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Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

My daughter has been out of nappies during the day since she was 2. She is now 4 and we are still having very wet nappies overnight (usually 1-2 wees). In these 2 years she has been dry for one consecutive week and that’s it. Any suggestions?

It is perfectly normal for your daughter to continue to experience nocturnal incontinence. The age at which nighttime continence occurs is quite variable – with as many as 1 in 5 children aged 5 continuing to wet the bed on a regular basis. Research points to the absence of ADH (antidiuretic hormone) as one possible cause of bedwetting - children without ADH produce four times the amount of urine as those who have the hormone and are therefore at a greater likelihood of ‘overfilling’ their bladder at night. In general, we find that children stop wetting the bed when their bodies become better able at storing the urine or they learn to wake-up on their own in response to a full bladder. If you are at all concerned about her bladder capacity or the amount of urine she is producing overnight you can have this checked by your GP. You can try and reduce the amount of urine she produces overnight by making sure she fully empties her bladder just before bedtime, limit the amount she drinks in the evening (do not restrict drinks completely as this can cause constipation), you should also make sure she avoids having too much dairy and any food or drinks that are high in caffeine as this tends to stimulate the kidneys, placing additional pressure on her bladder. I would recommend that you replace his nappies with DryNites, these should provide a better fit and have higher absorbency, reducing the chance of leakage. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine