Directions for Your Child When Using a Bed-Wetting Alarm

  1. Remind your child that his or her alarm can help cure bed-wetting when used properly. The main purpose of the alarm is the help your child get up or sleep through without wetting during the night and urinate in the toilet rather than wetting the bed. Emphasize to your child that the alarm will not work unless she or he listens for it carefully and responds to it quickly.
  2. Enable your child to help with setting up the alarm. Have your child activate the alarm by touching the moisture sensors with a wet finger and practice going to the bathroom as if it were night time.
  3. Provide a strong night light or flashlight near the bed so your child can quickly and easily move to the bathroom and urinate into the toilet.
  4. Teach your child to go through a self-awakening exercise at bedtime. Encourage your child to "beat the buzzer" by waking up when he or she feels the urge to urinate but before any urine leaks out. If the buzzer does go off, your child should be taught to wake-up, get out of the bed, go to the bathroom and urinate into the toilet.
  5. Your child should shut off the buzzer.
  6. When the alarm has been turned off, and your child has attended to to the bathroom, then your child should put on dry underwear or pajamas, reconnect the alarm, and place a dry pad or towel over the wet spot.
  7. Most children do not wake-up to the alarm initially and will need your help. You should try going to your child's room as quickly as you can and assist your child in waking up. You may also need to assist your child safely to the bathroom to void.
  8. Remember that the goal of the bedwetting alarm is to teach your child to awaken before the buzzer goes off or to sleep through the night and remain dry.
  9. Instruct your child to go to bed with the radio or television off and go to bed at a reasonable hour. A bright night light may help your child respond more effectively to a bedwetting alarm.
  10. The alarm should be used every night until he or she can go 3-4 weeks without a bedwetting episode. This usually takes 2-3 months, so you should be persistent and patient as your child masters nighttime bladder control.
  11. When your child awakens the next morning, have him or her write on a calendar "dry" (meaning slept through the night), "Dry woke-up without alarm", "wet spot" (she or he got up after the alarm went off) or wet (he or she did not get up).

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Things to consider before buying an alarm

  • Comfortable when attached to child
  • Easy to set up
  • Sensitive to a small quantity of urine but not to perspiration
  • Reliable operation
  • Durable if dropped on floor
  • Easy to clean/disinfect on daily basis
  • Cost less than about $100.00
  • Money back guarantee for technical problems
  • Won't fall off when children toss and turn
  • Wires long enough for older children
  • Batteries available

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Other features worth consideration, but might add to cost:

  • Ability to vary loudness of alarm
  • Ability to set device to a vibrate rather than noise alarm
  • Additional remote sensor for parents
  • Wireless system with bed mat to avoid tangled wires
  • Clips that connect firmly

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Additional Considerations

  • Use a T-shirt to cover and accommodate the wires and alarm (depending on the model).
  • Underwear thin enough to accommodate clips but not so thin that it does not prevent the clips from making a circuit and turning on the buzzer while the child is dry.
  • Incentive systems might be helpful for younger children. Rewards should be provided for compliance with alarm procedures as active participation and enthusiasm for the procedure are critical to success.
  • Having the child keep track of wet and dry nights should be included as part of the child's responsibility in treatment. Self-monitoring might also provide an added incentive to be dry for many children.
  • Clean-up chores assigned to the child (e.g., changing bed clothes, putting dirty linen in the hamper, etc.) should not be presented in a manner that could be considered as punishment by the child.