of bed to wee seems to be helping!). He loves getting the star, but isn't bothered if he doesn't get one - we just go "oh well, what a bother, try again tomorrow" etc.

womblingfree Sat 13-Jun-09 10:10:08

YB - Have been to the docs twice in the last month and she has had her tummy examined and urine tested with nothing showing up. She saw the GP we are registered with on Weds and his specialty if paediatrics so am pretty confident in his diagnosis.

My mum is on at me to take her back in a couple of weeks if no improvement and get a referral (we have private health care), but my mum tends to be a bit of a hypochindriac and I'm not sure her opinion is that objective, not to mention the fact I don't want to be 'tarred with the same brush'.

purple - she doesn't seem outwardly anxious about it and says she is looking forward to it, so that's not an easy route to go down. Only a handful of kids from nursery are goign to the same school which I suspect is bothering her as she is not particularly close to any of them. We have talked about though. We only see her best friend out of nursery anyway and since we started playdates with her last year her mum and I have become good friends so she knows there is no danger of us losing touch with her, She also has several other non-nursery friends.

She is being a bit of a horror at the moment, and I'mnot feeling the best after a disrupted night and early start, but we have a nice afternoon planned so will ask when we get back if she wants to do a star chart. She's not wetting every night so thought I'd offer her a reward (pk of Hannah Montana stickers grin) for two stars in a row to begin with which I feels attainable and shouldn't cause any distress. Then if it seems to be working build it up a week or so at a time to 3 stars etc...

What do you reckon?

purepurple Sat 13-Jun-09 13:20:30

you know your own child best and as parents, we do whatever we think will work

Sometimes children do get anxious and don't have the emotional capability or maturity to be able to express it.

Pheebe Sun 14-Jun-09 07:57:41

As you've seen the doc and they are confident there's no physical cause, personally I would put her back in pullups, especially if the bedwetting is upsetting her. If her wetting is anxiety based you need to deal with the symptom (wetting) and then deal with the cause (anxiety about starting school). At 3.9 you can talk to her and rationalise with her about this get her co-operation to transition back to no pull-ups. Just a suggestion of a gentle way to support her through this scary time although I know it will likely be soundly disagreed with smile

duchesse Sun 14-Jun-09 08:14:51

Star charts never worked for us. At one point all three of my children were wetting the bed at night. I think it's largely hereditary (I did as a child as well, and so did my husband) and it seems to stem from them sleeping too deeply to wake up for the loo. For 7 years we washed sheets daily... I refused to put them in pullups unless we were staying away from home (eg friends or hotel or camping)

All three of mine stopped in the same year though, aged 6, 8 and 10. It coincided with a sabbatical year abroad in Canada, and me stopping working and being more at home with them and less stressed (not that my mother working was in any way the cause in my case, since she didn't), and them being away from the UK education system. If anything, I think maybe maturity came into play. I'm still at a loss to understand why they all stopped at the same time though.

womblingfree Sun 14-Jun-09 13:38:23

Haven't got round to suggesting star chart yet. Might give it a bit longer and see how it goes.

We had wet bed again last night but it's not every night. Am just mystified as to why after 2 years of being effortlessly dry at night this is happening. I know the obvious thing is anxiety about school, but we've had other trying times as a family (when I was going through the redundancy process last year which took a couple of months and def affected her) and it's never happened before.

We have 2 more sessions together at primary school over the next couple of weeks, then a session with her actual teacher and classmates during the last week of term, so perhaps as we get through those she will feel more confident.

We've tried suggesting pull-ups, she gets really upset and says that she's not a baby. She's a fairly strapping 4.9 (takes after 6'4" DH grin)YO so short of brute force there's no way we could get her into them. Am double sheeting the bed so just have to whip off the top sheet and waterproof layer, which should make it quicker to change but inevitably she seems to manage to catch the duvet as well, so you can imagine what a nightmare the wash load can be.

Will have to look into hereditary factors on hubby's side. It def wasn't an issue on mine, and I doubt he'd remember so will have to have a word with MIL.

Thanks for your advice everyone.

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 14-Jun-09 13:43:36

eric has masses of info

womblingfree Sun 14-Jun-09 13:52:30

Thanks for that! Have downloaded their info leaflet - just need to find time in between the laundry to read the bloody thing grin!

BoysAreLikeDogs Sun 14-Jun-09 13:54:26

Good luck, I had bedwetting child until nearly 8 so I feel your pain

yy to double dressing the bed

Shower in the mornings for social reasons

take care

womblingfree Wed 17-Jun-09 08:23:17

Thanks 'Boys'!

Have had 3 dry nights in a row touch wood! She also said to me that she soemtimes wakes up wanting to go but then nods straight back off again before she can get out of bed! Also mentioned to my mum that she is scared of the dark. She has a nightlight on in her room, but then obviously has to go into the landing and bathroom. I remember when I was small sometimes waking up and being scared to leave my room, and there was an incident a few weeks ago where as she put on the bathroom light a huge moth fell out of the fitting into the sink about an inch in front of her face so perhaps that has given her the heebie jeebies too.

She's well up for the star chart, so fingers crossed....

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