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To ask the wise old vipers of Mumsnet for some advice re DD's pants wetting problem.

13 replies

Tallalime · 15/05/2013 20:12

Oddest title I've typed so far Grin

DD is 5, in reception at school.

When she started school she was dry, no problems with accidents etc - though we did have some real problems toilet training her as MIL took it upon herself to train her at 18 months, well before she was ready, and wouldn't stop regardless of how often we asked her to. MIL provided free childcare for us so it was a bit of a rock and a hard place situation Hmm

Anyway by the time she started school we thought things were sorted. She had one or two accidents before easter, coinciding with doing something new and interesting. Understandable.

Since the easter holidays she has had accidents almost every day. Ranging from not quite getting to the loo on time, to full on wee dripping down her legs. It happens at home and at school. When it happens she doesn't tell anyone and eventually her skin gets sore. She also (obviously) smells Sad

We have asked her why it happens and she says she is 'too busy' or 'she forgot to go'.

She doesn't have a UTI and her school assure us there are no problems that they can see in the classroom.

We have tried reward charts, talking to her, ignoring it and getting her to sort herself out (so it takes longer to deal with than it would have done to simply go to the loo). We, and the school remind her to go regularly etc etc. I just don't know what to do. She is otherwise her normal, happy self.

The only change I can think of is that it coincided with her becoming dry at night - and she wakes up at night, gets out of bed and goes to the loo.

I feel awful, as I am started to get frustrated with her, and cross and then she gets upset and promises she will try harder. Then she doesn't. I am also really worried that eventually the children at school will begin to notice and tease her.

I know AIBU isn't necessarily the place for this but I am hoping with the high traffic someone will have been through similar and have some idea's that I haven't thought of on how to help DD.

OP posts:

pigletmania · 15/05/2013 20:21

My friends dd who was 6 at the time was like that. No obvious issues, I think she grew out of it, sorry not very helpful. Do you think there might be bullying at school? I would get her to change herself, and try and get her to cleanup herself


ukatlast · 15/05/2013 21:13

The less fuss you make, the sooner she will 'grow out of it'.


istilllovelassie2 · 15/05/2013 21:32

my daughter did this age 5 - to just after 6. it used to drive me bonkers, she would come home from school with wet pants every day ( not proper wet just half so she had clearly made it at some point but not in time) She used to say she was too busy/ interested to go . We tried charts / encouragement etc but i think in reality she just grew out of it when she realised her friends didnt do it. Even now at 6 and a half she will wait til the VERY last minute and have to be told to go, but she is now dry at least. All I can say is ignore it - and make a big fuss when she manages dry pants. However I know how hard it was as it drove me mad. I think it lasted about 6 months. good luck !


5318008 · 15/05/2013 22:03

Constipation can present as leaky bladder, as it can put pressure on the bladder. That's one thought.

Another is, is she drinking enough through the day? It's a bit counter-intuitive, because omg why would you want her to wee MORE but bear with me - more fluid in, stretch the bladder, increase volume thus holding capacity. Ask teacher to encourage drinks through the schoolday, thrust a sports bottle of water into her hand at pickup.


Catmint · 15/05/2013 22:27

Our dd (6) has recently been through a period of not being dry and not telling anyone. I really sympathise with your frustration, I also felt myself getting cross because I felt dd was not trying. she is one of the older ones in the year and I found myself saying, " Mary doesn't have accidents and she is only five! You are meant to be a big girl...".etc , then hating myself.

We ended up asking the teacher to remind her to go every break time, the lunch staff to remind her to go after pudding, and after school staff to remind her to go on arrival. We also agreed that if she had her hand up to go and wasn't noticed, she could just go.

By getting everybody on board to really focus on the issue, and by offering a power rangers spin sword for 6 dry weeks, we do finally seem to have cracked it. We are lucky that everyone worked with us to get a resolution. Another couple of weeks to go and she will have earned a samurizer, whatever that is Smile but is no longer reminded by all and sundry. So she is independently dry and very proud of being so.

I guess essentially she was supported to break the habit of not going for a wee. We did lots of positive stuff for dry days etc.

Now we just have to find out why she keeps falling over......Hmm


Catmint · 15/05/2013 22:31

Just thinking, dd's school told us they were reminding, but i am convinced it was increasing the frequency of the reminders and getting non teaching staff on board that really made a difference.

I am so grateful to them!


girlwhowearsglasses · 15/05/2013 22:53


I have twin DS1 and 2 in reception. They have been wetting a lot at school all year. It became a big worry for me, not to mention embarrassing (two boys coming out with wet clothes in bags every day). i took them to GP but nothing 'wrong'.

We are at the end of dealing with it, with the very committed and pro-active help of their teacher and TA. They have been wonderful. We went though all the usual solutions, reminding, changing themselves, drinking plenty of water to get bladder aware of being full, etc etc etc. I called ERIC (childhood continence charity) - which I would recommend ( helpline: 0845 3708008

Not helped by Victorian school with toilets across the hall.

What we have was initiated by the teacher (she should patent it - and get a medal): each boy has a 'toilet book' with a photo of the school toilet on it and smiley face. Each day of the week has a form like a reward chart with 'before school' 'morning', 'lunch', 'afternoon' and 'evening'. School fills this in with a smiley sticker for a toilet trip for EVERY space EVERY day. They hand over the books religiously at end of school. I praise the full books in front of teacher. If child has refused to go to toilet, or wet pants, or wet pants and not said so, they don't get sticker. I then take books home, and fill them out for evening and morning before school.

Hand books over in front of children EVERY morning. Phew, exhausting.

They LOVE it. its the only things that has worked - and it worked almost immediately (one or two wet pants between them a week instead of at least one a day). We are trailing it off now after a term as we had a blip after Easter with a school trip straight after a holiday.

Worth a try?


girlwhowearsglasses · 15/05/2013 22:55

Oh and don't let anyone tell you you have to go 'cold turkey' and dry at night before daytime dry - this is not the view of the experts at all - its a different set of hormones and triggers. (try again)


DewDr0p · 15/05/2013 23:03

We had exactly the same problem with ds1. Can't recommend ERIC highly enough. Our GP referred us to a paediatric eneuresis (sp?) clinic - although tbh the school nurse was the best help - she was just brilliant.

The Eric website will explain it all but basically you need to up fluid intake (but not before bed obviously) and implement a schedule of toilet trips (girl your teacher sounds AMAZING) - definitely reward the behaviour you want NOT the *result (ie the drinking and toilet trips rather than dry pants)

Good luck. It took us a while to get there but we did solve it.


JeeanieYuss · 16/05/2013 00:19

Marking place as have same problem with my daughter!


Tallalime · 16/05/2013 00:36

Thank you all Smile

I will definitely give ERIC a call and speak to them. It's also really reassuring to know she is not the only one, and that I am not the only one to find it really frustrating!

There may be something in the not drinking enough too - I suspect she drinks very little during the day. Her water bottle definitely comes home full most of the time, so I will ask her teacher/ta to encourage her to drink more often.

I just really want to get it sorted before she becomes the child who is remembered for wetting her knickers all the time Confused

OP posts:

girlwhowearsglasses · 16/05/2013 00:59

Ooh yes OP, make sure water available all the time. I think this is key in daytime, get bladder full so she knows what that feels like.

Keep trying with ERIC - they are small and helpline is volunteers - you will get through eventually, good luck


musicposy · 16/05/2013 01:23

We had the same problem with DD1. Dry daytimes at just under 3, night at just under 4 (so quite late) and then completely regressed on starting school. Exactly the same as you describe.

School were helpful in infants but when she went into juniors it was a nightmare because they were much stricter over not allowing toilet trips and she would come home wet/ having been wet at some point almost every day.

We were referred to the enuresis clinic and I have to say that although we did endless star charts etc it didn't really make much difference. She was still having daytime trouble up to about age 8 or 9 and was wet at night for a year or two beyond that. I honestly thought she would have to explain to a DP one day that she was not yet reliably dry! It was quite stressful as it was hard to believe she would ever grow out of it, or that there wasn't something really wrong with her. The most stressful bit was that DD2 was very reliably dry in the day at 21 months and at night before 3 - and never had accidents - so it doubly made me feel there was something wrong with DD1.

It took to almost the end of primary school for her to completely grow out of it, but grow out of it she did. Other children never knew, or if they did never said anything. It was only DD2 who would notice and upset her if I wasn't careful.

She's 17 now and I don't think she feels it had any impact on her childhood at all. It bothered me because it worried me; I don't think she was that bothered. She says she didn't like the enuresis clinic and that's the only negative thing she remembers. I'm certainly not at all trying to stop you seeking help - definitely talk to ERIC - but if I could go back we wouldn't have bothered with the clinics. They put pressure on her and me to achieve a result, which looking back, we didn't need.

I don't know if any of this is any help except to say it's very, very common and try to relax over it. She will grow out of it. :)

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