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STEP 7: Knowing When to Stop


How do I know when my child is ready to be weaned off of an alarm? What about relapse?

Knowing when to stop using the alarm is crucial to whether your child’s dryness is permanent. Sometimes families become excited after some consecutive dry nights and decide to stop using the alarm. Understand that if you stop using the alarm too early, chances are your child will start wetting again. It is recommended that children achieve 14 consecutive dry nights before you discontinue alarm use. You can read about the fluid challenge, which is a reassurance that the child can wake to a full bladder rather than sleeping through it.

Children who use alarms relapse much less frequently than children using other methods of bedwetting treatment. Some children will experience an isolated night with wetness. You can usually make an association between the accident and some variation in schedule or over exhaustion. If your child begins to experience a true relapse you should resume treatment with the alarm. You will probably find that the child requires significantly less time with the alarm before achieving dryness again.

If your child has been dry for more than six months, then begins wetting regularly and does not respond to the alarm, a new health condition should be ruled out for the cause of his secondary enuresis. You can find information on secondary enuresis and health conditions that cause bedwetting in an earlier chapter.

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