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Sleep Disorders: Behavioral Treatments for Bedwetting

Behavioral Modifications continued...

Bedwetting Alarms

Bedwetting alarms have become the mainstay of treatment. Up to 70%-90% of children stop bedwetting after using these alarms for 4-6 months.

The principle of bedwetting alarms is that the wetness of the urine bridges a gap in a sensor located on a pad on the bed or attached to your child's clothes. When the sensor gets wet, an alarm will go off. Your child will then awaken, shut off the alarm, go to the bathroom to finish urinating in the toilet, return to the bedroom, change clothes and the bedding, wipe down the sensor, reset the alarm, and return to sleep.

These alarms take time to work; and, for them to be effective, the child must want to use them. The child should use the alarm for a few weeks or even months before considering it a failure. Alarms are often tried first before using medication.

Warning

Beware of devices or other treatments that promise a quick "cure" for bedwetting. There really is no such thing. Stopping bedwetting for most children takes patience, motivation, and time.

There are other behavioral treatments that may also be available and appropriate for your child. Talk to your doctor about the different options.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Amita Shroff, MD on March 06, 2014
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