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Eneuresis (bed wetting) alarm: any experience?

(67 Posts)
marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 10:23:38

Those with long memories will recall that I asked for ds1 to be referred to a consultant way back in April (just after his 7th birthday) as he is not, and has never been, dry at night - still in nappies.

Since then we have tried Desmopressin which had no effect whatsoever, even in the higher dose, and we finally (6 months after initial appointment) got the eneuresis alarm on Friday. Somehow the paperwork *got lost* and so we didn't get the alarm in time for the summer holidays, which would have been far better.

Thus far (bear with me):

Friday: alarm went off at 10.30. He didn't wake up (this thing could wake the dead - it is deafeningly loud). Changed sheets and jama top - back to bed, slept 'til 7 and stayed dry.

Saturday: alarm went off at 9.30 (didn't wake up again)
3.00 He did wake up, but not in time to *catch* the wee - he was wet through.
4.15 alarm again - did wake up - smaller wet patch so maybe it did wake him in time to not finish wee-ing, iykwim.

Sunday: alarm went off at 9.55, 10.40, 1.15 and 6.30. The latter two times he did wake up but was still wet through.

Poor kid was in tears at 1.15 and 6.30 - and has gone to school looking like death warmed up, with tiredness.

I am feeling pretty despondent myself (I know - it's early days). How can it work if it doesn't wake him up? I think it depends on how deeply asleep he is (he seems to wake in the small hours of the morning, but not in the first part of the night). Even when the alarm does wake him, it is too late and he has already weed.

Any experience/advice? The nurse at the clinic said it takes about 2-3 weeks to work, and we must persevere, but he is soooo tired (so am I). She has also advised we avoid known bladder irritants: tea and coffee (?), fizzy drinks, acidic drinks, and chocolate. And he is to drink as much water as possible to stretch his bladder capacity.

Has anyone used an eneuresis alarm and succeeded with it? How long did it take? Any other ideas?

TIA from a cross-eyed moo xx

mears Mon 27-Sep-04 10:26:15

No experience at all but I am wondering would it be better to leave it till the next school holidays? My kids are off for just over a week in October - don't know about you.

lou33 Mon 27-Sep-04 10:46:13

Moo, dd1 has tried them all, and the larms didn't help either. You can get silent vibrating alarms, which may be better for ds. They were not strong enough for dd1, and the noisy ones didn't wake her, but woke the rest of the kids and had them running into my bed screaming their heads off!

bizzi Mon 27-Sep-04 13:23:26

Sorry can't help. Just had a load of memories flooding back, I wasn't dry till I was 10. Also used one of those alarm machines, it exhausted me so much i remember switching the buzzer off before it woke anyone else and continuing to wee.
Your poor ds, he does seem to have a weak bladder. I wish you luck there is nothing worse than lack of sleep.

marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 23:05:03

Thanks for replies - though must admit was hoping for some positive stories

Mears, part of me wishes we had waited 'til October half term - but we have waited so long for the damn thing I felt we ought to get started. Plus, we usually go to the in-laws at half term - and there is no way I could do this if we weren't at home (the washer and dryer have been going all day!)

Lou, is dd1 ever dry at night? Does she wake by herself when she wees now? Do you still use pull-ups/nappies (I would have thought she would be too big - they are a stretch on ds1)? How long did you persevere with the alarms for before you decided they weren't going to help? Thankfully, ds2 hasn't been woken up (his bedroom is on a different floor) - that would be the living end.

bizzi, thanks for that. I wasn't dry til I was 10 either (and nor was dh) - so the poor kid was pretty much doomed from the start! I don't think they'd invented the alarms when I was a kid - my Mum said I just got dry by myself, just before I started secondary school. I remember having a sleepover at a friend's house - and wetting the bed. I was utterly mortified and went home without saying a word about it - my Mum had to ring up and apologise.

I went out this evening (Weightwatchers then pub ) and when I got back about 9pm ds was still awake and hysterical - wanted me to say goodnight to him. He hasn't been like that for years and I'm sure it's over-tiredness and anticipation of another disturbed night.

The alarm went off after he'd been asleep less than an hour - he hasn't even weed, he's just sweaty (he's a hot bod) so I just turned the damn thing off and let him sleep. Fed up

JanH Mon 27-Sep-04 23:17:35

Hi, moo. Have to say your DS1 sounds like mine, and the alarm and desmo-stuff just didn't work for him at that age, or for another 3 years or so - sorry to be depressing but that was how it was. Desmopressin did work later though and so did the alarm up to a point, but he had a tendency in middle-of-the-night-confusion to yank at the wire and disconnect it...

You can get Dri-Nites in a larger size - 7-10 is fairly standard but they also make 10-15.

lou33 Mon 27-Sep-04 23:18:20

Moo, she never wakes, always wets, every night. You can get pads, nappies etc via the hv. We get them for free delivered. Still doesn't always stop her leaking through them though, and she has ones for heavy incontinence. Give them a call.

marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 23:32:01

Do you think I shoud just give up on the alarm then? Or try it for the 2-3 weeks the Nurse advised? Tbh, I don't see it working. We've already turned down one sleepover (I would have anyway - I think he's too young) but in year 4 they have their fisrt overnight school trip. I know, I know, cross that bridge...

Ds1 doesn't know it but ds2's nappies are mostly dry in the morning these days (he toilet trained in August) - he's nearer to being dry at 2, than his big brother is at nearly 8

I will ask about incontinence pads/nappies, lou - Dry Nites are no good, Jan, he soaks through them long before morning. He soaks through a nappy too - but it usually lasts stil about 6ish before he wakes up.

Thanks for advice though

lou33 Mon 27-Sep-04 23:38:59

There is no harm in trying moo, it may work. I wouldn't avoid sleepovers. Just have a word with the parent about it once you have something that keeps the wee contained. Everyone has been v understanding about my girls.

marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 23:40:45

Thanks, hon

JanH Mon 27-Sep-04 23:41:45

moo, ditto re DS1 and DS2. We have got through it without any angst but it has always seemed v v unfair for DS1.

Yes, do try alarm for the 2-3 weeks the nurse advised - you never know. PITA though, isn't it?

marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 23:53:24

It is, jan (a PITA I mean) - nice to know I have somewhere I can find a shoulder to cry on. Going to go and check on him now and switch the blasted thing back on before I go to bed.

I'm knackered but I'm waiting for a cake to bake - drunken back from the pub cake baking session - made chocolate brownies and a coconut and pinapple loaf.

marthamoo Mon 27-Sep-04 23:55:38

I can't spell when I'm tired

bizzi Tue 28-Sep-04 08:21:30

When my 3 came out of nappies at night I used washable Kylie sheets, bought from NHS supply stores, don't know where else you could find them. But they were excellent, they soak up the wee allowing the babe to sleep on warm and comfy... Not sure this is what you're after if you're wanting to change behaviour, but then maybe some kids just aren't ready until they're older.
There is a hormone that should kick in at night I beliec=ve to shut down the bladder or som,ething. I'll come back on that.

bizzi Tue 28-Sep-04 08:28:15

have a look here
Several interesting points are raised.

bizzi Tue 28-Sep-04 08:33:04

The thread I'm trying to ditect you to is called
My daughter still wets the bed - and she's 10, and it's in behaviour/developement, sorry I can't send you there cleverly!

Ghosty Tue 28-Sep-04 08:33:16

Marthamoo ... I have a success story with that kind of alarm ... not me though, a good friend of mine.
Her DD just couldn't get dry and in NZ you can just go and buy one from the chemist (expensive at $70 - which is about 20 pounds) so she got one and after a few weeks she was dry.
I think that the very first night was a success, the alarm waking the little girl up at 2am ...
A few nights into the 'treatment' she pulled the alarm off as she was fed up with it and then woke her mother up distraught at 3am because she had wet the bed. I think that they had a few accidents to begin with and the advice was that she had to have 21 dry nights in a row before trying to sleep without the alarm.
I don't know if that success story makes you feel better or worse ...
I know that my friend had tried everything prior to that and was at her wits end. It was only when the little girl said that she wanted to go go to a sleepover and cried because she didn't want to wear a nappy in front of her friends that my friend decided to go this route.
Hope you get some success soon ....

Blackduck Tue 28-Sep-04 09:04:35

Don't know if this is of any use but there is a charity that deals with this issue who may have some advice - www.eric.org.uk
Sorry If I'm repeating info on the other thread...

marthamoo Tue 28-Sep-04 22:12:06

Thanks everyone - I left the alarm off last night and ds was soaked through when he woke up and cross that I'd turned the alarm off. I guess that means he wants to persevere with it so we'll keep going. Just seems very unfair that it goes off when he hasn't even wet the bed - I've put him in long pj's tonight in the hope that he won't get so sweaty.

I read that thread, bizzi - thanks for that, I'd missed it. Several very interesting points.

And I've just had a good trawl through the ERIC site (thanks Blackduck) - one thing that comes across very strongly is the necessity of drinking loads of water through the day. I'm going to go in and have a word with his teacher - they do have access to water during the day but are only allowed to go to the loo at morning break and lunchtime - ds1 is worried to drink too much because he won't be allowed to go to the loo.

And thanks Ghosty for the positive story - needed that!

Another interesting thing on the ERIC website was that, with the alarms, it is quite normal for the child to need help with waking - and that they have been proven to be the most effective form of treatment but that it can take up to 3 months

We'll keep going - I'll use this thread as a sort of journal (succeed or fail) - maybe it will be of some help to someone else.

Cheers, me dears

Oh and ds2 has now decided to kick off at bedtime (after 2 years of fab sleeping we seem to be back to controlled crying, early waking, tantrums etc.) - ain't life wonderful?

marthamoo Tue 28-Sep-04 23:14:40

Ds1 just got up to go to the loo!!!!! He has never, ever, ever done that before. That has to be a positive sign, surely?

lou33 Wed 29-Sep-04 01:12:42

Well done him , Moo

essbee Wed 29-Sep-04 01:18:28

Message withdrawn

JanH Wed 29-Sep-04 09:22:58

Moo, that is a fantastic step forward! Did he remember this morning that he'd done it? I bet he was chuffed anyway

Tessiebear Wed 29-Sep-04 10:03:19

That is fantastic news for him to get up all by himself! My DS1 6 1/2 has NEVER been dry at night. Lifting doesnt work unless i lift him about 3 times a night. He is such a deep sleeper that i dont think he would wake up. Also he was such a bad sleeper for about 4 years that now he IS a good sleeper i dont want to ruin his sleep!!! At the moment we just stick a pair of drynites on and dont worry!

Blackduck Wed 29-Sep-04 10:26:31

Moo - glad the website was useful (friend is their administrator!)

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