Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

my son is 4.5yr old. he wears diaper at night. Its bin quite a while that I have stopped making him wear diaper in the morning. I hv bin constantly telling him " if u feel like passing urine or do potty n tell me n go to the toilet." off late he has bin tellin me as n whn he feels like goin. bt at school he doesn't do so. although I have told him maanyyyyyyyy a times that in school also u need to tell ur teacher whenever u want to go. But it seems he is quite reluctant to do so. I don't know whats d problem. I asked him manyyyyy times but he simply ignored it , thats wat I feeeel. don't know wat to do

Dear P.L.,Starting school can be an incredibly stressful time for young children; there are new routines that they need to become familiar with, new rules, new teachers, and a whole new peer group which brings with it many new challenges. The first thing you need to do is make an appointment with your son’s class teacher to discuss some of the difficulties he is experiencing. While I do understand the need for teachers to restrict the number of times children go to the toilet during class time, there are always exceptions to the rule and I generally find teachers to be very accommodating once they are made aware of the situation. He or she may have experienced something similar in the past and may have some helpful strategies that she can put into place. It is not unusual for young children to develop a fear of school toilets; these can be full of big boisterous boys that can be incredibly daunting. Furthermore if he suddenly has to adopt a new technique such as standing, this only adds to the challenge. If you think ‘technique’ is contributing to his wet pants you could suggest he uses the toilet rather than the urinal so that he can pull his pants fully down or alternatively practice at home so that he becomes more proficient. It is quite common for children to hold on while at school, leaving it to the very last minute to go. Accidents are far more common when children are rushed so it is important that you talk to him about leaving plenty of time to get to the toilet, going as soon as he feels the first urge to empty his bladder. With respect to his nighttime wetting, this is completely normal for a child of his age. The fact that he continues to wet every night suggests that his body has not developed to a point where he is able to either hold on or wake-up. Conditioning alarms are your best bet for nighttime ‘training’ however they are much more successful when used with children who experience less frequent wetting (i.e., only 3 or 4 times a week). It is not unusual for boys to continue to wet at night up until age 8 as their bodies typically take a little longer to mature than girls. All the best. Regards, Dr Cathrine