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Are bedwetting alarms the only way for a healthy kid with primary nighttime eneuresis?

(18 Posts)
toomuchtooold Wed 23-Jan-19 18:31:51

DD2 is 6 and has never been dry at night (she successfully potty trained for daytime at about 3-ish). We've been to the doctor (not in the UK, so if the order of events seems odd that's why!) and she's had urine tests and an ultrasound and all is well. The next step with the doctor would be to get a bedwetting alarm. I've also been reading Seven Steps to Nighttime Dryness and the writer says that in an otherwise healthy kid, a bedwetting alarm is the most effective way to stop bedwetting.

Before I go and order the stuff, can you tell me if you know of any dissenting opinions on this, or does this seem to be the consensus, that the next step is the wee alarm? It's going to be a major faff - DD2 sleeps in the same room as her twin DD1, and has since birth, so I'll have to think whether to separate them or not. And I must say I don't look forward to multiple night wakings again. I'm still recovering from the baby days...

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ForeignerMN Wed 23-Jan-19 18:54:11

I can't say much about other options, but I just wanted to reassure you that an alarm isn't as bad as it sounds. I have a similar situation with my 8 year old DD. She's never been dry at night and after all the tests you described (we're also not in the UK), we were prescribed an alarm. We have this one and it's great:

DD also shares a room with her sister. The first few nights were hard, I must admit, but the effect was pretty quick and after three months, she's almost completely dry at night.. once every couple of weeks (usually when we've started to think we've got it figured) she may have a small accident, a few drops which activate the alarm and wake her before it becomes the flood.. she wakes herself quickly when the alarm goes off and most of the time her sister doesn't notice.

The alarm is definitely effective. I was dreading it too, but it's not as bad as it sounds!!

Peachsploosh Wed 23-Jan-19 18:55:43

We got one for DD on the recommendation of paediatrician, it was the step before meds.
She was so nervous about the alarm going off & frightening her in the night, I ended up sharing a room with her for a few nights.
This meant, every time I heard her wriggling & stirring in her sleep I suggested she go to the toilet, which she did.
Alarm went off a couple of times but she stopped wetting the bed almost over night!
When we went back to the paediatrician she said she was really pleased it had worked because there is actually very little evidence on them & they have no idea if they work or not!!
I’m convinced it was the fear of it going off that helped my dd, rather than the alarm itself. Me suggesting she get up & go to the toilet seemed to train her bladder. She rarely gets up in the night & never wets now (off to Brownie camp this weekend with no pull ups!)
Don’t spend a lot of money on one, I got ours on eBay. They’re over £100 on the bed wetting sites & we only used it for a couple of weeks.
I’d be happy to send you ours if I can find it.

ForeignerMN Wed 23-Jan-19 19:00:10

Oh, I forgot to say, our doctor recommended making sure DD goes to the toilet enough during the day.. 6-8 times while she is awake. Makes the bladder smaller and she should feel a full bladder quicker at night. We were at a dedicated bedwetting clinic and they work at lot with the alarms in different forms.

RockingMyFiftiesNot Wed 23-Jan-19 19:04:34

One of my DC had an alarm and it was only needed a few days. Can't guarantee it will work for everyone obviously or as quickly but it was effective. Could you start over a weekend so they can sleep on a bit if disturbed during the night?

SheisMammyof2 Wed 23-Jan-19 19:11:48

Similar experience to ForeignerMN here except DS1 was six. He also shared with DS2 so I swapped beds with him for the first while. After about 3 or 4 nights we saw improvements and after 3 months we ditched it and he has never wet since. I think they have to be totally dry for 4 weeks before you stop using it. Like your DD he had never had 1 dry night up till then. I'd highly recommend it.

brownjumper Wed 23-Jan-19 19:18:21

My ds is almost 8 and still wets every night. We've tried lifting, not lifting, despressin medicine and alarms and nothing has worked. He slept right through the alarm.
I'm getting fed up as pull ups keep slipping as he's too big for them .
I don't know what to do next.

RickyGold Wed 23-Jan-19 19:30:32

Is you dd distressed? If not, why not just leave it, double make the bed, so you or dd can take off the wet sheets and pads and there is still a clean dry bed underneath, then bath/shower her in the morning.There is no need to medicalise normal development unless dd upset. If you are bright and breezy about it, chances are she will be too. This is what I did and my ds was not reliable dry until nearly 10.

PaintBySticker Wed 23-Jan-19 19:36:07

We tried an alarm for our then 7 year old son last year and I’m afraid it didn’t work for us. He never woke up so we had to wake him (I understand this is normal ‘at first’ but he literally never ever woke up) and we thought the wetting was improving but then it got worse again and after several months (two batteries worth of the alarm) we gave up and now aged 8 he’s as wet as he ever was (every night and sometimes soaking the bed even though he wears pyjama pants). We have an appointment with a paediatrician next week.

PaintBySticker Wed 23-Jan-19 19:36:46

it was a good quality alarm by the way, bought from ERIC the bed wetting charity.

Teladi Wed 23-Jan-19 19:39:12

We have had good success with an alarm (DD got hers age 6)

The improvement was fairly instant but at 7 DD still occasionally has a wet night - she had literally never had a dry night before the alarm so it was worthwhile.

I was extremely dubious about the alarm beforehand too. Worth a go.

sugarbum Wed 23-Jan-19 19:40:00

I would say give it a go. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It worked for me back in the day (which was in about 1982 and consisted of two metal sheets and a big old buzzer) almost immediately, but it didn't work for DS1 with his far more sophisticated gadget.
He stopped just like when he was 9 and a half. We had routines and alarms and desmopressin, but he just stopped when his body was ready.
DS2 was 7 and we didn't try anything with him. Again he just didn't wet the bed one night, and that was that.
I would also make sure she drinks regularly (and goes to the loo regularly - needed or not) during the day. we followed a timetable from the clinic. Basically water only. No drinks after 6pm. Last wee at bedtime whether or not they need it.

Winifredgoose Wed 23-Jan-19 19:52:02

I was told by gp it is not a medical problem until a child is 7, and is therefore within the limits of normal development. Our gp said they would take no action before 7.
When my son was seven the gp prescribed a drug he had at bed time, this reduced the amount of urine in his nappy, but he was never dry. We had done all the things they normally advise e.g. taking to the toilet late etc.
The gp referred us on to a bed wetting clinic. The appointment came through last summer, at which point he was just over 7 1/2. In the end we didn't need to go as he stopped wetting the bed very suddenly in the weeks before the appointment.
We are so glad that we never made an issue of it, and just continued to reduce fluid before bed and then use a nappy.
He never felt any shame.
I guess it is up to you and your daughter, but I would personally hold out before using an alarm. If my son hadn't stopped when he did, we would have gone ahead with an alarm as he was starting to talk about sleep overs with friends, and I wouldn't have wanted him to go wearing a nappy(I don't think he would have cared though!!).

TransposersArePosers Wed 23-Jan-19 19:52:14

brownjumper all my children have been fairly late to be dry at night compared to peers (6, 7 and 8) but I tried to stay relaxed about it and took the view that until their bodies made vasopressin there was little I could do.

We used pull ups until there was a run of a week of dry in the morning, then went onto bed mats, layered in the way Ricky suggests. Eldest dc didn't wake up when they wet and would wake up in a wet bed in the morning. Youngest did wake up when they wet so we could get all sorted and dry in the middle of the night.

A few things that helped us (but I appreciate this is anecdotal). Only water after school, nothing flavoured, as apparently things like blackcurrant squash can irritate the bladder lining or something. No drinks after 6pm, sips of water only if they ask for a drink. And of course, remembering to go for a wee before going to bed.

Also in the super markets round here they have 'pyjama pants' for older children, I think they go up to age 15, so if you're finding pull ups too small it might be worth looking at those. My kids have all been small for their age and I found aldi's largest sized pull ups were fine at age 8.

toomuchtooold Thu 24-Jan-19 05:51:18

Thanks very much for all your posts, it's really helpful. My preference would be to leave it, but there's been chat about sleepovers at school this year and I would hate for it to be a problem for her if it's easily sorted (not if it becomes some weeks long nightmare though, so I'm pleased to hear that for those of you whom it worked for, it started working fairly quickly). We have a week's holiday at the end of Feb so I might aim for then.

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rizkhanjr Thu 24-Jan-19 21:42:04

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EhlanaOfElenia Thu 24-Jan-19 21:52:32

If she isn't making the hormone to reduce urine production overnight, the bedwetting alarm won't help. So that is why Desmopressin, then the alarm if the desmopressin is effective.

DS2 is 9 and still in pull ups. I will be trying the alarm on him soon.

DS1 we got out of pull ups around 9, but we had the most success when we cut out cow's milk entirely. At the time I wasn't sure why, but I have read that it is common. As it turns out he is lactose intolerant so that may well have been why.

DS2 is in lactose free milk, but he loves his milk and would never agree to go without!!!

toomuchtooold Fri 25-Jan-19 08:31:13

To those of you who used bedwetting alarms: what did you find easy and not easy about them?

I looked on the ERIC website and the Malem wireless one looks like the most comfortable so I think we might go with that one. One question: do you ever have the problem of the alarm going off again because it is still wet from a previous wee? Do you have to dry the sensor really carefully afterwards? If so, I might buy a spare - I'm never all that with it in the middle of the night, I can just about escort a kid to the loo but that's it smile

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