Dr Catherine
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2-4 years

How can I get my children (4.5yr old twins) to stop having wet pull-ups through the night? My daughter has had a few random dry nights but my son hasn’t. Every time I even discuss it with him he just tells me “it’s too hard”. I keep telling him I believe in him and that he should keep trying and I know he will be able to do it soon. But he just whinges and says it’s too hard and doesn’t even let me have conversations with him about it. He also hides his pull-up and tells me he was dry when I know he wasn’t. I haven’t ever got mad at him over it so I don’t know why he is like this. What can I do to help him?

Bedwetting at this age is considered to be developmentally normal with most medical professionals not recommending treatment before the age of 6 years - this is partly due to the high rates of spontaneous resolution prior to this. How we manage bedwetting as parents is paramount to ensuring children emerge from their bedwetting phase relatively unscathed. Reassure your twins that their bedwetting is not their fault and is something that they will eventually outgrow as their body becomes better able to hold the urine overnight or they learn to wake in response to a full bladder. With respect to your son you can foster positive self-esteem by helping him to make a distinction between daytime toileting (which is conscious and controllable) and nighttime bedwetting (which isn’t) - so when he says it is too hard, he is right! It is important that you offer him lots of praise and encouragement and set realistic and achievable goals - so rather than the goal being to wake up dry, the goal might be about disposing of his DryNites each morning when he wakes. Encourage healthy bladder habits by getting both children to drink plenty of water at regular intervals throughout the day – you can taper this off toward bedtime but do not restrict fluids completely. The best indicator that your twins are ready to achieve nighttime dryness is an increase in the number of consecutive mornings they wake up dry - until then it is perfectly fine (and less stressful) for them to continue use DryNites. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine