Alarm Use During School Year

My 9 year old really wants to conquer bedwetting this year.  My pediatrician mentioned that bedwetting alarms are the most effective way to end bedwetting.  My concern is that my son will be too tired if we start using an alarm during the school year.  He has just started back to school and I want him to get a good night’s sleep.  He wears pull-ups now and sleeps soundly all night.  What do you think?

Many families have similar concerns.  After adjusting to the new school schedule for six weeks or so, this should be a fine time to begin using an alarm.  Having a regular nighttime routine, as most families do during the school year, is good when beginning alarm use.  You could start the alarm on a Friday night or over a long weekend so you can see what his initial response will be.  Even though his sleep will be interrupted by the alarm when the wetting occurs, most children go back to sleep immediately after getting up to go to the bathroom.  Many have little memory of this in the morning.  Using the waterproof mattress overlays (that come in the Starter Kit or can be purchased separately) on top of his sheet make middle of the night clean-up very easy and quick.  Because the alarm goes off only when his bladder needs to empty, it’s actually less tiring than setting an alarm clock or parents walking their child to the bathroom.

The parents are the ones who may feel a little sleep deprived during this initial phase.  Because your son may need your assistance, you should respond when the alarm sounds.  Insuring that he responds correctly by getting out of bed after turning off the alarm helps him to make faster progress.  Once he can do this independently, you no longer have to respond.  Some parents find that it can be difficult to go back to sleep.  Knowing that the worst will be over in two or three weeks is helpful.  Some parents take turns getting up to the alarm or alternate nights.

Getting to bed on time and being well rested is as important for doing well in school as it is for learning to become dry in the nighttime.  Remind him to double void, about 20-30 minutes apart, before bed and help him to get homework done early so he can have a regular bedtime.  He can be successful in school as well as in conquering bedwetting.

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