Dr Catherine
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8-15 years

we have tried the bell and pad alarm, this just made him anxious because it frightened him and he ended up not wanting to use it. at the present time he is sleeping in dry nights and taking minirin wafers at night. these aren't working either. he is quite a heavy sleeper and i am struggling to help him find a solution to his problem. what other options do we have?

Hi Jodi, bedwetting can be incredibly frustrating particularly when you feel like you have tried it all and still your child continues to wet at night. Unfortunately the bedwetting alarm does experience the best outcomes with about 75% of children becoming dry after its use. There are alarms that come with a recordable voice option, so that your son could wake in response to your voice rather than a loud and scary alarm. He could practice setting this off during the day, with a drop of water, so that he could become more used to and familiar with the sound. There are some more alternative methods that have met with different degrees of success. Please keep in mind however that these have not received the same level of research support as conditioning alarms or medications. Hypnotherapy has been successfully used to help individuals either hold their urine overnight or wake up and go to the toilet. This can be used on its own or in combination with the conditioning alarm. Your best point of contact for hypnotherapy is the Australian Hypnotherapists’ Association http://www.ahahypnotherapy.org.au/, which has branches in each state. They also have a free advisory line: 1800 067 557. Another alternative form of treatment that has met with some success is chiropractic manipulation. This appears to be more relevant for individuals whose bedwetting is the result of a poorly aligned spine. If this sounds like a suitable option you should first contact the Chiropractic Association of Australia http://chiropractors.asn.au (1800 075 003) who will be able to recommend someone in your area that has experience in treating bedwetting. Some individuals who wet the bed may benefit from restricting certain foods from their diet. Dairy, citrus and a diet high in sugar have all been linked with a higher risk of bedwetting, There are a number of ways you can try and determine whether food intolerances are contributing to your sons bedwetting. The easiest (and safest) approach would be to visit a Naturopath. They may recommend you begin an elimination diet, which involves removing all foods from his diet that could be affecting his bedwetting and then you carefully reintroduce the foods, one at a time. Good luck! Regards, Dr Cathrine