I thought I’d tell you all about the progress with my oldest son who has enuresis. Enuresis is the scientific term for kids who wet the bed over the age of five. A lot of kids have bed wetting problems and 96 percent of them grow out of this problem by a certain age, some later than others, and that’s ok. But right now, I know you may be totally frustrated with it, or you could be the cool collected mom going with the flow. I’ve been both. Right now and hopefully til we’ve worked through it, I’ll remain the latter.
I think it started when my son was 4 and a half. I realized then, that this wasn’t something he was going to grow out of anytime soon, yet I still felt like somehow his bedwetting or lack of staying dry at night was my fault. I wasn’t too worried about it until his fifth birthday rolled around, then I knew with kindergarten starting soon, this might be something he’d feel self conscious about. He had his first sleep over the week before school started and he had to wear a pull-up just so he wouldn’t wet through anything. I wanted to decline the sleepover because of it, but since it was mentioned in front of him, I didn’t want to then embarrasses him by saying “no” for said reason. So we worked hard on eliminating liquids a few hours before bed. But considering we eat between 5:30 and 6:oo, and getting ready for bed starts at 8, I could only make sure meals were on the table as soon as my husband walked in the door, or push his bedtime back just to make sure he could eliminate his bladder before bed.
I started doing some investigating by asking other parents if they had this problem at night. Some did, but with younger kids and the solution was to get them up at night to go to the bathroom. My son is a heavy heavy sleeper. If you disturb his sleep he screams like he’s in pain, he won’t open his eyes, he falls back asleep, he will not cooperate, but yet I had to get him up in the middle of the night so he didn’t wet the bed. Well even when I got him up at night he still wet the bed. Someone once said you have to do it every two hours like a newborn baby. I said “NO”. I’m not doing that, I would be a zombie and so would my child.
I came to the conclusion the he simply wasn’t night-time ready until his sixth birthday rolled around and I talked to his doctor. His doctor said I had to wake him up at 10:30pm and 3:30am. His doctor said nix any pull-ups or night-time underwear because that won’t teach him how it feels to be wet and wake up wet. So I did.
I have been doing my son’s bedding since March, every single day. Why? Just so he’ll feel wet. His bedding is the first two loads of laundry every day, we don’t get to the regular laundry until the third load. Not only was that a pain, waking my child up at 10:30 and 3:30 every night was like waking up a drunk person and asking them to perform a task only someone who was sober would be able to do. He would have such a hard time waking up. He would scream and cry for us to just leave him alone, he would walk into walls, pee while we were walking him to the bathroom, when we were asking him to pull his own pants down and telling him step by step what he needed to do to pee into the toilet, he’d pee on himself, he’d fall to the floor in a dreary sleepy state, he’d just start screaming at you in frustration, the list goes on as to how torturous this was to him…but by golly a doctor told me to do it so I had to…..or did I?
Before I decided to get this enurisis alarm, I tried briefly with my Fitbit at night. I decided to set 4 alarms on the Fitbit and put it around his wrist telling him when he felt it vibrate he had to wake up and go to the bathroom. The alarms were set at 10:30 and 10:35 if he didn’t wake to the first alarm, my alarm would go off with his at 10:35. Then the other two alarms were set at 3:30 and 3:35, and my alarm would wake me up at 3:35 if he didn’t get up on his own at 3:30. The alarm worked once. He got up and went to the bathroom and was awesome. But it only worked one time. The other times he slept right through them. So I thought well what good would an enurisis alarm be if he didn’t wake up to the Fitbit? I was ready to admit defeat and just let him wet himself each day and not wake him at night because I felt it was too much for him and was border line cruel.
Then I decided, I don’t necessarily have to listen to the doctor. This waking up twice a night thing isn’t helping him to be dry AT ALL.
For kids who don’t have enuresis, going to the bathroom before bed and eliminating water a few hours before bed is most likely all you have to do to have dry nights. For kids that do have enuresis, their body works a little differently.
See most people don’t completely “ever” eliminate everything that is in their bladder. The body normally produces more ADH (Antidiuretic hormone) during sleep so that the need to urinate is lower. If the body does not produce enough ADH at night, the making of urine may not slow down. This in combination with having a deep sleeper on your hands sets up the perfect combination for having a bed wetter.
So what to do? The only thing left to do was try the eneresis alarm. I had decided that even if we didn’t do the enuresis alarm, I was getting him bedtime underwear, contrary to what the doctor advised, but this time I was buying washable inserts so that he’d still feel wet and change his underwear if he were to wake up at night. I already had sheet protectors, but instead of putting them under the fitted sheet, he was going to lay directly on them, and I’d just wash the protector most nights. This saved money and time because we could throw these things directly into the wash with the other laundry.
I bought the enuresis alarm and much to my pleasure it started to work the first night!! The enuresis alarm is designed to sound when it senses moisture. So when you child starts to pee in their sleep, the alarm will sound and the device will start to vibrate. My son has been able to wake up to this alarm every single night and we’ve had it for about three weeks now. In that three week period, he’s had 2 completely dry nights! According to reviews that I’ve read, it takes kids about a month before they either wake up completely dry, or wake up to urinate before the alarm sounds. Its supposed to flip a switch in their brain that wakes them before they have to go. For me its a win even if he’s waking up with the alarm, and he finishes peeing in the toilet. I count that as a total win because I know how hard he sleeps and I don’t think he will suddenly become a light sleeper. I think this is how he is, so I’m expecting this to take much longer for him, but in the mean time, the alarm is working the way I had hoped it would work and I just wanted to write this post up for anyone out there dealing with the same thing.
When I researched the price of enuresis alarms some of them can be $75 and up. This particular alarm called “Wet Stop 3“, I purchased for $45 on amazon. Also some insurance companies might pay for this device. You could ask your insurance provider first before purchasing one.
Disclaimer: I did not recieve this product for a review. I bought this with my own money and the opnions in this post are my own. If you purchase this item from any of the links above, I may recieve a few cents as a commission from my amazon affilate store.
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