Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

My 8 year old has no issues with going to the toilet during the day. But she very rarely goes dry through the night. I’m concerned about her getting teased at sleepovers and she also is getting upset that she doesn’t wake up to go to the toilet at nighttime. What can I do to help her go dry through the night?

It is completely understandable that she gets upset – no child every wants to wet the bed. Given her age and the fact that her bedwetting is really bothering her then it is the perfect time to introduce treatment. Your first step is to make an appointment to have your daughter assessed by your GP – while underlying medical or physical causes are rare (only about 10% of all cases) it is important that you rule this out first. The next step is to discuss your treatment options. Not all GPs are well-versed in treated bedwetting, if yours is not it is important to get referred to someone who is experienced in this area – either another doctor or a nurse consultant. Research clearly shows the more support and guidance families are given, the better the success rate in terms of achieving nighttime continence. Conditioning alarms are what are typically recommended when it comes to choosing treatment. There are two main types of alarms. One is a body alarm with a small sensor that can be worn inside her pyjamas. The second type of alarm is a bell and pad alarm that is placed like a mat over the bottom sheet. This is connected to an alarm box placed at the end of the bed. Some alarms have different settings that allow you to vary the sound – sometimes a louder alarm will raise a particularly deep sleeper. In the meantime, reassure her that this is in no way her fault and that with some help she will become dry. The more support and encouragement she receives, the better she will feel about the situation. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine