The Child Who Wees for Britain
20 CommentsThursday, 31 July 2014
If you have a child that's a heavy wetter, you know exactly what I'm talking about here. It's something you don't notice when a child is in disposables, but you certainly do once they are in real nappies. In my experience, however, most people think their child is a heavy wetter. Personally, I just think we don’t really appreciate the liquid in = liquid out equation while a child is in disposables. Remember that wet nappies are a GOOD thing, in that they indicate that your child is well. The problem comes when the wetness turns into leaks.
The secret is to try different solutions in turn:
- The first step is to check that the nappy has been put on properly and that the nappy and wrap are compatible with each other (eg Proraps are too slim to hold a shaped nappy, because they are designed for pad folded ones). Also, make sure you are fully covering the nappy with the wrap, not leaving bits sticking out.
- Next, check that you are adding the right amount of absorbency - it's no good putting a child to bed in a nappy with no extra boosters, for example.
- Make sure you are changing the nappy frequently enough for child's circumstances.
- See if there are any patterns. If your baby is the kind that drinks in a bottle then wees it all out straight away, make sure that the nappy you expect to get very wet is padded up appropriately, or get into the habit of a short nappy change specifically to cover this period.
- Take a look at your child's diet: are they simply drinking too much liquid? If it's milk (and it's above the recommended amounts for your child's age), it may be that you can gradually cut down on the milk to recommended levels and increase the food. But be very careful here - taking in plenty of fluids is a habit you want to encourage for the future, because very few of us drink enough (tea and coffee don't count, as they are diuretics), and fluids - especially water - flush out toxins from the body. Really, you should only be making adjustments here if your child is both drinking excess milk and is light for their age, as this may indicate they are getting too many of their calories from the wrong source. Before taking any action, you could discuss the issues with your health visitor.
- Still on the subject of liquid, but this time juice. If you always provide juice, toddlers will frequently want their mug refilling as soon as they empty it, which will have the obvious effect on the bladder. Bear in mind that, as they approach toilet training they will no longer be doing lots of little wees which are easily absorbed, but will be doing occasional full wees. Any nappy, including a disposable, is going to be hard pushed to absorb these quickly enough if liquid intake is excessive. A good tip is to offer juice only at mealtimes, and to provide water at other times during the day: your child will drink if (s)he is thirsty but not for the sake of it.
- If you are using pad folded nappies, consider investing in larger or better quality ones which provide more absorbency, or just adding a booster pad. Make sure you are using a good enough wrap and that there is enough room between the nappy and wrap to ensure no edges stick out - it may well be worth going one size up in wraps for night nappies, as these will be larger due to boosting.
- You can always get a few booster pads, which provide extra absorbency without being too thick. If need be, you could add more than one, but that is unlikely to be necessary in a day wrap. The Nappy Lady even sells fleece-topped ones, so removing the need for a separate liner.
- In my experience, terry is a much better material for holding onto urine than flannelette is, and fitted nappies have more capacity than pad folded ones - which is why they are bulkier.
- If you need to add extra boosting in a bulky night nappy, try adding it between the nappy and the wrap, rather than inside the nappy. This will keep the nappy (assuming it is shaped or pinned) snug against the child’s body, rather than opening up larger leg holes.
- If all else fails, you have four options: extra padding, larger wrap, more frequent changes or a change to a better nappy system. Sorry, but you're just unlucky! E-mail me with the details and I will try to advise you further.