Night time training a child with sleep apenea

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012 ( 26 moms have responded )

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My son is 4 and still in night time nappies.

He has had quite a few dry nights so I know he is capable of holding it over night. A few times he has also come into my room at night and asked for help to go to the toilet.
These are not happening on a regular basis.

I am limiting his fluid intake from 5pm, he goes to bed at 7pm
Should I limit it earlier in the day???

2 nights ago he came into my room to go to the toilet (not sure what time it was) after I put him back to bed he took his nappy off and stayed dry for the rest of the night.

I know alot of mums wake their child up to take them to the toilet over night, but my main concern with this is that my son has sleep apenea. He doesn't sleep properly anyway and this is having a huge impact on his behaviour. I am not keen on the idea of waking him up and disturbing already disturbed sleep and dealing with worse behaviour than I already am.

So any mums out there with kids with sleep apenea, how did you get them dry at night???

Any tips and tricks would be most helpful.

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Bethany - posted on 06/21/2012

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My daughter has lots of other issues and possible sleep apnea. She was almost 4 1/2 and was dry occasionally but mostly wet at night. I just decided to take the diapers. The first couple days she was wet, but since then she has only had accidents 3-4 times. This was about 2 months ago. Sometimes their bodies get used to the diapers and they just use them because they are there. I also have the training potty in her room so she can use it fast if she wakes up and needs to go. Good luck!

Lee Etta - posted on 06/21/2012

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My daughter had her tonsils and adenoids out at age 2. Her sleep apnea was so bad they did her surgery the same week she was seen by the surgeon. My son had his surgery for the same thing at age 3. They both improved greatly in every area you can imagine. Do NOT worry about the wetting. Take care of the actual problem, the sleep apnea. It can cause heart problems and even death. Do NOT wait any longer.

Jill - posted on 06/21/2012

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Ruth, I've also used melatonin for my son. You need to know it can be dangerous. It is a hormone and it can alter brain function. Using it on a regular basis for a developing child with a normally functioning brain can cause the brain to stop producing it naturally, causing a sleep problem and dependency. Parents should always consult a doctor before giving it to their children.

Ruth - posted on 06/21/2012

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You seem to be doing everything right. My daughter gives her children melatonin to help them sleep at night. It isn't dangerous. It's in turkey and milk. They would get up in the wee hours and turn on the lights and play so she started giving them the melatonin. Maybe if you feed them a few bites of turkey at bedtime you can achieve the same thing. Some children just have weak bladders and may take a little longer to train himself. Good luck and God bless.

Tamra - posted on 06/20/2012

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If you put him in a night time diaper he will NEVER know when he is peeing in his sleep. Since he stays dry sometimes it's time to just put him in pijamas. My son was late for night training (4 1/2). We put a rubber sheet over top of his sheets with a towel and a second set of sheets over-top. When my son had an accident in the night we took the top layer off, gave him a new blanket and put him back to bed. At first the accidents were large but he woke up because he felt wet! Within a week the accidents were very small. He was stopping himself from peeing. After 3 weeks the accidents stopped all together.

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Ashley - posted on 06/27/2012

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I never had that problem, my son went from diapers full time to potty trained in the day time for a month than potty trained overnight litterally overnight. One night we decided not to put a diaper on him n since that day(almost 3 yrs later) we have had maybe 3 accidents at night, seriously. Just dont put a diaper on at night and he will learn is my advice. Good luck.

Tamra - posted on 06/22/2012

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Amanda
Hi. I think you are absolutely right! Your son doesn't know he's doing it! The bottom line is that diapers are made so that the child feels dry no matter what. It limits your son's awareness of when he is going. That's why its important to NOT use the night time diapers.

I had long conversations with my son. He told me he did not know when he was "going" when he was sleeping. He is a deep sleeper. I explained to him why we wanted to try just putting him in pj's. The second set of sheets was so that his sleeping was not disturbed too much. A few times he even wet the second set of sheets. Yet, feeling wet woke him up. It was a bit of a pain washing sheets every day for nearly a month but it changed our lives! As I said before it took a couple of weeks before the accidents started getting smaller. After 3 weeks we had our first dry night. There were still accidents after that a few times but it kept getting better. All of the other advice about limiting fluids certainly helps. What is important about this method is that we did not wake him up and disturb his sleep. He woke himself up and then developed the awareness. It's so important that they learn to wake themselves up. It's messy. It's inconvenient. Yet, it works!

Conscious Mom - posted on 06/22/2012

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Amanda just be watchful on the restricting fluid intake since at his age as a healthy child he will need that fluid to function well....aaahh but at the same time since he has sleep apenea then you must ensure that his intake of fluids in enough for the day and sure have him use the washroom just before sleep...the body will eventually tune in to this routine and become a clock in his body.....so dont look for it overnight....he will certainly come through well

Jennie - posted on 06/22/2012

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I wouldn't worry to much about the night time training at this point. My daughter didn't have sleep apenea, but she was in a pull up for awhile at night. She eventually was able to do it. She was a very hard sleeper though. I have also know a few other moms that did the same thing. I wouldn't pressure him or yourself about quite yet. Hope this is helpful.

Nina - posted on 06/22/2012

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My son had the same problem at two had his tonsis and adenoids taken out and as been fine since. I know it's frustrating but I always limited fluids after 5 or 6 pm and woke him up at least once during the night. I know it's not ideal but it's only temporary and hopefully once he has surgery it will help. Good luck!

Amanda - posted on 06/21/2012

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Jill, I am on the waiting list we are looking at between March and June next year. It sucks because he starts school in January and I wanted it sorted before then, but thats the earliest I can get it done.

Leah, my kids don't drink juice or eat processed foods, I make a point of making everything fresh myself, and 90% of their liquid intake is water and the rest is milk. I also avoid sugars because he can't cope with them as well as things with preservatives in them (my husband is sensitive to certain preservatives so I have had to avoid them the whole time we have been together).

Melanie, there has been a slight bedwetting history in both sides of our families too. I should take that into consideration as well.

Lee, it's good to hear that an operation can change a child so much. I'm hoping to get the same results as yourself.

Tamra, he's not just a little bit wet. He's wet to the point the nappies are at bursting point. I don't think it's down to him being lazy, I don't think he knows he's doing it. The times he has woken up I think are more just flukes. He's woken up then realised he needs to go rather than waking up because he needs to go.

Lisa - posted on 06/21/2012

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I don't know if you ever read this book by Dr. Ferber, Solve Your Child's Sleep Problems: Revised Edition, but there's a lot of info in there about sleep disorders and kids with severe mood swings, apnea, etc. it's not just all about CIO. There's much more in there and also about sleep associations, how much sleep is needed and scheduling correctly. I didn't read much about the mood disorders, etc. because that wasn't my problem at the time, but maybe it give you some more insight? I hope so, because that sounds very difficult! I'd also hate for him to get on meds if it's something that can be cured by sleep or a possible surgery. There's also a new device out that's not a machine, but a simple thing you put up your nose that's disposable. You can find more info here:

http://www.proventtherapy.com/index.php

Hang in there!

MELANIE - posted on 06/21/2012

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Bed wetting runs in our family and no medication or waking at night has ever helped. I wet the bed until I was 12, so did my brother, dad and some of his brothers. My 6 year still currently wears pullups at night. We have done the waking him up every few hours, holding off the fluid and making him go to bed without a pullup to see if he would would recognize when he was peeing. None of it has worked and after seeing the doctor for it he said that genetics play a big part. We discussed taking him to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester for it but found out they would say the same thing. Our son sleeps so hard that he can't control it at night. That is what wold happen with myself and all my relatives. Sounds dumb but for some kids this is just how it is. My other 3 kids do not have this problem and 2 are younger than he is.

Leah - posted on 06/21/2012

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Hi! I would highly recommend keeping him off of juice but allowing water till 5pm. Bed wetting is the bodies urgent need to get rid of toxins and too much sugar which juice is full of. ADD/ADHD kids also respond to a diet free of sugar and processed foods the same or better than medication. Medication is going to have side affects and is really the last resort for a little four year old. I had this problem as a child and so did a few of my kids. The important thing to remember is that your little four year old's body is showing symptoms and the best thing for his body isn't medication for the symptoms but healing. I have had great help from homeopathic style nutritionist. Medication could mask the real problem, especially at this age! Four is so young! Good luck, blessings!

Jill - posted on 06/21/2012

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A lot of kids with apnea have nighttime wetting. Properly treat the apnea, the wetting issue resolves. Do you have his operation scheduled? I'd hold off stressing about the wetting and just do damage control - nappy, waterproof covers, etc - until after.

Chaya - posted on 06/21/2012

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I'm an adult with incontinence, It's not a huge problem during the day, as I'm concious most of the time. At night or if I pass out, it's another story. I have a spinal cord injury,not apnea, but just relax, My daughter was dry at night when she was 3, but the fact that your son isn't is no reflection on anyone or anything. It will happen. Worry more about health issues. One of my nephews is a triplet and he had apnea as a child, aside from the fact that he gives my minor daughter alcohol, he's a wonderful kid. (I've resolved that with him.) and one of my favorite nephews.

Delora - posted on 06/20/2012

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My child has sleep apnes and ADHD so his nueorologist.prescribed clonidine. It helps him sleep and the ADHD. Also the limiting the late drinks is a good idea and you are on the right tracks. He also got his adnoids out right before 2. They have grown back but now he has his tonsils out too.

Sharlene - posted on 06/19/2012

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Hey Amanda, Im glad to hear that, lol. Well hopefully it is the tonsils. with his mood but like I said probably stop his fluids around 4pm or 3:30pm and he should have a dry night for you, and also check out those communities and it might be good for you to talk to other moms with children ADHD. well you take care and see you around.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012

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Thanks Sharlene. I'm not offended.
I think his ADHD tendencies are related to his sleep apenea. From speaking to numerous doctors they have advised that I look into dealing with phsyical things, like having his tonsils and adenoids removed (again) and diet control that sort of thing before I look at the pshycological side of things. I'm taking it one step at a time, hopefully the tonsils will be my miracle cure, if not I'll have to take the next step. Just gotta tough it out til then

Sharlene - posted on 06/19/2012

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Hey amanda, Well thats good, Please dont be offered me asking do you think he might have a mood disorder and children with ADHD have mood disorders ,does he have the ADHD mild mod. theres a communities on com for children with ADHD ,you should check it out, Well sorry if hes doing what you mentioned like last night cut his fluids to 4/ or maybe 3.30pm. keepme post message me anytime

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012

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I'm hoping it is. We had a sleep study done in March and it confirmed the sleep apenea. The doctor that ran the test said he was 90% certain that it was what was causing his behavioural problems and the surgeon that is admitting him to hospital for an adenoitonsilectomy said pretty much the same thing.
They sleep specialist did say if he's in the 10% it doesn't work for we will have to be referred to a child phsycologist to be medicated for ADHD.

He doesn't always wake up. Last night he stayed in bed all night and the nappy was ready to burst when he woke up.
When he does wake up, some nights he goes straight back to sleep, other nights he can climb into my bed 3 or 4 times a night

Sharlene - posted on 06/19/2012

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Do you think that could be the problem with his mood . I would not change his fluids at 5pm leave at that .Like you said if hes waking to go to the toilet thats good but does he go back to sleep again straight away.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012

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No he's not on any medication. No-one has actually mentioned that as an option.
All I've been told is that he needs to have his tonsils removed and they want to do his adenoids again because they are starting to grow back after he had them removed October last year

Sharlene - posted on 06/19/2012

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Is he on any meds for that, My daughter was on cafeine for the first two years of life.

Amanda - posted on 06/19/2012

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He has obstructive sleep apenea. He needs an operation, because his is obstructive. It's not severe enough for a machine but bad enough that it affects his behaviour, moods and emotions.

Sharlene - posted on 06/19/2012

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Does he have the apenea pretty bad, My eldest was on a apenea machine as well and I use to stop her fluids at 6pm every night. If hes pretty good during the night with his nappies I would not change it and if he wakes to go to the toilet.

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