RJ writes that they are going out of town for spring break and she wants to know what her daughter should do about using the alarm while they are visiting relatives. Her daughter is 9 and she has been using the Malem Ultimate alarm for a month. While she is not completely dry yet, she is responding quickly to the alarm and has been having a few dry nights. RJ worries that not using the alarm for a week will cause a setback in her progress. Her cousins are about her age and none of them know about her wetting problem. In the past, she has worn pull-ups when she visits.
First, congratulations to your daughter on her great progress. The results that you’ve mentioned are perfect for this stage of using the alarm. If the visit was scheduled for a few months from now, she would be dry. In the interim, if sleep over invitations come up, she can temporarily wear a pull-up and get back to alarm use when she returns home. She’ll be excited to see some dry pull-ups on some of those visits. Even with a few nights of no alarm use, when she resumes it, she will continue to have progress.
Occasionally, parents will forget to buy replacement batteries, forget to have the underwear laundered or their alarm unit will break or malfunction. These events can be frustrating, but a short interruption should not impact the overall progress. Just restart alarm use once the problem is corrected.
If it was an interruption of a few weeks, it would resemble starting over. Occasionally a long interruption will be necessary in a family. Just know that even if this occurs, restarting the alarm consistently will provide renewed progress.
On some occasions, a family’s out-of-town sleeping arrangements will be private. If this is the case, taking the alarm along is recommended. Using an overlay over the sheet would prevent any wetness on the mattress.
After your daughter has achieved 14 consecutive nights of dryness, followed by 14 nights of using the alarm every other night, she can discontinue alarm use. More weeks of dryness translate to more confidence about sleepover situations. You might do a trial sleepover in which she invites a friend to your home. She will begin to see that she can stay dry in any situation.