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5-year old bedwetting - lifting any good or a waste of time?

(26 Posts)
choucroutegarnie Sun 06-Dec-09 21:37:19

Our 5-year-old DS wets his bed each night, but since spending some time with his older cousins on holiday he won't wear a nappy any more. That means (at least) one change of bedding each night, and interrupted sleep for everyone.

I was advised to 'lift' him at about 11pm, which worked for two days, but now he still wakes up around 3am (and often at 5am again!) after yet another accident. We've now tried this regime for 3 weeks and it's starting to grind.

Has anyone out there had any success with the 'lifting' approach, or should we find a diplomatic way of re-introducing nappies until his system is mature enough.

It is all rather exhausting so I'd like to know whether it is at all worth it. Everyone, including our GP, seems to have a different opinion...

OP’s posts: |
dingdong05 Sun 06-Dec-09 21:46:27

my 5 yo son is not dry at night either. occasionally he will want to ditch the nappies, and after a few days of wet nights (iyswim lol) i'll explain that he maybe needs a bit longer to crack the night time thing and bring the nappies out. lifting never worked for him, he was usually too sound asleep. tbh he's never had a problem with nappies, i've always felt that his potty training was led by me, not him. but he was ready and trained quickly- he would just be happy to sit in a nappy all day

Takeadeepbreath Sun 06-Dec-09 22:30:57

Have you tried pull-ups instead - he may be happier with these than nappies, they are not so babyish. I know it doesn't solve the problem long term, but it might enable you to get some sleep and buy you some time in terms of him being ready and willing to try again.

flyingdolphin Mon 07-Dec-09 08:30:31

Our dd wet the end until she was about 5 1/2 or so. She refused nappies or pull-ups from about the age of 3, which was a real PITA, nothing I could do to persuade her to wear them, she would get up and take them off herself at night. Said they were uncomfortable and itchy and stopped her sleeping. Also didn't help that she had a little brother blessed with a bladder of steel who was out of nappies at night by 2 1/2.

We found the only solution was to lift her at 12 (just before we went to bed), she would then usually make it through until the morning. Don't know what you could do about the 3am weeing though, must be so tiring for you.

If there is any way of persuading (I would try bribery, anything for a good night's sleep) your ds to carry on with the nappies or pull-ups I would do that though, seems like an easier solution for all.

Good luck - I know bedwetting can seem so tiring, but it does pass in the end.

em83 Mon 07-Dec-09 10:36:45

my ds who turned 7 last month still wets the bed....
he is what you call a multiple bed wetter, thereofre lifting him at 11-12, is no good as he will still wee later on,
he was on medication (desmomelt) however the nurse told us to stop using them as they should have worked immediately, he was on the m for 3 weeks and still wet through the nigh hmm
the nurse is coming out again after xmas to try him on another medication as she now feels it is his bladder functioning causing the problem..
apparently each time he goes to the toilet throughout the day he should be weeing at least 250ml , where infact he only manages half if that shock
she said he needs to hold on to go tp the toilet instead of going everytime he feels like he needs a wee as if he holds on,this will train his bladder !!!
which in time will help him through the night ! fingers crossed x

MadameSin Mon 07-Dec-09 18:35:19

Definitely try the lifting ... my 6 year old still has accidents, but they are drastically reduced if I put him on the loo when I go to bed. I sometimes use pull-ups if we are sleeping away from home - saves him getting upset.

choucroutegarnie Mon 07-Dec-09 20:09:13

Thank you for all this - good to know we are not alone! As it happens DS had a fever today and felt v sorry for himself. He asked to put nappies on tonight "because it's too tiring to get up every night". Ouch, the guilt.

So maybe he's worked out himself that nappies are not evil after all. I think we'll go back to them for a while, and see whether we get any dry nights without any special measures.

Having spent a bit more time researching this today I have read that GPs do not really start treating this as a problem until the child is 7, so we may as well not worry now...

Here to a night of uninterrupted sleep

OP’s posts: |
FourArms Mon 07-Dec-09 20:46:29

I've got a 5 year old who is upset about wearing nappies as well.

We've been referred to a nurse who specialises in this, and wants to try a bed alarm (when we get one... the waiting list is several months long!) as the first line of attack due to his age. I don't think it will make any difference though, as the mat is tiny, and he sleeps in a kingsize bed (and is up, down, across, off... all night every night!). He wees a lot too - getting to the stage now where even if I change him when I go to bed (in his sleep), he often has a wet bed in the morning.

This website has lots of information.

Fingers crossed for a good nights sleep!

choucroutegarnie Mon 07-Dec-09 21:24:47

There must be an awful lot of five year olds still not dry at night, judging from this sample alone! Good luck with it all, especially the early-morning washing... We are definitely not doing our bit for the environment in our house.

OP’s posts: |
midori1999 Tue 08-Dec-09 01:30:29

My stepson is almost 13 and still wets the bed almost every night. Lifting certainly didn't help him, he can wet several times a night.

If possible, you should get the child out of nappies, although as you have said, the medical profession won't see it as a problem until age 7 or so. Alarms are meant to help ios about 80% of cases, by teaching the child to wake when their bladder is full, but it does take some effort from the parent too.

The 'ERIC' website is great, and the helpline is..well, very helpful!

handbagofoblivion Tue 08-Dec-09 06:00:49

DS is also still in pull ups age 6.
He must be a multiple wetter as have tried lifting him at our bedtime and he is still wet in the morning.
Next morning, he never has any recollection of us waking him to wee. Is this typical?

He doesn't remember despite the fact that when we lift him, he struggles to return to bed, grabs hold of his bed, has to have his hands prised off it and we have to carry him arms flailing to the toilet.
Does anyone else's child do this? I have given up lifting as can't bear to disturb his sleep in this way.

em83 Wed 09-Dec-09 09:39:58

my ds is 7 and has had months of assessments hence him etting the medication i describes in above post, they were going to give him an alarm but he is such a deep sleeper he would probably not arouse...
also the alarm is meant to be so loud it would disturb whole household so that why nurse suggested medication.
she is coming back out in jan to prescribe another type of medication to help train the bladder apparently hmm hope it works....
i must admit my ds wears dry nights for bed,as it is such a hassle stripping the bed 2-3 times aper night and then showering him at 6-7am, on these cold mornings as he goes to childminders at 8 am !
plus i have 2 dds age 1 & 2, so physically could not do it..
he doesnt wake up when he is wet, i go and check on him and find he is wet {if he hasnt had a "nappy on "}, the nurse said to let him lie in it as he will soon get sick, but i find this awful and will let myt son lie in his own urine for possibly up to 7-9 hours!

Scottie22 Wed 09-Dec-09 19:47:10

My ds is also 5 and had been wetting almost every night for a while. We started lifting him rather than go back to nappy pants and is working a treat! We get him up at about 10.30pm and unless he doesn't have a wee then, he is no longer wetting the bed at all.

TulipsAndTinsel Wed 09-Dec-09 21:56:08

freaky... i came on to this board about to start a thread asking for advise with regards my bedwetting almost 5 year old dd!

we were at paeds today and the consultant paediatrician was appalled she's still in nappies at night and to quote 'You need to train her or she will get lazy, no drinks after dinner and lift her at 10pm' hmm

i pointed out we tried going nappy free a few months back and she was wet well before 10 and it was a raging failure but he claims it'll take 2 weeks hmm

he's a twat right? I mean she's still wetting herself during the day the odd time fgs!

or is he right and i'm just a lazy cow who can't be bothered to train her child to be dry?

Sidge Wed 09-Dec-09 22:17:53

Tulips that paed is talking bollocks.

Restricting fluids makes the problem worse - to strengthen and tone a bladder (which is a muscly bag) it needs regular filling and emptying, ie drinking 6-8 good sized drinks a day and toileting every 2-3 hours. A strong toned bladder can 1, hold more urine, 2, hold it for longer and 3, send a stronger message to the brain when stretched when asleep.

It is a good idea to stop drinks an hour before bedtime and avoid milk drinks after dinner as milk is a food and takes longer to digest, so that the fluid part is excreted via the bladder later.

Lifting can occasionally ensure a dry bed but doesn't actually help the child achieve night time dryness as it promotes the 'wee whilst your asleep' message to the brain. Also if the bedwetting is due to an overproduction of urine due to a low vasopressin level (the hormone that we make between the ages of about 2.5 and 7 that slows urine production down overnight) then there will usually be more than one wetting episode.

For some children removing a nappy can help as the child feels wet and is then roused to wake; this can take a few nights. However if your child sleeps so heavily they sleep through weeing and sleep in a cold wet bed then removing a nappy achieves very little. Alarms can help but don't work as well in young children as they can't usually manage them alone.

handbagofoblivion Thu 10-Dec-09 06:04:05

Sidge, I presume that means for my DS there is no point lifting because he doesn't recall it in the morning and we will be encouraging the 'wee while you sleep' message?

BrigitBigKnickers Thu 10-Dec-09 07:12:41

TulipsI am very surprised at your consultant's words.
I was always under the impression that dryness at night happened when a hormone kicked in to slow down the production of urine at night. With some kids this happens later than others- nothing to do with being lazy! Or have I got that wrong?

TulipsAndTinsel Thu 10-Dec-09 10:04:51

See that was what i was led to believe as well so i was quite shocked at his reaction to the night wetting.

She's been referred to paeds due to daytime wetting and the paediatrician who saw her last time who's below this eejit wasn't even concerned about that, he was of the opinion that she'd simply grow out of it and apart from checking there was nothing physically wrong with her (there's not) they wouldn't want to do anything about it.

This paticular consultant is one i've had run ins with before though. ds2 was in scbu with aspirated pneumonia after he was born and i had to fight the consultant every step of the way.... one example: he was refusing to cut down the drip til ds2 fed more (he was on 20ml and hour IV fluid) and wanted me to force feed expressed milk or formula after every bf... i pointed oout that he wasn't thirsty because of the massive amount of fluids and was made to feel like a neglectful bitch who wanted her baby to starve. i got my way in the end though and within 4 hours of the drip being reduced he was off it completely and feeding fantastically! also in the first 36 hours he wouldn't allow me to feed at all as it was 'too dangerous', thankfully the night nurses overruled his decision and let me feed him the second night but he was extremely put out when he found out the next morning... ds2 ended up severly jaundiced as a result of the 36 hours with no milk angry

sorry... enough ranting blush

Sidge Thu 10-Dec-09 11:25:06

handbag that's right, unless the child is wide awake, well, awake enough to walk themselves to the loo, talk to you and preferably remember it in the morning then lifting doesn't promote night time dryness.

The child can be dry in the morning following lifting but that's because you've lifted them to the loo, not that their brain is learning to wake them because the bladder is full.

flyingdolphin Thu 10-Dec-09 12:43:48

Nighttime lifting will not help to night train them, but it will help you get though the time until they are ready, and it can save you and your child a lot of frustration, nappies and wet sheets in the meantime, without doing any harm. I doubt you are reinforcing any negative messages because they child is probably not ready to understand the messages or act on them anyway.

I was always told that until children are physically ready you can't 'train' them - certain stages and chemical changes in their physical development have to kick in so that a) they slow down urine production when they are asleep and b) they wake up when they felt the urge to pee. For some this happens earlier, for others later, until the age of about 7 most doctors will not be very interested because they understand that a child that is not developmentally ready cannot actually be trained.

My ds was dry at night from age 2.5, he was trained while I was hospital with dd who was having an operation and dh forgot to put a nappy on and he never had any accidents, dd we lifted until age 5.5 and then started noticing that she didn't actually pee when we lifted her, so we stopped and she was fine.

TulipsAndTinsel Fri 11-Dec-09 10:02:25

well, just to make an arse of me dd has been dry the last two nights hmm

the first night i brought her to the toilet at about 10pm as she woke up slightly when i checked on her, last night i didn't as she was out cold.

it should be noted though that she went fine for the first 3/4 days the last time we tried and then started wetting multiple times during the night so we gave up

madeleine0510 Sun 13-Dec-09 11:48:29

Does anyone else have a problem with nappies leaking ? I have tried my DS who is 5 without nappies but he wets even when I lift him, sometimes he goes to sleep at 8 and whn I go in at 10.30 he's already wet ! He was wearing pull ups but they were leaking nearly every night, so I tried the 4-7 pyjama pants and same thing. There is just so much wee in there ! It's really disrupting his sleep and causing him to be agressive, whingy and crying all day. The health visitor said they won't do anything until he is 7 !! He quite often had slight accidents during the day too. What should I do ? I'm knackered too

TulipsAndTinsel Sun 13-Dec-09 12:19:04

so we've had two dry nights (i was wrong about night two, she'd just hidden he wet pj's behind the dolls house and pulled up the bedsheets!) and 2 wet nights.

madeleine, sounds like my dd, she's always been a heavy wetter and still wets during the day too. i find the lidl nappies the best funnily enough but even they occasionally fail

inthesticks Sun 13-Dec-09 16:15:19

My DS wasn't dry at night until 6 years old.
I used plastic coated fabric washable pants and these were a good compromise. They feel damp but spare the bed a little.
I really think people go for medical intervention too soon over bedwetting.

midori1999 Tue 15-Dec-09 12:17:42

With regard to nappy wearing...

My stepsons mother kept him in nappies until my husband decided to see the GP about it when SS was 7. Stepson is now 13 and still wetting most nights, although is usually dry in the day now.

He has actually recently admitted that sometimes when he wets at night he is awake bt can't be bothered to get out of bed to use the toilet. Personally, I feel his prolonged nappy wearing has made him lazy. Also, and I knwo this sounds awful, but his Mum has spent so much time 'pussy fotting' arond th esubject in order not to upset him, I feel she has 'enabled' his bed wetting. He is still in nappies for holidays etc but Mum insists they are 'pull ups' and not nappies, and he has never been made to feel at all responsible for his bed wetting, just that he can't help it. In all honesty, he just doesn't give a shit that he still wets the bed almost every night.

Do contact ERIC, they are every helpful.

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