Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

My son is nearly seven, uses pull ups and is not distressed by bed wetting. Should I try treatment in summer like an alarm or just wait till he outgrows it? Do hypnosis CDs work? Not sure if I should be more pro active as hear differing opinions all the time.

Hi Karen, there is certainly a lot of information floating around out there about bedwetting and unfortunately not all of it accurate. There is some debate surrounding the age at which intervention is recommended, with some doctors arguing age 6 is a good time to start, with others saying it is developmentally normal to wet the bed up to the age of 8, especially when it comes to boys. Some children do outgrow bedwetting on their own; however as children get older the chances of this occurring do reduce. The decision of when to begin treatment should really be up to you and your son. The tricky thing for you is that he does not seem bothered about the situation, which is fantastic in terms of his self-esteem, but not so great if you are wanting him to commit to a strict treatment regime. In terms of treatment the conditioning alarm is your best bet. It is not unusual for it not to work on the first introduction; often it can take two to three cycles. Success of the treatment does depend on the level of commitment so I really would not recommend starting this until he is ready. There have been some mixed results with hypnotherapy; the successes that I have heard of have mostly been when hypnotherapy has been introduced in conjunction with the alarm (and therefore difficult to separate which treatment has been most successful). When you do I would start by consulting with a continence specialist as they will be able to support you through the treatment, will have access to lots of handy tips and tricks, and will ultimately improve the chances of a positive and permanent outcome. Good luck! Regards, Dr Cathrine