Bedwetting can continue in 1-2% of teens. This does not sound like a lot, but if your son or daughter is in this 1-2%, it’s a big deal. He or she may begin to feel alone and hopeless, and worry that they will never have a dry night. Puberty does not “cure” bedwetting, so there is no reason to wait for puberty before you start treatment. Missing out on fun overnight outings with friends can cause self-esteem to plummet. Daily laundry can stress even the most understanding families.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Most families have tried these strategies but they bear repeating to make sure they are in place.
• Regular routine and bedtime
• Double voiding 30 minutes before bed and again immediately before falling asleep
• Drink throughout the entire day. This may mean taking a water bottle to school. Drink enough so that the bathroom needs to be used at least once, if not twice while at school.
• Insure regular bowel movements
• Do not punish or ridicule
Solving the problem
The best solution for bedwetting is using a bedwetting alarm. Alarms are perfect for sound sleeping teens who have no idea when wetting happens. Moisture sensing bedwetting alarms sound when urine is detected. The teen and parents are alerted so they can begin to make the brain-bladder connection. Your teen may sleep through the loud alarm initially. That is how most users begin.
A parent’s job is to go to their room, wake them, have them turn off the alarm and walk to the bathroom. Over time, the teens are able to learn what a full bladder feels like and that they must be in the bathroom before the urine is released.
The good news is that bedwetting alarms work as effectively in teens as they do in younger children. It usually takes teens a little longer to get to complete dryness, but a few extra weeks to change a behavior that has been going on for years is quite manageable.
Recommended alarm for Teens
The Rodger wireless alarm is my recommendation for teens. The sensor underwear fit just like regular underwear and is easy to put on, no matter how tired you are. A positive feature of wireless alarms is that your teen must get out of bed to turn off the alarm. Since the receiver is located across the room, it will continue to sound from that location until it is turned off.
Some tech savvy teens quickly disconnect the sensor from the alarms that are worn on the shoulder, then roll over and go back to sleep. Wireless alarms prevent this from happening. If your room is on a different floor from your teen, you can get an additional receiver for your room so you can insure that he or she is getting up when the alarm sounds. A vibrating cushion can also be added to this alarm to shake the bed or pillow when the alarm sounds.
Even if your teen has used some type of alarm in the past, it is worth retrying this method with a good product. My book, Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness, outlines what to expect along the way and has a section devoted to teens. Your teen should wear the alarm every night when in your own home, until 14 consecutive nights of dryness are achieved. Finish by using the alarm every other night until an additional 14 dry nights are achieved. Patience and persistence are important but research demonstrates that bedwetting alarms are the most effective cure.