Deciding when your family and your child are both ready to work on achieving nighttime dryness is very individual.
Things to consider:
Your child’s temperament: Some children are more easygoing and easily make accommodations for sleepovers. Others worry more about bedwetting. Intervention and reassurance are helpful for the worrier.
Family stressors: Getting to dryness requires effort from parents and child, so it’s helpful to choose a low-stress time to begin.
Child’s goals or obligations: The ability to sleep at a friend’s house or go to camp are realistic goals and may increase the level of motivation.
Age: Each child develops at a different rate. Some 5 year olds are motivated to become dry and some 7 year olds are not.
Essential Bedwetting Solutions
Children bed wetting is a frustrating and, at times, embarrassing challenge. Fortunately, it's a problem that usually doesn't last forever. If your child experiences nighttime wetting, here are some of the essentials for treatment:
Bedwetting alarms: These come in many varieties and are used to help your child become more aware of the feeling of bladder fullness at night. The alarm senses liquid, alerts your child with sound or vibration (or both), and your child gets up to use the bathroom. This is currently the most effective way to combat bedwetting. Have a look at the book Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness, which describes how to use a bedwetting alarm and the progress you're likely to see along the way to achieving dryness.
Protective undergarments: There are many varieties, including washable and disposable. Choose from absorbent-cloth or vinyl varieties. Many are designed to look like normal underwear, which gives them the added benefit of making your child feel more comfortable and less like she has a "problem." Protective undergarments will keep your child and her bedding dry during the bladder retraining process.
Protective bedding: Mattresses are expensive, so it's important to protect them from possible undergarment leakage. A vinyl cover is placed directly on top of the mattress, while washable and disposable underpads can be placed on top of the fitted sheet.
Relaxation: Bedwetting can be triggered by stress, so it's very important that your child feel relaxed before bedtime. Try reading some books about staying dry, such as Waking Up Dry by the American Academy of Pediatrics. This book offers stories about real kids who wet the bed, kid-friendly advice, and cartoon humor. Part of making your child relaxed is making her feel like she's not alone.
Enuresis (more commonly known as "bedwetting") is a very common and natural part of childhood development. Young children, teens, and even some adults can experience nighttime wetting. While bedwetting can have medical causes, it's more commonly linked with:
Inability to feel a full bladder
Large nighttime urine production
A bedwetting alarm is one of the most effective bedwetting cures available. The sound or vibration of a moisture-sensing alarm trains your child to better recognize the feeling of bladder fullness during sleep. When your child wets, the alarm sounds to alert him that wetting is occurring. He learns to get out of bed and empty urine in the toilet. In time, your child should become sensitive enough to the alarm vibrating or sounding and the feeling of fullness that her accidents will become less frequent and eventually stop altogether.
There are many bedwetting alarms available. Some are wireless, some fasten to the child's underwear, some are built right into the underwear, while others utilize a separate pad to detect moisture. The variety of available alarms can be confusing, so contact the experts at the Bedwetting Store if you need help deciding. Also, take a look at this handy bedwetting alarm comparison chart.
What Alarm Features are Important
Look at how the alarm is attached. Does it fasten to the child’s own underwear or come with specialized underwear? Some children like using their own briefs while others prefer having a built-in sensor so placement is never a problem. A pad alarm is an option for those who prefer to lie on the sensor rather than wear it on the underwear.
The way in which the alarm is turned off after it is triggered varies. A two step turn-off prevents accidentally pulling it off without being alerted. Wireless alarms require getting out of bed to turn off the alarm.
Having the sound close to the ear is preferred by most users but some like the options of hearing the sound from a distant location.
Can the alarm sound and vibrate both? Many users find that vibration adds another sensory stimulus, increasing the child’s response.
The ability to change the volume varies with the different alarms. Wireless alarms have volume control; most wearable alarms sound at the same decibel level each time moisture is sensed. In most situations, a loud sound is necessary for the parent and child to respond.
Top-Rated Moisture Alarms
Because they alert your child at the moment she begins to wet the bed, moisture alarms are one of the most effective treatments for bedwetting. In time, being woken to use the bathroom when wetting starts will help your child become better able to sense the feeling of bladder fullness during the night. Here's a quick guide to the top-rated moisture alarms:
Malem Ultimate: This alarm uses sound and vibration to alert your child to wetting. It has an easy two-step shutoff and comes in a variety of fun colors. Because this alarm alerts your child to wetting in two different ways, it's particularly good for deep-sleepers.
Malem Wireless: This alarm's moisture sensor attaches to the underwear and is magnetically secured to the waistband of the underwear. When wetting occurs, the signal is transmitted wirelessly to the receiver, which can be placed anywhere in your child's room.
Rodger Wireless: Excellent for nightly or intermittent wetting, the Rodger alarm is equipped with two specialized, moisture-sensing briefs that look just like regular underwear. The transmitter on the sensor briefs causes the receiver, which can either be plugged into the wall or operated using batteries, to sound. If necessary, additional moisture-sensing briefs can be purchased.
Bedwetting alarms, disposable briefs, washable briefs, waterproof overlays... there are a lot of bedwetting solutions out there, and they can be overwhelming at first. If you're not sure which products to choose for your child, The Bedwetting Store has a solution to make selection easier for you: bedwetting treatment kits. Every treatment kit comes with everything you need to successfully begin treatment:
Bedwetting alarm: Design your own treatment kit by choosing one of the following alarms: The Malem auditory alarm, Malem Ultimate, Rodger Wireless, Dry-Me, Rodger Clippo, Malem Recordable, Malem Wireless, DRI Eclipse, DRI Excel, Nite Train'r, and Nytone.
Two waterproof overlays: These absorbent, machine-washable pads will protect your child's mattress and bedding from nighttime accidents. Choose between flat or tuck-in styles.
Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness: This invaluable parent resource tells you everything you need to know about wetting alarms and addresses many common questions about bedwetting.
Treatment kits cost anywhere from about $90 to $205, depending on which alarm and size of overlay you choose. By purchasing a kit instead of buying each product separately, you can save up to $24. If you're unsure of which alarm to choose or need additional assistance, our Bedwetting Specialists can give you the answers you need.
Most parents report that their bedwetting children sleep very soundly. They worry that their child will not hear or respond to an alarm. In fact, it is likely that your child will sleep through the alarm sound initially.
Parents play an important role in rousing their sleeping child once the alarm has gone off. As long as the alarm is loud enough for parents to hear, you can provide back-up if your child does not respond initially. Over time, your child will begin to learn that the alarm’s sound is something that needs attention. This response can happen at a subconscious level, with little memory in the morning. Progress continues to take place, as the flow of urine is stopped, and wetting happens less and less frequently.
Eventually, the brain and bladder begin to work together to alert the child before the wetting occurs or to hold the urine until morning.
Pad-Type Alarms vs. Wearable Alarms
There are two general categories of bedwetting alarms: wearable alarms and pad-type alarms. Wearable alarms such as Malem Ultimate and Rodger Wireless tend to be more convenient and effective, as they respond to less moisture and move with the child while he sleeps; however, a pad alarm might be advantageous if:
Your child is uncomfortable wearing an alarm: Pad alarms don't require that anything be attached to your child's clothing.
Your child tends to stay in one place while sleeping: Pad-type alarms must be positioned properly in order to be effective—if your child tends to move around while sleeping, it's possible that he could miss the sensor mat entirely while wetting.
Your child is a heavy sleeper or requires your assistance in getting to the bathroom: Because wearable alarms are designed to attach to the child's shirt, it can be more difficult for the parent to hear the alarm at night. Pad-type alarms can be placed on the night stand; the Malem Bed-Side Alarm with Pad can be used up to 50 feet away from the pad with the additional purchase of a remote sound unit.
When using this type of alarm, it's important to keep in mind that the moisture sensor is very sensitive. In order to avoid false alarms, try to prevent sweat from coming into contact with the moisture pad by varying the thickness of cloth you place on top of it according to the surrounding temperature.