Bed-wetting support/advice needed! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 07-30-2014, 10:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Bed-wetting support/advice needed!

My about to be 7 year old daughter has never been dry one night since birth. She sleep very soundly and doesn't even notice the need to pee or rouse when she wets herself.

We started focusing on trying to get this to stop when she was just turning 5. That consisted of getting her up to pee several times a night for one month. We did have one 'dry' night but that was with our intervention. We tried rewards and didn't scold her. We eventually 'gave up' saying it just wasn't her time and she's worn pullups ever sense.

We do have family history of wetting. Not my husband or I but my brother and cousins. etc. She seems to have a small bladder and although as she's aged she can hold for longer - when she feels the need to go she gets VERY antsy to go.

There are times when she will pee in her pullup even when awake as we're reading stories before bed. That really bothers me and she just laughs it off. It has only been until very recently that when I notice that I think she is peeing before asleep, that I say go use the bathroom and she goes. But I don't know that we're helping her by continuing the pullups.

So, we've been talking about moving her to her own room (she currently shares with her 4.5 yo sister btw who also is in pullups) and she starts public school this year - she's really maturing in many ways and is excited about this and we want to work on the bedwetting.

So we just bought an alarm with vibration. We used in one night (monday) and she didn't budge when it went off two times. After the second time she wanted it removed and I complied as I don't want her to develop anxiety over the alarm and hate it. I want all of us to see it as a tool. Last night, she didn't want to use the alarm at all. We tried to talk about it, encourage it (she seemed somewhat open-minded to just the vibration), but ended up just not wanting to use it. We said okay but said no pullups. We offered to take her to pee.

So, we did just that - at least 3 times last night. She was dry when we went time 1 and 2 then wet time 3 and changed then wet in the morning.

I know we need to be patient and I just need encouragement, advice, direction,etc. but I do have a few questions.

Is our approach right in ending the use of pullups? We cloth diapered and she was fully day trained by 2.

Do other kids that wet sleep in underwear? Is that what most do at a certain age - just deal with the wet sheets?

Is our approach with the alarm okay? I see that people use it (I suppose b/c it's not specifically stated) everynight for weeks and weeks until it works. But she didn't like it after day one. I can't force her to do it. Is it okay to gradually work into the alarm?

In essence I want to get feedback on having her sleep in underwear with or without the alarm - pullups should stop right? then I guess someday...even a year from now...the thought is she'll just stop wetting?

Thanks for reading this novel of a post!
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#2 of 13 Old 07-30-2014, 04:48 PM
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Well, aside from the fact that my DD is 4.5, I could have written a lot of your post. We're making our first foray into night-time training right now, and I'm just not sure it's worth it to deal with all this getting up at night - especially since I'm 32 weeks pregnant and she doesn't wake up when I drag her out of her bed to go potty in the night. It's frustrating to do that and then still end up with wet bedsheets. Wishing you luck with your approach, and hope some good advice comes through this thread!
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#3 of 13 Old 07-30-2014, 09:02 PM
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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  shrug.gif

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#4 of 13 Old 07-31-2014, 09:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for your thoughts Linda and New Mama. We're certainly taking it seriously but not banning her over the head about it. She didn't want the alarm again last night and we complied with getting her up to pee. But she did angle for pullups and we said absolutely not - we're done with those. I do think she was trying to cop out and play with us to see if we'd comply.

It certainly is a process. We have her annual ped visit soon and I'm hoping to develop a course of action that has some milestones where we implement different actions as time goes forward. It is frustrating and I'm trying to keep cool about the process and the commitment.

She is a feisty one so we're also trying to be firm but not instigate a fight. I'll keep you posted!
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#5 of 13 Old 08-05-2014, 12:00 PM
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Hi there. My dd goes in stretches of wetting every night then being dry for months. What I've found is when she consumes a lot of dairy she wets. Lately we've cut the dairy out and she's been dry. I read it's a common connection, so i just wanted to suggest looking at her diet. Food intolerances cause SO many side effects you wouldn't have even guessed it'd be linked to. Good luck.
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#6 of 13 Old 08-08-2014, 10:06 AM
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5-7 year old children who wet their beds have been found to have lower than average levels of Vitamin D in their blood. I would supplement with D3 and cofactors - you'll need to research the dose depending on your child's situation.

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#7 of 13 Old 08-18-2014, 03:32 AM
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I'm also there with a child who has never had a dry night, it's very wearing changing the bed 2 or 3 times a week (and that's with pull ups on every night)

As far as I know we don't have any issues with wetting pull ups while awake so we've opted to carry on using them.

On the advice of the continence nurse we have recently started him on medication for an overactive bladder. He was also having accidents during the day, and tends to go often (hourly) and need to go NOW. He has very little ability to hold on. So far it does seem to be helping during the day.

We're due to start another medication for over-nights soon.This one to replace the hormone which suppresses urine production overnight. It seems he's not making his own yet.

While medication wouldn't be my first choice, especially if the issue was only at night the daytime accidents were becoming very difficult to manage, especially at school.

We talked about an alarm but, it was suggested that it was better suited to older children (9+) as they like the child to be able to manage the whole process (wake up, go to toilet, change sheets ) themselves. The nurse felt that if we heard the alarm, and took him to the toilet while he was not fully awake it would re-enforce going in his sleep. Since we already had some serious questions about using an alarm (he can not cope with sudden noise at the best of times) we decided it wasn't the best option for us right now.
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#8 of 13 Old 08-24-2014, 07:09 PM
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It was many years ago, but we used the alarm for our son and it was almost magical. It took two weeks and he was dry all night. It was a little rough the first week,but after that, he just "got it." When directions are followed exactly, it can be amazing.


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#9 of 13 Old 08-30-2014, 08:35 PM
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I have no experience with this yet, but I have been researching it as DH has a history of bed wetting until he was 8. I was recently at my chiropractors office reading pamphlets and ran across bed wetting as a symptom of spinal subluxation. When I asked the Dr about it he admitted to having that problem as a child and having adjusents done by a chiropractor "cured" him of it. Maybe he was trying to upsell or whatever but you might benefit from trying.
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#10 of 13 Old 09-01-2014, 06:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Alexandriakyger View Post
I have no experience with this yet, but I have been researching it as DH has a history of bed wetting until he was 8. I was recently at my chiropractors office reading pamphlets and ran across bed wetting as a symptom of spinal subluxation. When I asked the Dr about it he admitted to having that problem as a child and having adjusents done by a chiropractor "cured" him of it. Maybe he was trying to upsell or whatever but you might benefit from trying.

I have a friend with a 5yo who was unable to fully potty train - they thought he was stubborn or not getting it, but it turned out he couldn't feel the sensation to poop due to a subluxation. A few adjustments and the issue went away. Not sure about night wetting, but it definitely couldn't hurt. I wet the bed until I was 7; I wonder if it was as simple as getting an adjustment!

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#11 of 13 Old 09-03-2014, 08:03 AM
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My kids are late bed-wetters too (5 and 7yo). We have dry nights, we have wet nights, we have leaks onto the bedding. Our family doctor and chiropractor are not concerned. I haven't yet been motivated to do anything that would disrupt our sleep at night. We've done chiropractic, vitamin D, fish oil, cut out dairy, etc. without seeing a change. I'm not too worried about it. Neither of them have any issues when awake; I think they're just heavy sleepers. I don't see a need to see a specialist or give them medication at this point. I would definitely try something more drastic like restricting liquids after a certain hour before medicating.
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#12 of 13 Old 09-06-2014, 09:48 PM
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I wet the bed till I was about 8 or 9. My mom tried this nightgown once that had a sensor and an alarm would go off if the nightgown got wet. It hated it. And it made me very angry.
What worked was simply having to clean up the mess myself when it happened. I'm not sure how she did it but she managed to wake me up and insist that I help clean up the mess right then. She wasn't mean about it, just matter of fact. And I didn't have to do much to actually clean it. But it forced me to associate waking up with my mess, not with the alarm or with "mean mom." Eventually I got better at feeling it at night and getting up and going to the bathroom rather than doing it in bed.
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#13 of 13 Old 09-10-2014, 04:31 PM
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My oldest daughter, now age 12, wet the bed several nights a week still up until the age of 9. She wore those big kid briefs at night. She suddenly stopped at age 9, right before turning 10 that year. I never discussed it with her doctor because it's not a medical issue, it's just a milestone like any other they have from birth. We limited dairy and fluids in the evenings and such but it didn't help any and she just had to grow out of it. She did grow out of it and it didn't harm her or damage her. They make the big kids overnight pull-ups for a reason you know. Try not to stress about it.

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