Our 7 year old boy sleeps very soundly and wets the bed every night. We have tried waking him up around 11pm and 3 am, but he’s still wet at some point. We have restricted fluids and make sure he goes to the bathroom before bed. He’s beginning to feel very discouraged by his nightly wetting. Our New Year’s resolution is to help him conquer this problem. What do you recommend?
It sounds like you and your son are very motivated to solve his bed wetting. I know he sleeps through the wetting episode and would like to know when he should get up and go to the bathroom. Some children develop this ability quickly, when they are getting day toilet trained. Others, like your son, need some help in getting that brain-bladder connection when they are asleep. Using a tool like a bedwetting alarm will speed up the process of learning how to wake up to a full bladder.
Bedwetting alarms sense wetness, and then sound at precisely the moment that wetting occurs. Initially, you may need to help him wake to the alarm and remind him to get up and walk to the bathroom. Over time, his bladder will stop the urine stream in response to the sound. Then you’ll notice that he has urine left to empty in the toilet. Eventually, he’ll learn to wake up before he wets or hold his urine until morning. The average time to dryness is about 8-12 weeks, so it is important to be patient. However, a few weeks is much better than waiting a few years for him to spontaneously learn how to wake up before wetting.
The best thing about using a bedwetting alarm is that it’s a permanent solution. Once he learns how to wake up if he needs to urinate in the night, he’s just like you and me. A full bladder triggers your body to wake up and walk to the bathroom, not let it out in bed. He can then stay dry, no matter how much or what he has had to drink.