10 top tips for using a bedwetting alarm

If you've bought, or are considering buying a bedwetting alarm to help your child stop bedwetting, our top tips can help ensure the treatment is effective for your child.

Read these tips before starting treatment.

  1. A key element in the success of bedwetting alarms is your child's motivation and understanding that waking to the sound of the alarm is the treatment that will help them stop wetting at night. Make sure they fully understand this and are committed to stopping wetting the bed by using the alarm.
  2. Start the bedwetting alarm treatment with realistic expectations. It can take two to three months on average for a child to be consistently dry at night, some children will take longer.
  3. Discuss with your child what you expect them to do when the alarm goes off, e.g. get out of bed, go to the bathroom, change their pants and pyjamas and strip the bottom sheet.
  4. Clean the sensor every morning to prolong it's life. Replacement sensors can be bought from the ERIC shop.
  5. During the first few nights, some children struggle to fully react to the alarm by waking and going to the bathroom on their own. Acting when the alarm goes off is a learned response and you may need to assist your child to respond when they first start using the alarm.
  6. At the start of the treatment process you may find your child empties their bladder before they respond to the alarm. Over time, they will learn to stop the flow of urine when the alarm sounds.
  7. If you hear the alarm but your child has not woken, gently wake up them up and get them to switch off the alarm. Remind your child of the next steps you discussed (see tip 3) and encourage them to carry these out.
  8. Many children wet more than once a night so you will need to re-attach the alarm to clean underwear after each wetting episode. As your child makes progress, the nightly wetting episodes will decrease.
  9. The journey to night-time dryness can be a difficult one for children, so praise and support should be given for positive behaviour such as wearing the alarm, going to the bathroom once you have gone into their bedroom, or changing their pants. They shouldn't just be praised for nights when they don't wet the bed. You might want to consider rewarding your child's success.
  10. Even when your child is convinced they will no longer wet the bed, encourage them to continue to wear the alarm until they have had 14 consecutive dry nights. Children occasionally have another accident after they appear to be able to stay dry through the night. If this happens, use the alarm again until they have achieved 14 consecutive nights without wetting the bed. Discontinuing the alarm before your child is fully dry at night can lead to a relapse.

A diary to download and print at home to record progress with your child's alarm.

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