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Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Night wetting

(22 Posts)
Indith Sun 10-Feb-13 16:48:38

My ds kicked the nappies at 5 and a half so just a few months younger than your ds.

I don't believe it is considered a medical problem until 7 but perhaps ask the school nurse for advice, that is the sort of thing she is there for.

My ds1 is a very heavy sleeper and used to wee for England at night. I'm not keen on lifting them as I think it encourages weeing in their sleep but we actually used to have to lift him otherwise he'd fill the nappy then keep weeing and leak out of it. We'd find him all soggy and cold in a soaking, freezing wet bed but he'd still be fast asleep! Then all of a sudden his body must have started producing the right hormone and he was dry AND he wakes up if he needs a wee.

movicolisfab Sun 10-Feb-13 16:37:39

Not sure if anyone has mentioned this but night wetting is one of the symptoms of chronic constipation/impaction. Unlikely to be the case here as you make no mention of any day time issues but many people presume it is not connected.

However many children with day wetting and or night wetting are cured when the impaction is cleared as there is no pressure on the bladder.

AllOverIt Wed 06-Feb-13 20:17:06

No advice but in exactly the same position as you, OP. DS is 6 and he's flooded his nappy every night of his life.

That information is interesting about the different reasons. DS is a very deep sleeper. Waking him for a wee at 10 is just too traumatic for him. It's hard enough doing it when he has to take medicine.

I'm also going to up his fluids in the day to strengthen his bladder.

Good luck. DD is 3.5 and we're night training her at the moment. Both mine have been awful at potty training sad but they are perfect in every other way wink grin

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 20:05:12

That's interesting as his nappy is very wet in the morning - that suggests it is hormonal.

Dd has gone to bed without a nappy tonight and he seemed ok about it. We had a chat about how different people do things at different times. We will see!

northender Wed 06-Feb-13 14:36:16

This is a post from Sidge in 2009 in response to a similar OP

There tends to be a few possible reasons for the nightime wetting - a low level of a hormone we all start to make from the age of about 3 can mean that the kidneys make as much wee at night as they do in the day, so the bladder can't hold it all and the child wets. You can get a tablet form of this hormone from the GP/paediatrician (don't use the spray, it's awful having something squirted up your nose!) - the GP can prescribe DesmoMelt which is a melt tablet so just dissolves under the tongue. This is usually indicated where the child is still producing gallons of wee, often early on in the evening - the parent will check the child before they go to bed and find that s/he has wet.

Another reason for night time wetting is a lack of arousal - this is when the child just doesn't wake when they wee, even when they are soaking wet. Pull-ups don't help this as they keep the child so dry and comfy, so they don't get a message to the brain saying oy, wake up, you're wet. A way to try and increase arousability is to remove the pull-ups, protect the bed with waterproof stuff and see if they start waking when they wet the bed. If they don't this is when you can try an alarm. These can be body worn, or a mat, which go off (loudly!) when the child wets. The idea is that the child gets up, goes to the loo to finish weeing and then changes the bed and PJs. After a while the brain gets a stronger signal that they need to wee and starts waking them when they need to go, not that they have already been. A bit like you waking up every day a few minutes before your alarm goes off.

Lifting doesn't help as it reinforces the 'wee whilst asleep' message to the brain, as children rarely wake up properly when they are lifted.

The most important thing in helping night time dryness is bladder training; the bladder is a muscly bag and like any muscle gets stronger if given a workout. A strong toned bladder can hold more wee than a weak flabby one, and so can usually hold enough wee to last overnight or send a stronger message to the brain to wake up when full. To train the bladder and give it a workout it needs filling and emptying regularly, so encourage 6-8 good sized drinks a day (ie about 250ml) and aim to have most fluids during the core of the day so from breakfast time to dinner time, tailing off and stopping an hour before bedtime. The child should aim to wee every 2-3 hours and not hold on until bursting. This regular filling and emptying strengthens and tones the muscles.

Avoid red and brown drinks, so coke, hot chocolate, berry drinks (Ribena, apple and blackcurrant etc) and tea and coffee; they are all diuretics (make you wee) and in many children blackcurrant irritates the bladder.

A good website is Eric.

a link to the website mentioned above

steppemum Wed 06-Feb-13 14:13:41

I second the layers of waterproof sheets and top sheet, so in the night you can whip off one layer and the clean one is already underneath.

Sonds like he isn't quite ready for that yet though

steppemum Wed 06-Feb-13 14:12:29

everybody - please don't blame yourself. This is not a parenting issue, something in him just isn't ready.

Do you use the pyjama pants? They look more grown up and you can tell him they are not nappies, they are specially for older kids who need a little bit of help. If fact they sell them because lots of kids need them - hopefully that will help with embarrassment

SensibleMufti Wed 06-Feb-13 13:34:38

Nothing to do with early potty training. Easy to blame yourself, though there is no need to. It is remarkably common, but nobody talks about it.

thanks thanks

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 13:29:08

Thanks northender - I will have a look tonight and also have a look at the monitors and a waterproof duvet cover!!

Mufti - we are very careful not to mention it and let him dispose of his nappy himself. He is obviously happy to tell us if it is dry though!

Someone told me it was because I potty trained him before he was ready and I guess I feel guilty, even if I know it's irrational!!

You have all been very helpful and understanding which I haven't had much of in real life!!

SensibleMufti Wed 06-Feb-13 13:20:35

OP, it might go on for years. My DS was 16 before he was reliably dry.

Try another GP. My DS was about 6 when we first started on all this. One of his older sisters had a similar problem, but was dry at 10.

It really is NOT a parenting problem, nor is it behavioural. My DS too is a sensitive soul. Please don't try the humiliation that someone suggested.

Make sure that you have easy-to-wash bedding ie waterproof mattress cover, also two thin duvets (rather than one thick unwashable one). Be matter-of-fact about it. Don't be angry.

When he goes away for sleepovers or scout camp, send him with pull-ups. He will work out a way to be discreet about it.

northender Wed 06-Feb-13 13:20:14

This is the most recent thread I started. Hope it's helpful.

northender Wed 06-Feb-13 13:13:58

I've taken so much good advice from MN on this over the last couple of years as dd was just the same and has an older brother who was dry at night aged 2. I didn't take her to the Gp as I really didn't want to medicalise it for her. We bought an alarm and some sheets on recommendations from mnetters. It took a while but she is now dry and has been for about 5/6 months (since she was 7 1/2). I'll try to link to a recent thread i started. Really, don't worry smile. If you do a search you should find lots of good advice. sidge I found always to have great advice.

Hope that helps

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 13:06:22

He is still in nappies. Last year he went ten days dry and then I took the nappies away and he wet the bed three nights in a row. He found it really distressing so we went back to the nappies. Weve not had a run of dry nappies like that since.

The worst part is that it is obviously stressing him (he is a sensitive soul) and we have left his sister in night nappies because of it. However it's not really fair on her and she doesn't really like wearing them.

I'm sure it must be hormonal with him. I just have so many people telling me it's behavioural. I know they don't mean it but it can be hurtful when someone makes out ds is lying or is lazy. Someone even suggested I should try humiliation!!!!

LurcioLovesFrankie Wed 06-Feb-13 12:50:00

Night time bed wetting is actually controlled by hormones (as explained to me by the paediatrician in hospital when DS was catheterised following an op), so there's nothing you can do to "train" your child - it will happen when their body starts releasing the relevant hormones. My understanding is that the age at which this happens varies enormously, it's not uncommon for 6 year olds to still be wetting the bed, and about half of 5 year olds still wet the bed once a week (though it's an enormous amount of hard work for the parents - one of my friends regularly has to wash duvets). I think (from what I've read) that the NHS don't treat children till they've reached the age of 7, because up to this age it's just not seen as medically abnormal.

I'd look into coping strategies - e.g. 2nd sheet with waterproof layer underneath, so in the middle of the night you just strip off the wet layer and hey-presto, ready made up bed underneath (of course, this isn't as easy if they've wee-ed on the duvet as well).

BlipbipBeep Wed 06-Feb-13 12:43:34

My Older DS wet the bed with decreasing frequency till he was 9 or 10 We tried lifting him initially but it didn't work. He didn't wear nappies from about the age of three and some times could go weeks being dry only to start wetting again. We also tried an alarm which was OK but the transmitter caused the most horrible bruise on his hip blush.

I never went to the GP, it just didn't occur to me, and in the end he just grew out of it.

So no advise really except try another GP? And it is a very common problem

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 11:58:23

Thanks to both of yo

You are right that I should bite the bullet and try and see the other gp this time!

jennymac Wed 06-Feb-13 11:44:48

A couple of friends are going through the same thing with their ds's. One is around the age of your ds and another is a couple of years older. Both have seen their GPs and one was fitting recently with a bed wetting alarm (not sure how that is going). Seems to be more common with boys. Maybe you could see a different GP in the surgery if yours isn't taking it too seriously. Not very helpful to dismiss it as a parenting problem is it?!

steppemum Wed 06-Feb-13 11:36:10

you said he had wet before you lifted him, then it isn't an overfull bladder (he would wet later in the night/early morning)

I would talk to the gp.. There are nurses who specialize in this, not sure where or what called, maybe ask for a referral to one?

I had a friend years ago whose son was wet until about 9 or 10, they were living overseas where there was no help. It isn't taht unusual, but very distressing for the child once they are aware.

Hope gp is more help this time.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 11:20:44

Thank you for replying. Perhaps the deep sleep is the issue then. We have tried lifting and it doesn't work - he either wees before so it's too late or he doesn't empty his bladder when we lift and he just does a smaller wee.

He's not a big drinker so we have tried increasing his water intake during the day but this hasn't worked and was made harder as he is at school all day so not sure how much he drinks.

My gp was so dismissive last time (basically said it was up to me to force him to be dry) that I am a bit nervous! I think you are right that I should go on my own as ds is starting to get upset about it.

steppemum Wed 06-Feb-13 10:57:12

my ds drinks loads and sleeps deep and hard. His bladder was just full, and couldn't make it until morning and he slept too deeply to be woken by the need to wee.

With ds (although he was younger) we lifted him at 10-11, woke him up enough to walk to the loo, and he emptied his bladder.
I know some people don't agree with this for different reasons, but in our case we just felt that as he drank so much, he couldn't last til morning.

I drink a lot too, and I wouldn't be able to go from 7pm to 7 am without a wee.

So I wonder if that might be a first move?
Also, don't restrict his fluids. I understand the last drink with dinner, we sort of do that too, but if you restrict their fluids, then their wee is stronger and irritates the bladder and then they have to wee.

If lifting doesn't work I would certainly go to your gp. It might be worth you going in on your own and explaining the problem, and see what she/he says.

EverybodysSnowyEyed Wed 06-Feb-13 10:35:20


EverybodysSnowyEyed Tue 05-Feb-13 22:52:36

DS is just about to turn 6 and is still not dry at night. he very rarely has a dry nappy in the morning.

He is a very good sleeper - bed at 7.30 - falls asleep almost immediately and wakes 12 hours later. I guess he is a deep sleeper too.

He has his last drink with his dinner at 5.

He is starting to get upset about it, especially as his 2 year old sister has been dry at night since she came out of nappies during the day.

Should I take him to the GP or is there something else I could try?

I mentioned it in passing to my GP a few months back (we were there about another issue with DS) and he told us it was a parenting problem

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