CS writes, We have been using the alarm for 1 week and are frustrated. Our lack of sleep and waking 1-2 times per night to help wake our 7 yr old son and then change his bedding is getting old. My main question is: can we or should we still wake him to go to the bathroom when we go to bed? We used to wake him a couple hrs after he went to bed which is when he would really empty most urine. He did have occasional dry nights when we did this. We stopped doing that per directions on our alarm but I see others still do this. Please help me.
What you are describing is perfectly normal in the first couple of weeks. It’s definitely more difficult for parents than for your son, who probably goes right back to sleep and has no memory of this in the morning. The first two weeks are the hardest for the parents but it does get easier after that. If you can stick with this for a month, you’ll be happy that you did.
Walking him to the bathroom when you go to bed does not allow his brain and bladder to make the connection that this is physiologically when he needs to urinate. Picking an arbitrary time, such as 10:30 or 11:00, may allow him to have a dry night, but it also begins to train his body to be emptied at that time. He may not need to go to the bathroom until 1 or 2, but there is no way for you to know this. The bedwetting alarm allows him to pinpoint exactly when the urination occurs so he can learn what a full bladder feels like and what he needs to do next. Don’t worry if he’s sleeping through the alarm or doesn’t remember in the morning. Learning takes place at a subconscious level.
My patients use a washable, waterproof mattress overlay over the sheet to make middle of the night clean-up quicker. Maybe you and dad could alternate nights of responding. If the alarm sounds more than twice a night, you can leave the alarm off for the rest of the night so you know you can sleep until morning.