Monday, 21 May 2012

Dealing with Bedwetting

When my daughter was 2 1/2, she suddenly decided she didn't want to wear nappies anymore. She was a big girl and big girls wear panties, 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.

Then, about 2 years ago, aged 5, she started wetting the bed at night. 

At first we didn't make a fuss, bed wetting is normal and she'd soon stop it we hoped, but as the months passed, her bed wetting 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 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!" she answered. 

We tried everything we could think of. No drinks after 5pm, 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! I even tried taking her to the Doctors, did she have a urine infection? 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 she would feel at having a wet bed. 

Earlier this year, I was chatting to our school nurse and I mentioned DD's bed wetting and how long it had been going on and how we had tried everything but nothing seemed to help and she told me she could help. She asked me to get DD to wee in a jug and to measure and write down how much she'd wee'd over 2 days. DD 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 and I wondered if maybe she didn't drink enough. 

When I told the school nurse, she agreed and said that was why she had wanted to measure how much she wee'd on average during the day. Basically because DD 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 by her bladder but because her bladder was so small it couldn't hold a full night's worth of urine and she would wet the bed. To help her deal with her bed wetting we had to encourage her to drink more during the day and help grow her bladder so that it could store more urine during the night.

Armed with this new knowledge, and having had the school nurse explain to DD all about her bladder (which she named Naughty Bladder) and her kidneys and why she had to drink more during the day, we started a reward chart and encouraged her to drink more during the day.

We started her sticker chart about two months ago. She was given a target amount of drinks to drink and every drink she had she was given a sticker. This made both of us aware of how much she was drinking, and slowly helped her bladder expand and grow as it learnt to hold more urine.

About 3wks ago we decided to try, at her request, a night with no bedtime nappy on. "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!". 

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!"

That was 3 weeks ago, and apart from just 3 accidents, DD has been completely dry! She is so proud of herself and we're getting her a present to celebrate this fact!


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