Knowledge is Power

Knowledge is Power: The benefits of reading How You Can Be Boss of the Bladder.

Dear Dr. Janet Hall,
I am the mother of a five year old who is still in night nappies. I have been told conflicting advice, but have left him in nappies because he has only had one dry night that I can recall and I thought wet beds every night would not be fun!
I am writing to request information about the resources and services you offer. I live in rural Victoria, north of Shepparton, about 3 hours from Melbourne, and am able to come to Melbourne for a consultation. I would appreciate your thoughts on useful ways for me to proceed.
Thank you for your time.
Shepparton Mum


Thanks for your email.

My name is Rebecca Gilmour and I manage the Boss of the Bladder program.

Have you and your son read Dr Janet Hall’s book “How You Can Be Boss of the Bladder”? If you haven’t, then this is the first step you need to take (you can purchase the book from our website or from most good book shops). The book is an excellent resource for parents and kids, helping to demystify the myths about bedwetting and allowing children to see that they are not the only ones who do it, and it can be something that they can control. There is a specific section for children to read.

The next step is to remove the nappies/pull-ups/dry nites and see whether he can obtain some dry nights on his own. as he may never learn to be dry. I’ve treated 14 year old boys who have been wearing pull-ups, whilst they are in nappies, they may never learn to be dry at night. Nappies/pull-ups act as a security for children and it is a much different sensation to wetting in a nappy as opposed to a wet bed. You need to remove nappies for at least a few weeks to see whether there is some chance that your son can achieve dryness on his own.

I know obviously it is very difficult though dealing with up to 3 wet beds per night every night. We have a couple of contacts here in Melbourne who have websites and have developed a special absorbent mat to put on children’s beds to assist them in achieving dryness on their own without resorting to pull ups and nappies. Their websites are and

A month passed, so we followed up with this email:
Just emailing to check in and see how your 5 year old was getting on with achieving dry nights!!! You emailed us in early September, and I recommended taking him out of pull ups and reading Dr Janet Hall’s book How You Can Be Boss of the Bladder as the first step.
Look forward to hearing from you.

And the response back was fantastic news!!
What great service and we haven’t even been to your clinic yet! Thank you for following me up. We got a copy of Janet’s book, we borrowed it from the library,it’s a fairly old copy, so I don’t know if it’s been updated or not.
Anyway, we read it and that night he decided he would try to be “Boss of the bladder” and have no nappy (we had recently put him back in cloth nappies, which can’t have been very comfortable). Anyway, that night he woke up at 2.30am and did a wee and had a dry night, the next night he woke up at 9.30pm for a wee and had another dry night (we were So amazed!). The next 2 nights he wet his bed and was discouraged so the two nights after that he wanted to wear a nappy again. I let him, because of that thing ‘he has to want to be dry’, after that he decided that he would do ‘one night nappy, next night no nappy’, but it hasn’t worked out like that and he hasn’t been back in a nappy. Last night was dry, and he was happy with himself. He said “you know what I think is really helping me is reading that book about being boss of the bladder!!!”. Before last night he’d been wet about 4 nights in a row. If he wets his bed he never wakes up, he just keeps sleeping.

Well, what a long winded answer! The language we are using with him if he’s feeling discouraged is that his brain is still learning to wake him up when his bladder tells it it needs to go to the toilet, and sometimes it doesn’t manage to wake him up, that just
means it needs more practice and will get really good at it soon enough, and that it takes time to learn something new.
I don’t know if we’ll need to come and see you or not, we’ll see how it goes.

Thanks again for your email, I have been recommending your clinic and Janet’s books all over the place!!!!

After 6 months we followed up again and received this great response:

Hi Rebecca,
I have been really thankful for your advice 6 months ago and I have recommended “Boss of the Bladder” to so many parents and children (most who have been dissatified by the response from doctors and maternal and child health nurses who say there’s nothing to do for a five year old who hasn’t had a dry night, and to they’ll look into it when the child is 8 or 9). I tell them my story and your advice. Our son is now permanently dry, he’ll wet the bed occasionally- when he’s particularly tired or something. He sometimes gets up to go to the toilet but mostly hangs on. After a few months of being dry he wet the bed a couple of nights in a row and he initiated reading “boss of the bladder” again.

My 4 year old daughter has just stopped wearing night nappies in the past few weeks and is pretty happy telling everyone she is “Boss of the Bladder!” So there’s no nappies in our household for the first time in 6 years!!! We are so pleased and grateful for all your help.