Bedwetting is a common occurrence, but what happens if it doesn’t stop? What happens when they seem to wet the bed nearly every night? How can you help your child stop bedwetting when you seem to have exhausted all other options? Here’s our story and how we dealt with bedwetting.
When Becky, my eldest daughter, was 2 1/2 she suddenly decided she didn’t want to wear nappies anymore. She was a big girl now and big girls wear panties not nappies, just like her big brother! She wasn’t a baby anymore like her baby sister and therefore she didn’t want nappies. From that moment on, she was dry during the day and dry at night and never wore nappies again.
When she was 5, she started wetting the bed at night.
We tried everything we could think of. No drinks after 5 pm, toilet before bed, waking her up to go to the toilet when we went to bed, but still, she was wetting the bed. Sometimes she would come downstairs only an hour after falling asleep to say she had wet the bed!
When I told the school nurse, she agreed and said that was why she had wanted to measure how much she urinated on average during the day. Because Becky wasn’t drinking very much during the day, her bladder had shrunk and couldn’t hold much, so whilst she was sleeping her kidneys would keep producing urine to be stored in her bladder but because her bladder was so small it couldn’t store very much and would leak meaning Becky would wet the bed.
Armed with this new knowledge and having had the school nurse explain it all to Becky, which led to Becky calling it her Naughty Bladder, we started a reward chart and encouraged her to drink more during the day. She was given a target amount of drinks to drink during the day and every time she finished her drink she was rewarded with a sticker. This helped make us both aware of how much she was drinking and slowly helped her bladder expand and grow to store more urine.
Two months later, Becky asked to try sleeping without her nighttime pullups. “No pressure,” we told her, “it doesn’t matter whether you wet the bed or not, we’re not going to be cross and at least you’ve tried!”
At first, we didn’t make a fuss. Bedwetting is normal and she’d soon stop it we hoped. But as the months passed, her bedwetting increased and she would wake up soaking wet.
We asked her if anything was bothering her? Was she worried? Happy at school? Nope, everything was fine there.
We spoke to her teachers, did she seem any different at school? Was she happy? Her usual self? Teachers all said she was her normal happy helpful self and she hadn’t changed at all and didn’t seem upset or sad.
We asked her if anyone was bullying her? Were they calling her names because of her speech difficulties? Again she said no. We tried asking her why she wet the bed but she didn’t know, “I’m just too deeply asleep!” was her answer.
I even tried taking her to the Doctors to see if she had a urine infection or was she diabetic? But no, both tests came back negative and the Doctors advice was “Don’t make a fuss about it, she will outgrow it!” So we didn’t make a fuss, but we did start using Huggies Dry Nites as we were washing on average two loads of bedding a day and we didn’t feel it was helping her to either sleep in a wet bed or to have a disturbed night’s sleep, plus there was the added embarrassment of having a wet bed.
This carried on for two years! One day I was chatting with our school nurse and I mentioned Becky’s bedwetting and how long it had been going on and how we had tried everything but nothing seemed to help and how we were at our wits end and how it was impacting Becky’s life as she wouldn’t go on sleepovers as she was scared she would wet the bed and everyone would laugh and call her a baby!
The school nurse told me she could help. She told me to get Becky to wee in a jug and to measure and write down how much she’d urinated over 2 days. Becky wasn’t too keen on this idea and refused to do it, but I did notice that she didn’t seem to go to the toilet that often during the day and I wondered if maybe she wasn’t drinking enough.
As silly as it sounds, to help her deal with her bedwetting we had to encourage her to drink more during the day! This would encourage her bladder to expand so that it could store enough urine overnight and wouldn’t leak.
The following morning she came running into our bedroom and started bouncing on our bed. “I did it!” She cried. “My bed’s dry, I didn’t wet it!” She was so excited and proud of herself!
That was six years ago and I’m proud to say that since that day when she asked to try without pull-ups she has been completely dry and has been able to go for sleepovers with friends and school overnight trips without any fear of wetting the bed.
When my other daughters starting wetting the bed at around the same age, I knew what to do and within a few weeks, they were also dry.
So if your child is wetting the bed and you’ve ruled out an infection or diabetes, then try monitoring how much they drink. a child of 5 to 8 years old should be drinking 5 glasses (1 litre), a child of 9 to 12 years old should be drinking 7 glasses (1.5 litres) and a child aged 13 or more should be drinking 8 to 10 glasses (2 litres) a day