How does an alarm cure bedwetting? February 10 2016
All children start off as bedwetters. By around the age of 5, most children have developed the ability to control their bladders whilst they are asleep, enabling them to stay dry until morning. However, for some children this natural link between the brain and the bladder can take a little longer to develop. A bedwetting alarm works by speeding up this brain-bladder link in children aged 5+ that are still wetting at night.
3 Steps To Dryness
If your child starts using a bedwetting alarm, it is expected that they will experience 3 stages in their journey to becoming dry:
1. Initially, the alarm will wake your child on detecting the first drops of urine. The sounding of the alarm on the very first signs of wetting ensures that your child wakes up to the sensation of wetting the bed (previously they are likely to have slept through whilst they wet). Your child can then go to the bathroom to empty the rest of their bladder.
2. The process of waking up to the alarm on the first signs of urination teaches your child’s brain to recognise the feeling of having a full bladder whilst they are asleep. This leads to your child then starting to be able to wake up by themselves when their bladder is full and, crucially, before wetting begins (and before the alarm sounds). They can then go to the bathroom, rather than wetting their bed.
3. The final stage in becoming dry at night occurs when the natural link between your child’s brain and their bladder is fully developed. This allows them to sleep through the night (like you or I) and wait until the morning to go to the bathroom. It usually takes around 2-3 months for the vast majority of children using bedwetting alarms to reach this stage. Congratulations - your child is now dry at night!
Because bedwetting alarms work by speeding up the natural learning process, they are the best treatment in achieving permanent dryness. In fact, bedwetting alarms are recommended by NICE as the first line treatment for nocturnal enuresis. There have been many studies that have shown the success of bedwetting alarms as a treatment for bedwetting - in general it is thought that 65-80% of children that use a bedwetting alarm correctly become permanently dry at night.
Some children take longer than others to learn how to control their bladder whilst they are asleep. A bedwetting alarm speeds up the natural link between the brain and the bladder, helping to cure your child’s bedwetting.