Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
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I ended up taking one of my kids to a pediatric urologist over this. I'm not going to say which kid or how old she was -- but it was a lot, lot, older than your kids and she never got the hang of staying dry in the night.
We did the mellow thing for years and years, and I've heard that it works for some children. My DD wasn't one of them. This wasn't a developmental issue for her, so it wasn't something she was going to outgrow.
My DD had medical tests to see if everything inside was working right, and it was. You might want to check into this. Sometimes kids have things wrong that can be corrected, but that wasn't true for her. This was actually tough to set up -- I live in a midsized city and there is exactly ONE pediatric urologist, and he has wait list. No other doctors we talked to even knew what to look for. You might check into setting this up. It *might* be the answer for you, even though it wasn't for us.
The doctor put her on medication that helped her tremendously, and we used it in conjunction with the alarm. Once she was consistently dry, we weaned off the medication.
Her doctor is a big fan of the alarms, and his advice would to USE IT. Yes, you do have control over whether or not it gets used. Your child doesn't need to be happy about all your parenting decisions. Sleep close enough to her that your hear the alarm, and get her up immediately.
Yes, some kids can sleep totally soaked and in wet bedding. Part of the problem is that they don't wake up for anything. Very heavy sleepers are much more likely to have this problem than light sleepers. Part of how the alarm works it that it trains them to wake up. The alarm alone wasn't enough for my DD, but using in combination with drug therapy worked.
I wish that we had addressed this more seriously earlier. She had years of issues about sleepover and camps, and this was never going to get better without taking a hard nose line.
It is miserable to insist on the alarm and deal with this in the middle of the night when you are exhausted and your child is mostly asleep. I get it, I've been there.
May be things aren't to the point yet where you are willing to make this happen. May be if you give it another year or 3 it will happen on its own. May be she'll decide after sleepovers and such that she's willing to do whatever it takes, and be more pro-alarm. (however, this is not necessarily a quick process, so if she decides she wants to be dry for a party in a week, that may not be an option for her.)
Right now, it sounds like your DD thinks this is a joke. I prefer to let my kids make as many of their own choices as possible. I draw the line at things were the natural consequences are larger than I bear to watch them go through. The natural consequences for this are being humiliated in front of her friends, or missing out on things she wants to do.
We waited to take extreme action until it was clear that she was never, ever going to get the hang of it on her own, and she was as desperate for answers as I was, but like I said, I wish we had done something sooner. It was going to be rough for her either way, but she could have had more years of enjoying being dry if we had just done the miserable part sooner.
but everything has pros and cons