Today I want to share something very personal with you all – and that’s our story of our daughter’s struggle to get dry at night and how far later than expected – and indeed society expects – she finally cracked it.
I’m teaming up with Ontex Healthcare UK – which specialises in products for incontinence management, and their ID Comfy Junior Pants for night or day wetting – to share our experiences over the last couple of years, and how we finally were able to breathe a big sigh of relief and joy after two years of trying everything in the book, when just in time for Christmas just gone at the grand old age of five and a half, we bought our very last pack of junior pants. So let us begin….
I had always presumed that once our daughter had ditched her nappies during the day after potty training, then the natural progression would be for her to go dry at night.
After all, that’s what we are led to believe, isn’t it?
So as the grand old age of three and then four rolled around, I thought yes! Finally the end of pull up days. Little did I know that she would be in pull ups for quite a time longer, and that we would then progress to junior pants.
As we edged closer to her fifth birthday, despite lovely reassurances from friends, I began to feel a sense of urgency creep up on me. Surely this would be the age she finally hit that milestone?
But no matter what strategies we tried up until that point, nothing worked
We had received so much conflicting advice by that point – lift her, don’t lift her, lift her at different times; restrict her liquids, don’t restrict her liquids; just let her wet the bed that’ll teach her – my mind was in an absolute muddle over our journey to get into a muddle.
My head knew that this didn’t feel right – it also wondered whether this was a physical or actually more a psychological thing. My heart didn’t want to do anything that traumatised her. So we continued wearing junior pants at night.
Enter the bed-wetting alarm
Eventually after reading lots of good things about them, we finally bought a bed-wetting alarm.
For us, the bed-wetting alarm worked up to a point. It definitely helped force that signal to my daughter’s brain that she had a pee on the way and needed to get up and out of her deep sleep. Of that there was absolutely no doubt.
We were maybe a bit cowardly with its use but after reading so many different experiences on forums about it we used it along with knickers under her junior pants and perhaps because there wasn’t fear factor of wetting the bed – only your knickers – it didn’t seal the deal for us.
But after about two months or so – and an alarm by the way is not a quick fix, as you can probably now tell – to be quite honest we were all going stir crazy from being jolted out of bed at the sound of the alarm and getting flashbacks of new parent sleep deprivation.
Poor Mister C thought he could hear an alarm going off pretty much most of the day!
Waoo waoo waoo waoo, it went.
And so we tried what everyone had said not to do
and we restricted liquids after 5pm and began to lift her. Just a tiny little sip at dinner time and nothing after that, and a sleepy time trip to the toilet at around 10.30 – 11pm. My goodness did we have a battle on restricting that liquid!
We also started working on training her bladder to contain more liquids and hold it during the day. I became the drinking police! Constantly prodding and probing for large amounts of liquids to be drunk at once rather than the short sips here and there that had been the preferred way of supping beforehand.
Needless to say, I began to get very annoyed with my own water pushing voice!
But do you know what? It worked!
Something about the combination of forcing that signal in the first stage with the alarm, and then emptying the last remnants in the bladder – a bit like a dream wee – did it!
After a week, the junior pants came off and we were there! I was so happy I could have kissed Mr Bean. At this stage we are just so over the moon to have got to where we thought we would never get and it just goes to show, you DO know best as the parent.
We hope to be able to gradually inch the nightly dream wee back so that it’s no longer needed and we’re also working on how getting up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night independently is a great and very normal thing.
In the meantime I want to say to any parent struggling with a similar situation, I completely understand how you feel. It becomes an exhausting pursuit trying to find a solution to support your child being dry at night when it doesn’t just come to them naturally.
But you are not alone.
Along our journey I have heard of many other children and parents who have found it challenging to get dry at night – it’s just that like with many things associated with pee – people don’t talk about it.
Because of the E-Factor. It’s the same reason that 82% of women surveyed by Ontex Healthcare UK revealed that the key word they associate with bladder weakness is embarrassment with only 5% saying accepted. And sadly it’s much the same when our children pass that socially accepted age. Other associated words that came up in their survey were stressful (51%), restrictive (42%), secretive (36%) and fear (25%); all words I can relate to as part of our journey too.
Our bodies don’t always do what we or other people expect of them, so please share this post to help spread the word that these are things experienced by many, and let’s break the taboo for anyone, at any age who finds it a challenge to control their bladder.
Ontex specialises in products for continence management and has designed a product range centred around discretion and giving confidence to the user. The iD product range covers all types and levels of incontinence for males and females of all ages. The iD range of products is available to buy from www.id-direct.com, Asda Pharmacies and through online and independent retailers nationwide.
*This is commissioned post