Here’s something you might not know: the technical term for bedwetting is nocturnal enuresis. It happens in children when they make the transition to getting potty-trained. In other words, instead of sleeping through the night, they learn to wake up in the middle of the night and run to the bathroom to pee.
But the transition is hardly without hiccups because it is essentially a learning curve. Their bed won’t be dry every night, not for the next few years at least. In most cases, children stop wetting the bed by the time they turn five, but if your child is past that age and his bed isn’t consistently dry, you need to address this problem.
What is the solution? Well, one of the more effective and safer solutions would be employing a bedwetting alarm. If they’re having a sleepover or perhaps camping with friends, bedwetting can cause them embarrassment and take a toll on their self-esteem.
With advancing age, seniors often face this condition and a bedwetting alarm can be equally useful for them.
Not only does a bedwetting alarm save your child from the embarrassment of wetting the bed, but they also work as a therapy to form a wakeup routine. And more often than not, psychological treatment of bedwetting is preferred over pharmaceutical kind. After consistent use, your child would be able to wake up when he or she needs to go to the bathroom without the need for a bedwetting alarm. In a way, these alarms act a catalyst to the process.
But what are bedwetting alarms exactly? At their core, these alarms make use of two units: a sensor and an alarm. The sensor acts as a trigger for the alarm and is connected to the child’s underwear. The sensor senses moisture and that exposure causes the alarm to go off. Some alarms can alert the child via vibration, in addition to the auditory alerts. Most alarms you’ll come across would be tethered to the sensor with a wire, but there are wireless options available as well.
As they grow older, your child gradually teaches their body to react to a full bladder the way it would when they’re awake. The keyword here is ‘gradually’. It takes time and a sizable percentage of children who wet their beds, can continue to do so even when they reach the age of 6 or 7.
This is usually indicative of a need for treatment for nocturnal enuresis. Therapeutic treatment involves conditioning the child’s body to respond to a full bladder while medication only suppresses the condition as long as they’re taking the meds. In other words, therapy helps develop bladder control. And the most efficient way to go about it is with a bedwetting alarm. As soon as these alarms detect even a drop of urine, they alert the little one and keeps him or her from wetting the bed. With prolonged use, they learn to wake up and go to the bathroom without the need for an alarm.
There are several different types of bedwetting alarms and quite a few different features that they have to offer. In this section, we’ll try and determine which type will suit your little one best and which features are essential.
Clip-on alarms are fairly straightforward. The sensor sits underneath their underwear while the alarm is attached to their shoulders. You clip the sensor onto your child’s underwear and when the sensor detects moisture, the alarm goes off. When they wake up, you should ask them to finish peeing in the bathroom and over time they’ll learn this behavior.
Another more comfortable and effective system is wireless alarms. Instead of attaching the alarm unit to the child’s clothing, it is placed somewhere else in the room. And when the sensor (which is attached to the child’s underwear, by the way) detects moisture it sends out a wireless signal, triggering the alarm. They’re particularly useful because unlike wired alarms (which your child can turn off and then go back to sleep), they have to wake up and walk to the unit to turn it off – a feature that makes them ideal for deep sleepers.
How easily an alarm can be reset is one of the first features you should factor into your decision. You must pick a system that features a two-step turn off or a similar design because of the reasons explained above. Such alarms are only shut off when the child removes the clip from their clothing followed by switching it off using the button.
Some wireless systems ship with their proprietary underwear and the hardware required for proper operation built into the underwear. Admittedly, these products limit the choices you have (for instance, fitting) when there are options that can work perfectly fine with any underwear.
The mechanism the alarm uses to wake them up is equally important. Before you decide on a product, ensure that it is at least as loud as an alarm clock. If they’re a heavy sleeper, try going for one which uses vibrations and lights accompanied by sound alerts.
Even though your child may not have conscious control over their bedwetting habit, a bedwetting alarm can go a long way in breaking the habit and cultivating the habit of holding the pee in till morning or waking up and rushing to the bathroom. In the post that follows, we’ll list some of the best bedwetting alarm systems available in the market today, combined with a buyer’s guide to help you pick the right bedwetting alarm for your young one.
The enuresis alarms from this manufacturer are perhaps the most popular in the market. And this popularity isn’t unwarranted, the Chummie stands out from the crowd thanks to its polished build and premium feature set. The design language is kid-friendly and appealing, thanks to the smiley face look of the alarm. It offers outstanding functionality as well. It is light. It is discreet. It is compact. And it can be programmed to trigger multiple alert presets, including lights, vibrations, and sound.
Speaking of better functionality, the alarm prompts you to change batteries when it is about run out, which saves you the trouble of doing extra-laundry when you forget to swap the batteries for fresh ones. The battery life is excellent and it can last up to a month.
It employs a hypoallergenic sensor that is taped on to your kid’s underwear and feels comfy to wear. Easily cleaned and maintained, this sensor can trigger the alarm in case the cord becomes detached. The alarm itself is exceedingly sensitive and can detect even minimal exposure to wetness.
One caveat though, since the pad is exceptionally sensitive, you can expect some reasonable false alarms, from say sweat. That’s not to say the sensor isn’t accurate, it can detect urine quicker than cheaper alarms and the sound and vibration from the alarm going off is loud enough to wake even deep sleepers up.
You can pick from eight different sounds for the alarm. There’s also the option of using the sound or vibration presets alone or in combination.
If you want a basic yet functional and effective alarm, the Malem Ultimate should be on your shortlist. Both the manufacturer and parents report that you can see results within a month of usage – something which has brought this particular product international fame.
The design is feather-weight, ergonomic, and kid-friendly, with its soft and attractive color palette. The alarm works with two separate components: Quick Detect and Secure Grip. Unlike the taped-on pads, the Secure Grip is easily clipped on to the child’s underwear and it stays latched on even if the child tosses and turns during sleep. It’s important because most taped-on sanitary napkins come loose if there’s considerable movement.
The Quick Detect can pick up even the most minuscule amounts of urine and set off the alarm which can only be shut off with a two-step reset. So your child won’t go back to sleep before they make a quick trip to the bathroom. Because of the two-step reset, they will have to unclip the Quick-Grip and then press the button to shut-off the alarm.
It motivates them to leave the bed, rather than just pressing a button and finishing the remainder of the business while in bed. Evidently, it doesn’t ship with some of the more advanced features you’ll find in high-end alarms, but it does what it’s supposed to and it does it well.
Enuresis alarms are a smart investment but unfortunately, they’re also a costly one. Most alarms can run to at least $100 or more. But that doesn’t have to be the case, if you are on a tight budget the DryEasy will cost you only a fraction of the price but it offers just as much functionality. It’s also better built than most inexpensive alarms.
It’s not uncommon for your little one to become accustomed to a particular alarm tone and they might learn to tune it out. The ideal solution in such a case would be frequently changing the alarm sound. You can pick from six different alarm sounds and 4 different volume presents ranging from loud to muffled, which is a great option to have if your kid is a deep sleeper.
You can also select the vibration only preset which ideal for situations where they won’t want others to find out that they’re wearing an alarm. That’s not a feature you’d find in most budget models. The sensor clamps onto their pants and it holds its place surprisingly well.
Unsurprisingly, however, the sensor is super-sensitive which means you may notice more frequent false alarms than you would on other models.
As the name of this alarm system might suggest, this bedwetting alarm aims to be more than just an alarm. The manufacturer claims that it’s a complete bedwetting therapy treatment as evident from the price it retails at – which is twice as much as similar systems. But if you can swallow the price tag, the TheraPee alarm system is one of the best money can buy.
Unlike most systems that use only an alarm trigger for monitoring and training, the method TheraPee uses is broader and more comprehensive involving video training and different exercises. The supplemented training is perhaps why this particular alarm suite is so well-received and has a higher success rate than its competitors.
As opposed to a clip or a taped-on sanitary napkin, this system utilizes a simple thin pad which isn’t attached to your child’s underwear; rather it is placed directly under them on the covers. So you won’t have to worry about the clip getting accidentally detached. It also affords the sensors more surface area for sensing moisture.
The interactive software embedded is customized for each user and with a tailored training course, your child can better learn to realize when their bladder is full, even when they’re asleep.
The bedwetting alarm’s cord often comes undone as your little one tosses and turns during their sleep? If so, a wireless bedwetting alarm might be the answer. The sensor once attached to your child’s clothing, transmits a wireless signal when it senses wetness.
You can either use the briefs the product ships with, or you can use regular underwear along with a magnetic cap since the sensor attaches itself to clothing magnetically. The alarm is controlled wirelessly with a remote. Simply put, you won’t have to fumble with wiring and work finicky clips to reset the alarm. It has a generous range of 200 ft. which makes for convenient operation and you can turn off the alarm without even entering the room.
The system uses sound to wake up the sleeper but there’s also a variant with vibration presets which can be useful if the sound from the alarm alone isn’t enough to wake the child up. The sensor is comfortable to wear (unlike wired alternatives, which often cause discomfort), reliable in operation, and water-resistant for better durability.
It also saves you the hassle of replacing batteries every few weeks because the receiver unit draws power from any regular outlet.
So there you have it, a rundown of some excellent bedwetting alarm systems along with a helpful guide to pick out the best system for your child. Bedwetting alarms have great success rates so they can help keep the bed dry, night after night.