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Is there a medical reason that my 6 yo DD doesn't get the signal to go to the loo.

(12 Posts)
Swirlyjig Tue 14-Jul-09 18:53:35

Hello, I'm new here but realLY needed some help, advice, something. My 6 yo dd, never seems to get the signal from her brain to say that she should go for a wee. She constantly has little accidents, which at school are very little, so she doesn't tell anyone, but sometimes she smells terrible when we collect her, its awful, only tonight, she stood in the kitchen stated she needed a wee, then got distracted talking to her brother, and looking in the mirror, by the time she got to the loo, literally after about a minute and a half of distraction, she had had a little accident in her pants. We have talked about this so much, and she just agrees with me that she needs to try to go to the loo sooner, i'm getting to the point where its getting me cross. At night she wears a bedwetting alarm, she has had that for about 9 months, and for a while it was brilliant, and she would wake up to go to the loo, but now, the alarm goes off at least once a night, which means changing pads and pants. This started after about 6 months of perfect potty training and I was pregnant with my DS, I understood the distress, but thought that she would have grown out of it by now. I have to limit her juice intake, and she drinks mainly water or milk, cos with anything else, she needs to go to the loo as soon as she has drunk it. Please please has anyone had a similar experience, or can advise. I don't want to get cross if it is not her fault.

Thank you so much for reading sorry its a long one.


shouldbeironing Tue 14-Jul-09 19:07:05

Sorry but can you clarify if you have actually seen the GP about this. There are medical reasons this could happen and they need to be ruled out (infections etc).

Smurfgirl Tue 14-Jul-09 19:09:50

Is she constipated? Chronic constipation can lead to incontinence because the bowel is pressing on the bladder.

Def see your GP if you have not already.

NanaJo Tue 14-Jul-09 19:55:33

My niece was exactly like this and at the age of five was diagnosed with a stricture of her ureter. She had surgery and the problem was completely resolved. I suggest you take your Dd to your GP and ask for a referral to a urologist. Even if this isn't the problem they can do tests just to make sure that all is well medically.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Tue 14-Jul-09 19:59:28

You need to go and see your GP, they will check for infection and can refer her for an ultrasound if she needs it. If that shows all clear then there are Enuresis clinics to be referred to.

I know how flipping annoying it is but please do try not to be cross as it is really likely that she genuinely can't help it.

asteamedpoater Tue 14-Jul-09 20:27:03

It's unlikely to be her fault in the genuine sense of the word - ie she isn't doing it on purpose to annoy you. You don't make it 100% clear whether she's had this problem ever since she was little, or whether it's started up recently after years of bone dry pants and dry beds. I get the impression she's been like this pretty much since potty training, though??? Anyway, whatever the cause, the more stressed she feels about it, the more likely it is to happen, so the more of an issue you make it, the worse it will get. It is never as simple as a child not bothering to go until it's too late because they just don't care or are too lazy - she does care (who wants to smell of wee???), but has just not learnt effectively and consistently how to respond appropriately to the signals her bladder is sending out and the wrong habits have become engrained (or, of course, if it is a recent issue, it could be a bladder infection). Maybe her bladder is a bit small for someone her age, making accidents more likely (this isn't normally down to a genuine physical oddity, just that the wrong drinking and peeing habits can result in the bladder never being properly stretched to capacity, so that it becomes irritable more quickly and needs to empty sooner than normal). When I was having problems with my ds1 with daytime dampness and nighttime wetting, my Dad always used to remind me how complex the whole toilet thing really is and how easily one little bit of it can get messed up. It may seem simple to you as a grown up, but there is a lot going on in the body and brain to let you know your bladder is beginning to fill and how full it really is, to control the muscles to stop urine leaking out too soon and to relax and contract the correct muscles at the appropriate time to empty your bladder in a socially acceptable place. There's quite a lot that can go slightly wrong with the whole process.

If she's been like this virtually ever since potty training, then I would advise phoning ERIC (childhood continence service) - website:, tel. 0845 370 8008). They can give tonnes of helpful advice and reassurance. I think you will find that your daughter's problem is not nearly as unusual as you think it is. They will probably also tell you that six is a bit young to be using bedwetting alarms, as it really isn't uncommon for a 6-year old to still be wetting the bed. She may just not have developed sufficiently to be able to hold on all night or wake up in the night aware of needing the toilet. It might also be worth a visit to the GP with a urine sample, to check that she doesn't have any kind of infection that could be making her bladder more irritable. The chances of your dd having a continence issue that is serious and incurable are incredibly low - it is most likely that she will grow out of this by herself, or with a bit of support and reassurance that she isn't that odd for a 6-year old girl and plenty of other girls of her age actually do have the same problems, and there are things you can try together to help it get better. You could also ask to be referred to a continence advisory clinic when you see your GP, if you are still really worried.

Surfermum Tue 14-Jul-09 20:40:22

My dd was just like this. Does she get sore around her bits too? With dd it wasn't a behavioural thing, there was something amiss with her bladder/urethra.

Have you had your dd checked by doctor? Is this an intermitting thing?

I'm happy to tell you what worked for dd, but just wanted to make sure it's a similar thing.

asteamedpoater Tue 14-Jul-09 20:57:43

ps most issues that are purely physical - eg oddities in the kidneys, ureters, urethra or bladder itself - are likely to cause bladder and/or kidney infections, which is normally what causes them to be picked up. So, a trip to the GP with a urine sample is certainly a good starting point!

Surfermum Tue 14-Jul-09 20:59:27

Intermitting hmm .... I meant intermittent obviously grin.

Swirlyjig Tue 14-Jul-09 22:00:25

Wow, that has been so lovely to see that people are happy to help and pass on advice and experiences. We have been to the GP, but that was about 18 months ago, and it just confirmed that she didn't have an infection. A more persistent trip back in the hols I think is deff on the agenda. And to answer a few questions, yes this has been pretty much since potty training and no she isn't constipated.

Thank you again


isittooearlyforgin Tue 14-Jul-09 22:13:55

hi sally!!
I have dd, nearly 5, who has never been 100 percent dry, she can save full on wee for the toilet but has leaksduring the day which she seems unable to feel. I took her to get tested and she has overactive bladder. I have tried everything from sticker charts to taking her home from outings if she wet (thought she was just being lazy so did a consequence of behaviour type thing) to beeping alarms on watches to remind her to go to the toilet,to incontinence pants (she just treated them like a nappy adn was literally relieved not to have to worry about keeping them dry which made her sore and the whole thing worse) to letting her just get on with it and not getting upset. I feel personally, that I don't want my relationship with dd to be characterised with me constantly nagging about the toilet so have become quite apathetic. Afraid no advice except to say that we share the same problem and understand where you're coming from!

Surfermum Wed 15-Jul-09 10:05:26

I went down the complementary route as the medics didn't seem to be able to come up with any answers. Scans of her kidneys and bladder were normal, she rarely had an infection, and I was reluctant to use the steroid cream that they prescribed hmm.

She had 4 sessions of Bowen therapy. It's non-invasive and like a very, very gentle manipulation. Dd giggled while she was having it done.

I use chickweed cream when she gets sore. It's worked better than any prescribed creams.

I put some crab apple flower essence drops in a drink for her.

No bubble baths, no washing hair in the bath.

A bath with a tablespoon of milk and some lavender essential oil drops.

Letting her choose a pack of fun knickers (she chose fairies!).

She's never gone a half-term without a spate of accidents or being sore - we're now well over half a term without any, so in my book that's a result!

Hope that helps.

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