Dr Catherine
< Back to Expert Answers
8-15 years

Hi my stepson has never been dry at night and is 8.5 years old. He wears the drynites every night and 90% soaks through them. I am feeling frustrated due to the cost and the constant washing. I hide this frustration from him and have never said anything negative to my stepson. We just encourage him to always throw out his nappy first thing in the morning and to strip the bed if it’s wet. We do not take him to the toilet during the night and generally eats healthy. I am wondering whether we should be doing more to help get him dry at night? Or do we just wait and hope it resolves itself? Please help!

Just the fact that you aware of these feelings and the impact your actions can have on your son is a step in the right direction If you are trying to juggle work and home commitments then also need to deal with wet sheets this can certainly stretch our coping mechanisms to their limits. You just need to take a deep breath at these times and remind yourself that he is probably as disappointed with the situation as you are. By all means share your frustration with him (but not at him), you could say that you are annoyed with his bladder for not doing its job properly – perhaps you can voice your frustration together so that he sees you more like an ally than someone he has let down. You can try and reduce his urine output by limiting the amount of caffeine-, sugar, or citrus-based drinks he has as these are known to stimulate the kidneys. When it comes to fluid intake, children his age should be drinking approximately one litre per day, this needs to be consumed at regular 2-hourly intervals throughout the day. Avoid restricting fluids in the evening as this can lead to dehydration and constipation. If you have not done so already it would be a good idea to meet with a continence specialist to look at different treatment options. You can contact the Continence Association of Australia (1800 330 066) who should be able to recommend someone in your area. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine