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When to seek help with bed wetting?

(22 Posts)
tickleyourpickle Fri 28-Oct-16 14:22:42

My DS Is 6. He potty trained at 2.5yrs, slow but all good. He does sometimes dribble in the day but it's normally when he is so engrossed in doing something that he doesn't want to miss out on.
Night times however have been a none starter. We wets EVERY night.

He wears nappies but sometimes he even leaks out of these, despite them being a good fit.
I honestly don't think it's anything medical, but he is a very very heavy sleeper. if the fire alarm went off at night it wouldn't wake him.

We have tried everything, every now and again we take the nappies off and he wets the bed, but even lying in his wee doesn't wake him up.
Is it time to take him to the doctors?

I have to say we have never pushed taking the nappies off, he really doesn't want to wear them, and often asks if he can sleep in his undies.

Tiggy78 Fri 28-Oct-16 14:25:50

My ds wet at night until he was 9. DD is 10 now and still wets. We used the alarm with DS and it worked brilliantly. DD is reluctant to use it and I'm not going to force her. She will when she's ready.

I was a bedwetter myself so it must be in the genes. It's very common. Something like 5% of 10 year olds are still not dry at night.

SeasonalVag Fri 28-Oct-16 14:27:04

I've made a conscious decision not to stress this to my 6yo because often it's about the development of vasopressin which is the hormone which is the hormone you need. I went to the docs (alone) and discussed it, doc says he wouldn't worry until he hits 7. Then I'll take him back.

I've never seen the point of taking child to toilet middle of the night. He was a very poor sleeper as a baby and I just don't see what you gain apart from yelling people "oh, he's dry!".

But. Fuck. I just want to be done with nappies!

SeasonalVag Fri 28-Oct-16 14:29:14

I've explained to my son that his body just isn't grown up enough yet. He's not getting bothered by it. Anxiety can make it much worse.

yoink Fri 28-Oct-16 14:37:28

My 9yr old still can't stay dry at night. Their bodies have to produce a hormone that suppresses the bladder at night (or something). So no amount of behavioural intervention is going to change anything; if their body isn't ready, it's not ready.

I think the official advice is to check with gp for no underlying causes, but otherwise it's just a waiting game. This is probably particularly important if a child has regressed in their toileting.

My DS wears pull ups and there's no way I'm going to try to force the issue with him. He's unselfconscious about it and I want it to stay that way. Hell do it when his body is ready.

If he was worried about sleepovers or whatever, I think there are meds they can take at night, but I'd rather not mess with his kidneys if we don't need to.

tickleyourpickle Fri 28-Oct-16 14:38:55

Thank you,
We have never made an issue out of it as know that's not going to help him.

His sister is 2.5 and she came out of nappies at 2 and has been dry day and night ever since, wasn't expecting that! But he knows DD doesn't wear nappies and gets upset that he has to.

We've tried to wake him at night to go to the toilet but he doesn't fully wake up, it's like he is sleep walking, it just seems so cruel, and mostly doesn't work.

I know it's all about developing a hormone, and clearly his is not ready, I just feel so bad for him as he really doesn't want to wear them.

The alarm thing would be great, but it wouldn't wake him, I've never know a child to sleep as heavy as he does!!

SeasonalVag Fri 28-Oct-16 14:48:44

But the alarm wakes you when you've already wet the sheet! I'd certainly wet myself in fright if that went off! I dont know how that would work apart from sending you to bed anxious like you get with poor sleepers.

honkawonka Fri 28-Oct-16 14:51:42

Nocturnal enuresis is really common I think, I suffered with it (and I mean suffered ) until I was much much older. Then one day it just stopped and I never looked back. The key thing is to not punish for wetting, make it into a small deal. Good luck with it.

Tiggy78 Fri 28-Oct-16 15:02:51

The alarm also vibrates - that helps a lot with the waking up! My DS is a deep sleeper too and I had my doubts about it but it worked in less than 2 weeks for him. The thing with the alarm is it's very sensitive and the child wakes just as they start to pee and can finish the job in the loo. It trains the brain to recognise the full bladder signal. It doesn't work for everyone but I found it good for DS. When DD feels ready to use it I'm hoping it'll work as well for her.

rizkhanjr Fri 28-Oct-16 22:24:05

Try bedwetting alarms to stop primary nocturnal enuresis. A great resource and website for purchasing a bedwetting alarm is -
They have a alarm selector tool which can tell you whats best for your child.

AhNowTed Fri 28-Oct-16 22:35:02


I feel for you. I'm afraid there's nothing you can do. He will grow out of it eventually, it's just a case of when.

My poor mother.. I wet the bed almost every night till I was 12.

I woke up every night in the early hours wet and cold, took off my pyjamas and got in beside my warm mum.

Every night she sleep walked me to the loo but it made no difference.

She was an angel and never made a fuss.

My only advice is to invest in a rubber sheet (plastic is no good).

We took it on holidays with us.

I was a very heavy sleeper with a weak bladder.. I had no idea I was doing it.

No amount of coloured diaries made the blindest of difference.

Hopefully your DC will grow out of it sooner rather than later

onelittleclara Fri 28-Oct-16 22:45:36

DS1 was wet at night til 9. DS2 is 8 and still wet at night and DD1 is 5 and wet at night too. We went to the enuresis clinic with DS1 at 8 and they gave him the sleep alarm. It was great at waking us up, but he slept through it 😒. It just takes time, patience and a lot of bed changing. DS2 manages to pee through pull-ups and goodness what he does to the incontinence sheet as he often manages to get the mattress too.

LittleCandle Fri 28-Oct-16 22:50:38

If there are urine infections to go along with the wet nights, then see the doctor now. If not, you can safely wait another year. DD1 had terrible UTIs and I was told repeatedly that there was no problem. I had a terrible time potty training as she was unaware of when she needed and could sit on the toilet with a tap running without a single drop passing! When she was 12(!) the doctor finally referred her and as I had suspected, she had no nerve endings in her bladder. She wet the bed right into her late teens. It was less of a problem, but then she had a baby and has to be very careful.

SwearyInn Fri 28-Oct-16 22:54:50

My 7.5 year old was referred to an enuresis clinic by my GP. We were given an alarm and a smiley face chart. He was an incredibly deep sleeper and for first couple of weeks he slept through alarm (we moved him into our room so we could deal with quickly. The two things that really helped were (1) making him go to loo 2-3 time before bed eg once as soon as upstairs, once as soon asin PJs and once after story and (2) visualisation: we would hold hands and shut eyes just before bedtime and imagine the alarm going off - and then imagine getting up and walking to toilet. It may have been a coincidence but as soon as we started these two steps he basically became dry.

But I definitely recommend seeing your GP
Once he's 7and getting an enuresis clinic referral - it's NOT just a case of wait and see.

Only1scoop Fri 28-Oct-16 22:58:28

Dd is 6.5 perfectly dry In the day since 2 but nights a different matter, she has been in night pants until Three weeks ago we bought an alarm and it's working a treat. Think she'll be dry on her own by next week.
Good luck

PinkSwimGoggles Fri 28-Oct-16 22:59:24

agree with pp about 'double toilet' as bedtime routine.
dc goes before teeth brushing and then again after stories.
also drinking: is he drinking enough during the day? if dc doesn't the bed gets wet.
last drink with dinner, one hour or so before bed time.

Jojay Fri 28-Oct-16 23:15:37

My DS was referred to an enuresis clinic at 7, and after ruling out infections etc they gave him the alarm.

I was very cynical about it working and as predicted it woke up everyone except DS for the first week or two.

But we stuck with it and after a month or so he was dry. I couldn't believe it and never thought it would work, but it did.

As a pp said, you don't have to simply wait it out - there are things you can do to help.

Tiggy78 Fri 28-Oct-16 23:46:11

Generally you have to wait until they're 7 before the doctor will do anything though (that's what happened with us - we're in ireland though might be different in the uk)

SeasonalVag Sat 29-Oct-16 07:33:27

This is really sis had the same problem until she was 11(!) And the alarm used to only wake her after she'd wet the bed, so shed be cold wet and shocked. I might consider it though if its helped others.

vjg13 Sat 29-Oct-16 09:28:47

Using a combination of alarm and Desmomelts worked within 2 weeks for my daughter who has severe learning difficulties. I found the nurse at the clinic pretty useless but she did get my GP to prescribe Desmomelts. Started with the full dose and then reduced every other night. It was a very stressful 2 weeks (should have been off work really!) but it worked amazingly. We were referred at 7. I would definitely try an alarm OP.

tickleyourpickle Sat 29-Oct-16 11:37:48

Thanks everyone, reassuring to hear other experience.
I will invest in an alarm, I've seen them on the ERIC website.

I've read up a lot about it and realise it can't be helped, and I honestly wouldn't be bothered about it too much (apart from the endless washing as he even wees through the pull up some nights) but it is starting to upset him as he knows his little sister doesn't wear nappies.
Ive told him his body just isn't ready just yet.

Only1scoop Sat 29-Oct-16 12:19:20

We bought the Dr Madre one on Amazon it was half price under 40 pounds, their customer service and follow ups have been fantastic....would recommend.
Good luck

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