Why is she wetting?

School wettingThis week on ‘A Problem Shared’ Sezz asks for advice on daytime wetting…

My five and a half year old wets daily.  

She’s always dry at night but often comes home from school with knickers that have clearly been wet at some point.  Sometimes she’ll wet at home as well.

We know she knows when she needs the loo.  If we’re out, she’ll ask to go. At home, she will take herself off to the loo.  If we’re in the car and she needs to go, she will wait with no problem until we can get to a toilet.  She gets up in the night, often with remembering she’d done so, to go to the toilet. 

But at other times she wets and we aren’t sure why.  When her Dad picked her up from school yesterday, he said he could smell urine straight away. If he can, what can others smell?  We thought she wasn’t sitting on the loo properly, or wiping herself properly, but she does that ok.  We think she doesn’t like to interrupt what she’s doing but aren’t sure.  She doesn’t seem to care about it, she says she tries to have dry knickers and when I asked, all she said was that ‘going to the toilet is boring’.

We’ve mentioned it to the teacher who will remind her regularly.
Rewards worked once but not anymore.  We’ve tried ignoring, we’ve tried talking about it but nothing has changed.  

Any thoughts, anything more we can do?

Sezz blogs at Dear Daughter: Our Adoption Journey  and tweets too @adoptingsezz

11 thoughts on “Why is she wetting?

  1. meggy

    She may be too busy and leave it too late. Or she may be scared of the school toilets or embarrassed at going in there? Or the smell pus her off? There could be so many reasons eg when I was little another child bullied me in the toilets a couple of time and it really put me off going in there to the extent that I always left it too late. When I moved school the problem stopped immediately. it never occured to me to tell anyone. If the teacher ensures she goes regularly that might help. Or goes at a different time from other kids?

    Reply
  2. Bonzo

    It sounds alot to me like it is anxiety driven. If she doesn’t wet at home it could be because she feels safe and secure with you, but is still finding it difficult to be away from you. Bonzo, after nearly 4 years still finds it worrying being at school, in case I don’t come back for him – even though he knows I will. He doesn’t wet himself, but we have many other anxiety driven habits instead!
    Would she be able to come home for lunch? That might give her a break from the stress each day?

    Reply
  3. Kat

    Hi Sezz. – it’s really frustrating isn’t it? My daughter did the same and it seemed to stem from anxiety. When she wet, sometimes she just genuinely ‘forgot’ to go, she called it ‘boring’ too. Eventually after what seemed like months of ‘casual’ conversation it transpired that she missed me when she was at school. I spoke to the teachers who would remind her regularly to go to the loo and I also used to spray her with my perfume and leave a lipstick kiss on her hand before I left her at school. We’d also speak about what we’d do after school etc as she was fearful I would leave her there. Now she’s stopped wetting but it’s progressed into other stuff (and not dry at night). Ho hum.
    Good luck x

    Reply
  4. Vicki

    As you know Mini also wets, often at school. There are a number of factors that we *think* come into play – he certainly suffers with anxiety, and routine changes (however seemingly minor) throw him right off and cause wetting…usually after the change as he fears the same change happening again the next day.
    We also believe he is scared/ashamed of going to the toilet during class times…even if he really really needs to go. It is regularly and firmly reinforced to the whole class that toilet trips should be in break times/lunch as much as possible, and although Mini’s been told he can go whenever he needs to, he worries that a) he’ll stand out and b) he’ll get told off.
    The final factor is that Mini has so much going around in his head that often it takes all of his concentration just to hold it together, particularly at school where there are rules/friends/teachers/work/visitors/assemblies and all sorts of things going on, toilet trips are far from his mind.

    We’ve found nothing to ‘fix’ it long term. Reward charts only ever work for a very short time. Mini has a special badge at school, so if he needs to go to the loo he can put his badge on and go without question but he won’t use it all the time. Teachers remind him to go regularly, and especially before special visitors or assemblies. But nothing will work long term until we can get to the root of it all, and I think it’ll be a while before his self-awareness develops enough for that to happen…

    Reply
    1. Three Pink Diamonds

      Hi, I noticed this is an old post but we are currently in this situation where little one wets herself in the day. I was wondering if a year later things are any better and if they are what helped the change?

      thank you

      Reply
      1. tasocial Post author

        For us it’s definitely improved. Mini doesn’t wet everyday – very rarely now in fact, although still ‘dribbles’ a little and therefore still needs clean school trousers every day.
        (I do still keep a bag of spares in the car though, because you can never tell when it’s going to happen, and also because he’s soiling now instead of wetting…but that’s a whole other story!).

        What’s helped? Well, we changed school and he definitely feels more settled and much happier there. He’s older, and maturity is s-l-o-w-l-y developing.

        Hope that helps, Vicki xx

        Reply
  5. Threebecomefour

    Hi Sezz. I just wanted to say that Katie still does this too. She doesn’t seem to care that she’s got wet knickers. A friend’s child wet his pants until he was 9 and wasn’t even adopted. Katie often can’t be bothered to go I think or she leaves it too late because she’s engrossed or doesn’t want to say to her friends that she needs to stop playing to go. Which is about her confidence. I barely comment now having tried all sorts of incentives. We, as adults, worry that other children will bully but I think quite a lot of them do it. As adopters we worry that there are hidden reasons for it and see wetting as a cry for help, which sometimes it is. I try not to worry about it now. I think things will improve as Katie gets older and feels that this is important for her, more important than playing. I work on her confidence in other ways with dancing, swimming and gymnastics and generally bigging her up etc and hope that her confidence starts to kick in in other areas including going to the loo. I hope things work out for you all xxx

    Reply
    1. Three Pink Diamonds

      Hi, I noticed this is an old post but we are currently in this situation where little one wets herself in the day. I was wondering if a year later things are any better and if they are what helped the change?

      thank you

      Reply
  6. Suddenly Mummy

    When I was a child I regularly used to put off going to the toilet until I was desperate and couldn’t hold it any longer, resulting in lots of ‘leaking’ incidents, which didn’t bother me in the slightest! My parents talked to me often about hygiene and being smelly but it made absolutely no impression on me. Maybe it’s ‘leaking’ in this case too – if she was really completely wetting herself, her clothes would be covered and her teachers would surely have noticed. There was no real reason for it that I can remember – if anyone had asked me at the time (and I’m sure they did!) I don’t think I would have been able to give a decent answer except perhaps something similar to the ‘going to the toilet is boring’ type answer. Looking back now, we played out an awful lot when I was a child, and staying out as long as possible was an all-consuming passion for all of us. I do remember that I thought that if I went in to use the toilet, my parents might notice the time and make me come in from playing. Maybe that’s where it started. Anyway, I simply grew out of it as I got older.

    Reply
  7. Sezz

    This is all brilliant advice, thank you so much. And good to hear that Little Miss isn’t the only one by far.

    I think you’re right, it’s about confidence with Little Miss. She’s worried someone will break her stuff / miss out on something / miss her go etc so it is about building confidence with her which we are gradually doing.

    Sx

    Reply
    1. Three Pink Diamonds

      Hi, I noticed this is an old post but we are currently in this situation where little one wets herself in the day. I was wondering if a year later things are any better and if they are what helped the change?

      thank you

      Reply

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