Most children are able to stay dry at night by age 5, however, 15% of 5 year olds and 5 % of 10 year olds continue to have nighttime wetting. Bedwetting does become less frequent as children get older, but many families would like to help their children get to dryness sooner rather than later. Research proves that bedwetting alarms are the most effective way to do this.
Here are 5 tips to help you know when the time is right for starting an alarm.
1. Is at least 5 or 6 years old and wets most nights. Around this age, children are likely to have the maturity to be able to respond to the alarm, go to the bathroom and return to their bed.
2. Begins making comments about wanting to stay dry or stop using pull-ups. Your child notices other kids their age stay dry at night and wonders why they can't do the same. Even if you have been very careful to be positive and supportive, children want to be like their peers. Pull-ups are fine until treatment with a bedwetting alarm is begun. Then I recommend switching to cloth underwear.
3. Has no new changes in the household. Because starting an alarm requires parent/family participation, begin at a time when you do not have travel, have schedule changes or increased work obligations. The first 2-3 weeks are the hardest.
4. Is able to stay reliably dry during the day. If your child has leaking during the day or does not go independently without a reminder, this should be corrected before you start working on nighttime dryness.
5. Is feeling frustrated that they can't stay dry on their own. Even older children (over 10 years) can get to dryness with an alarm. So if your child hasn't been motivated in the past or you have been patiently waiting for them to "outgrow it, know that it isn't too late to use a bedwetting alarm.
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