Bed wetting is a normal part of a child's development. However, over the age of five, PNE (commonly known as Primary Nocturnal Enuresis, the one responsible for bed wetting in children) should have stopped for most children. If your child is still wetting the bed, you need to consider behavioral training to teach them to stop the bed wetting episodes.
The bedwetting alarm we recommend to all our readers is the DRI Eclipse by Anzacare. It is the market leader and has proven results, at a very good price point.
A Bed Wetting Alarm Can Help
A bed wetting alarm is the first step in treatment. By the age of five some children may be keenly aware that bed wetting is something to be ashamed of and something not entirely normal. In fact one could suggest that it is normal, in that around 20% of 5 year olds still wet the bed and it is part of a genetic pattern inherited from one or both parents.
But, whether it is conceptualised as normal or not, the issue is that children who continue to have PNE bedwetting may begin to suffer from low self-esteem, they can become reclusive and be unwilling to do anything that could involve them having to sleep away from home, they may not want other siblings to know, especially if a younger sibling is already dry at night. This can directly alter their social development, as well as make them appear like outsiders among their classmates. By participating in behavioral treatment with the use of a bedwetting alarm, it is possible for them to obtain a healthy, dry sleeping pattern.
What Does A Bed Wetting Alarm Do?
Bed wetting alarms are a great way, in fact the only proven way, to help a child, or teenager or adult to learn to wake to the need to urinate before wetting the bed.
A bed wetting alarm functions by emitting a loud noise that wakes the bed wetter as urination begins. By doing this, the bed-wetter's brain begins to become more sensitive to the sensation of the bladder filling, and after some weeks of using the alarm, the brain has become sufficiently sensitised to wake before urination begins. This is a well understood learning process called Pavlovian Conditioning, and is the basis for large amounts of the learning that naturally occurs for everyone almost every day.
More advanced bedwetting alarms like the DRI Eclipse by Anzacare will also wake the parents of the child, because it can wirelessly signal to a separate receiver, in their room.
In addition to being a life changing treatment for the child, a bed wetting alarm also helps lower the amount of cleaning that needs to be done. By pairing the alarm with disposable bedwetting diaper and plastic sheets, the alarm can reduce the amount of laundry that needs done due to night time urination.
A Bed Wetting Alarm Needs to be Part of a Total System to Work Effectively.
When you are working on the process of treating the bed wetting it needs a total cooperative system to maximise success.
To change any behavour, especially in a child, it is important that the parent and child are on the same "wave length"
What this means is that if a parent is getting frustrated and annoyed, then the child will become stressed and upset.
Children may not always show they are upset simply by being sad, they may show this by being defiant, or negative, and if that happens, then the likelihood of having any success in treating the bed wetting is lost.
Ideally the parent and the child need to have a conversation (and probably an ongoing conversation) about bed wetting and how it is going to be managed, and that it needs to be a team approach.
The essence of good treatment is to be a team
For you to be a team, there has to be an alignment between you and your child.
Maybe right now you are trying to use logic to get your child to agree to doing something about the problem of bedwetting, but perhaps your child is in a more emotional, negative mode and so there is no alignment between the logic that you are trying to use, and the emotional, maybe negative state that your child is in.
Alignment means that both of you have to be in a logical, fact based mode in which there is little or no emotional. To get to that position it is necessary to have a logical, unemotional conversation with your child about his or her bedwetting.
For example you could ask whether it bothers him or her, and whether he or she would like to stop wetting the bed. If the answer is "yes", then explain that you can work on this together as a team.
Explain that bed wetting it is not his or her fault. Ideally you will have some knowledge of earlier generations who have had the same problem, and you can pass on that information about one of his or her parents, cousins, grandparents, etc. This is to assure the child that it is not a fault, or failing on their part and that is just something that happens sometimes in the family.
if you have decided to use a bed wetting alarm, then explain that the alarm is to help him or her wake up to go to the bathroom, and over time it will actually teach his or her brain to wake so quickly that they will not even wet the bed.
It is important the child understands that this is not going to be an overnight cure, but it will take time and that you will be working on this together.
Why does my child need a bedwetting alarm?
One of the main causes of bed wetting in children is a combination of deep sleeping patterns and over production of urine. Therefore making use of a bedwetting alarm can teach the child's brain to better respond to the bladder filling, and break the pattern of being in deep sleep and not waking to the need to urinate.
As already explained, when the alarm has taught the brain to wake up to go to the bathroom, it appears that the brain is also being taught to signal to the kidneys to produce less urine at night.
Bed Wetting Alarms – Good For Kids And Parents
Bed wetting alarms are more effective when the parent is also able to respond to the alarm. As bed wetting alarms have undergone development, it is possible for a parent to enjoy sleeping in their own beds and still be notified when the child urinates in bed. Wireless bed wetting alarms like the Anzacare DRI Eclipse, that attaches to your child's clothing can relay a signal to an alarm unit in the parent's room, which lets the adults get up as needed to assist their child in going to the bathroom and getting them back into bed again.
Additions that can assist during the process
You may also need to partner the alarms with other tools specifically created to deal with PNE, like disposable bed wetting diapers and plastic sheets to limit how much laundry needs to be done and to ensure your child's comfort.
As the alarm system gradually teaches your child to sleep less deeply and form the habit of getting up in the night to use the bathroom, the number of dry nights will begin to outnumber the wet ones. However, during the training process accidents will occur, but this expected as the treatment proceeds.
If your child is over the age of five and continues to have regular bed wetting episodes, alarms are most likely the first part of the team that beats the bedwetting. However, have your child medically checked to confirm that it is the Primary Nocturnal Enuresis form of bedwetting.