My son just started using his new bedwetting alarm last week. How long does it usually take for children to become dry while using an alarm?
Each child varies, but the average time to get to dryness is around 10 weeks.*
Dryness is defined as 14 consecutive nights without wetting. Your son can either learn to wake up before the alarm sounds or "hold it until morning. Either of these constitutes a dry night.
Once 14 consecutive dry nights are achieved, I usually recommend using the alarm every other night for an additional 2 weeks before putting it away. This process helps your child build confidence that he can stay dry even if the alarm is not there.
Most children do great in this phase. If he does slip up and have a wet night, revert to using the alarm every night for another week. Then try every other night again.
If your son is making progress but has not achieved all dry nights by week 10, do not be discouraged. Progress that can be observed includes:
-fewer wet episodes per night
-wetting closer to morning
-hearing the alarm and responding on his own
-having urine left to empty in the toilet with less in the bed
-having some dry nights
-getting up on his own without the alarm sounding.
Some children just take a little longer but continuing the alarm can help him become permanently dry.
*Cutting, D; Pallant, J; Cutting, F. "Nocturnal Enuresis: Application of Evidence-based Medicine in Community Practice. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 2007:167-172. Abstract: 505 children, mean age 8.2 years, age range 6 through older than 10, 65% male, 34% female presenting with MNE were managed with a body-worn bedwetting alarm and no pharmacologic intervention. Data was recorded prospectively and outcomes assessed at 6 and 24 months. Results: Total of 79% achieved dryness (defined as 14 consecutive dry nights), with a further 13% experiencing reduction of wet nights. Mean time to achieve dryness was 10.4 weeks with range from 3.1 to 35+ weeks. Of those achieving initial dryness, 73% remained dry at 6 month follow-up. More girls achieved dryness than boys and in a shorter time. No gender difference in relapse rate.
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