Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

Up to what age is considered normal for bed-wetting? My daughter is 5 and has never had a dry night. She has been out of nappies during the day since she was 2.5 years old, and still occasionally wets her pants during the day. She wears Pull Ups at night and they are always wet in the morning. Any ideas on what we can do?

Bedwetting is often one of those things that no-one likes to talk about, with many parents feeling embarrassed and therefore suffer in silence. As such we tend to not realise how common it actually is. There is some debate surrounding the age at which intervention is recommended, with some doctors arguing age 5 to 6 is a good time to start, with others saying it is developmentally normal to wet the bed up to the age of 8, especially when it comes to boys. The good news is, the majority of children aged between 5 and 7 years will outgrow bedwetting on their own. As children get older the chances of them outgrowing bedwetting do reduce. Frequency also comes into play - with children who wet the bed everynight being less likely to outgrow bedwetting on their own without the need for treatment. In terms of treatment the conditioning alarm is your best bet. It is not unusual for it not to work on the first introduction; often it can take two to three cycles. Success of the treatment does depend on the level of commitment so I really would not recommend starting this until she is ready. When you do I would start by consultating with a contiuennec specialist as they will be able to support you through the treatment, will have access to lots of handy tips and tricks, and will ultimately improve the chances of a postive and permanent outcome. Good luck!All the best,