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Melissa in Australia

bedwetting help

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I am currently looking after 4 nephews - aged between 5 and 12

 3 of them wet the bed. the two younger ones have pull-ups . one has the pull-ups leak every second night. but the oldest doesn't and as he is 12 when he wets he is very wet - which means all the bedding is soaked. We only use natural fibers so most of the bedding is wool. It is winter here so laundry is hard to dry - because it is winter there is a lot of bedding. We don't have a dryer. we also have very limited water so the extra laundry is a real problem.

We are doing the no drinks after 5 pm etc. does anyone have any other helpful advice.

 

Would you believe with all my children I didn't really have a bedwetter past the age of 4 so this is new territory for me

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Wow.  I'm sorry you're having to deal with that!  My middle was almost 6 before he stopped completely.  I doubled up pull-ups, waterproof cover for the mattress, cut off liquid at whatever time seemed to have an effect, and washed sheets almost daily.  Another option could be waking them up to use the bathroom once or twice.  If this is a semi long-term thing, I'd honestly buy some synthetic sheets that dry quickly.  I know that might not be ideal, but if it is feasible, it might be worth considering.  Good luck!

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If they are wakeable you can wake them and toilet them.  Problem is it is hard to get the timing right (many people do it before they go to bed but with mine it had to be an hour after going to sleep)  It goes against all incontinence nurse advice unless you can fully wake them but it does work.  Limiting drinks doesn't generally help and can irritate the bladder.  Unless they are all in bed by 7 5 pm is too early.  Also if they get thirsty they tend to drink as much as possible while cleaning teeth. How long do you have them.

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If you are going to have them for an extended period of time, it might be a good idea to invest in sheets that will dry quickly since there's likely no 'quick fix' to this.

Three of my boys wet the bed until they were about 8 or 10. I suspect it had something to do with trauma earlier in their lives before they came to our family. I'm guessing that your nephews have experienced some disruption in their lives since they're living with you now and that may cause bed wetting. We used pull ups, plastic mattress covers, etc.  We tried the bed wetting alarm for one of them.  He just slept so soundly that even this alarm screaming in his bed didn't wake him at all!  I know that often it's just a matter of maturing physically, but if it's a reaction to trauma, I think it will just take time for the kids to feel secure and cared for. 

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thank you for the suggestions.

It is the wool blankets that are the hard thing to get dry. the 12 year old doesn't wear any pull ups etc. so when he wets the bed every single blanket is soaked. the younger ones with pull ups only have a small amount of leakage so only the sheets and mattress protectors are wet.

the nephews are with me for possibly a week, maybe a little bit longer really unknown at the moment. they wet the bed at home as well , but they have town water and a dryer . I don't think it is trauma that is causing it.

My sister is having complications with her 10th pregnancy and is in and out of hospital. the baby will be induced most probably mid next week - 5 weeks prem. her 9 children have been divided up between me and my mother, me taking 4 ( most of the ones being homeschooled).

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Bedwetting isn’t uncommon. There is often a genetic component and it’s more common in boys than in girls. Limiting drinks doesn’t help unfortunately. Waking to use the bathroom may or may not help. Puberty does help. My understanding is that the brain should send a signal to stop urine production during sleep, but for some reason that signal takes longer to develop on some people.

Since you are in another country I’m not sure what things you have available to you. A waterproof mattress cover will help. You can use chucks, which obviously are not natural fibers. I have washable chucks I got from a medical supply store online. Unfortunately I haven’t found a solution for blankets. If my kids have an accident too early in the night the blankets usually end up wet.

There are medications that can help. In the past we have gotten one for when my kids were at camp. It is hard on the kidneys so it isn’t for long term use. There is another medication that isn’t quite as effective, but isn’t as hard on the kidneys. A buzzer can help with the older one if you are willing to put the time in and have disjointed sleep until he wakes on his own when it goes off. 

Hang in there, it can be wearisome. 

Here is one of the better articles I have found about bedwetting: http://www.urologyhealth.org/urologic-conditions/nocturnal-enuresis-(bedwetting)/printable-version

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If there's no trauma in their background it's just a genetically controlled hormone thing.  Either you produce the hormone to tell your kidneys to slow down urine production at night or you don't.

They do sell diapers for older kids.

So there's a thing nurses call Chux or Chucks that's a big waterproof pad that can catch most of it.  You may be able to get some locally at a medical supply store. Here's a link to some on the American Amazon page that I've bought and used before: https://www.amazon.com/RMS-Washable-Reusable-Incontinence-Underpads/dp/B01MUEVH9X/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1528890752&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=waterproof+pad&psc=1

There is also a disposable version of the above pads that I've seen nurses wrap around people who leak around diapers.

We also have waterproof mattress pads on every kids bed, we got the more expensive versions sold at our local Target. They are quiet, they don't make the noise cheaper ones do.  They have an absorbent pad on top and a waterproof lining underneath.

Fleece blankets dry pretty fast.  I would probably switch to a cheap fleece blanket instead of wool.

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Seeing your update, the medication Desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) maybe an option to help you temporarily. It would require a doctor’s visit most likely. It took a while for us to figure out the correct dosage for my oldest and took a couple days to kick in completely but did work. 

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Oh, I forgot.  Some people use fleece as a diaper cover.  Some kinds are water resistant and some kinds are wicking.  I don't remember how to tell the difference between cheap fleece at the fabric store, but I'm certain there are YouTube videos on how to tell or not.

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1 minute ago, Katy said:

 

Fleece blankets dry pretty fast.  I would probably switch to a cheap fleece blanket instead of wool.

One problem with fleece is that it can be difficult to remove the urine smell. For a temporary solution it may be worth it to use and then dispose of when your nephews go home though. 

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5 minutes ago, Rachel said:

One problem with fleece is that it can be difficult to remove the urine smell. For a temporary solution it may be worth it to use and then dispose of when your nephews go home though. 


Huh...our almost 8 yo wets the bed frequently. He has a waterproof mattress and a waterproof cover. We throw a towel on top of that and then a sheet. He uses only fleece blankets. The towel, sheet, and any blankets are washed any morning he wakes up wet. I wash like our cloth diapers and hang to dry. Never had an issue with smells remaining.

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We've been through this. The advice from the enuresis clinic was. No dairy after a certain time(limiting liquids doesn't really work.) Make the kid go to the bathroom twice during bedtime routine. Once at the beginning when they're brushing teeth and once again after they've been settled in bed for 20 minutes or so. this particular suggestion helped my dd a lot. When we started doing it the bedwetting frequency slowed down immediately. Another, have the kid help with the clean up. This helped my ds because his bedwetting was happening out of being too tired to get up. So his body would wake him up but he'd just go back to sleep and pee. Once he was in charge of his own soiled laundry every morning the bedwetting stopped being nightly.

 

The last thing we had to do was take then to the bathroom a few hours after they fell asleep. For us, As long as it was before 11 they would still be dry. Anytime after 11 and we missed our window

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Have you tried different brands of pull ups?  My DS5 is still wetting at night and we have found that the pampers brand doesn't leak nearly as often as the huggies brand.  And in regular diapers, I found most generics leaked a lot.

Could you substitute towels for the wool blankets?  I mean the towels will still get wet, but they are easier to dry than wool.  Maybe something like one of those giant beach blanket towels

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8 minutes ago, barnwife said:


Huh...our almost 8 yo wets the bed frequently. He has a waterproof mattress and a waterproof cover. We throw a towel on top of that and then a sheet. He uses only fleece blankets. The towel, sheet, and any blankets are washed any morning he wakes up wet. I wash like our cloth diapers and hang to dry. Never had an issue with smells remaining.

We have had the worse time at our house with fleece and most polyesters.  I’ve tried all the tricks from cloth diapering websites to no avail. The blankets and pjs smell fine from a distance but when you give them the sniff test, they will knock you out. Maybe there is something unique to my kids that reacts to the fibers?

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Hanging to dry was the biggest thing that kept our cloth diapers from smelling.  And if there's not a lot of sun down there in the winter, I imagine that is making it really hard to get them all truly dry.  

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I had a friend who's son wet the bed. He slept really deep. The urologist just recommended waking him during the night like an hour after he went down. Sometimes he would wake up and start wondering. His mother is a night owl so she was up to catch him and direct him to the bathroom. He was too asleep to realize why he was up.

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26 minutes ago, Rachel said:

We have had the worse time at our house with fleece and most polyesters.  I’ve tried all the tricks from cloth diapering websites to no avail. The blankets and pjs smell fine from a distance but when you give them the sniff test, they will knock you out. Maybe there is something unique to my kids that reacts to the fibers?

 

It's more likely something unique to your water. Did you try washing with enzyme cleaner from the pet store?

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21 minutes ago, Mommyof1 said:

I had a friend who's son wet the bed. He slept really deep. The urologist just recommended waking him during the night like an hour after he went down. Sometimes he would wake up and start wondering. His mother is a night owl so she was up to catch him and direct him to the bathroom. He was too asleep to realize why he was up.

I have a lot of experience with bed wetting.  I always heard that (deep sleeper) argument.  But what I can't wrap my head around is why they are wetting in the night anyway.  Most kids sleep the entire night without having to get up.  So I think it is more than 'deep sleeper' for SOME kids.  I know it was for my dss.   Dh and I spent one weekend waking him up literally every two hours from 10 until 4 a.m.  He would go each time but somewhere between 4 and 6 he wet the bed.  So we knew for sure then waking him was pointless and even harmful because he was having good sleep interrupted.  We also tried limiting liquids after 7.  Literally nothing worked for this kid until we finally were able to get him to a pediatric urologist at age 13.  Meds worked.  I will say I think the meds might have contributed to weight gain, but it is hard to say and the relief he felt from staying dry is just about priceless.  It is not only difficult to deal with the physical aspect of wet bedding night after night it is very hard on a teen to deal with emotionally.  

I am in the camp of doing what it takes to keep him from wetting the bedding.  Adult diapers, as well as pads under them...I found a washable pad (but the OP has a water shortage so disposable might be better for her).  However, I was overruled in the adult diaper discussion because it made dss feel so terrible.....really it is just a very difficult thing.

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26 minutes ago, Katy said:

 

It's more likely something unique to your water. Did you try washing with enzyme cleaner from the pet store?

We still had smells too, but dss washed his own  bedding and I was never sure he was doing it like I would have.

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My son soaked the bed every night until he was nine. We finally bought a bed wetting alarm, and it took only a few weeks for him to completely stop wetting the bed. Here  is a link to the alarm we used. There are other brands that are less expensive and probably just as good. We needed wireless because my son sleeps without a shirt. Best of luck! 

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1 hour ago, Katy said:

 

It's more likely something unique to your water. Did you try washing with enzyme cleaner from the pet store?

Over the last 10 years we have tried everything: pet enzyme, oxyclean, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, special detergents for sports gear, and bleach varying success. I’ve even tried febreeze. We have tried line drying, low heat, high heat. We’ve tried cold water washes and hot water washes. 

For instance in the past week I washed my daughters fleece pjs three times (they were a gift, I’ve long since quit buying sleep clothes that aren’t cotton). After the first two washes they didn’t stink when folding them, but when I held  them up to my nose they still had a urine scent. I finally washed them the third time with our whites in extremely hot water with bleach, they came out fine. But there was a small fleece doll blanket that still stunk. 

When it’s just an item or two I can handle rewashing several times but OP prefers natural fibers and has water shortages so I  wanted to warn her that fleece isn’t a solution for everyone. 

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5 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

 

the nephews are with me for possibly a week, maybe a little bit longer really unknown at the moment. they wet the bed at home as well , but they have town water and a dryer . I don't think it is trauma that is causing it.

 

Could they bring some of their own bedding from home?   How far away is your sister's house?  Maybe someone in the family could take the wet laundry to her house and do it there?   

What do they wear to sleep in?  Could they wear warmer, heavier clothes (like sweatshirts/pants?) and use less bedding?  

You are certainly a wonderful sister/aunt!!!

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Use easier to wash and dry bedding. 

Pullups for everyone double them if possible. Adult incontinence Depends or whatever you have there for the 12 yo

we did bedding at one time as multi layered green or blue plastic backed incontinence bed protectors (whole bed covered and pillow too) cotton flannel sheet more pads another sheet more pads another sheet ... so as only to have to remove layers down to dry level. rather than remake bed during the night  Mine were tummy sleepers so most pee went down not up, but we used washable quilts in duvet covers nothing hard to wash and dry like wool

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Use easier to wash and dry bedding. 

Pullups for everyone — double them if possible. Adult incontinence Depends or whatever you have there for the 12 yo  eta may need to explain to 12yo that this is important due to the water and laundry situation if he is resistant    If you had lots of time you might find more natural fiber alternatives but under the circumstances get what is available  

we did bedding at one time as multi layered green or blue plastic backed incontinence bed protectors (whole bed covered and pillow too) cotton flannel sheet more pads another sheet more pads another sheet ... so as only to have to remove layers down to dry level. rather than remake bed during the night  Mine were tummy sleepers so most pee went down not up, but we used washable cotton quilts in cotton duvet covers nothing hard to wash and dry like wool (we do have a drier as even the multi thin layers of cotton could get hard to hang dry in winter)

If you must use wool try to sandwich it inside a water proof cover. 

 

Beware of soup. I think that soup later than 2pm led to bad wetting. 

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When my disabled dd's teachers are taking her somewhere where they won't be able to change her for awhile, they "double up" as they call it. They use a medium adult diaper (her usual ones are small) and then put I think a Depends kind of insert in it--all stuff they buy off the shelf--no special ordering. We used this same set up when we flew to Hawaii and it works pretty well. I will second the suggestion of using chucks on the bed. Odors usually wash out but we were given Biokleen Bac-Out to put on soiled items and that neutralizes odor pretty well. For a short visit, I would try the disposable diaper/Depends approach and chucks if they're easy to find, but chucks are kind of an investment for such a short visit.

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With one of my kids who wet the bed until double digits, the issue was chronic constipation.  Once we resolved that (involved increasing fiber, water, and using Miralax...a lot of Miralax).... things got a lot better.  

 

We have pull-up like products here called Goodnites which are for older kids... but you could also try adult incontinence supplies.   Even a heavy duty sanitary napkin might help. 

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Do the 5 at your mums bed wet? If not and if she has a dryer and or town water maybe the children with you could be the non-wetters?

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My DS was a very late bed wetter. When he started to leak in pull-ups that was usually a sign that he needed to go to the next larger size even when he was within the recommended weight range, and he was 12 before he stopped wetting. We tried all the typical strategies and nothing made any difference until he went on medication right when he turned 12. He used the medicine for 2 weeks. He had 2 accidents after that and he was done wetting.  

Another issue we had with pull-up was making sure that he was tucked in pointing down or he would pee right out of the pants. 

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The alarm worked with all my kids, but they were such sound sleepers that I had to sleep in the room with them so I could wake them up when the alarm went off. 

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Lots of good ideas.  Encopresis/constipation can often be a cause/factor in the wetting.

I work with imapired students and we often double up and add a liner.  You get a urine liner (look at depends liner) and place in a pull up.  Then rip a slit in the crotch of that pull up/diaper and put another one one size bigger over the top.  This isn't cheap though but it really helps

I agree with privately explaining to the 12 year old that you have limited water and need him to wear a pull up/depends. They make men's ones that have a colored cloth like cover that don't look like a "diaper".

 

 

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thank you everyone so much for all the great suggestions.I am not a good sister or a great aunt just responding to an absolute emergency 

We have started the wake up in the middle of the night and 12 year old was dry in the morning. YaY! I never thought of putting a waterproof layer on top of the sheet under the wool blanket. What a great idea. I will make up the bed like that tonight.

 To complicate issues DH has MCS and we have to be really careful on bringing into the house bedding etc washed in scented detergents. 

 

found out today that my mum has only 1 at her house ( 16 boy  a real handful of a child) 17 year old boy is staying at home by himself, the three littlies have gone off to some friend - they are 3 and under.

the problems of a very very large family, finding places for them  all to stay for an unknown length of time

 

 

 

 

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I've got (had; said child is finally outgrowing it now) an older bedwetter.  My best advice:

1.  Contact North Shore Care for samples of adult-sized/adult absorbency diapers that don't leak.  They will help you choose the correct diaper and send several types off free samples for you to try.

2.  Teach child to do the laundry.

3.  Buy a washable, waterproof pad for bed that can be laundered easily.  Or buy disposable underpads for bed (but they aren't as big as the re-usable and washable ones).

4.  I was late bedwetter; please remember the kid hates that he wets the bed and isn't doing it on purpose.

5.  Bed alarms work, in not too long a time.

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12 hours ago, Melissa in Australia said:

thank you everyone so much for all the great suggestions.I am not a good sister or a great aunt just responding to an absolute emergency 

We have started the wake up in the middle of the night and 12 year old was dry in the morning. YaY! I never thought of putting a waterproof layer on top of the sheet under the wool blanket. What a great idea. I will make up the bed like that tonight.

 To complicate issues DH has MCS and we have to be really careful on bringing into the house bedding etc washed in scented detergents. 

 

found out today that my mum has only 1 at her house ( 16 boy  a real handful of a child) 17 year old boy is staying at home by himself, the three littlies have gone off to some friend - they are 3 and under.

the problems of a very very large family, finding places for them  all to stay for an unknown length of time

 

 

 

 

We have MCS here too. Don’t know what is available where you are, but one thing I’ve found here was a very lightweight “zero porosity” parachute nylon that is odorless and seems not to outgas. I’ve used it in various ways including for night wetting problem. It is very very slippery if you step on two layers and one slides on the other. So caution has to be used in that regard. But it rinses and dries quickly. At one point I sewed some into a sleeping bag shape to deal with bed wetting. 

Im glad you got a dry night. I hope you will have many more. 

Dealing with daily wet bed can be exhausting. 

If your situation allows it, I agree that it could help to teach 12yo to do his own laundry  

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Also, in my experience, limiting water does not work. It only creates anxiety in the child. (Try it yourself. Nothing makes you thirstier than being told you can’t have water.) The body is not getting messages from the brain to stop urinating while sleeping. The alarm works because it helps get those messages through and trains body and brain. Limiting fluids will not accomplish this.

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thanks everyone.

 second night of a dry bed

 

situation will not allow me to let any of visiting kids anywhere near the washing machine. these are kids who are use to free roaming and a never ending supply of new toys etc - (read hear)- they have no understanding of how to look after things and the shed is completely full of all the things that they have broken (and need fixing) in the few days they have been here. My washing machine is absolutely essential to me and I don't want it destroyed.

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1 hour ago, Melissa in Australia said:

thanks everyone.

 second night of a dry bed

 

situation will not allow me to let any of visiting kids anywhere near the washing machine. these are kids who are use to free roaming and a never ending supply of new toys etc - (read hear)- they have no understanding of how to look after things and the shed is completely full of all the things that they have broken (and need fixing) in the few days they have been here. My washing machine is absolutely essential to me and I don't want it destroyed.

It sounds like a challenging situation. Hang in there!

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Sounds good.  I would grab a pack of disposable adult incontinence pads and stick one under the bottom sheet.  Old nylon shower curtains are useful too.

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On 6/13/2018 at 7:58 AM, Katy said:

-:-:-:-:-

So there's a thing nurses call Chux or Chucks that's a big waterproof pad that can catch most of it.  You may be able to get some locally at a medical supply store. Here's a link to some on the American Amazon page that I've bought and used before: https://www.amazon.com/RMS-Washable-Reusable-Incontinence-Underpads/dp/B01MUEVH9X/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1528890752&sr=8-2-spons&keywords=waterproof+pad&psc=1

-:-:-:-:-

We also have waterproof mattress pads on every kids bed, we got the more expensive versions sold at our local Target. They are quiet, they don't make the noise cheaper ones do.  They have an absorbent pad on top and a waterproof lining underneath.

Fleece blankets dry pretty fast.  I would probably switch to a cheap fleece blanket instead of wool.

I had two that didn’t night train until around thier seventh birthdays. Unfortunately, they got it from me. The above is what we did. We found our hospital pads at a pharmacy. 

Interestingly, bed wetting is closely tied to allergies in kids. That was the case for me. Once we got my allergies under control, I night trained very quickly. 

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On 6/13/2018 at 4:59 AM, Rachel said:

Seeing your update, the medication Desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) maybe an option to help you temporarily. It would require a doctor’s visit most likely. It took a while for us to figure out the correct dosage for my oldest and took a couple days to kick in completely but did work. 

 

That’s what has worked for my nephew and younger son. 

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It really is a physiological thing in most cases. However, we're operating under the assumption that the 12 year old has wet the bed continuously since infancy. If so, it's perfectly normal! Frustrating, but normal. If not, it could indicate any of a number of illnesses, ranging from serious to dire. Given that three of them in your care wet the bed it makes sense to assume that this is just a quirk of genetics, but please confirm with kid and/or parents that it really is a long-standing issue. If it's recent, he'll really need to see a doctor. Maybe you already did and I missed that.

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another dry night with waking him up at 11 pm. We are going to wake the 7 year old up as well tonight and see if that helps him. Possibly the 7 year old waking up in the middle of the night will mean there will be more room in his pullup and less overflow.

 

found out today that the 'friend' of my sister who is looking after the youngest 3 let them play in an ash pile where there was a bonfire the previous evening ( age just 3, just 2 and just 1) - 3 year old had his gumboot melt and has 3rd degree burns on one foot. The "friend" just covered it up with plastic bandaids and didn't even bother to tell my sister. He apparently cried for more than 10 hours. My sister wasn't told about it for 3 days - now it looks like he will need skin grafts. This would involve him having to travel to Melbourne to a big city hospital.  family not sure what is going to happen. My sister is in hospital with pregnancy complications- I already have 4 of her children  plus a twin still in a wheelchair, My mother works and her mother ( my grandmother) is is a delicate health situation and will have hip surgery this coming week. My sister's husband is completely incompetent and cannot be trusted with children at all .

 

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Oh, boy. Is their dad really more incompetent than this friend? Because that's pretty unfortunate, what happened to your young nephew ?

Is, um, is their home life always this... well... chaotic?

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yes their home life is completely chaotic, in fact a giant mess. I feel sorry for the kids - not their fault- I actually try to have not much to do with the family because I don't need to get sucked into the continual drama.

 

the father is completely incompetent- is on DV orders  - never worked a day in his life  - etcetera .    you get the picture

 

Like I said, I am not a nice sister

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Oh my goodness, that poor 3 year old!  There has got to be a better place for those little ones to stay. 

The dad needs to step up, 9 kids with one on the way is a ton of responsibility. 

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Any chance your sister will have her tubes tied while she is in hospital?  Sound like she has enough with the kids she has.  I looked into the medication for Ds for school camp but it looked quite scary and in NZ can only be prescribed by a hospital paediatrician which would be about a 3 to 6 month wait for an appointment.  It does seem like you will have them for more than a week but hopefully not that long given your other children's problems.

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Sounds like far bigger issues there than bed wetting. Also sounds like psychological trauma could be a part of it, after all  

And sounds like you are sucked into it even if trying not to be  

 

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Where I am social services would likely get involved with a burn like that. 

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So sorry to hear about that burn.  I hope it heals - that family does not need any more trouble.

Glad to hear that getting the nephew up at night is helping with his problem.

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