Spring and summer is the time of year mums and dads of a bed wetting child fear most. With school holidays approaching every kid in the class is looking forward to a summer of sleepovers and fun – every kid that is, except yours because he or she is anxious about wetting the bed or wearing nappies each time they sleepover.
And although many parents could have tried many ways to help their child to stop wetting the bed at night, it may not always have been the right way.
Often, the initial recommended treatment for bedwetting is to use a bed wetting alarm as there is good evidence indicating that they can help to stop wetting the bed. A bedwetting alarm is usually recommended after age six to train children to become dry at night.
Bed wetting alarm therapy is a conditioning treatment. The treatment aims to teach your child to recognise and respond to a full bladder during sleep. Bedwetting alarms are used to teach the child to wake up whenever wetting begins and to go to the toilet to finish urinating.
There are two kinds of alarms :
- A pad and bell alarm in which a pad is connected to an alarm or bell that rings when the pad becomes wet.
- An alarm worn on the body (or personal alarm) that can be attached onto the child’s pyjamas or nightdress. A bed wetting alarm worn on the body is portable and can be taken on holidays with the child, if necessary. These devices are now of a very high quality, are easy to use and affordable for families.
It really is important that the child wants to be dry when using an alarm. Since alarms may take time and effort from the family and child, it is essential that everyone understands the problem. If you are using a bedwetting alarm, the aim is to have fewer wet nights or smaller wet patches. When the child has at least 14 dry nights in a row, the alarm treatment can be considered to have been successful.
It may take up to three months for a bedwetting alarm to work and best results are achieved with the support of a healthcare professional. Bedwetting alarms are not suitable for all children and not all of them will respond to an alarm. If this occurs, it would be appropriate to speak with your doctor as medication may be a better option.
The key to success with a bedwetting alarm is correct use. This means for the first few nights, when the child wets the bed and the alarm goes off, you may have to go into your child’s bedroom, help them wake up if they’re not awake already (as some kids sleep very deeply) and take them to the bathroom to finish going to the toilet. If the child is older, he or she should always be responsible for turning off the alarm.
Bedwetting can be treated and spring and summer is a great time to try. Seeking advice from a healthcare professional about alarm treatment and other medical treatments available would be the first step to take.