Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

My son is 8. He wets so much overnight. No pull ups I’ve tried hold it all in. We have a saturated bed every night, pull up and pyjamas. He’s getting to the age he wants to go to sleep overs and will have school camp next year. He’s also tried bed wetting alarms and different medications which haven’t worked. Any thoughts? Thank you

Unfortunately conditioning alarms are still the most successful form of treatment - they can take up to 3 cycles to work so it is important not to give up if at first you do not succeed. They are more successful for children who wet less frequently - so you may need to explore this in conjunction with other treatment options that are better designed to reduce urine output. There are a number of alternative treatments available these include acupuncture, homeopathy, and chiropractic care (this involves treating the bladder through manipulation of the lower spine and pelvis) – many of these approaches are still viewed as experimental so it is a good idea to speak with a continence advisor first before trying any treatment. You can also try and reduce the amount of urine his kidneys produce by limiting caffeinated drinks and food. Things like chocolate and soft drinks are very high in caffeine and cause the kidneys to produce higher quantities of urine. Some children have found a change in diet (i.e., increase in fibre) to be helpful particularly if they a prone to suffering from constipation – constipation is a common medical cause of bedwetting. Remember each child is unique so what works for one will not necessarily work for another. In the meantime focus on building his self-esteem and self-confidence. Remind him that his bedwetting is not his fault and is much more common than he thinks - there would be at least one other person in his class whom also wets the bed. When it comes to attending sleepovers – holding them at your house (where you can support him) is often a good place to start. It is important that you do not allow his bedwetting to interfere with social opportunities as this can affect his self-esteem and self-confidence. The best and most convenient option is for him to wear absorbent pants like DryNites. Understandably his biggest concern will be being discovered by his friends, so you will need to plan together how he will put them on and off without being discovered. There are some great stories about school camps and sleepovers on the DryNites website that you may find helpful. All the best! Kind Regards, Dr Cathrine