My nine year old has been using his bedwetting alarm for 3 months. He has gone from wetting 2-3 times a night to once a night, so that’s definitely progress. There is just a small amount of urine on his underwear now. I still have to help him to the bathroom when the alarm sounds and he does not respond by himself. What can I do to help speed up his progress?
You are responding correctly by making sure he is getting to the bathroom when the alarm sounds. I hope that he can finish urinating in the toilet when he gets there. I know this can be frustrating because you are doing all the work. There are some tweaks that can help him to make progress.
SOME THINGS THAT AFFECT HIM HEARING THE ALARM:
The time the alarm goes off
The alarm sounding in the first few hours of sleep is when he is in the deepest sleep and can’t comprehend what he should do, even if he does hear it. Children often don’t remember this in the morning. This is when he will need the most help from you.
How tired he is
Being overly tired can contribute to his not hearing the alarm. Try to have a regular bedtime, without electronic distractions.
The sound the alarm makes
If his alarm can be set to make different sounds, change it to a new one because he may have learned to “tune out” that sound.
If he sleeps in a quiet room
He should go to sleep in a quiet, dark room, without TV or music.
Some alarms are louder than others. If his has a volume setting, make sure it is as loud as possible.
SOME CHANGES YOU CAN MAKE:
Add a vibratory unit (bed shaker)
Some wireless alarms (like Rodger wireless) have a vibrating accessory that can be placed under the sheet next to him. Some parents have even put this next to the head board to make it even louder.
Walk him to the bathroom when you go to bed
Even though he doesn’t learn anything from this, it will delay the first wetting until later in his sleep cycle, when he is more likely to hear it. As he begins to make progress by hearing and responding on his own, you should stop doing this.
Double void before bed
Have him void 30 minutes before bedtime, then once more directly before lights out. He should try even if he doesn’t feel like he has any to release.
Make sure he ups his fluids during the day
Drinking early in the day allows his body to process it while he’s awake. Many school age kids wait to drink after school, then have to process these fluids during the night.
Make sure he has a soft regular stool every day
Constipation can contribute to bedwetting and can make the bladder less sensitive to the feeling that the bladder is full. Work with your health care provider on a plan for constipation.
You described the progress of fewer times a night and smaller spots in his bed. Try a few of these tweaks and be patient. Keep some records so your son can see the progress that he is making.
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