Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

Dear M.H., Managing children’s bedwetting can be incredibly tricky; partially because we often do not understand the underlying cause and partly because there are so many mixed messages out there about how best to proceed. Nighttime wetting at this age is considered to be perfectly normal, with about 15-20% of children continuing to wet at night up to the age of 7 years; and it is much more common among young boys than girls. In terms of looking out for signs of ‘readiness’, one of the best indicators that your son is moving toward achieving nighttime continence is an increase in the number of consecutive mornings where he wakes-up dry – until then it is perfectly fine to continue using DryNites. DryNites are designed purely to help manage bedwetting and avoid the stress associated with dealing with constant wet sheets. By far the most effective means of treating children’s bedwetting is the conditioning alarm. Conditioning alarms are designed to wake-up your son when he begins to wet. The conditioning approach is based on the theory that by repetitively waking a child at the time of urination the child becomes conditioned into recognising that urination is about to occur. This method requires a great deal of commitment on behalf of the family, as parents need to take initial responsibility in ensuring their child wakes in response to the alarm. Treatment can take up to 6 months, with about a third of children experiencing relapse. If this occurs you need to reintroduce the alarm, with most children being treated in a much shorter period of time. It is important to discuss this with your GP first as the more guidance you receive the better the outcomes. and that with some help he will become dry. The more support and encouragement you both receive, the better you will feel about the situation. In the short-term make sure he drinks water regularly throughout the day, eats lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and limits fizzy drinks – particularly before bedtime. It’s fine to reduce the amount he drinks in the evening although you need to let him drink if he is thirsty as failure to do so may lead to constipation, which will only contribute to her bedwetting. All the best! Kind regards, Dr Cathrine