Bed Wetting: The School Age Taboo

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This post brought to you by DryNites®. The content and opinions expressed below are that of More Than Toast.

IMG_0190 I’ve noticed as a mum there are still some topics that are taboo, even within circles of friends. We discuss so much with other mothers – education, health, relationships, POO – but there are some things that really still don’t get discussed. One of these things I’ve noticed is the subject of bedwetting. I have one particular friend who I talk about this with and we always comment that it’s really unusual to hear other mums discuss where they are at with this stage of their children growing up. I’m not sure if it’s seen as shameful or embarrassing but I very rarely get roped into conversation about it. I’ve asked my own mum about it and apparently I was incredibly advanced and was dry at night at something like three months old. Not really. IMG_3039 But in all seriousness according to her it happened from something like 20 months onwards, which despite me already knowing I was an incredibly advanced child ;) has made me wonder if I’m doing anything wrong with my children. Is it OK that, at the age of nearly-5, Elfie is not consistently dry at night? Of course it is! I’ve recently been doing some research and have learnt that 10% of all 4-15 year olds wet the bed at some point, with most cases occurring in children after 8. So you’re definitely not alone. Normally just a developmental stage, it’s worth bearing in mind that night time dryness is usually something that feels like it takes ages to be mastered. One could argue that this isn’t a situation limited to children under five. I’ve been reading the comedian Rob Delaney’s autobiography recently and he wet the bed up til the age of 21… IMG_3046 Interestingly boys are slightly more prone to bedwetting than girls, with boys making up 60% of bedwetting cases in the younger age groups. Some studies suggest that girls tend to develop bladder control before boys. I went through a stage of thinking Elfie ‘should’ be dry at night by this point. But after a couple of upsetting nights for her I thought: really? Does it matter? Bed wetting is a part of growing up – she would like to be dry at night because I know it’s not a situation she enjoys but it’s really not the end of the world. IMG_3036 For the time being we use DryNites®(and always have for their lovely character illustrations and their age-appropriateness). I want Elfie (and Hux!) to feel confident when they go to bed at night and I think this really helps them. They feel slightly more grown up and it brings that little element of fun to our post-bath bedtime routine. We get our kicks where we can ;) The DryNites Confident Kids 24/7 campaign aims to provide parents with helpful tools and advice to boost their child’s confidence and overcome challenges such as bedwetting.

IMG_3047 What I’m trying to say is that you needn’t not worry if your children are still wetting the bed at this age. It’s so very normal (almost 600,000 children are affected by this every year) and I bet if you started a conversation with your friends about it they’d have more experiences and stories about it than you might think. 4690-DryNites-POME-Content If you’re worried do take a quick look at the DryNites® website where there’s stacks of information to help you navigate through this particular motherhood minefield. You’re not alone!

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7 Comments
  1. I was lulled in to a false sense of security with this with my daughter when she was tiny, but my son definitely had the odd accident up until just gone 5… It’s funny that people don’t talk about this isn’t it?

  2. My 5yo still occasionally does it – when he’s very tired mainly. Oh and always the night before we go on holiday – aaaaagh. I have tried bringing it up with friends but am generally met with surprised stares as though my kid is the only one in the world to still do it sometimes. Thanks for this :)

  3. My 5yo still occasionally does it – when he’s very tired mainly. Oh and always the night before we go on holiday – aaaaagh. I have tried bringing it up with friends but am generally met with surprised stares as though my kid is the only one in the world to still do it sometimes. Thanks for this – it’s good to know we’re not alone :)

  4. I did a lot of research into this a few years ago and I was so surprised by the number of older children who are still bedwetting. My now eleven year old was a really heavy sleeper and just didn’t wake up. We started to think that he was never going to go through the night, we tried lifting and Dry Nites were an absolute godsend. Luckily before his seventh birthday it all clicked and he was fine. It is something that needs talking about as a lot of parents do worry about it and expect that by the age of five their child should be dry at night and the reality can often be so different.

  5. The saddest thing about bedwetting is the amount of parents who punish their children for accidents. It’s all to do with brain chemistry and involuntary responses, and completely outside of a child (or an adult’s!) control. The one thing I’d add here is that if anyone is really concerned, there are brilliant NHS clinics for bed wetting (‘enuresis’) that your GP can refer to, who can help!

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