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Help please, 6 year old not dry at night

(29 Posts)
Northernlassie1974 Mon 17-Apr-17 13:22:56

My 6 year old daughter has never been dry at night.
Now, I'm well aware that a hormone needs to kick in and haven't been overly worried as I was advised nothing could be done until she's 7 if she's still wetting. I don't want to make an issue of it with her.
In truth, she's not all that bothered about it. We've tried a few times, tried it in different ways, no drinks after 5, lifting to go to the toilet when asleep, making sure she we'd before bed, doing nothing differently etc etc.
She has always been a brilliant sleeper and just is in such a deep sleep she doesn't wake.
However, I'm becoming increasingly unsure that she isn't waking to go. If her pull up is on, she doesn't go to the toilet she just wees in it. We don't put it on her until she's getting into bed (otherwise she'd just wee in it despite being downstairs etc)
I've been having to change her bedding as there are yellow patches many mornings and her nappy is sodden. It's the holidays and she's been awake later, coming downstairs, sometime watching a bit of TV like britains got talent as a treat etc. I'm convinced that she is not trying to be dry at night and is just enjoying the 'convenience' of wearing the pull up.
Anyway, I'm contemplating just taking it off her and persevering (for at least a fortnight) until she goes to the toilet in the night time.
However, it goes against everything I was thinking, I.e she just isn't ready and the hormone can't have kicked in, just wait until she wants to etc etc
I'm more than happy to just continue as we are, but don't want to be inactive on the subject either.
Anyway, I'm waffling, but any advice from anyone in a similar situation/has been etc.
Last thing I want to do is upset her or disrupt her sleeping, however, im also worried that she is able to and just doesn't want to!
I spoke to her about if earlier and showed her her sheets and she said 'in the night it's dark and I don't want to go' I've said we'll turn landing, hall and bathroom light on. She then said 'I don't want to have to flush it in the night because it's scary,' so we've said she doesn't need to flush it, just wipe and back to bed. She seems happy with this, but don't know if I should just leave it as not sure she'll even be able to if she tries and will result in her being upset!

Argh, help! Anyone, any advice???

Northernlassie1974 Mon 17-Apr-17 19:36:17


terrifictoddlers Tue 18-Apr-17 20:35:14

No advice I'm afraid! Sorry sad But my ds, age 5, is exactly the same!! He loves his nappy at night and thinks everyone should wear one!!! He can't see the point in using the toilet at night which requires getting out of bed! when I suggest pants, he comes right back at me suggesting I, and everyone else in the world, should follow his advice instead! and embrace the nappy!! (Aaagggghh!!) wink

squiggleirl Tue 18-Apr-17 20:47:43

DS wasn't dry at night until he was 7.5. We followed our GPs advice, and it worked well for us. Advice was this:

- No pull-ups/nappies/anything like that
- Waterproof matress cover and mats on the bed
- Cheap mattress and pillows taht could be washed and dried quickly
- Check DS every hour during the night, to work out when he was weeing. We pretty quickly worked out the critical times were 11pm, 2am and 4am.
- Set our alarm for 30 minutes before we knew he'd wet himself, and get DS up and bring him to the bathroom. GP recommended not waking him, and just carrying him/coaxing him to walk to the bathroom.
- Never reprimand a child for wetting themselves or discuss accidents the following morning.
- Never get the child to help clean bed etc.
- No restricting drinks, as it only encourages discussing wetting etc.

The GPs advice was to make it all as stress-free as possible for the child, but not to give them any feeling that they could rely on a nappy/pull up.

Very quickly DS stopped waking at 2am, as when we got him up around 10.30, he fully emptied his bladder, and didn't need to go again at 2am.

We found DS eventually started getting up for his 4am wee, as he'd had better sleep and the need to wee was able to wake him a he wasn't in such a deep sleep at that point. The 11pm wee was the very last one to go. He used to be so tired, he'd just pass out and not be able to wake up.

It ended up being very stress-free for us when we followed the GPs advice, and DS was none the wiser.

squiggleirl Tue 18-Apr-17 20:48:46

Sorry that should be cheap duvet and pillows. No idea how you'd fit a mattress in a washing machine!

MsJuniper Wed 19-Apr-17 09:21:35

Squiggle girl how long did it take and did your DS stop weeing at night or start waking himself when he needed to go?

We're on week 2 with a very deep sleeper and doing basically what you describe. DS did say he wanted to stop wearing a nappy at night but hates us getting him up in the night.

Sympathy to all going through this!

Northernlassie1974 Thu 20-Apr-17 00:47:55

Thank you everyone!
My internet hasn't been working (don't get me started on Talk Talk!!!)
Wow, that GP advice sounds interesting but extremely tiring for everyone! How did you cope with work etc having to get up every hour at night?
Not saying I wouldn't try it, just a bit shocked at the commitment needed for that, well done you for sticking with it.
I've read so many conflicting ways of doing it I just don't know anymore what to do, feel like it's rubbish and I've failed at toilet training!
As an update, I left her with no nappy on, put nothing on her bottom half and put a pad and towel on the bed. I put her on the toilet at midnight (off work on Easter hold so am up later than usual) took ages to wake her (again, id read some saying to wake some saying not to wake, last time I didn't so thought I'd make her aware this time) she did a wee, was straight back to sleep.
She woke at 9am (only because her little sister woke her) and she was wet. The wetness hadn't woken her. She didn't like being wet and was a bit upset and said she wanted to wear a nappy again that night.
I didn't really know what to do, don't want to make it a big distressing issue for her, so just said that was fine.
Any more advice gratefully received. I don't want to create a big issue or distress her if she just isn't ready, but don't want to 'let' her continue wearing nappies if I shouldn't be!!!!
For the record I'm a very strict parent and I don't pander to my children ever, in this case if I need to be tough and just tell her she's not wearing one I will. However, not convinced that would be a good approach to this!

Downyonder Thu 20-Apr-17 01:25:42

My daughter was the same. In the end I just took the pull ups off, used a waterproof protecter covered with a towel, had spare bedding at the ready and persevered. It felt like a lifetime but in fact was only about 8 nights and then she was dry. Good luck with whatever you decide to do xx

MsJuniper Thu 20-Apr-17 10:52:44

Northern I agree with you about not making a big issue but I would try again if you can but an earlier wake up time.

We are doing a loo visit around 11pm and then waking up around 7am which is having around 80% success rate. If it was less, I would try another loo visit in the night for a few nights - no fun but it might build confidence at least.

Itscurtainsforyou Thu 20-Apr-17 11:02:27

My 6 year old wets the bed most nights. We gave up on night time pants/nappies about 2 years ago as he was weeing right through them. We tried taking him to the toilet around midnight but it made no difference.

We have a fleece blanket, then waterproof sheet, then regular sheet on the bed. Normally that's enough to protect the mattress. We often need to change/wash the duvet too.

We wash most days. It's a hard slog on top of regular washing, working full time etc. He gets upset when he's wet, his skin gets irritated by the urine, so we're treating that too. I agree that if you suspect she's being lazy you need to get her out of nappies. It's not doing her any favours.

We're waiting for an appointment at the incontinence clinic (3 month wait) and hoping that, as we've tried all the suggestions from gp (and on the appointment letter) that they'll give him the meds to stop him producing urine at night.

My nephew still wets the bed at 14 unless he takes the meds.

Northernlassie1974 Thu 20-Apr-17 19:04:57

Thanks everyone,
Today, her 3 year old sister fell asleep in the car then woke up after ten minutes and said she needed a wee. We were driving so it took about 15 mins to get to a toilet. I was convinced she would be wet, but she wasn't and held it until we got there. I made a fuss of her saying that she was a good girl for waking to go and we could try not wearing pull ups. 6 year old got upset (I feel bad for being insensitive but she's been so blasé about the whole thing I honestly didn't think it would be an issue to her!) she said it made her sad that dd2 wouldn't be wearing a nappy and she would, so she wants to try again tonight. As she's keen I think I'll just go with it. I take the point of more often going to the loo, I may set the alarm to get her up earlier and see how that goes (normally she'd be awake at 7 but as it's the holidays it's been later)
Thank you all, all I read is that you try when they wake with a dry nappy so didn't know if I could do it just by 'training' her body to wake, but it sounds like it is something I can do! I'm also going to do the youngest....if I'm up to get the eldest to the loo I may as well!!!! I'm encouraged she defo woke today solely because she needed the loo (we had been out all day and she was shattered, she would normally have been out for the count for the whole journey!)
Thank you for all of the advice, cross your fingers for me!

BoysRule Thu 20-Apr-17 19:18:57

DS, nearly 8, isn't dry at night. We went to the GP when he was 7 and she said the only thing that we could do was an alarm. We really didn't like the sound of it so haven't done it - basically it detects wet and sounds an alarm. DS is a very deep sleeper so it would need to be incredibly loud to wake him and by then he would have wet the bed. She said it can take 6 -18 months to programme the brain to wake up to wee.

We discovered that he drinks very little during the day and also wees very little during the day (once). He doesn't like asking to go to the toilet at school or asking for a drink.

In the holidays and at weekends I monitor him going to the toilet and having a drink every two hours. This has resulted in around 10 dry nights and does work most of the time. In the summer holidays I will ditch the pull ups and see if we can get it cracked.

I'm not sure if that's any help. We're really hoping we can crack it before he is 8.

lorisparkle Thu 20-Apr-17 19:31:25

Being wet at night is very very normal at 7 or even 8. In ds1's class I knew of 3 other children who were still wet at night in his class when he was 8 so there was probably more. If you look at the ERIC website you will find lots of useful information. We went through everything with the support of GP then school nurse then specialist continence nurse. We tried all the normal advice then tablets then Eventually at 10 years old the bed alarm worked.

The general advice is things like 7 big drinks a day, no black currant or caffeine drinks, no drinks 2 hours before bed, not lifting at night, two wees at bedtime, helping you strip the bed, no punishments .

It is a genetic thing and also linked to deep sleepers and not drinking enough during the day.

I really must tackle ds3's bed wetting but have not got the energy!

lorisparkle Thu 20-Apr-17 19:37:54

Just to say I am really surprised with the advise about taking them to the toilet at night we were told that if they didn't wake up then you were effectively teaching them to wee in their sleep I am also really surprised with the GP saying that there is no other option than an alarm. Desmopressin is a commonly used medicine given to children to replace the hormone they are not yet producing.

AppleAndBlackberry Thu 20-Apr-17 19:52:15

I think my 6 year old is lazy and wees while she's still awake too, but I also think she's still weeing in her sleep as I try her every now and then without one. I didn't do anything actively to get my older child out of nappies apart from encouraging more drinking in the day, which the health visitor recommended. She was dry at around 7.5. We both work and neither of us liked the idea of changing wet sheets in the middle of the night so we just stuck with pull ups until they were dry for 2 weeks in a row.

Northernlassie1974 Thu 20-Apr-17 23:40:17

Thanks guys!
I've done so much research, looked at ERIC, spoken to school nurse, tried upping drinks (to be fair, this is really hard to monitor when in school, she is so busy she doesn't seem interested and her teacher really is trying but some days she comes home with a full water bottle)
I agree, I read so much about not lifting at night for that reason, the other night I made sure she was awake but it felt cruel! I'm going to do it tonight but not sure if it's right or not!
Hate the sound of bed alarm too, very few good reviews of it being successful when I've been researching!
I'm hoping we get somewhere tonight, wish us luck!

littleoldladywho Thu 20-Apr-17 23:52:43

Dd1 was completely dry within two weeks of using enuresis alarm. They are utterly brilliant if the child's issue is deep sleeping rather than hormone in and of itself. She was 7 or 8 when we tried it, can't remember which. But it was truly brilliant. Of course, the first few times you are the one that wakes up, not the child, so you then get to rouse them completely.
Please don't do any of this sleepwalking or carrying to the toilet. You are teaching your kid to pee during sleep, really not sensible when that is exactly what you are trying to stop them doing. I would suggest that the people who have had 'success' with this method past 7 have coincidentally had kids who have matured and started producing the hormone during the course of the lifting.

Bed wetting is either due to non production of the hormone or too deep sleeping (ie they don't wake if they do need to go) or a combination of the two. I've had one deep sleeper (who we used the alarm for and was dry within two weeks and has never had an accident since). I also have one who is 15 now and probably both deep sleep and no hormone. He still occasionally bed wets. He unfortunately won't tolerate the alarm (he severs the wires with his nails or disconnects it - theoretically during sleep, but y'know) and won't go to the doc to get Desmo. He took it for a while much earlier until the doc decided he should trial without again.

I'm a big fan of both Desmo and the alarms, depending on what the issue is. No point being miserable about it. Enuresis clinic at 7 and should be easily sorted. There is a lot of measuring of pee and all sorts with the clinic, but they may well just decide to recommend one or the other.

leccybill Fri 21-Apr-17 00:03:32

No advice, you seem to have it sorted but just sympathy. DD was only reliably dry at 7 and it was hard going at times.
We did use the continence service and DD's teacher helped enormously as she'd been through it with her own. Reminding DD to drink through the day etc.

DrMadelineMaxwell Fri 21-Apr-17 00:10:29

DD1 wasn't reliably dry until she was 13! Poor thing. She was mortified, especially when DD2 was dry at night from the moment she was dry in the day and couldn't understand why her big sister still needed pyjama pants.

We brought it up with the GP at about 7, but were told it wasn't really a concern until she was about 9. When we went back at 9 she was referred.

They weren't much use. Lots of advice.... no liquids after 6pm (difficult when they are 11,12 etc and not going to bed til gone 9pm). No dark drinks, no acidic drinks, no milk (too salty) in the afternoons.

Then they prescribed medication, which meant she was dry one or two nights a week rather than none, but we didn't deem that a big enough improvement to have to be taking medication daily so she stopped.

Our lovely GP told her that it would come with time and it did. I wish she'd found it easier, because she was embarrassed about it. And I'm sure it put her off sleepovers. She got very good at just getting up, stripping her bed and putting them to soak in the bath. Bless her. But it was a relief when she was finally dry.

As far as the bedwetting alarms.... we got one and it woke the whole house. In fact it probably woke our elderly and quite deaf neighbour it was so loud - it was painful to get near her to switch it off. But she slept through it! So that went in the bin.

weasle Fri 21-Apr-17 07:16:36

Alarm didn't work for my DS either. He had desmopressin and it worked v well. He had it for six months and now is about six months off it and still dry. He's 9.5yrs. Younger DS was dry at night from before 3.
They get there in the end but it's a lot of washing! At least we have a washing machine. We found brolly sheets v good as often didn't need to change whole bed.

Northernlassie1974 Fri 21-Apr-17 11:36:54

I will look into brolly sheets, haven't heard of them!
An update, eldest woke up for the first one ever dry!!!!! I'm not counting my chickens as I put her on the loo at midnight (made sure she was awake so as she wasn't doing it in her sleep) then she woke at 4 and came in saying she was scared. I took her to the toilet (she didn't go of her own accord) and then she went back off and woke up dry. Not convinced we've had a break through but am definitely continuing tonight! Youngest woke up wet! However, I checked on her at 4am when the eldest woke and she was dry. I ummed and ahhhed about waking her and putting her on the loo, but as was the first time for her I wanted to see if she could do it herself.
Will try again tonight!
Thanks All for the encouragment!

Northernlassie1974 Sat 22-Apr-17 07:41:18

Both girls have woken up dry! The youngest came in to our room and said 'no wee wee in my bedand got in the toilet. Woke the eldest up....and she was dry too!
I've ordered brolly sheets and am just going for it now!
Thanks everyone, can't believe in two days we're here! I know it could regress, but this is massive progress, particularly for the eldest as she's never been near it!!!!

Christobel51 Sat 22-Apr-17 08:17:36

Great news Northern, long may it continue. I could have written your op. My daughter is very nearly 6 and still in pull ups. I've tried every now and then, or when she has asked not to wear pull ups but there is no consistency of being dry so she s gone back to wearing them every day. I was hoping it would just resolve itself but from some of these posters, they seem to suggest it could go on past 7, 8, 9 or longer!! Not what I wanted to hear! Her sister has been dry since 3 and doesn't wear pull ups but it doesn't seem to bother the eldest. In fact, she seems almost proud of telling people that she wears pull ups as she sleeps so soundly. ( if it comes up in conversation,she doesn't just randomly tell people!) I'm loathe to start lifting her as I agree that if they are asleep , then effectively they are wee ing in their sleep. She also sleeps on a mid sleeper so getting her off that would be tricky and the idea of checking them every hour fills me with dread. shock I know it would hopefully be short term pain, for long term gain but still!!!! It would be useful I suppose to know when she wee s, so maybe I will try it. I'm also 20 weeks pregnant and need my sleep!! It's so hard isn't it? I suppose I just hoped it would resolve itself but it hasn't!! Good luck everyonesmile

reallyanotherone Sat 22-Apr-17 08:23:03

Fwiw both of mine were exactly the same until nearly 7.

I did nothing, they both woke up dry in day and never wet from then on. No sleepless nights, no loads of washing.

I don't believe you can "train"'dryness at night. Or not without a lot of work, washing and lack of sleep, and theyprobably get it when they get it anyway. I am far too lazy for all that.

reallyanotherone Sat 22-Apr-17 08:23:37

one day...

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