Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

My 9 (almost 10 year old) is still wearing nappies at night time. She is a heavy sleeper which makes it very difficult to wake her to try and get her to go to the toilet during the night. She is getting to an age where she would like to go over to sleep overs and school campus but I fear she will be teased if the other children find out. Her younger sister has been dry at night time since she was 3, but my eldest still has to wear nappies. How do I help her get out of this stage?

It is not uncommon for a number of members of the same family to experience bedwetting – this is due to the underlying genetic causes of bedwetting. While deep sleeping is not a cause of bedwetting it certainly makes things a lot tougher for children to wake in response to a full bladder! Given her age and the importance of being able to attend school camps and sleepovers then it is certainly time to ramp up efforts to help her to become dry. Bedwetting alarms currently experience the best outcomes with 3 in 4 children achieving dryness following treatment. The success of the alarm increases when introduced with the support of an experienced continence advisor. You can contact the Continence Foundation of Australia (1800 330 066) who should be able to recommend someone in your area. In instances where younger siblings achieve nighttime continence first self-esteem issues are not uncommon. To promote self-esteem you need to focus on all the things your daughter does well, explaining that everyone is different and with time she too will become dry. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine