Jan 2, 2012

Bedwetting Problems

Category: Children
Posted By: Victoria

My 8 year old daughter keeps peeing herself in the day and at night.  I have taken her to the doctor who says that she is fine.  I don't know what to do.  I know she seems anxious sometimes.  She made the comment that she always does things wrong and I always correct her if she does something wrong, but I can't just let her wetting just go unadressed?  Is there any way I can calm her nerves or any other reasons for bedwetting that I could look into?

 

Answer: Taking your daughter to the doctor was the right first move and I'm delighted that there are no medical issues.  That just leaves us to discover what else might be going on.  You mention anxiety and that is the number one cause of bedwetting in older children.  As you have already mentioned that she appears anxious it seems likely that your daughter falls into this category.  I understand that you are in a bit of a bind as you don't want to make her more anxious by telling her off and you also don't want to leave the issue without dealing with it. 

I would suggest that you talk to your daughter at a completely unrelated time, during the afternoon perhaps, a time not at all associated with bedtime.  I would tell her that you are going to make a time each day to talk to her and that she can tell you anything about her life, anything she is worried about and also sometimes you will ask her about bedwetting and how she feels when she goes to sleep at night, any dreams she has, etc.  I imagine you would need only about 10-15 minutes each day but if she talks more then do stay and listen.  If she finds it hard to talk at first then just do a few minutes each day until she gets used to the idea.  If she really struggles you can ask her to draw you a picture of what she is worried about, or of her dreams. 

You are trying to build up a picture of what makes her anxious so that you can mediate it.  Also of what her nights are like, if she is having nightmares or waking a lot.  If after a couple of weeks it is still not any clearer and you are having trouble figuring out what the difficulty is then I suggest that you find a professional with whom you can talk through what she tells you each day and together you can work out what it is that might be done to help her.

There are also some very practical things you need to do, like limit the amount of water she drinks before bed and making sure she goes to the loo just before going to bed.  You should also make the bedtime routine as stress-free and calming as possible so that she goes to sleep without any anxiety.  A warm bath significantly raises melatonine levels which promotes peaceful sleep. Reading her a story and singing a lullaby as she goes to sleep will help, but the main thing to do is to keep the last 30-45 minutes before bedtime very calm and gentle.

I hope these suggestions help and I really wish you and your daughter luck in finding a resolution to the difficulty that must be causing you both real distress.

Best wishes,

Ryan



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