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Malem bedwetting alarm tips

(34 Posts)
StarPlayer Sun 12-Jul-09 16:22:42

I've just recently purchased a Malem alarm and plan to start my son using it in the summer holidays.

Could you give me some (any) tips about using it or just tell me how you found it as I'm doing this off my own bat and don't have any 'medical' advice.

My ds is 7 and is still in drynites, plus sometimes the bed gets wet even though he's in drynite!

Greensleeves Sun 12-Jul-09 16:23:50

Is that the two sheets of foil hooked up to a siren?

I still have nightmares about it. I would never, never use it with any child.

StarPlayer Sun 12-Jul-09 16:48:26

No, lol.

Greensleeves Sun 12-Jul-09 16:48:58

thank god for that. How does it work?

applepudding Sun 12-Jul-09 22:53:42

Starplayer I've recently had one of these through the Eneurensis clinic. I posted on here some months back asking if people had tried the bedwetting alarms and had a mixed response but the clinic was recommended to me. It took some time for the appointment to come through, but we have now had the alarm for about 4 weeks.

We were told by the lady at the clinic to put the censor bit into the child's pants next to his skin and to put two pairs of pants on top - and no drynites. However, when we tried this the alarm went straight off so we had to put them between two sets of pants. I then decided that I would keep the drynites on, on top of the pants, to stop having to change the bed all the time as DS was being woken anyway by the alarm.

We were also told by the clinic to increase the amount that DS drinks during the day, to not drink dark coloured squashes and pop, and to try to distract him when we says he wants to go to the toilet to try to train his bladder to hold more liquid. apparently a child of 7-8 should be able to hold about 250 ml of wee in his bladder. I've put an old measuring jug in the toilet and DS is happily weeing into this to see how much he is managing to do - and we've now got up to the 250 ml his bladder is suppposed to hold.

At night - some nights I am waking him about 3 or 4 a.m. if I wake myself, some nights he is being woken by the alarm and some nights - normally on the weekend he is sleeping through and is dry in the morning - which for us is some miracle as he had never had one dry night before we started this programme. I'm planning to stop using the drynites come the summer holidays as we can sleep in in the morning if we are tired from messing about with wet beds at night.

Let me know how you get on!

Greensleeves - I think I recall you posting about something awful in your child hood when I asked about this before.

StarPlayer Mon 13-Jul-09 12:51:53

Thanks for that Applepudding.

I'm planning to start on the 27th July for the very same reason as you (can get to sleep in)grin.

I wont be using drynites - but I'm very very tempted to use a sanitary towel cut in half (just to catch the first bit off urnine before I dash into his room like a mad women and get him out off bed and into the bathroomgrin

So, is that 250ml per wee?

Good idea the jug thingy. I might try a bottle lolgrin

Greensleeves Mon 13-Jul-09 12:56:49


it's just that based on my own experience I think these alarms are cruel

KingCanuteIAm Mon 13-Jul-09 12:59:27

Starplayer, I would really recommend you go to the enurisis clinic and go through the whole process. THey don't tend to jump straight in with the alarm, things like bladder training should usually be started first as the bladder has to be big enough to hold a night-times worth of wee. It is no good "punishing" the child (an alarm going off in the middle of the night is a big shock to a child) if they cannot physically hold that much urine!

The alarms are fab if used properly in conjunction with all the right techniques and advice.

KingCanuteIAm Mon 13-Jul-09 13:02:34

Greensleeves, I do agree that they can be cruel - when used incorrectly - they can certainly do more harm than good which is why I always think they should be used with a clinc and proper advice.

Greensleeves Mon 13-Jul-09 13:05:12

well, I was 8 when mine was used and "other options" had been explored

and I still think it was cruel

I wouldn't use one on a dog, never mind a child

but it's your choice, I'll stop poking my nose in now

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 13-Jul-09 13:23:22

yy please go to the enuresis clinic - via school nurse in my area - first

he may not yet be manufacturing enough of a hormone or chemical called vasopressin which I understand controls output of urine from the kidneys at night; this is produced when the pituatary gland ( I think) matures, and so your son may not be physically able to 'hold' his wee at night and no amount of alarms will fix that

my son had a synthetic hormone prescribed from the enuresis nurse - desmopressin - which solved our problem

while you are waiting for the referral:

don't limit liquid intake but keep to milk and water

avoid red and brown drinks such as blackcurrant squash

shower in the mornings for social reasons

double dress the bed, to make it easy to whip off the wet bedding in the wee small hours

have a look at the eric website here - loads of useful tips

good luck

StarPlayer Mon 13-Jul-09 13:56:07

There's a longgggggg waiting list for the enurisis clinic, plus I've had him checked out by the children's hospital doctor & he's producing the hormone that he's supposed to!!

I need to increase his fluids - he wont drink much at school. I normally give him a cup of water before he goes to school and 3 drinks over the course of the evening before he goes to bed.

This isn't a decision that I've taken lightly- even if it looks that way.

Greensleeves Mon 13-Jul-09 13:58:48

sorry I said I would butt out

but it's not a question of whether you have taken this decision lightly or not, I'm sure you haven't

it's a question of whether or not it's the right strategy for your child. You need to speak to a qualified specialist who knows about childhood enuresis, and you need to understand what underlies his bedwetting. Otherwise you are sticking a plaster on the problem, not solving it, and you could be doing your ds more harm than good.

BoysAreLikeDogs Mon 13-Jul-09 13:59:57

increasing fluids is good

please think about showering him in the mornings - we can all remember going to school with a smelly child sad

bloss Mon 13-Jul-09 14:07:14

Message withdrawn

madwomanintheattic Mon 13-Jul-09 14:16:57

malem alarms are brilliant.

we had the one that clipped on the pants - there was no need to wear two pairs or drynites over the top - it literally clipped onto the fabric and if the fabric got wet it made the connection and started the alarm.

ours was an 8 tone and vibration - which one do you have?

the alarms come with very detailed instructions in the box - and a chart (stickers or stars, whatever) which we didn't use, but it gives you the chance to count your 14 dry nights accurately lol.

essentially - when the alarm goes off he needs to wake up fully and go to the toilet and empty his bladder. lights on - awake.

to start with the alarm might not wake him - that doesn't matter - as long as it wakes you, and you wake him - fully - lights on, awake and empty bladder.

but read the instructions - it is very very clear exactly what you have to do.

essentially there are two reasons for night time enuresis - hormonal which can be 'cured' (or at least mimicked) by desmopressin, or just very very deep sleeping, which can be 'cured' by using an alarm,

or, a combination of both.

dd1 was just deep sleep (she had been to enuresis clinic for 2 years and tried desmotabs which had not worked, as well as lots of utterly pointless measuring of wee out lol) - the alarm worked very quickly for her - within a week she was waking herself to go to the toilet before the alarm went off.

ds1 is a combination boy - the desmo does help, but he still sleeps too deeply to stop a gentle leak grin he's had a whole host of scans/ tests etc.

i'm a big fan of alarms. and neither of my (bedwetting) children are trauamtised lol, they were more traumatised by endles swamping of beds through drynites. grin

and i was more traumatised by the endless laundry.

it is just one of those things you need to work through though - dc3 here was dry day and night long before her older bro and sis - she used to ask me if she could wear pull-ups to bed too. grin (no!)

KingCanuteIAm Mon 13-Jul-09 14:17:34

I am not saying you are doing this lightly either - of course not, please don't think that! It is just that there can be all sorts of things that contribute to enurisis, there are so many things to understand that a parent cannot be expected to know it all, especially as it seems to be the last taboo when it comes to discussing our children.

I am sure the queue is long for the clinic but it is almost always worth the wait. I knwo we were told that an awful lot of children end up at the clinic for much longer than they should because of imporperly used alarms causing real problems (psychological issues around the wetting). I am a little suspect about the doc saying he is producing the hormones - they are very hard to test for in a reliable way (I was told and have read).

A lot of people come on here for advice about alarm use and I (and others) always say the same things, use them properly with advice and they could be just what you need, get it wrong and your child could end up with a memory such as the one Greensleeves has. I just do not feel right if I do not advise to got through a clinic smile

Greensleeves Mon 13-Jul-09 14:18:10

those are two clinical reasons for bedwetting madwoman

but they are certainly not the only causes

and treatment like this shouldn't be undertaken without proper medical advice

bloss Mon 13-Jul-09 14:38:03

Message withdrawn

madwomanintheattic Mon 13-Jul-09 14:38:33

they are the usual (and most likely) causes though.

in our case (and we knew dd1 was an extremely heavy sleeper), the paed would rather up the dosage of medicine/change or add meds rather than recommend an alarm.

the medication made no impact at all on dd1. the alarm helped her get control over her body very quickly.

clinics can be used very effectively to rule out a lot of more serious and physical underlying conditions (and a gp can tell pretty well if a child is constipated and prescribe lactulose or movicol), but some clinics can (of a matter of course) favour a more clinical (and therefore medicalised) approach.

our paed now (now that the alarm has worked lol) appreciates that medicating to the hilt may not have been the answer in our case.

clearly i am not in favour of parents randomly plucking 'cures' from tinternet for anything (and both of my bedwetters have attended clinics... in our case frutilessly lol, but attended nevetheless) - the OP asked for opinions on malem alarms. as we have successfully used malem alarms, i thought i would share our experience, making it clear that my children also attended a clinic (fwiw).

at no time through their attendance however, were we given the option of using an alarm, or the offer to borrow/ rent one - it was a personal choice that we raised with the paeds. they would much rather have continued to up the dose of desmopressin/ oxybutinin and lactulose that ds1 was taking. i suspect the concoction of drugs was making his toileting rather more complex than it needed to be, rather than the possibility of alarm use...

but yes, we all have different viewpoints on this subject - but they generally aren't discussed lol.

i'm quite happy with bedwetting alarms, and the malem is one of the best i've come across. we chose it for the 8 tone and vibration, as a single tone alarm was too easy for the kids to 'zone out'.

madwomanintheattic Mon 13-Jul-09 14:39:32

frutilessly, lol, fruitlessly

bloss Mon 13-Jul-09 14:42:43

Message withdrawn

KingCanuteIAm Mon 13-Jul-09 14:45:16

madwoman, you didn't mention the clinic in your first post.

No-one entioned drugs to us until a long way down the line either, it was much more holistic management and never had a feel of being medicalised. (Is that even a word? You get my meaning - hopefully?)

applepudding Mon 13-Jul-09 15:18:36

When we went to the clinic we were given the choice. The doctor gave DS some tests, then went through the lifestyle changes such as the need to drink more and not to wee immediately, then explained about the drugs and the alarms. The drugs didn't sound a bad idea for something like a sleepover, but he said to us that you had to be very careful that your DC didn't drink more than a little sip of water after taking them because then it would upset the balance of salts in the body and could make the child quite ill.

I hadn't liked the idea of the drugs except for a final option but that definitely put me off. And it was the sleep alarm I had thought of trying anyway. The doctor said that there was normally a waiting list for the alarms but we were lucky because there was one there in the clinic that we could have that day, so we were referred straight into the see the nurse.

I had already discussed the idea of the alarm with DS. I've never fussed about his bedwetting in the past - I had thought that it was something he'd grow out of in the end so just continued putting him to bed in pull ups. However, he is now getting to the stage where the children are doing sleep overs and I want him to be able to do what the other children do and not be embarrassed.

What DS and I found upsetting was what I had tried previously and that was trying to wake him at the point I went up to bed when he was just into a very deep sleep mode and he would just sit there and cry when I tried to get him up. The alarm is different because it is showing us the time that he does need to be woken which is much later in the night. It wakes me and I put on the light and wake him.

I don't get the point of using a star chart to mark dry and wet nights because for something beyond the child's control this would be a bit demoralising.

madwomanintheattic Mon 13-Jul-09 16:26:39

lol kingcanute - yes, i did! - re dd1 'she had been to enuresis clinic for 2 years and tried desmotabs which had not worked, as well as lots of utterly pointless measuring of wee etc' grin i don't think i mentioned it specifically for ds1 in the first post, but was careful to mention the clinic, def grin

i didn't prescribe the desmotabs or the wee measuring myself lol...

the charts in the malem box are to mark 'dry nights' i think (we didn't use our chart) as when you have 14 dry nights in a row you don't need to use the alarm any more. we just counted with dd1 grin

i think she was even more pleased than we were when she got to 14 tbh!

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