Bedwetting can be tough for both kids and parents. It’s hard enough to get a good night’s sleep these days without changing the sheets at 2am. As kids get older, it can also become embarrassing for them and keep them from going to sleep overs or summer camps. 10% of 10 year olds still wet the bed, which means that it’s a common problem.
Bedwetting alarms can help kids learn the signals for going to the bathroom, which can help them either wake up naturally at night to go to the toilet or hold it until morning.
Huge disclaimer: do not start using a bedwetting alarm with your child until it’s approved by your pediatrician or occupational therapist and you have clear instructions on how to use it.
Bedwetting alarms aren’t right for every child. This post is purely informational and not intended as a recommendation for your specific child’s needs.
Now that we have the disclaimer out of the way, let’s talk about some of the basics of bedwetting alarms before talking about what’s available. If you want to get right to the good stuff, let’s run through our players in this game.
Here’s my list of best bedwetting alarms:
Do Bedwetting Alarms Work?
Research varies, but I’ve seen success percentages between 60 and 80. Overall, bedwetting alarms are effective. I believe that the difference in success rates not only has to do with small sample sizes, but also the natural differences in how kiddos respond to these devices.
Think about a hammer. A hammer is only useful if you know how to use it to build a beautiful piece of furniture instead of a rickety birdhouse. Our tools are only as valuable as our abilities to use them. This same theory applies to bedwetting alarms, which is why it’s so important that you have expert guidance from a doctor or occupational therapist as you think about using them with your child.
Dry Bed Training
A bedwetting alarm probably won’t be effective on its own. Remember that a hammer needs a nail and a purpose in order to be useful.
Dry bed training is an example of a strategy that uses multiple methods, including a bedwetting alarm, to help kids with their nighttime bathroom needs. Drinking fluids, positive reinforcement, a night time waking schedule, and careful toileting practice are just some of the additional strategies that dry bed training combine with an alarm.
Studies show that dry bed training is more effective when done in conjunction with a bedwetting alarm. So, while a bedwetting alarm is an important part of the process, it’s not the entirety of it.
Dry bed training is too much for us to get into here, but understand that bedwetting alarms are only helpful with an intelligent strategy surrounding them.
Get Ready for Hard Work and Patience
You can’t just set it and forget it with a bedwetting alarm. Again, make sure to get specific instructions from your doctor or occupational therapist, but be ready for those instructions to involve you. A lot.
Many times, kids need help to recognize that their alarm is going off and know what to do next. This means you’ll need to get up quickly throughout the night when you hear the alarm. You may be thinking that you’re always getting up anyway to change the sheets and that this is a great alternative. No more wet sheets?! Just know that your nighttime awakenings may not decrease right away.
Depending on your kiddo’s abilities and independence with toileting overall, a bedwetting alarm may take some time to work. Remember that it’s a learning process at the end of the day. Your kiddo will have to get accustomed to what the bedwetting alarm means and what to do when it goes off. When in doubt, talk with your doctor or occupational therapist if you feel like your child isn’t progressing quickly enough or if there’s something that isn’t working.
How Do Bedwetting Alarms Work?
Bedwetting alarms generally attach to the child’s underwear. When moisture is detected, a sound, vibration, or other alert goes off. Never choose a bedwetting alarm that shocks the child. That’s probably obvious, but they do exist, so it’s worth saying.
Some bedwetting alarms are wireless, while others aren’t. Consider your child’s behaviors before determining whether a wired or wireless alarm would be safest.
Great Bedwetting Alarms
Now that we know how bedwetting alarms work and that they must be used in conjunction with your child’s treatment plan, let’s look at some options.
TheraPee Bedwetting Alarm
The TheraPee is expensive, but it also has a lot of good reviews. To be clear, the TheraPee is more than just a bedwetting alarm device.
Their bedwetting alarm is actually called the STOPEE, while their interactive bedwetting program is called TheraPee. On Amazon, it all gets lumped into one product under the umbrella of TheraPee.
The TheraPee program was invented by Dr. Tal and Jacob Sagie and uses a combination of using the STOPEE, positive reinforcement, modeling, and daily bladder work.
Their STOPEE alarm is wired and can be placed on a nightstand. The child sleeps on top of the pad, which activates a sound as soon as it detects wetness.The volume of the alarm can be adjusted for heavy sleepers and the sensitivity of the pad can be adjusted to account for humidity or sweat.
If you’re interested in TheraPee, be sure that your child’s doctor or occupational therapist approves of it before getting started.
DryEase Bedwetting Alarm
I would suggest reading the Amazon reviews. If you’ve been struggling with bedwetting and need some hope and inspiration, you’ll find it in the DryEase reviews.
Chummie Bedwetting Alarm for Deep Sleepers
This makes sure that kids don’t get used to any single sound and learn to tune it out.
Again, you may be inspired after reading the reviews. Even if you don’t purchase the Chummie, it’s nice to hear that parents are having success with ending the bedwetting.
Smart Bedwetting Alarm
This alarm compares to the others in price and functionality. It’s fun that it comes with adorable stickers too. As you already noticed, these devices often look clinical and boring. Not this one though. The Smart Bedwetting Alarm comes with a snowman, elephant, sun, and superhero sticker to cover one side of the device.
While it has nothing to do with bedwetting, kiddos will be more likely to use devices they like. Adding an adorable elephant might help.
DryBuddyFLEX 3 Wireless Bedwetting Alarm
At this point, you’re probably wondering where all of the wireless alarms are. I mean, wireless would be great, right? Yes, but the problem is that not many of them exist right now and the ones that do exist are pricey and don’t get as many great reviews as the wired ones.
The DryBuddy is a solid choice in the wireless bedwetting alarm space. The sensor connects magnetically to the underwear, but there are no wires leading to the alarm box.
Aside from being wireless, what I like about the DryBuddy is that it has a lot of addons you can choose depending on your child’s needs. They make their own underwear that has sensors built in for any kids who can’t tolerate the magnetic sensor in their own underwear. They also have an additional bed shaker you can buy that gives stronger vibrations for deeper sleepers.
Diana is a registered occupational therapist who specializes in sensory processing disorders and autism.