Sunday, 3 July 2011

Could I have found the magic cure for bedwetting ?

All three of our sons potty trained within two weeks and two were dry at night very soon after.  Both of them were considered "early" at achieving this milestone.  The third son is still wearing nappies at night at age six and a half.

Although we acknowledge that this is unusual, we were not overly concerned about this until about a year ago.  I always worked on the premise that  by the time they start school they will be able to dress themselves, count to 10 (or more) read a bit, write a bit etc etc.  I never felt the pressure to push my boys into attaining milestones laid down in the minefield of "expert" books available on the subject of how to bring up your child.

Recently we have started to become a little concerned as the subject of friends sleepovers started to crop up.  The twin who is dry at night has started telling his brother that he can't go and sleep at friends homes because he is still a baby who wears nappies. We have tried to explain to him that its not nice to talk like this and that his brother will be hurt and upset and that he can't help it, but its only a matter of time before it slips out in front of a friend or worse at school.   When Grandma recently came to stay he was mortified when she walked in the room when I was putting his nappy on him.  He understands himself that he is older than "normal" to be wearing a nappy at night.  Recently they have started to leave marks on him because they are getting too small.  We can't afford to buy him pull up pants which are way out of our price range.  We have tried everything to help him.  Waking him several times during the night, even setting our alarm clock to get up and take him to the loo.  We have limited drinks at night and before bedtime.  Tried reward charts, money, everything we can think of.

Last week after another distressing bedtime, I remembered something I used to do as a child when I wanted to wake up at a certain time.  I would bang my head on my pillow the requisite number of times.  As far as I can remember it never failed!  I always woke up when I wanted to.  When your child is distressed you will give anything ago.  I told my son to bang (I say bang,but you know what I mean) his head on his pillow twice and repeat " I will not wet my bed tonight".  He and his brother thought this was wonderful, a magic spell, like the tooth fairy or father christmas.  Of course it would work, mummy said it would and do you know we are into our fourth night of him being dry , the longest dry period ever ! 

Just a fluke or

Mind over matter ?

You decide .......


  1. we have had problems with this for a son is 11 this year & he always had occasional accidents but a few months ago it got to be every night, we tried everything, limiting drinks, getting him up etc etc. I spoke to the school nurse who was great & she told me that his fluid intake needs to be increased in the day & getting him up shouldn't be done. I then invested in an alarm - I was sceptical - and managed to find one on Ebay for £25 & it has been brilliant, it wakes him up (and he is a very heavy sleeper) whenever the sensor gets slightly moist & now after a couple of months he no longer needs it - his brain has been trained! Amazing.He has even been open with his friends & so many of them have said that they do (or did) the same thing & none of them have been bothered or teased.
    Fingers crossed that the dry nights continue but if they don't then I would really recommend an alarm.
    Good Luck

  2. Helen, thank you so much for your comment. We have been told to get an alarm too, but thy are very costly so we keep putting it off. You are also not the first to say that we shouldn't get him up as his brain expects this and that's why he continues to wet. Interesting about increasing the daytime drinking.
    If his "magic" is a fluke, We will certainly look at the alarm.
    Thank you xx

  3. I hope it's a cure but I agree with Helen above. I wet the bed until I was 9 and my poor Mum tried everything that she could think of!! Eventually a nurse recommended that we buy something that at the time was called a bell and buzzer mattress and does exactly as Helen describes! Within a couple of months I stopped wetting the bed and it has never happened since! Although now I have a problem every time I sneeze....... ;-) xx

  4. Emma, hahaha, sorry the sneeze thing nearly made me wet myself ! ha! I have the same problem. Thank you sweetie, I am sure it is something we may well have to resort to. But for the moment the power of the "magic" seems to be working.
    MWAH! xxx

  5. Interesting my little boy goes for weeks not wetting the bed and then he does for a while. We still lift him every night and we are currently in the no bed wetting period. I'd never thought of buying an alarm. However I'll monitor it for the next couple of weeks and then review it.

    Many thanks

  6. Hi WelsgMum, it seems to be the common solution that most people agree on.

    We are into our 6th night. He is really deep sleeper which I am sure is also something to do with it.

    Funny also that it seems to be majority of boys too.

    Good luck

  7. Karen, we were in a similar position to you although I probably worried less about it. I actually read something that suggested that it's quite normal not to be dry at night until about 7. However, Missy was dry at night before 3 but Monkey wasn't.

    With us, it was accidental. I think. I used to mention to him that he needed to be dry at night and not wear pull ups, and he didn't seem interested.

    Anyway, one day, he got himself dressed for bed and didn't put a nappy on. I am pretty sure he forgot and just put his pyjamas on, it wasn't a conscious decision. Anyway, he was dry in the morning. I think this made him realise that he COULD do it. He didn't wear pull ups to bed after that although we did still have accidents once or twice a week for a good few months. However, we haven't had an accident since February, maybe before that.

    I think some children just have to believe they can do it. He was 5 and a half when he did this and has been consistently dry since just before he turned 6. They all do things at different rates and boys are often later than girls at this so I made sure I didn't stress him or me about it. Seems to have worked.

    Hope you continue to get dry nights. I'm sure you'll have the odd accident along the way but that will help to teach him what he needs to do.

  8. Hi Kate, thank you so much for your kind comment. I think we wouldn't think it was a real concern if they hadn't started to be asked to sleep over. The bedwetting twin is desperate to stay with friends but refuses to go. Maybe this is the "switch" in his brain to help him ! All we know is this little"trick" seems to have helped in some way and is working at the moment.
    Thank you xx

  9. While I can only sympathise, the "bashing your head to wake up" thing rings a bell with me. I vividly remember reading it in a book when I was a kid, quite possibly one of the Mallory Towers books (oh dear, that's two mentions of Enid Blyton in a week) when someone wanted to wake for a midnight feast. Never tried it myself, I could always be relied upon to stay awake!

  10. What a great idea. I may give that one a go. x

  11. Hi Squeakymom, oh I LOVEd Mallory Towers books, I read them all over and over. Living on a council estate in Birmingham , I was about as far removed from that life as you could get. I remember a friend and I used to pretend we were going there to school and used to say things like "Have you done your prep yet" and shall we have some tuck" !!! Bless us.

  12. Hi Susan, thank you for your comment swetie, well its working so far, so anything must be worth a try. Seems like something has "clicked" in his head ! Bracing ourselves for an accident soon xx

  13. Just stumbled across your blog and wanted to say I really wouldn't start to worry too much just yet, My oldest who is now 15 was still wetting frequently until she was about 8years old, Good luck with the head banging, I went through a period where I was tying a coloured thread loosely round my little girls wrist to wards of bad dreams .. Even today I cant sleep a full night without a dream catcher .. Its funny our quirky ways but im all up for what ever works!

  14. Maria, many thanks for visiting and for taking the time to comment. Its really interesting to read the different things people try and I guess if it works for a while then its ok. Just important not to make them feel bad about themselves xx



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