Guest Post: Bed wetting in older children and coping strategies

This week’s guest post is from Tracy Feasey. She shares with us the wisdom that comes from parenting her own beautiful children.

(Photo credit: B.K. Dewey)

If you would like to contribute a guest post please send me a message!

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It is quite common for boys to continue bed wetting for longer than girls. For example, most girls have broken this habit by the time they are 4 years old, it is more common for boys to be still bedwetting at this age.

My son continued bedwetting until he was over 7. It was as frustrating for him as it was for me,

It is easy to call into question your own parenting skills when a child suffers from bed wetting, although it’s important to remember that it’s rarely your fault.  If your child has previously been dry then a visit to the Dr is advisable just to rule out any infections.

I took my son to the Dr When he was 5 as he was still wetting the bed, in fact he still hadn’t had a single dry night. I could not work out where I had gone wrong, my daughter was dry at night at 2.

When talking to other mothers I had started to get embarrassed admitting he wasn’t just an occasional bed wetter, but did it every night.

I looked up all the websites I could to get advice on what to do, how to deal with it and work out what I had done so wrong that my 5 year old was still bedwetting.

After doctors checked he had no underlying reasons as to why he still wet the bed, I relaxed a bit and started to just go with the idea that it would happen in his own time.

I had lots of advice, like; getting him to help clean the bedding (but his was not practical since as a working mum I simply did not have time to wash wet pyjamas and bedding every day),  starting a star chart (which seeing as he hadn’t ever had a dry night I felt was setting him up to fail), plus I was also offered medication, but felt I wanted that to be a last resort.

We started using very simple routines that helped a lot, although the bedwetting did not stop right away we soon saw that it was less, before we had to change his nappy pants before we went to bed as they would be soaked, after trying these simple things he was still dry when we went to bed.

  1. He would only drink water after 5pm as some squashes and juices can overstimulate the bladder.
  2. He would go to the toilet at the start of the bedtime routine and again at the end.
  3. We would sing a rhyme 1 to 10 and start again. This made sure he was emptying his bladder properly.
  4. We never showed him anger or frustration at the fact he was wet.
  5. We offered him a small reward if he could manage one dry night; we didn’t want to make it a huge pressure hence the small reward.

The first morning he managed a dry night was a glorious morning in our house, and completely unexpected. He was 7 and as it was Christmas Eve, I put it down to a fluke. Due to the excitement of the season he hadn’t slept at all well, in fact both my children were in trouble for messing around the night before, still sneaking around at 10pm!  Still he came in to me that morning proud as punch – “Mum you will not believe this but my pants are dry, look!” At this point I’m a little bleary eyed and have a pair of nappy pants in my face, but excitement overwhelms me, lots of hugs and kisses and praise as well as making sure he had his small reward.

We then set the bar a little higher at 3 nights for a slightly bigger reward!  That night we all went to bed with high hopes, but Christmas morning he was wet. I didn’t make a fuss, just gave him a hug as he was upset, and made a deal we would start again tomorrow.

Boxing day, he woke up dry, and to this day hasn’t had a single accident.

I really do believe the day we stopped getting hung up on it, and let nature take its course was the day it started to get better.

I think each child is different and that bedwetting will stop when they are ready.  All my son needed was love and reassurance that it’s ok, to know that he isn’t going to get told off or punished and most importantly that one he day we will be able to do it, we just have to wait and be patient.

I really do hope that this article helps other parents in some way. I cannot give medical or expert advice just parent to parent, or friend to friend.  I have found bedwetting to be a taboo subject in parenting circles, especially the older my son became. But I found the best way to deal with things was to not get hung up on it, to accept that my son just wasn’t ready. We made small positive steps to help, but didn’t make it a huge thing and eventually he did it all by himself .

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I’m 34 year old Mum of two amazing children, aged 9 and 7, currently working for Voucher Codes Pro, writing articles and blog posts. I love life and try to be the best I can at all I do. Sometimes I even manage it!

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3 Comments

Filed under Around the Web, Babycare Advice, General, Tips and tricks

3 responses to “Guest Post: Bed wetting in older children and coping strategies

  1. It’s really hard to pin point what is the causes of bedwetting is. But there is always a cause: constipation, deep sleeping, bad potty habits during the day, hereditary factors, etc…

  2. I actually had the advice of smack his bum, he will soon learn! I really do feel its a subject that many people need reassurance that actually its ok, we dont as parents need to worry, that each child is different and it will happen when they are ready. My eldest was dry before she was 2 so it was a bit of a shock that he didnt follow suit.

  3. I was a bed wetter as a child and suffered abuse and humiliation by my mother and sister. When my younger son started wetting the bed at age 4-5, I made a conscious decision that I would never make it a big deal. ever. happy to say it’s a strategy that had excellent results.

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