Childhood Diseases

Posted by: Jacqui | 2009/05/20


Night time Bladder Control

Dear Doc

My daughter is now 4 years and 4 months old. She has been out of nappies during the day (including for nap time) since about 3 years old.

We stopped nappies at night about 3 months ago, and I have a problem in that she just won' t wake up at night to go to the toilet when she needs to make a wee.

Her bed time is 8pm and we stop fluids at 6pm. We make sure we take her to the toilet before she goes to sleep, and then again between 10pm and 11pm. Most of the time we are fine, but then some nights she has already wet the bed before we get to take her to the toilet again, and she doesn' t even wake up from it - she sleeps too heavily at night that alarms don' t even wake her.

By what age should she start being aware that she needs to wake up to go to the toilet? I have heard that there is some chemical in the body that helps alert that you need the toilet - is there something i can do or give her to help with this problem? could it be that, or must i still give it time?

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Expert's Reply



This is a problem for you and your daughter, but she is still young and has not reached the age when treatment as such is advised. The best advice now is to try using the star chart method [look this up] A small reward is given after she achieves 3 to 5 dry nights in a row [you can decide this]. This incentive is often very successful. If you do not have success have lots of patience and if she is still bed wetting at 5 years take her to see your paediatrician.

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