Our 7 year old boy wets his bed every night and also "dribbles" in his underwear during the day!
He potty trained himself quite young and was out of nappies by two (2nd eldest) He had dry days and was wetting the bed maybe 3-4 times a week at age 4. About 4 months before he turned 5, his behaviour become very aggressive and he started wetting himself during the day and every night. I later found out via a teacher at his kindie that she felt there had been a bullying incident at his preschool between him and temp male teacher that they had employed. Both seemed to butt heads constantly and she made the comment that other teachers had told him to "back off" my son did not respond well to being "forced" but rather to be left alone to think about things and he would come around in his own time (very stubborn)
Unfortunately almost 3 years later, we are still sitting with a child who is wet at night and wet during the day. We have tried to manage this behaviourally eg. Making him hold then urinate to build up those muscles, make him return to the toilet 5 mins later to urinate again and empty his bladder and encourage him to go to the toilet every 2 hours etc but this cannot be done at school for obvious reasons. Every day he comes home smelling of urine and while he hasn't urinated completely in them - his underwear is often damp with urine as he seems to "dribble" throughout the day. We have also tried the bed wetting alarm but he sleeps through it.
Has had ultrasounds which show dilation in kidneys and ureter, unsure if there is back flow which is causing him to feel like he needs to go to the toilet again 5 mins later.
He is getting older now and the kids in his class will soon pick up on things. He is also expressing the wish to have sleep overs or go to friends houses and has a school camp coming up in February next year so we really need to find a solution to this.
Can you suggest alternative therapies that you know work or should we now start considering medication?
Hi D.C., It must be incredibly frustrating and disheartening when you feel like you have tried it all and still your son continues to wet at night. With respect to the alarm – the time it takes for children to achieve dryness when using conditioning alarms can be anything from a few weeks to a few months with about 10-15% of children experiencing some relapse – when this happens you need to reintroduce the alarm treatment. For some children it can take up to 3 cycles of treatment so it is important not to give up if it at first it does not seem to work. It may be helpful to get your son to practice setting the alarm off during the day (with a drop of water) so that way he will become familiar to the sound of the alarm. Some alarms have different settings that allow you to vary the sound – sometimes a louder alarm will raise a particularly deep sleeper. Others include a vibration option, which your son may respond to more easily. It would also be worthwhile speaking with a continence advisor before re-introducing the alarm as the more support and guidance you receive the greater the chance of a successful outcome. The nasal spray medication is like a synthetic version of ADH (antidiuretic hormone), which is designed to inhibit the amount of urine produced by the kidneys overnight. While some children do stop wetting the bed after its use, a common problem with this form of treatment is that once children stop the medication the bedwetting often resumes. It can be particularly useful for situations like sleepovers and school camps – as it is very important that children do not restrict their social activities as a result of their bedwetting. This form of treatment has met with more success when used in conjunction with a bedwetting alarm so that may be a better way to go. There are some more alternative methods that have met with different degrees of success. Please keep in mind however that these have not received the same level of research support as conditioning alarms or medications. Hypnotherapy has been successfully used to help children either hold their urine overnight or wake up and go to the toilet. This can be used on its own or in combination with the conditioning alarm.