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Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

We have tried limiting the amount of fluid in the 2 hours before bed, always goes about 5mins before bed, if she has woken in the middle of the night, have tried taking her to toilet, however screams house down and wakes everyone else in house.

Hi Renee - helping children to achieve nighttime continence works a little differently to daytime training. Nighttime wetting typically happens when children are asleep and are not in conscious control over their bladder, making it more difficult to train a child to become dry at night. The most common cause of nighttime wetting is a neurological-developmental delay. Young children whose nervous systems are still forming may not be able to know when their bladder is full. Consequently, they do not wake up in time to go to the toilet. You can encourage healthy bladder development by ensuring she drinks water regularly throughout the day and fully empties her bladder just before bedtime. Be careful about restricting fluids in the evening as this can result in constipation, particularly in the warmer months. I would avoid waking her at night as this will not help here to become dry and it is particularly distressing for both you and her. Time and lots of patience are the best ways to manage bedwetting among young children, remembering that most children stop wetting the bed by the time they turn 6 years of age. Encouraging a reluctant child to wear DryNites instead of undies can be really tricky. Moving from nappies to underpants is incredibly exciting and a true measure that she is now becoming a big girl. It is important that you acknowledge and celebrate this significant transition (during the day) while at the same time reminding her that the pants she wears at night are not nappies. Clearly she is a very independent and is determined to demonstrate this, so it is important that she continues to feel like she has some control over the situation. You need to help her to make the distinction between daytime wetting and nighttime wetting – which can be incredibly tricky with such a young child. Point out that DryNites (if they fit her) are made for big kids who are at least 4 years of age. I would certainly advise against forcing her to wear DryNites although you could definitely talk about the benefits of wearing absorbent pants at night. Hopefully once she is able to separate her success during the day from the nighttime wetting she will become more comfortrable with the situation. Good luck – I would love to hear how this goes! Regards, Dr Cathrine