A typical enquiry regarding day wetting

Hi There!

I have a 5½ year old who is continually wetting her pants during the day. Night time wetting is not a problem. (Three times in the last 6 months).

Her fluid intake is not very good and her main reason for the accidents is that she is too busy to stop what she is doing to go to the toilet.

However, she is very good at going to the toilets for poos. At school, she says she does not like to go to the toilet by herself.

She is a very cautious child and probably has some self-esteem issues. Unfortunately, I have become very frustrated and am getting angry with her when she wets, so I feel I’m adding to the problem.

Any suggestions? I am expecting my second child in five weeks and would dearly love to help her overcome the day wetting problems.


Frustrated Mum.

Response from Bladder and Bowel Specialist Psychologist.

Thanks for your email, we receive lots of emails just like yours and know how frustrating it can be for both parents and children. My name is Rebecca Gilmour and I am a psychologist who works with Dr Janet Hall, running the Boss of the Bladder program.

Unfortunately, day wetting is an issue that usually will not resolve itself without some type of intervention. Whether that be in the form of resources to read with your daughter and apply some of the strategies or perhaps the next step some professional help. The Boss of the Bladder Book, by Dr Janet Hall is a great book for helping children who wet both day and night. Be sure to read the section for children with your daughter as sometimes just having knowledge about what is going on can obviously help.

Daywetting seems quite a common problem particularly amongst girls within their first few years of school and also when there has/is significant changes going on in their lives, such as starting school, moving house, new baby etc…

I generally only work on a Monday and some Saturdays (by arrangement) and would be happy to work with your daughter and yourselves to assist her to become permanently dry during the day. This would involve an initial one hour appointment, in which we would set your daughter up with a behavioural plan. This would probably then follow fortnightly visits interspersed with weekly contact via phone or email. We are located in Richmond and you can email me on this address with any
further queries you may have, or contact me at the clinic on Mondays  only on 9429 1677.
Warm regards,
Rebecca Gilmour
Psychologist M.A.P.S
Boss of the Bladder Manager

A few weeks lapse without any further response from the frustrated
mum, so a follow up email is sent…

Just a quick check in to see how your daughter was getting on with achieving dry pants during the day. You emailed us for advice back in  June and so I was following up to see whether her being dry had improved. Look forward to hearing from you soon.

Response from Mother a day later.
I had a baby in July and not only has her day wetting gotten worse, she has been bed wetting as well. I’ve started to use ‘Dry-Nites’ to give us a break from changing bed linen and even put them on her during the day for a week at school. Problem is, if she’s got the dry-nites on, she makes no attempt at all to go to the toilet. We’re at our wit’s end as to what else to try! The GP and school nurse have said just give it time. I’m not sure what to try next.

Response from Psychologist.
Sorry to hear her day wetting has not improved and that she has begun wetting the bed as well. You must be exhausted!!

As your GP suggests, it’s probably not a good time to tackle the bedwetting just yet, as the birth of her new baby brother/sister is
still probably taking some adjustment (for everyone, but especially for her – this could be one of the reasons why she has begun
wetting). Unfortunately, if she continues to wear dry-nites, she is unlikely to resume becoming dry again, as it is a much different
sensation wetting in a nappy or pull-up as opposed to a bed. On a unconsciousness level, the child is unlikely to make the effort to be dry at night, if they know they have the security of a nappy/dry-nite.

There are some steps you could take in trying to help her become dry again at night (but without too much intervention).
1.) I’m not sure whether you have already purchased/read Dr Janet Hall’s book. “How You Can Be Boss of the Bladder”, but if you haven’t I would recommend you read the section for children with her.
2.) I would advise for the night-time wetting to purchase an absorbent bed mat especially designed for children for night wetting. There are two products which I am aware of, one is Slumberdry, the other is Conni. Both advertise in Melbourne’s Child each month, and have websites available. The mats are very absorbent and although obviously the child’s pjs get wet, as does the mat, it generally saves the sheets. The mat is easily washable and dryable.
3.) Depending on where things are at with your new baby and her adjustment to him/her, you could make an appointment to come and see me with her to work initially on getting her dry during the day, as that was the initial more pressing issue, and then possibly down the track if there has been no improvement with dry beds, we could work together on that.
Warm regards,
Rebecca Gilmour

The mother rang the following day and scheduled an appointment to
commence in the coming weeks.