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Bedwetting Alarms: Do They Work?

Alarms for bedwetting have been around for 70 years, which is why you may have heard alarming stories about them! Some of the old-fashioned bedwetting alarms were downright frightening and may have done more harm than good with their high-pitched squeals sounding more like a fire alarm than a device for little children.

One can only imagine what nightmares these ‘monsters’ inspired! No wonder many adults who had bedwetting alarms as children described this phase as the ‘worst time’ of their life.

Fortunately, bedwetting alarms have changed for the better, with many parents reporting they’re one of several good bedwetting solutions. They don’t work for every child but they’re certainly worth a shot, with studies showing that success rates are around 65 – 75%.

However, before going to the expense of buying an alarm for bedwetting, consult your GP first, to rule out any underlying medical conditions.

How do bedwetting alarms work?

This simple electronic device sounds an alarm when the sensor pad, on which the child sleeps, detects wetness.

They’re designed to teach children to respond to a full bladder by waking up and going to the bathroom. This alert helps to condition the brain to recognise the bladder needs to be emptied.

  • The device is not hooked up to the child in any way. They simply lie on the pad, or tuck it into their PJs, which is attached via a cord to an alarm that usually sits on a bedside table
  • When the pad detects moisture, the alarms sounds and the child wakes up
  • The brain then responds to waking by sending a signal to the bladder to stop the flow of wee
  • Gradually a connection between wetting and being woken is made and the child learns to “beat the alarm”, ie. instead of wetting the bed, they wake up and go to the bathroom
  • Most bedwetters are sound sleepers, but they learn to hear an alarm if it’s expected
  • Manufacturers claim it takes around 12 - 16 weeks to reach stable dryness using a bedwetting alarm.

A bedwetting alarm also encourages your child to be independent by waking and taking themselves to the bathroom, giving them more confidence as a result. Ultimately, there is no guarantee that a bedwetting alarm will work for your child, but the success rates are positive and it’s definitely worth trying if it could get your child to stop wetting the bed. Bedwetting alarms can also be used in conjunction with bedwetting pants to prevent your child from wetting the bed at all.

Visit DryNites.co.nz for more information about using a bedwetting alarm.

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DryNites website specialises in bedwetting and understands how difficult this time can be for both parents and children. Check out the website for more information on enuresis, self-esteem in children and read others bedwetting stories. Grab a free sample of DryNites Bedwetting Pyjama Pants or get all the information on bedwetting.