Tips for Using Bedwetting Alarms With Kids That Are Heavy Sleepers
For kids that are deep sleepers, a bedwetting alarm, while loud, may not wake your child initially. Many parents often think ‘do bedwetting alarms work?’ when their child doesn’t respond to the alarm. This presents a challenge, but one that can be overcome working closely with your child. By establishing a structured program, such as the one outlined below, with lots of love, encouragement and support your child will begin to progress to associate the alarm with bedwetting and the need to wake up and use the toilet.
A bedwetting alarm is a tool that will work even more effectively when parents adopt the following tips:
1. Motivate your child every day
Parents should make sure that the child is encouraged to stop wetting the bed. Keep a record of the dry and wet nights, and involve your child in creating a chart and decorate it with colours and stickers to celebrate the dry nights.
If the child is not motivated to become dry then no matter how loud the alarm is, the child will not have the drive to wake up with the alarm.
2. Wake up your child, with the alarm still sounding
Even if the child does not wake to the sounds initially, as long as they are motivated they will eventually wake up, it just might take a little longer to work with them.
With children that do not wake up with the alarm, the parents should go into their child's bedroom and wake them up while the bedwetting alarm still sounding. This will allow the brain to make the association of a full bladder and waking up.
Over time the brain will gain bladder control and wake the child up automatically before they wet the bed.
Once the child has been woken up to the alarm by their parents, the child needs to go to the toilet and empty the amount of urine left in their bladder. Initially, they will still wet the bed as the brain has not gained control over the bladder while they are sleeping.
There are wireless bedwetting alarms that have an extra receiver for parent’s room, which makes it easier to support their child in managing enuresis (bedwetting).
3. Prime your child’s brain - associating the alarm with going to the toilet
Parents can get the kids to "prime" their brain by associating the alarm with going to the toilet. This involves wearing the alarm during the day or when they get back from school. When they need the toilet, get the child to set off the alarm by pressing the lever down on the sensor, without any material in the jaws of the sensor. This will set off the alarm even though they have not urinated on the sensor.
Then they should go to the toilet and empty their bladder with the alarm going off. This will prime the brain to again make the association of a full bladder, being awake and going to the toilet. By doing this step a few times in the day, this will help the child respond quicker to the alarm and wake up to the alarm at night.
4. Perseverance and Parental Support is necessary
Finally, with the alarm doing what it is supposed to do and sounding when the sensor detects urine, it can take time for your child to stop bedwetting. Bedwetting can require plenty of parental support and perseverance, as the treatment can be up to 12 weeks in some cases to achieve 14 consecutive dry nights. If your child achieves 14 consecutive dry nights, then it’s a marker that the treatment has worked and trained the brain, and the alarm does not need to be used anymore. The average treatment length is 4-6 weeks, but some kids can take longer or a shorter amount of time.