Bed wetting - ideas?

Discussion in 'Healthful Living / Natural Treatments' started by Malika, May 19, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Not sure whether this is the right place to post but here goes anyway... I'd be very grateful for any helpful ideas re wetting the bed at night.
    My little boy, 4, has been toilet trained in the day for a long time (since he was 2) but we still haven't cracked the night-time thing... Basically he does not wake up to go to the loo at night so if left to himself he will usually wet the bed. So... I wake him before I go to bed, around midnight, to go. He then systematically wakes up around 2 or 3 every night and comes into my bed and if I am compos mentis enough, I also get him to use the potty then. I would of course prefer that he sleep the whole night through in his own bed but would still have the wetting the bed problem...
    Does it mean anything that he is not waking up to go to the loo himself? A friend suggested that it is because until recently I was still putting a nappy (diaper) on him, so that he has formed the habit of urinating as he sleeps... Seems to make sense.
    Any ideas?
  2. keista

    keista New Member

    No. Some kids are just bedwetters. DD1 is 10 and still wets almost nightly. Frustrating as all get up. Her older brother and younger sister do not have this problem, and I did NOT have to go through any special nighttime training for them. My friend's son is 9 with the same problem. She thought she hadn't "trained" him properly, but realized that all my assurances otherwise were correct when she finlly potty trained her youngest and did no special night time training for him either.

    I've taken DD1 to a urologist and had an ultrasound done. Everything seems normal. General consensus is that they "grow out of it" generally during puberty when sleep patterns change. I've read all the pamphlets on treatments, and training, and strategies, but the success rates are 50% or less. The one book I read was by a urological surgeon (sorry forgot the name) and an interesting thing that struck me is that the urine stream has a defined flow. For some with issues, the flow appears different, this could mean an extra, skin flap, narrow urethra, or something else - DD1's flow is like a garden hose. These are fixable problems which could result in stopping bedwetting, but the evaluations and fixes are very invasive. These can be addressed when the person is older if bedwetting persists, or other related issues arise, such as chronic UTIs, infertility, inability or pain during orgasm, etc.

    "Training" plans are hard enough for regular kids (my friend's son) but can add much unneeded stress and anxiety to a "high maintenance" difficult child. Invest in nappys and good mattress pads (nappys can leak especially if you child starts going 2x in one night and never wakes up for a change) and start teaching good self hygene - throwing away his own wets and helping change sheets. If I don't stay on top of DD1 she will start hiding/hoarding her wets. That's just disgusting and unhealthy, and grossly unfair to DD2 who has to share the room. Always calm patient understanding that it is not his fault but he does have to learn how to clean up after himself.

    Sorry, wish I could give you a brighter outlook.
  3. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Some kids are heavy sleepers. A lot of kids grow faster than their bladders do. Pretty normal, all in all, no matter if you diaper him or not. Not diapering works better if he'll wake up when it happens and let you know that some cleaning is needed.
  4. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I was a super heavy sleeper.

    This might not work but... My Mom used to give me a huge spoonful of peanut butter before I went to bed, to keep my blood sugar from tanking.

    ...It did not work with Jett, though...
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    NEVER heard that trick before. It worked for YOU? I think that's something DD1 and I could really get on board with. 10Q!!!!
  6. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Sorry, being dense here but... I don't understand the word "tanking" and could you explain why doing this stops the child wetting the bed?!
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    My blood sugar drops when I sleep, sometimes pretty badly - and I sleep really, really deeply when this happens.

    So my Mom would give me a bit of protein and fat - peanut butter - to sustain my blood sugar levels so that I'd be able to wake up when I had to pee.

    It seemed to work... Though I no longer like peanut butter.
  8. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the explanation :) J hates peanut butter and getting him to eat what he doesn't like is a job requiring skills of persuasion and patience beyond the ones I possess - but probably some other protein would work?
    I kind of feel torn between two goals anyway - one to get him to sleep undisturbed and the other to learn to get up to pee. I think he doesn't get enough sleep (about 11 hours but he needs more) and I think he is fatigued most of the time. Which makes him easier to deal with at school, I suspect, but is probably not good for him on the whole.
  9. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    If my kids don't get enough sleep, they're harder to deal with...

    How about nutella?
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Protein - the key here is protein plus fat... so, as long as he doesn't have a nut allergy... anything nut-based... a handful of cashews, for example, would work.

    Totally agree on the sound-sleeper thing... and that takes years to grow out of.

    Might also try...
    1) hidden milk protein intollerance - to test theory, no milk products after 3pm; if that has ANY impact at all after a week, the drop milk completely (milk = cow milk; goat isn't as bad, in moderation)

    2) NO fluids within 2 hours of bedtime - most of us process fluids in 1.5 to 2 hours, so this allows body to catch up a bit before going to bed

    3) How restless a sleeper is he? if he's not bad, then instead of putting protection on the kid, put it on the bed - makes kid more aware, but cleanup easier...

    4) There's supposed to be something out there that is a nasal spray or something, which slows down the body's production of urine - it seems like in most people, the deeper the sleep hormones, the more of this other one gets generated - but in some people, this just doesn't happen, so the body fills up the capacity at daytime rates... Never used it - came out too late to help my family, but it sounded interesting.
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    My difficult child, who will be 4 in a few days, also has pb with wetting at night (never during the day). I started using cloth diapers on him (pull ups type so he can take it up and down should he need to use the bathroom). He is still wetting his bed although not as often, but at least he is very conscious of being wet (unlike with dispoable pull ups). And it does save me from having to change the sheets. After a few days of dryp diaper, then I let him try without. Instead of wetting every night, now it might be once a week. If he has a bad day, then it is definitley diaper because I know he will pee his pans... It's not a perfect technique, but it does show some results.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the ideas. Trouble is, no matter what I put him or the mattress, my son just does not wake up at all to pee... I guess he must be a heavy sleeper as HaoZi suggested. He is asleep now, having crashed out at 6 pm - just lying down by himself on the sofa and going to sleep, exhausted after the school week, no doubt - and I put a nappy on him because otherwise he will just wet the bed if he needs to pee (he doesn't always pee at night). An expert in children with behavioural disorders suggested that children with unresolved anxieties wet the bed... As with all these things, one just does not know the cause.
  13. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    I did also read or hear somewhere that some children cannot control their bladder at night until past five years old...?
  14. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Lots of kids, especially young ones, wet the bed for a wide variety of reasons. Heavy sleeper, too scared of the dark to get to the bathroom, simply don't recognize the body's signal for what it is until it's too late, a host of physical causes to start with. If the wet bed doesn't wake him up when it happens, I'd go with the very heavy sleeper theory unless some physical cause can be determined.
  15. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Late on this one-but I just wanted to say that bedwetting until age 6ish is normal. I would not address it at all yet.

    If it continues, you must first realize that it is a function of the brain not getting messages from the body to turn off the production of urine at night. In kids who wet the bed beyond 6 or so ( my son and myself), it took time. The only intervention that worked was using a pill that concentrates urine. We only used this when sleepovers were a big deal to him. He grew out of it. I also did as well. I did set an alarm for myself every night so I would get up- I had never slept over at someones house and was sick of it.

    I have heard all the stuff about associations with unresolved issues. I suppose when your brain is affected in one way-it leaves you open to other effects. However, our doctor assured us it was not his fault nor ours and it was not emotional. He told us that was one of the most damaging "old wives tails" still out there.
  16. keista

    keista New Member

    Our doctors said this is ONLY a possibility if a child has been dry at night, consistently, for a year or two, and then suddenly starts wetting the bed. Could also be other medical issues such as diabetes.
  17. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Yes, that makes sense. I think perhaps this is another of those issues that one worries about needlessly? I know when J was a baby I was worried he wouldn't walk, worried he wouldn't talk, etc, etc...And it all happened in its own time, despite my worrying. :)
  18. sandywalter

    sandywalter New Member

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  19. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I'm with-the idea for Pullups at night, plus you can try a scrip for desmopressin. It worked very well for us, especially in combination with-Imiprimene.
    Unfortunately, our difficult child, at 14, has only just now outgrown his bedwetting ...