What bedwetting equipment do I need to help my 7 year old son stop wetting the bed?
Since you’re writing to ask this question, I assume that both you and your son are ready to tackle this problem. I will also assume that he wets most nights and now wears disposables or that you do daily laundry. Since invitations to sleepovers with friends will most likely be popping up in the next year or so, this is a great age to help him stop wetting.
The equipment that you need consists of a bedwetting alarm, some waterproof bed protection and some guidance. There are many bedwetting alarms to choose from and they all function to sense moisture and alert your son (and you) that wetting is occurring. Our most popular alarm is the Malem Ultimate, which sounds and vibrates both in response to the wetness. The small sensor fastens to the outside of his underwear and the sensor cord goes under his shirt. The alarm unit fastens to his shoulder and stays put while he moves about in the night. The Malem alarm series also features a wireless model, in which the sound unit sits on a bedside table across the room. This is a great choice for kids who roll over and go back to sleep at the sound of the alarm. The Malem wireless alarm requires that your son walk over to the alarm to turn it off. It can be ordered with an optional receiver for your room as well. If these alarms don’t seem to be the best fit for your son, look at the many others that we carry. Choosing a dependable and comfortable alarm that he will easily and reliably wear each night is important.
The next piece of equipment is waterproof bed protection. When he begins using the alarm, he should transition out of disposable pants and wear regular underwear to bed. You will now be alerted when he wets and you want him to quickly go back to a dry bed after he has walked to the bathroom. My patients love waterproof mattress overlays, which are absorbent waterproof pads that lie on top of the sheet. The ones with the tuck in sides stay in place and protect the sheets from getting wet. In the morning, only the pads need to be laundered. Encasing his mattress in a zippered vinyl cover further protects it from any leaking or wetness.
Lastly, guidance to know that you are doing things correctly is important. Children with bedwetting are all very sound sleepers and many do not hear the alarm by themselves. Your role to wake him when you hear the alarm is important to his success. The first couple weeks can be difficult for parents but knowing what to expect can make it easier. My book, Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness, describes the process and what to expect at each phase.
The equipment that I’ve described can be purchased individually or bought together, as a Bedwetting Starter Kit. The Starter kit includes my book, and you can decide which alarm and overlays you would like included. This kit saves you money over buying the components individually and includes the bed wetting equipment that your son needs to be successful.