Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

My 7yr old son is still wetting the bed, which concerns me. I have done the waking to go pee in the middle of night, drink less water at dinner time, let him mature out of it on his own, even purchased the brolly sheet and their wee alarm. My 3yr old is now out of night nappies and we are now training him with his bed wetting. I am at the end of my tether and am worried we will have a reoccurrence with my 3yr old. What to do??

There are numerous reasons why children experience primary nocturnal enuresis. Generally we find that nocturnal enuresis is caused by a mismatch between nocturnal bladder capacity and the amount of urine produced overnight as well as impaired arousal, that is children are unable to wake up in response to a full bladder. We also find a strong family history when it comes to bedwetting so it is not unusual to find a number of children in the same family who wet the bed. I wonder if either you or your husband wet the bed as children? If genetically determined – most children will show a spontaneous resolution around the same age that their parent achieved continence. Unfortunately the conditioning alarm does not work with all children although I find its success depends to a certain extent on the amount of support received (from a continence specialist) as well as how motivated children are to be dry, with younger children tending to be less motivated than older children. It is not unusual for children not to achieve dryness straight away with treatment sometimes requiring three cycles of use. More recently researchers have examined the link with food allergies with some children experiencing a reduction in wetting in response to a change in diet. There is information on the DryNites website that outlines particular foods known to stimulate the kidneys. If this is something you would like to explore can I recommend you first meet with a dietician or naturopath. Whatever path you decide to follow it is important that you do not try and do this alone as the more expert support you receive the increased likelihood of both of you boys becoming dry in the very near future! All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine