Alarm training, like most learning experiences, is a process
Start by understanding your child’s bedwetting rhythm
Prime your child to use the alarm. During the first week of alarm use, practice what will happen when the alarm activates during the night just before they settle down to sleep. Do this 3-4 times a night during the first week.
Based on their bedwetting habits prepare the necessary changes of night clothes and bedding in advance to minimise the sleep disruption time.
Alarm triggers and child sleeps on? Wake them gently with a damp facecloth on their cheeks and forehead. Carry out the toileting routine even if they have emptied their bladder.
Give them a code word to repeat to you next morning to ensure they remember being woken (recall is an important part of the mind-body connection in bedwetters).
If there is a particular time of night when the child responds to being woken in a very agitated or distressed state, wake your child 20-30 minutes before this time and take them to the toilet so they will not subsequently wet during this very deep sleep phase and trigger the alarm. Continue the normal bedwetting routine at subsequent bedwetting times when they may be more responsive.
Engagement in the process is important so milestones should be recognised and may be rewarded e.g.:
Hydration: make sure your child has sufficient hydration during the day. This can help stretch the bladder so it holds more and may not need to void so many times during the night. A 250ml glass of water taken 6 times a day (when your child wakes, before they leave for school, at morning tea, at lunchtime, at afternoon tea and at dinner) is recommended.
Visualisation techniques: To help develop the mind body connection your child could practise a simple visualisation exercise: occasionally when they need to go to the toilet, first to go to the bedroom, shut the curtains as if it were night time and lie down on the bed pretending to be asleep. Describe to themselves out loud what they are feeling in their bladder and why this is a signal to wake up in the night and go to the toilet. Some children get quite creative in describing the feeling –whatever it takes for the association to stick in their mind will help the brain to recognise the signals from the full bladder at night so they get up and go to the toilet.