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WWYD: DS11 Bedwetting


What would you do?  

  1. 1. What would you do?

    • Medication
      11
    • Alarm/Pager
      30
    • Behavior Modification
      6
    • Let him grow out of it on his own
      29
    • Other
      25


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The Night Hawk bedwetting alarm worked miracles around here. It took several months since the bedwetting habit was pretty ingrained, but he's only had one accident since he stopped using it several months ago. He still uses it when he sleeps over at someone's house, but I think that's more for his own peace of mind.

 

I learned about it here on the boards so you might want to do a search to hear what others say about it.

 

ETA: I wrote this before I saw your poll. As far as medication goes, I don't think there is currently anything safe on the market. Also, the alarm is a type of behavior modification. I don't think any other type of behavior modification would work. I myself was a bedwetter and there was *nothing, nothing, nothing* that rewards or punishments during the day would have done to help.

Edited by Oak Knoll Mom
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We used an alarm when ds was 7 (he was wet every night). I was skeptical, but figured the alarm cost about a month's worth of pull ups (which made it seem not so bad). After just a few nights he dropped it in the toilet and it stopped working. But he never had another accident after that!

 

Medication doesn't really fix anything - it just dries them up. My ped was not fond of meds unless it was for sleepovers, summer camp or things like that.

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My ds15 grew out of it when he was 13. We tried everything. Meds, waking him up, etc. We had him stop drinking at 6 and he learned to do laundry well. I used a plastic mattress cover and inexpensive sheets that we washed every day. Dd9 also has accidents, but not as frequently. She sleeps on a blow up mattress and does her laundry when she has accidents and we do a high five when she has dry nights. :001_smile: The air mattress has helped because it makes it easier for her to clean up. I wish we'd done that for ds. We ruined a couple of really good mattresses. They do grow out of it!

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I chose other: you didn't mention anything about a doctor. I hesitate to answer medication so quickly. I'd seek medical attention first to find the underlying cause. My son saw a pediatric gastroenterologist and a pediatric urologist because of chronic constipation and wetting his pants and bed. Treatment of the constipation treated the wetting problems too since they were caused by the constipation.

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Alarm. It worked for ds when he was 8 yo. It did require my support in the first few weeks as he slept through it, and it does require much motivation on the part of the kid (getting up, putting on dry clothes if there is an accident-- no matter how tiny). It does take a few months of consistent work to re-train the body, but after about a week the every night accidents stopped.

 

There was also a very helpful book from the bedwettingstore.com that helped explain the method.

 

ETA: We also tried the "let him grow out of it", but it was really getting in the way of wanting to have/ go to sleepovers. And I agree with post below, there is indeed a genetic component.

Edited by RamonaQ
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Several people recommend going to the doctor. Just wanted to mention that bedwetting has a strong genetic component. We are a family of bedwetters for several generations back. If this is coming out of the blue, then yes, you may want to see a doctor. However, if this is a common problem in your family and there's nothing unusual about it, I would go straight to the alarm.

 

(BTW--we did talk to our doctor about it. At age 8, the doctor just recommended waking him up before we went to bed, but by 10 he had changed his tune and recommended the alarm.)

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I agree about genetics. My boys thier father and his brother and my cousins all wet the bed until about 13.

 

Has anyone tried the alarm and it didn't work? We tried it briefly a few years ago, but then it broke and I have thought about getting a new one.

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I voted let him grow out of it mainly because I have never known any kid that the alarm worked for. I have several friends who tried it unsuccessfully with their kids.

 

It worked for my son and it seems to be working for the next one down the line. We really had to stick with it even though he wanted to give up after the first two months.

 

The older the child is, the longer it will take. It took my son something like five months before he went two straight weeks without an accident (that's when the alarm company says they are "cured.") The alarm did decrease the frequency of accidents within a couple of weeks, though.

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I didn't answer the poll because it depends on why he is wetting the bed. Has he been seen by a doctor for this? If not, I'd recommend you do that first.

 

My oldest dd had the problem until about age 10. We took her to the doctor and they said there was no physical reason for it. She was a DEEP sleeper and the urge to go didn't wake her up. We would try to take her to the bathroom before we went to bed, but she wouldn't wake up even when we walked her to the bathroom, set her on the toilet and told her to GO! One time she tried to climb into the bathtub. That was when we gave up on that approach. We just had her wear pull-ups and she eventually grew out of it. Either her bladder capacity became larger or the urge became strong enough to wake her. We just tried to not make a big deal out of it so as to not stress or embarass her.

 

Mary

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I'd first see a chiropractor, let him/her see if there's something going on there.

 

My Eldest was a late bedwetter, which runs in the family on dh's side. We weren't too worried about it, figured he'd outgrow it soon enough. But as I was going to the chiropractor we thought it would be worth it to have her take a look. She didn't detect an issue in that area. So went back to 'waiting it out'. Until he sat there during family time and wet his pull up. That right there proved it was just laziness. We took the pull ups away and continued having him tend to his bedding. He had *maybe* a couple wet nights after that.

 

So, I guess my answer is other followed by behavior modification ?? Determining if it's laziness. Then move onto foods and see a dr for help in that. But my first step would be chiropractor.

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I voted Other because I feel you should take him to the Dr.

 

My 11 year old was still wetting the bed almost every night Our pediatrician told us not to worry about it. Well, on Mother's Day we wound up in the ER with my son having emergency surgery on his weenie. It turns out, his pee pee hole was too small, so urine was backing up into his kidneys, and its why he couldn't hold it all night( he had been telling our pediatrician for 3 years that his lower back ached all the time).

 

We took him to the ER because he doubled over screaming that his stomach hurt. In addition to his pee pee hole being too small, he had twisted testicles. He was also "small" for his age. He is now "normal to large" for his age, due to now having proper blood flow and has not wet the bed since he recovered from surgery. The urologist told us that he wishes we had brought our son in to see him much earlier, they could have diagnosed his problem and taken care of it in a non emergency situation.

 

Notice to Moms of boys, when they have twisted testicles they will often say its their stomach that hurts because that's how the muscles run. If we had been 30 mins later to the ER my son would have had both testicles REMOVED. They die in about 2 hours without blood flow.

 

Blessings,

Kim

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We started working on this when my dd was 7yo.

 

We tried all the different remedies that we saw on the internet: no juice, no dairy, no liquids except small sips for three hours before bed, holding it for as long as possible during the day to stretch the bladder, going to the bathroom every 2 hours around the clock (that was pretty miserable),... None of them worked at all. Our dd was still dry just 10-12x/year.

 

We went to the doctor and tried medication. She had us ramp up the medication every two weeks. We got to the maximum dosage for her size and it hadn't had any effect whatsoever. In fact, she had no dry nights at all during the two months we were trying the medication.

 

The doctor referred us to a urologist who said that she might possibly be constipated and that might be causing the problem, so we used miralax for about one month with no effect. The urologist wanted to do exploratory surgery after that and we refused.

 

We ended up using the SleepDry alarm from Starchild Laboratories. My dd slept right through the alarm until I got her up (loud enough to wake me up on the other side of the house with my door and her door both shut) the first week and we found that she was actually wetting the bed 2-3x every night. The second week she actually woke up with the alarm and she was wetting the bed 1-2x every night. The third week she had a couple of dry nights and was wet only 1 time each of the other nights. The fourth week was completely dry. She was wet once during the fifth week. She was wet twice in the following year (both times when she was miserably sick). She actually used the alarm for 3 months.

 

Our dd was a VERY deep sleeper who had also been a sleepwalker when she was a toddler. The alarm taught her to recognize her body's signals and wake up to use the bathroom.

Edited by AngieW in Texas
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My oldest (8 at the time) had success with going through a "practice" each night before bed. First I would talk him through it and then he would talk himself through it once he was familiar with the routine. He would lie in bed and pretend to be asleep. Then he would describe for himself the increasing pressure and sensations of needing to go to the bathroom. Then he would tell himself to hold it and try to feel that sensation. Then he would tell himself to wake up and go and he would get up quickly and go to the bathroom. This was the first line of treatment recommended by our ped. It worked within a few weeks. The next step after that wouuld have been an alarm and/or hypnosis. She said that these treatments only work if the child is on board and they really want to change the behavior. Best of luck to you in finding a solution that works for your family.

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I voted other. We went through this when son was 8 years old. I vote that you take him to a urologist for eval. That is what we did. First he recommended cutting liquids after 6:00 pm. Cut sugar out or reduce it. Also reduce salt. He also told us to let his endo know that he is having trouble with this issue. (sign of diabetic attack....he is prediabetic)

 

So we followed his advice and within a week the problem went away.

 

My question is:

 

Is your child prediabetic or have any endo issues? If so that may be the culprit...

 

Is the child drinking fluids after 6:00?

 

I would reduce sugar and salt as well.

 

I would not use physical punishment as behavior modification. We never punished our son for bedwetting. We took it as a matter of fact and talked to him alot about what it would feel like if he had to go potty and then get up. Communication was the key in this. Not sure what other behavior modification there are....I would not punish in this case. (your child may think withholding fluid after 6:00 punishment but it is not punishment at all esp if it is recommended by the urologist)

 

Holly

Edited by Holly IN
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I voted other, because I don't think that there is one solution that works for everyone.

Obviously, when you drink is important, but WATCH SALT. If I have too much salt, several days later my body starts to eliminate it and I need to urinate more round the clock. So, even if you aren't drinking after 6 (and you could even make it 3-4 hours before bedtime if necessary), I'd be sure not to have too much salt sometimes. Also, watch the caffeine and watch cranberries, which are both diueretics.

 

It can be diet related; I once did a temp job for someone that sold an alarm, but he had people do a diet change first. One of the offenders was tomato, but I don't remember the others. I had a client at the time who had a dc who only wet the bed if he ate tomatoes or anything with tomatoes in it, so there are at least some dc like this. Or I'd have an Elisa test done for IGg reactions, which can occur up to 72 hours after eating something your body has an IGg reaction. (It's an immune response, but not an allergy; allergies are IGe reactions.)

 

The alarm can be helpful if there is no other cause other than sleeping too deeply to wake up.

 

The fact is that some dc we the bed longer than others due to development, too. One of my aunts wet the bed until she was 14, but none of us were nearly that long. Of course, back then they didn't have all of these solutions and she got yelled at my my grandmother. This is why my mother never made a fuss if anyone in our house wet the bed. One of my adopted brothers wet the bed until gr 5. They used an alarm once, but apparently that wasn't what did it according to her (don't remember the details, but he did stop wetting at night.) Prior to that they would get him up and take him to the bathroom before they went to bed, which reduced the problem; he didn't usually remember that.

 

I would only use medication as a last resort if the bedwetting happens often. So far, I haven't head of anyone who wet the bed past 14, but I haven't gone yet to read all the pages in my post. As for my dc, one has been dry at night since 4, one since 5 and one since 7 or 8 Ican't remember anymore with that one.) I used pull ups.

 

Do NOT use punishment unless you know for a proven fact that your dc was awake when it happened. That's nearly impossible to prove, btw. Bedwetting is not a behaviour problem.

Edited by Karin
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Notice to Moms of boys, when they have twisted testicles they will often say its their stomach that hurts because that's how the muscles run. If we had been 30 mins later to the ER my son would have had both testicles REMOVED. They die in about 2 hours without blood flow.

 

Blessings,

Kim

 

 

Excellent point. I believe this is called torsion. One night about a year ago the doctor thought ds might have this because he had pain there (not in his stomach) and couldn't remember having done anything to hurt it. He was fine, and it turned out he had been jumping and hitting his rear with his shoes; he must have managed to kick himself, but he didn't demonstrate that until a few days later when it hurt less.

 

What I learned is that if there is no obvious cause for pain there it's an emergency. We were rushed right through al the screening when we arrived at the ER (the dr had called ahead,) but didn't get the ultrasound for some time. If it had been that, he would probably have lost that one because I had no idea this condition existed and waited a while before making any calls; I hate to call for just nothing (aka the diaper rash calls in pediatrics.) I went through all kinds of stress, worry and guilt and am so glad I called my dad (an MD) to ask him about this.

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So, I guess my answer is other followed by behavior modification ?? Determining if it's laziness.

 

Can we please refrain from loaded terms like "laziness"? It is painful for me to read. As a bedwetter, I can't tell you how many times I was told my problem was laziness. And yes, I did have occasional daytime accidents. Calling it laziness only shamed me and made me hide the situation. I ruined a mattress at someone else's house at a sleep over because I was too ashamed to bring it to the attention of my friend's mom. Call it inattentiveness, call it not heeding the signals, but PLEASE don't turn it into character assassination.

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Both my ds7 and dd6 both wet the bed almost every night until a few months ago. I tried waking them up at night, cutting out dairy, no liquids after 5pm and none of that worked.

 

I read on the forums that Magnesium supplements might help, so I gave them a magnesium/zinc supplement and after about 2 weeks, they BOTH stopped wetting.

 

I didn't tell them why they were getting the supplement, just that they were getting a new vitamin.

 

The 2nd week, they each had 1-2 accidents and by the 3rd week, they both stopped wetting and have been dry ever since (even if they don't take their vitamin! :w00t:

Edited by Jumping In Puddles
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Can we please refrain from loaded terms like "laziness"? It is painful for me to read. As a bedwetter, I can't tell you how many times I was told my problem was laziness. And yes, I did have occasional daytime accidents. Calling it laziness only shamed me and made me hide the situation. I ruined a mattress at someone else's house at a sleep over because I was too ashamed to bring it to the attention of my friend's mom. Call it inattentiveness, call it not heeding the signals, but PLEASE don't turn it into character assassination.

:iagree: This issue caused a huge rift in my aunt's relationship with her mother (my grandmother.)

 

There are also dc who hold too long and no longer feel the signals to go. She once told me of a dc someone brought to see her whose belly was so distended she looked pregnant (not full term, but too young to be pregnant!). My sister had her go to the bathroom. The family had to retrain their dd to feel the signals by making her go every so often until her bladder, etc. got back to normal. I had a much milder version of that with my middle dd when she was younger. She hated to stop what she was doing to go to the bathroom and would eventually leak. Interestingly, she was the first one dry all night, but I'm not sure if that's related or not.

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I voted Other because I feel you should take him to the Dr.

 

My 11 year old was still wetting the bed almost every night Our pediatrician told us not to worry about it. Well, on Mother's Day we wound up in the ER with my son having emergency surgery on his weenie. It turns out, his pee pee hole was too small, so urine was backing up into his kidneys, and its why he couldn't hold it all night( he had been telling our pediatrician for 3 years that his lower back ached all the time).

 

We took him to the ER because he doubled over screaming that his stomach hurt. In addition to his pee pee hole being too small, he had twisted testicles. He was also "small" for his age. He is now "normal to large" for his age, due to now having proper blood flow and has not wet the bed since he recovered from surgery. The urologist told us that he wishes we had brought our son in to see him much earlier, they could have diagnosed his problem and taken care of it in a non emergency situation.

 

Notice to Moms of boys, when they have twisted testicles they will often say its their stomach that hurts because that's how the muscles run. If we had been 30 mins later to the ER my son would have had both testicles REMOVED. They die in about 2 hours without blood flow.

 

Blessings,

Kim

 

Wow, thanks for the heads up! I'm glad everything turned out well for your DS.

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I never knew that could be a possible cause. After all the great advise, I think I will take him to the MD to rule out any underlying causes and then decide from there. Thanks!

 

fwiw, not all MDs know about food causes for everything. Even my PCP offered medication once for something when the urologist suggested cranberry juice or capsules. This type of dietary info isn't taught in med school, based on what I've been told by MDs. My PCP hasn't even heard of an ELISA test.

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I would also take him to the dr to rule out any kind of physical issue. Then I would try a magnesium supplement. We use kid cal. I read about it here on this forum and it solved the problem within days for both my boys with very few relapses. I think it's been about 6-8 months or so. My mother wished she had known about that when she was dealing with my brother. She tried alarms and other things but nothing worked for him except outgrowing it.

 

The nice thing about the genetic component is I was able to inform my sons that this had nothing to do with them. Prior to the kid cal, I made waterproof blankets out of two layers of flannel and one layer of PUL (a breathable flexible waterproof fabric) so they didn't have to deal with pull ups or washing ALL the bedding every night. At least they could deal with it on their own that way - throw the blanket in the hamper and change their clothes and go back to sleep. It fits right into a sleeping bag for sleepovers too.

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I haven't read all of the replies but I would suggest the alarm. One of our boys was still wetting the bed at 4/5 years old. We went with the alarm and it was transformational in about a month. We had a dry, happier boy (happier mom, too) and it was a permanent change. This was 20+ years ago, so I'm SURE the technology for these things are much better. Oh- my dh had the same thing until he was 5-ish, so I think it's genetic. If behaviour mod won't work, I'd take him to a urologist just to make sure everything is working right.

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I'd start with a chiro. If regular treatments weren't fixing it, and the kiddo wasn't putting his back out doing something rough (my dd is always jumping off furniture and landing on her bum :glare:) I'd keep going to the chiro but start looking at diet. If I couldn't figure it out, then I'd be after a referral to a specialist. I wouldn't start with a specialist because they are, well, specialists, and don't look at the whole person and I think that's the best place to start. People aren't medical conditions.

 

Fwiw, my chiro said the oldest patient she's treated for this was 16.

 

Rosie

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Does he care? Or is it you who cares? This is important, because he has to want to do it.

 

I second the genetic thing. I wet till I was 12. My aunt was 13, my cousin was 16. Dd8 and dd5 wet, but ds9 is dry. Dd8 and dd5 just don't care. Not. One. Bit. It makes it impossible to deal with, it's my issue, not theirs. I think it's very important not to medicalise a behavioral and developmental issue such as bedwetting.

 

I don't see you have too many choices. The medication is great for a sleep over or a camp, but it's short term and it is not meant to 'fix' the problem. The alarms seem to have a low success rate, and in my experience as a child and parent they only wake the parent, not the child. Withholding drinks for two hours prior to bed supposedly doesn't work, but I find that it's a huge factor here.

 

I have put a plastic, absorbent sheet with a quilted cover over it on their beds. That meter of sheet gets rinsed out so I do t have to change a whole bed. It makes it so much easier.

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Can we please refrain from loaded terms like "laziness"? It is painful for me to read. As a bedwetter, I can't tell you how many times I was told my problem was laziness. And yes, I did have occasional daytime accidents. Calling it laziness only shamed me and made me hide the situation. I ruined a mattress at someone else's house at a sleep over because I was too ashamed to bring it to the attention of my friend's mom. Call it inattentiveness, call it not heeding the signals, but PLEASE don't turn it into character assassination.

 

:iagree: yes, it's very embarrassing. I was so upset every morning to wake up and feel wet sheets. Some kids care, some don't, but its not laziness.

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My almost 11 year old DS still wets the bed at night. What would you do? Thanks!

 

 

I have dealt with this for one son. But he had a neurological issue. Basically his brain and bladder didn't have a good neuro connection.

 

From what my son's doctor told me: babies pee about 4-5 times an hour automatically (the bladder doesn't get full)... and as they get older that decreases. When their brain matures and the bladders holds the urine in... then sends a signal to brain that the bladder is full. For Ds this didn't happen. So even at age 4 he was still peeing 4-5 times an hour automatically. He never had a full bladder and the signal from bladder to brain couldn't happen. Instead his brain kept telling his bladder to automatically release. Ds literally had to train his brain and bladder and then learn to know when he needed to go. Took him about 6 months before he stayed fully dry during the day (he was almost 5yrs old when he was considered "potty trained). But if he went to sleep his system reverted back to infantcy. At night he would pee about 6-8 times.

 

So when he was 9yrs old he was given medication (DDAVP) and after about 8 months he started to be weaned from it. Just after he turned 10 he was off the medication and has been dry since.

Edited by AnitaMcC
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Both my ds7 and dd6 both wet the bed almost every night until a few months ago. I tried waking them up at night, cutting out dairy, no liquids after 5pm and none of that worked.

 

I read on the forums that Magnesium supplements might help, so I gave them a magnesium/zinc supplement and after about 2 weeks, they BOTH stopped wetting.

 

I didn't tell them why they were getting the supplement, just that they were getting a new vitamin.

 

The 2nd week, they each had 1-2 accidents and by the 3rd week, they both stopped wetting and have been dry ever since (even if they don't take their vitamin! :w00t:

 

 

I PM'd you yesterday about magnesium. Same good results here, but quicker. And dry nights ever since. :)

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I have dealt with this for one son. But he had a neurological issue. Basically his brain and bladder didn't have a good neuro connection.

 

From what my son's doctor told me: babies pee about 4-5 times an hour automatically (the bladder doesn't get full)... and as they get older that decreases. .

 

Hmm, there must be exceptions, because when my eldest was a baby I switched from disposales to cloth (started with disposables because I'd had a c-section and we lived 2 floors up from the washer). She would pee about every 10 minutes and would cry as soon as her diaper was wet. We switched back to disposables. Later, when potty training she stil had to go more often; I think she must have had a small bladder, and it took time for her to get it to a normal capacity. She wasn't the last one to become dry at night, though.

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fwiw I had a friend whose son wet until 7, she went on and on that it was genetic, her husband did as well. I tried to convince her it was due to an intolerance, this is one of the symptoms of food intolerance. They did an alarm for him and it worked but they also gave up gluten around the same time. Now, he doesn't wet unless he has gluten then he starts wetting again for 3 days. My daughter seems to wet at night related to food, which seems to be soy lecithin and soy oil for her.

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I never knew that could be a possible cause. After all the great advise, I think I will take him to the MD to rule out any underlying causes and then decide from there. Thanks!

 

For some reason, I personally found that Americans give their children too much cow's milk to drink. Only my youngest drinks cow's milk and only with breakfast cereal or an occasional chocolate milk treat at snack time -- never at dinner.

 

I came up with this policy after my boys stayed overnight with a friend for 2 nights. She confided in me that they had wet the bed both nights (and they were not bed wetters at all). :confused: When I asked her what they had to drink during our time away, she had given them milk to drink w/ all their meals. I think cow's milk is more difficult for the body to digest. They normally have only water at meals.

 

I shared this event with another friend who was having a bed wetting prob. with her son and she stopped giving him milk at dinner (and maybe lunchtime, can't remember). Anyway, she said it helped a great deal.

 

Also, I would limit liquid intake to no more after dinner time.

 

Hope this might help in your situation!

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For some reason, I personally found that Americans give their children too much cow's milk to drink. Only my youngest drinks cow's milk and only with breakfast cereal or an occasional chocolate milk treat at snack time -- never at dinner.

 

I came up with this policy after my boys stayed overnight with a friend for 2 nights. She confided in me that they had wet the bed both nights (and they were not bed wetters at all). :confused: When I asked her what they had to drink during our time away, she had given them milk to drink w/ all their meals. I think cow's milk is more difficult for the body to digest. They normally have only water at meals.

 

I shared this event with another friend who was having a bed wetting prob. with her son and she stopped giving him milk at dinner (and maybe lunchtime, can't remember). Anyway, she said it helped a great deal.

 

Also, I would limit liquid intake to no more after dinner time.

 

Hope this might help in your situation!

 

This is true of my boys as well. We rarely to never have actual cows milk in our house; my kids only get it when we're away from home. If my boys had/have more than one kid size serving a day it was a guaranteed they'd wet the bed that night.

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