I have a little boy who is 1 month off being 5 years of age.. He is still wetting the bed each & every night. We have the reward chart happening (he
has had two occasions when he has kept the bed dry for 5 nights in a row but then he goes back to wetting every night). I use pullups every night as when I have tried to go without, he wakes up in the early hours of the morning wet & he didn't feel weeing his bed. I have tried making him drink
sufficient fluids to stretch is stomach, I have tried reward charts, stickers, many a conversation about keeping pullups dry, but nothing seems
to work. Help, can you provide some information on when I should start to worry about this & seek professional help? Also, do you have any other tips you can offer? Would love any advice.
first and foremost let me reassure you that what is happening is perfectly normal, in fact about 17% of 5-year-olds wet the bed at least twice a week or more and the majority of these are boys! Children wet the bed due to a number of reasons – some do so because their bladders have not matured to a point where they can hold the amount of urine produced overnight, others do so because they are unable to wake-up to the signal that their bladder is full and needs to be emptied. Children who wet the bed often have parents who took longer to be dry at night themselves – often the best predictor of when your son will become dry is when you (or another family member) achieved nighttime continence. We typically recommend that parents wait until their child has turned 6 before considering bedwetting treatments. The reason for doing this is there is a high spontaneous cure rate up until then. In the meantime you can help foster a healthy bladder by encouraging him to drink plenty of water throughout the day, stop any ‘just in case’ visits to the toilet, make sure he fully empties his bladder each time he goes to the toilet as well as avoiding drinks and food high in caffeine. Unfortunately incentives and rewards are not particularly successful in the treatment of bedwetting mostly due to the fact that bedwetting is beyond children’s control. Failure to achieve goals may impact negatively on his self-esteem. If you do want to continue using reward charts or stickers only reward those behaviours that he can directly control – like drinking properly throughout the day or disposing of his wet DryNites in the morning. I would recommend that you put him in DryNites rather than a Pull-Up – these are specifically designed for nighttime use and reduce the chance of leakage as well as being more appealing to older children. And remember … this is something that will come to an end!