Bedwetting alarms may be beneficial both as a preventative measure and as a training device. In some cases, continued use of the device helps the child learn to respond to the sensation of a full bladder without being awakened by a bell.
You may have decided that this is the right solution for your family, but you could be having a little trouble deciding which brand is best. There are a number of things to consider when comparing the systems currently on the market. The guide below should help you make a decision.
The length of time the aid is needed varies from one child to another. It may be necessary to use the device continuously for a year or more. In addition, some children relapse after being trained and must start using the system again. So, a warranty is a good thing to have.
The devices are relatively simple as far as electronics go, so not too much can go wrong. But the sounds or vibrations could stop working. The turn-off switch could fail. The cord could pull out of the sensor. Some companies offer a one year warranty against those types of failure. Others offer only a 30 day warranty.
Some units make a sound and a vibration. Others provide only a sound. A bedwetting alarm might not be sufficient to wake a sleeping child. The vibration can help ensure that the child does wake when the moisture sensor is activated. Vibrations are also necessary for a child with hearing problems. Flashing lights are another option available with some brands.
Although there are no studies to support the idea, some parents report that their children quickly begin to "tune out" or stop responding to the sound of the alarm. To help with that, some manufacturers of bedwetting alarms have come up with an eight-tone variable version. The idea is that a child might become accustomed to hearing a single sound, but when different sounds play randomly, they are less likely to tune them all out.
Volume is another thing to consider. If the sound is not loud enough, it might not wake the sleeping child. Some kids still need their parents to come help them to the bathroom. So a louder alarm is necessary to wake a parent sleeping in the next room.
There are both wired and wireless bedwetting alarms. While the cords are not considered dangerous for older children, they can be uncomfortable. For example, one of the cheaper brands includes a long heavy cord that attaches to the wrist. It could make sleeping difficult.
The wireless versions may be lighter weight and more comfortable. The alarm itself can be placed at any position in the room, which helps to encourage the child to get out of bed and increases their chances of making it to the bathroom.
There are pads that fit inside the underwear and include the sensor. The pads are disposable. The cost of purchasing the pads makes this a less affordable option. In addition, the pads are uncomfortable.
Another pad-type bedwetting alarm is one that the child lies on. The problem with this design is that the sensors will not be activated until a child wets through his or her underwear. The advantage is that the child may feel the pad is less obtrusive, because it does not attach to clothing.