This patient support community is for discussions relating to the challenges of parenting children (age 6-12), including physical development, handling school & classes, emotional development, cognitive development, and games and activities.
My nephews are 9 and 12. Both still wear diapers to bed. My sister says she has spoken with her pediatrician and he is not concerned. Says they just have large bladders and it is common for boys to have this problem. They can't sleep over at their friends as it is embarrassing to wear a diaper. We have tried a machine that clips on their underwear and vibrates when there is wetness. What can we do? Could there be other problems or does my sister just need to wake them up in the night or suffer through some messes??
How would she know they had large bladders? And even if she does know that, that would help prevent this problem. Children with smaller bladders tend to have to go more often, not ones with large capacity.
9 is at the outside age for when this should be happening, and 12 is beyond the age. It sounds like they need help to decide what the problem is. A good strategy is to wake them about 1 and take them to the restroom, as a start.
My daughter is 10 and was still wetting to bed even when i woke here up in the middle of the night every night for almost a year thinking she would catch on but nope. But i do agree about cutting their drinking anything about an hour or two before bed. Nothing worked so the doctor put her medicine called imitiprine not sure about spelling? I guess the muscle contracts or doesnt as well so when asleep it keeps the muscle from contracting. But it has worked great after awhile no more accidents!
At the risk of sounding like a broken record... I constantly recommend the same thing- pull-on youth cloth diapers and plastic covers available at clothdiaper.com search youth. For the reason that they help children to 'know' when they've wet themselves, while at the same time keeping clothes and bedding dry. I was wondering also, if you could possibly clarify, when you say diapers: Do you mean older child disposable bed wetting aids sold in stores, or actual medical purpose tape fastened diapers, or considering child's waist size- the highest size of disposable baby diapers?
My personal recommendation would be to avoid *all* disposables at home- they don't allow the child to 'feel' wet, and more often than not, they cause an enabling of the problem by allowing children to ignore it and not have to deal with it. But the more they put off dealing with it the older they get and the more of a problem it becomes!
Both children should be taken to another doctor, if possible, who can have them recommended to a urologist. *Only* a urologist can diagnose a wetting problem in someone! He/She specializes in the digestive tract and it's functions, especially the bladder for which they're specialty is named 'urology'.
Any other doctor can make recommendations and assumptions based on book studies, but they don't specialize in urology, and therefore should *not* hand down a diagnosis for something they don't specialize in!
I get the feeling that the pediatrician is stepping outside of his bounds and making rash decisions based only upon book knowledge, without fully knowing the fullness of the situation. This event could be as simple as overactive bladders, or.... something I've come to learn about is that there is a muscle reflex that draws the bladder up anytime a person lays down, preventing the bladder from draining during sleep... the boys may have a genetic defect with that process and they're bladders may not be drawing up and shutting down like they should. Possibly there could be a medicine for that as well!
That's something to think about. I heard briefly one time about that, and can't give any further information. But I can tell you that I did hear that on a medical show one time in the same regards to child bed wetting and the doctor explained how the bladder is normally drawn into a 'sleeping' position in which it no longer tries to empty itself, sort of like a hibernation, and that is why most adults don't even have to use the toilet at night at all. But if that reflex isn't functioning properly, that the bladder will drain just as easily at night as in the daytime, and because the child is sound asleep, they sleep through the urges and inevitably urinate on themselves when the bladder begins draining itself while they are sound asleep.
I would that I could help you find more information on that, but it was a while ago that I heard that on a TV medical program. Besides that, the *Best* thing to do is have the boys seen by a urologist and he can tell exactly if there is anything going on with them that shouldn't be or not!
I gave you the example of a fleeting memory from a TV show, just to show to you that there could be an actual physical problem that requires medical treatment, and not getting treatment will cause the boys needless further suffering and emotional turmoil!
Please, advise your sister that she should seek further professional advice from a licensed, practicing, professional; who specializes in that specific field of study and diagnosis. The use of cloth pull-on diapers is relevant to the severity of the situation- If they have absolutely no control of it at all, then that would just be humiliating to them- in what could be called a 'hopeless' situation I would recommend disposable medical diapers to ease the sting of the child's disability and provide maximum protection from soiling their clothes or bedding; and also to use medical absorbent pads under the children as well. If there is any tiny sliver of hope left, then I would recommend using cloth as a motivator to keep them willing to try for toilet use at night- along with a washable absorbent pad, using baby diaper pins to pin the pad in place under them (the ones without wings cost less, but shift everywhere- thus pinning the four corners will prevent them from shifting out from under the child)- and I would have them wear youth disposable diapers, which if they're only wet, they can be easily unfastened while standing in the tub. You should also know that if you place the diaper on a wall and have a child back into it, you can easily diaper them while they're still standing up! That would tremendously reduce the humiliation of being diapered! If you know for a *fact* that there is no hope of change in the situation, then the second primary goal is to make the situation as small as possible, and for nighttime wetting giving them the highest ability of absorption will provide the highest level of comfort and ease with dealing with the situation... Once you've shown the children several times how to put on a diaper standing up, they should be able to pick-up the skill for themselves, and that would bring enormous emotional ease to them in the midst of their difficulty.
Once a child passes eight years old they should be fully developed in the bowel and bladder area and should no longer have any issues with that. Anytime you have a nine year old that shows no signs of maturing in toilet use, you should *absolutely* have them thoroughly examined by a trained, licensed professional, who specializes in that field of research and diagnosis. If it were my child, I would have the first one thoroughly examined at age six, and a follow-up at age seven just to be certain. Now that the first child is twelve years old... that's much too long... your sister should know exactly why this problem exists by this time, by hearing from a professional the exact cause, being properly diagnosed. Based solely upon the pediatrician's diagnosis he is saying that this problem is perfectly fine and at this age will be with the child for life! Well, that to me is "Quitter Talk!" She's going to have to demand a full evaluation- scans, pressure checks, valves, muscles, nerves.... the works.... until the reason is known and fully understood, and fully, professionally diagnosed with a name, a cause, and a possible treatment! *Until the doctor gives you a name you can Google.... you've not been diagnosed! ;)
They maybe heavy sleepers as my was and I jst gave him nothing to drink after 6pm and woke him before i went to bed and again like at 2am or so and he learned to wake up and use the bathroom on his own. But soumds like you have a different delima and I sure would be worried about them wearing diapers at their ages even tho the doctor doesnt think so. Try periodiclly waking them and monitor their liquid intake and hopefully things will smooth out on there own If not i would consider seeking a new doctor for my children for sure. Hope this helps and good luck.
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