Bedwetting is one of the most un-talked about affliction for children every day. An estimated 5-7 million kids suffer from nocturnal enuresis on a daily or semi-weekly basis. This is troubling for both the child and their families, yet very few (only about 1/3) of those seek help from their pediatrician.
Luckily, bedwetting is a low-risk and solvable problem. It is still recommended that if your child is over the age of 7, you should speak with a doctor to rule out any medical concerns.
The most effective treatment for bedwetting
Do bedwetting alarms work? YES! The use of an alarm will provide you with the highest success rate and lowest relapse rate. Since its induction in 1938, the bedwetting alarm has shown to be the most effective treatment for wetting the bed. Other treatments include medication and physical therapy.
Using a bedwetting alarm
The concept of using an alarm is through the use of negative reinforcement. The child wears the alarm and when it detects moisture, it sounds or vibrates causing them to wake up and get out of bed to urinate. These alarms can be so loud and annoying and hard to turn off (which is the point, they have to get up) that their body starts to adjust in order to avoid the result of getting woken up so negatively.
Types of Alarms
There are two basic types of alarms to choose from.
Depending on the alarm you choose, it is either clipped onto the band of the underwear or to the top of the shirt. The main difference here is the length of the wires you must deal with.
Once the sensor detects moisture, the alarm either sounds, flashes, vibrates (or all three based on your setting) and the child must unclip the sensor from the underwear and press a button to turn off the alarm.
Some bedwetting alarms have the turn-off button right on the alarm and others have a second device that is placed across the room so the child has to physically get out of bed to turn it off.
It has a wire running up to an alarm box that you can place on the floor or the bedside table. This type of alarm does not require anything to be clipped onto the child.
“NOT SURE WHICH ALARM TO CHOOSE? READ OUR REVIEWS FOR THE TOP 5 BEDWETTING ALARMS”
Bedwetting Alarm Success Rate
If used correctly and consistently, a bedwetting alarm has a long-term success rate of 65-85%. However, it also has a drop-out rate of 10-30%. This is usually because the family does not participate in the entire process.
The best way to make sure your bedwetting alarm works is to be consistent. It will take weeks of use to see any significant results. It is necessary, at least in the beginning, to help your child walk through the entire process every night.
Over a 2 week period 44% of kids with alarms improve with bedwetting compared to only 4% who did did nothing at all.
There are positive ways to make using a bedwetting alarm more fun, and thus raise the success rate. Using positive reinforcement systems such as progress charts with stickers is a great way to keep the child interested and seeing their progress of dry nights.
When to use a bedwetting alarm for the best success rate
Studies have been conducted for what time of year to start alarm therapy. The results show that for the highest success rate, you should begin in the summer months. The success rate in summer was 68% as compared to the winter with only 38%.
This can be the result of having an easier schedule in the summer and being able to sleep in after being woken up in the middle of the night. You also see a higher amount of sleepovers and overnight camps being attended. This is a motivator for kids to want to kick the bedwetting habit.
In order to be successful with training, your child must be motivated and want to stay dry. To keep them motivated, provide them with a lot of support and praise throughout the process.