Do children wake up to standard alarm sounds?

Recent research by the University of Dundee has shown that children tend to sleep right through typical loud smoke alarms. In comparison, they have shown that 90% of children wake up to a lower pitched alarm sound combined with a recorded spoken message. This same principle can be applied to making sure that your child’s bedwetting alarm has the sound features required to ensure they wake up as soon as their alarm sounds, to ensure success with their alarm treatment.

Sleeping Through Sound

Smoke alarms, as used in the above study, are typically much louder than bedwetting alarms. However, in the study only 20% of children woke up to through the smoke alarm sound. The study discovered that children are more responsive to lower pitched alarm sounds and recorded voice messages, which woke up 90% of the children.

It’s very important that children wake up to their bedwetting alarms as soon as they are activated, in order for their brains to recognise and learn the feeling of a full bladder. The smoke alarm research suggests that a voice message is best and that a high-pitched bedwetting alarm sound is less likely to wake up them when it is activated. Luckily, The Bedwetting Doctor sells a wide range of bedwetting alarms with a huge variety in sound settings and voice recordable functions to help wake up children.

Sleeping Through Sound

Voice Is Best

Our bedwetting alarms have a range of alarm sounds at different pitches. In particular, our selectable alarms allow you to try out 8 different alarm sounds, so that you can find the exact one that your child responds to best when they are asleep.

However, the study also demonstrated that children wake up best to the sound of a human voice. In particular, it is thought that the maternal voice is most effective at waking up a child. This trait, to respond to warnings from a mother, is likely to be inherited evolutionarily.

Voice Is Best

Recordable Range

Malem recognised this effective way of waking children and so developed the world’s only recordable range of bedwetting alarms. These alarms allow you to record your own personalised message, which is played to alert your child as soon as they wet their bed, helping them to wake up straight away.

There are a few different recordable bedwetting alarms available, so that you can choose the exact one that is best for your child’s needs.

Malem Recordable (MO5): The first recordable bedwetting alarm. Allows you to record 1 voice message to play with or without vibration. Alternatively, single-tone or 8-tone alarm sounds can be selected.

Malem Multi-Choice (MO17): The most comprehensive bedwetting alarm. Allows you to record 3 different voice messages to play with or without vibration. Alternatively, single-tone or 8-tone alarm sounds can be selected, or one of 20 melodies.

Malem Deluxe (MO24): The newest model of bedwetting alarm combines an alarm sound with a voice message. This combination of alarm sound and a familiar voice is particularly effective at waking even the deepest sleepers.


For a successful bedwetting alarm treatment, it is important to wake up as soon as bedwetting occurs. Although children may sleep through simple alarm sounds (that are capable of waking adults), this does not have to hinder their chance of success with a bedwetting alarm, however. Choose an alarm with different alarm sounds and the option to record a voice. This will ensure that they wake up as soon as they wet the bed, providing the greatest success with their bedwetting alarm treatment.  The Bedwetting Doctor