If you have visited our website before, you may have already come across our “Top Tips” for using a bedwetting alarm. In this blog post we explain why this advice is important and how it will help your child get the most out of their bedwetting alarm treatment, to help your child succeed in becoming permanently dry at night.
A bedwetting alarm works by helping your child develop the subconscious link between the brain and the bladder. As the alarm only sounds when the child wets the bed, the more often a child wets, the quicker this link develops. Children that are very infrequent bedwetters generally don’t wet the bed often enough to form the conditional response that the alarm treatment is based on.
If your child is going to be wearing a bedwetting alarm, it is very important that they want to become dry at night. They need to recognise that their bedwetting is a problem and really want to achieve the goal of dry nights. After all, the treatment requires that they wake up every time the alarm sounds. A motivated child will be more likely to wear their alarm correctly and react appropriately when the alarm sounds, ensuring a successful treatment process.
In order for children to make the link between their brain and bladder, it is essential that they wake up to the alarm when it sounds. Waking on the first signs of wetting helps them to learn the feeling of a full bladder. Typically, many bedwetters are deep sleepers and have often slept through whilst they have wet the bed. The bedwetting alarms that we sell are very loud, and some have additional functions such as vibration and lights, but some children may even sleep through these alerts on their first few nights of wearing the alarm. Although this can be frustrating for parents, we advise that parents help to wake their children up on the first few nights of using the alarm. After this, the child should be able to wake themselves up when the alarm sounds.
Bedwetting is not your child’s fault – it is not a conscious process and so they must not be blamed or punished for wetting. Instead, it is important to praise them when they do something productive towards becoming dry (rather than simply waiting for a dry night). For example, going to the toilet before bed or drinking regularly (see below) are both positive steps that should be praised. Becoming completely dry is a gradual process and so smaller signs of success should be praised and/or rewarded. Keeping a progress chart is also a really great way of ensuring that both you and your child remain motivated throughout the alarm treatment and can easily measure the improvement being made with a bedwetting alarm.
As mentioned above, the key to the success of the bedwetting alarm treatment is that the child wakes up on the first signs of wetting. Many parents try lifting their children to take them to the toilet whilst they are still asleep, but it really is important that your child wakes up whilst they are wetting so that the link between the brain and the bladder can develop.
Parents often instinctively feel that they should reduce how much their child drinks if they are wetting the bed. However, it is important that your child actually drinks fluids regularly throughout the day so that their bladder is strong. Find out more about how much your child should drink in our previous blog.
Although using nappies may seem a convenient method for parents, to save on laundry, they are likely to slow down the curing process when using a bedwetting alarm. Wearing a nappy is sending a message to your child that it’s “ok” to wet. If your child is trying to learn to become dry at night with an alarm, it is important that they recognise that they shouldn’t be wetting at night time. Without wearing a nappy, the alarm’s effectiveness is therefore much greater and this will encourage them to become dry at night time permanently!