By age 12, 3% of youngsters still wet the bed. Most have a small bladder - one that can't hold all the urine produced at night. The only way he's going to be dry is to learn how to awaken and use the toilet.
At this age, go directly to using a bedwetting alarm. Modern alarms are portable, light-weight, and respond to a few drops of urine. Alarms can teach your teenager to awaken when he needs to urinate during the night. They have a 70% cure rate which is better than any other approach. Enuresis alarms are available on the Internet for about $70.00. Most alarms awaken the teenager with sound, but a few awaken by vibrations. Ask your healthcare provider which type she recommends. Here are a few pointers about using alarms.
- First: Your teen must be in charge of the alarm and learn to operate it by himself. He can practice using it during the day.
- Second: At bedtime he should give himself a pep talk. He needs to tell himself to beat the buzzer by waking up when his bladder feels full, and before any urine leaks out. He also needs Plan B, in case the buzzer goes off - namely to wake up, stop urinating, get out of bed and go to the bathroom to finish urinating there.
- Finally: The parent's job is a small one. If you hear the alarm, go to your teenager's room, turn on the light and say loudly, but kindly, "Get out of bed, stand up." But he has to be the one who turns off the alarm and finds the bathroom. The enuresis alarm is the teacher and your teenager has to be the learner.
If you have any questions about bedwetting, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 12/10/2006 11:28:58 AM
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.