I’ve talked about our trials and tribulations of getting J to the stage when he is dry at night. It hasn’t been straight forward and at 9 he isn’t reliably dry yet.
We have moved forward. He no longer wears nappies or pyjama pants at night unless we are staying overnight somewhere away. Generally he does then (unless it’s at Grannies) because it saves on potential embarrassment. It does mean though that he hasn’t gone on cub camps and so on because he is worried about either wetting the bed or been seen wearing pyjama pants. Kids can be cruel.
We’ve stopped lifting him too. I was never a big fan of lifting as I just felt it was cheating and potentially unhelpful. We only did it because he was keen to avoid the pyjama pants. It helped with that and seemed to help his self-esteem.
Now we have little phases where he has a bad patch, but he might go a few weeks without an accident. Generally, I’m feeling that he is growing out of it. We have seen a lot of progress. I think his body is now reducing urine production while he sleeps and maybe his bladder has more capacity too. The final hurdle seems to be around not waking up when he has the urge to wee.
Yesterday morning I went in and he was fast asleep, but the room smelt of wee. It was soon clear he’d wet himself. This morning he came in to tell me he’d wet the bed, so he must have woken up afterwards. So he can sleep through weeing still and that is the major problem. I think generally the incidents are happening early in the morning – say from about 5 as I am rarely woken to change the bed before then. As he gets up at 6 we are nearly there. The only thing is that if he manages to make it through to 6 because of increased bladder size or something, then would that just be disguising the not waking problem? Not sure. Another thing that puzzles me is that even if he hasn’t wet the bed he doesn’t go for a wee first thing, in fact it can be an hour or so after he wakes. I find that a bit mystifying.
In the past I’ve written about the problems we’ve had with J not being dry at night. For some time now we have been doing without night-time nappies, unless we are away from home from the night and then we sometimes do just to reduce the chance of an embarrassing accident.
Most of the time we have achieved this largely by lifting J. Whilst I regard that as cheating really – you can’t say your child is dry at night if you are lifting them as it is you making sure they are dry and not them. For us it was a useful thing to do though as J felt nappies or pyjama pants were babyish and he preferred to avoid them. Recently, though we have stopped lifting him and he has still been mostly dry.
I think this means that his body is now producing enough vasopressin, the hormone that reduces urine production at night. So this is a step in the right direction, but he is not waking to signals from his bladder. The other night he had an accident at 5am and I expect a few more before we are done. Hopefully those signals from the bladder will start to come through a bit stronger soon, so that we can say goodbye to wet sheets.
It’s been a long haul and at 9 J is still having a few problems. It has had an impact on his life: he has turned down cub camps because of it. Thankfully our school doesn’t do a residential until the last year of primary, so I’m really hoping he will be over it completely by then.
I do think there is far too much expectation about being dry at night at an early age. The problem is though is that J is afraid of being teased by his peers and I’m guessing that parents of kids who don’t have a problem, don’t really address this issue. Ho hum!
Sadly our initial successes with night-time dryness haven’t been sustained. I told you a few weeks ago that we were giving it a go and to begin with things went reasonably well. Then we started to have problems with school swimming lessons and J’s confidence started to take a nose dive. I guess it’s inevitable that problems in life would manifest themselves in other ways. When we first tried some years ago, we had 9 dry nights in a row and then he had his MMR booster and it all went to pot. After some weeks of washing bed linen all the time, we went back to nappies. Now we find ourselves doing the same thing. J has been involved in this decision and seems happy with it which is good as I would hate to dent his confidence anymore at the moment.
It might be that J just isn’t ready. He is 7 years old, but his father wasn’t reliably dry till 8 and his uncle even later apparently. They do say these things run in families, so we may be just trying to rush things. J remains reluctant to consider the medical investigation route, so we are leaving things as they are for now and just going back to nappies.
It was nice last night to wake up to J having dry sheets after going back to the nappy. I had got sick of everything smelling of wee every morning and we were having to wash bed linen and pyjamas every day or so. I’m going to have to stock up on nappies again I think as I only have a few in the house. We are lucky in that we are still able to use size 6 nappies and haven’t got to buy special pyjama pants at the moment as they tend to be more expensive. H is very slim at the moment so he has no trouble fitting in. What we are trying to encourage is not using the nappy before he goes to sleep (yes he was being that lazy). We are also trying to get into a routine of trying for a wee immediately before lights out, previously he went before his quiet time. Hopefully, this will take the pressure off the nappy and will mean that it leeks less often.
Last time I told you about how despite J showing no signs of being ready to be giving up night nappies, we decided to give it a go anyway. The surprising thing is that we have had a lot of success.
Nights 1 and 2 were dry. On night 3 we put a nappy on because we had to get up early to catch a train in the morning and we didn’t want to risk a disturbed night beforehand. The nappy was pretty full. the next day.
After that we went back to it. It’s been a bit mixed. What has been positive is that I haven’t been summoned to change the bed before about 3am any day, which suggests that he isn’t producing too much wee through the night. In most cases it’s been 4.30 onwards. There have been quite a few dry nights too and I’d say we were averaging 60:40. This is better than I’d dared to hope for, so I’m very happy.
Another thing that’s interesting is that I’m not washing bedlinen much, if at all, more often than when he was wearing nappies. With nappies they either got full (because he was weeing into them when he was still awake I think) or he’d been messing around down below (as boys do) and the nappy wasn’t ever going to be able to work because his willy was sticking out of it.
He’s motivated to succeed because he’s embarrassed about the nappies and because he wants us to buy him Skylanders as a reward for getting dry. I’m hopeful that he’s on the right track and I just hope things continue to improve from here.