- Wired Bedwetting Alarms
- Wireless Bedwetting Alarms
- Bed Mat Alarms
- Bedwetting Alarm Features
- What is a bedwetting alarm and how do they work?
- Benefits of Bedwetting Alarms
There are many bedwetting alarms now available. Not too many years ago, we had a small handful of choices. Now there’s well over one dozen alarm products specifically made for bedwetting.
They’re not all the same though.
There are different styles of bedwetting alarms which all have the same functions and end goal, but can go about it slightly differently.
The first step when choosing which bedwetting alarm to buy is to be aware of the different types and how each one might benefit your child:
Wired Bedwetting Alarms
This original design of bedwetting alarm requires the alarm itself to be worn on your child. They don’t have to get out of bed to deactivate it when it sounds, and this can be a deterrent to actually getting up and going to the toilet. Still, some people will find this type of alarm to be the preferred type, and they can work well for some kids.
Wireless Bedwetting Alarms
These alarms use a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter is worn on the child, and the receiver is usually plugged into the wall socket. This means while your child doesn’t have to wear an alarm unit because the signal is transmitted wirelessly, they still need to wear the transmitter and the sensor. But these are usually smaller and lighter than a wearable alarm. Most newer bedwetting alarms are not being designed as wireless systems for comfort and convenience. The need to get out of bed to switch the alarm off also provides that extra incentive for a child to get up, and then go to the bathroom.
Bed Mat Alarms
In a bed mat alarm system, the sensor is located within the bed mat or pad that your child needs to lay on top of all night. These can be advantageous when it comes to not having to wear a sensor, but if your child moves off the mat it obviously won’t be able to detect moisture. The size of the mat is of great importance here.
Regardless of which style of bedwetting alarm you’re considering, there are common factors to consider:
- Additional material
Bedwetting Alarm Features
Individual features of a bedwetting alarm can be easy to overlook, but they can make or break your success in using it.
Although it’s not always possible to choose an alarm down to the finest detail – for example, you won’t really know how loud it can go until you try it – it’s well worth looking into specific features and capabilities of each alarm to suit your child – for example, deep sleepers will need a louder alarm so this feature should be a priority. If the alarm can’t wake your child, it won’t be of any use.
So here’s some of the finer details to look for when choosing your bedwetting alarm:
When the alarm sensor detects moisture from urine, it needs to sound the alarm device which wakes your child and (ideally) has them deactivate the alarm sound then get up to go to the bathroom and empty their bladder. This is the crux of the training methodology of bedwetting alarms, so it absolutely must be loud enough for your child to hear it.
Deep sleepers can sleep through surprisingly loud sounds, and it’s true that some of the louder alarms (which will allow you to adjust volume up and down) will likely be heard by other people in your house.
The key is to use a bedwetting alarm that is volume adjustable. Most of them are, but any alarm that doesn’t allow you to adjust the volume to meet your child’s needs should be passed up and one selected that has more alarm volume flexibility.
Usability and Comfort
Remember that a bedwetting should be a short term treatment plan. Most kids will use one for no more than three months, and often much less than that. So while any alarm will take some getting used to including in the night time sleeping ritual, it should still not be overly invasive or uncomfortable.
Consider the size and weight of the sensor and alarm unit. Wired alarms need to be worn by your child, while wireless alarms only require that the sensor is worn with a receiver being placed a short distance away. In most cases, a wireless alarm is going to be far more comfortable and easier to use (they’re also more effective as they require getting up to deactivate it).
The way the sensor is attached to your child’s clothing is a critical consideration as well. For it work, it needs to stay in place all night and that means being both secure and not causing discomfort to the point where your child inadvertently removes it during the night.
Bedwetting alarms will cost anywhere from $30 to $300. A higher price doesn’t necessarily mean a better alarm, but it often means that you get more than the physical device. The higher cost systems will usually include training, motivation and progress materials like videos and even interactive online resources.
What is a bedwetting alarm and how do they work?
Bedwetting alarms are small and inexpensive devices that work by detecting wetness when a child is in bed. They attach to either the bedding or your child’s clothing and work by way of a moisture sensing pad which literally sounds of an alarm when dampness is detected.
The best alarms will be activated right at the moment when a child starts urinating. The idea is to assist a child to suddenly wake up, stop urinating immediately, and ideally get up and go to the toilet in order to empty their bladder.
What about heavy sleeping children?
Many children who are heavy sleepers suffer from bedwetting. Their natural tendency to not be woken easily, either by sound or other means, results in heavy sleepers being more likely to urinate through the night and not wake when it’s happening. Some bedwetting alarms may also not be effective for kids who sleep heavily, and in these cases it can be up to a parent to listen out for the alarm during the night so that you can wake up your child. While this might seem a little daunting at first, it should become easier over time as your child starts to adapt (to?)….
How long will it take to stop bedwetting when using an enuresis alarm?
Bedwetting alarms are not an overnight cure for bedwetting (neither is any other method).
So when you choose an alarm to use, go into it with the knowledge that it is something that will need some time and commitment, but that with enough time and consistent use, has the potential to completely halt the bedwetting behavior in your child. They key is not to give up and, of course, to select an alarm that is known to be of high quality.
While every child presents a different situation, on average it can take around two weeks at a minimum until you will start seeing some response from using a moisture alarm. After this time, steady and noticeable progress should start being made and you can expect to it to take up to 4 months until your child is having regular dry nights.
Naturally, this will depend upon the severity of your child’s bedwetting problem and whether it is something that happens every night, or only occasionally. In any case, the key to success is to stick with using the bedwetting alarm and not to give up before your child has had enough time to adapt.
Benefits of Bedwetting Alarms
- No risk of side effects
- Low risk of the bedwetting problem recurring later once it has stopped
- Safe and healthy long term solution
- Low cost
- Short term use – most children will have dry nights within three months and often much sooner