Dr Catherine
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4-7 years

Hi my 4.5 yr old girl wets the bed every night at least twice night. Last year she would be dry 2 nights in a row but never get to the third night. Now we never have a dry night just really heavy nappies. We have tried lifting her but this hasn't trained her. Her fluids are limited after 5pm and she goes to the toilet right before bed. I have heard about bed wetting alarms, which ones do you recommend and where do I get them from? Thanks

Dear Isabelle, By far the most effective means of treating children’s bedwetting is the conditioning alarm. Unfortunately strategies like lifting at night and reducing fluids do very little to help children to stop wetting. Conditioning alarms are designed to wake-up your daughter when she begins to wet. The conditioning approach is based on the theory that by repetitively waking a child at the time of urination the child becomes conditioned into recognising that urination is about to occur. This method requires a great deal of commitment on behalf of the family, as parents need to take initial responsibility in ensuring their child wakes in response to the alarm. Treatment can take up to 6 months, with about a third of children experiencing relapse. If this occurs you need to reintroduce the alarm, with most children being treated in a much shorter period of time. It is important to discuss this with your GP first as the more guidance you receive the better the outcomes. There are also different forms of alarms. One is a body alarm with a small sensor that can be worn inside his pyjamas. The second type of alarm is a bell and pad alarm that is placed like a mat over the bottom sheet. This is connected to an alarm box placed at the end of the bed. Alarms can be purchased online but can also be hired. A helpful point of contact is the Continence Association of Australia (1800 330 066) who has a free helpline and will be able to provide advice of specific products. All the best! Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding; I have been unwell and unable to answer questions during this time. Regards, Dr Cathrine