Deep-sleeping bed wetter, bed wetting deep-sleeper - whichever order you want to put it, they both go hand in hand. And unfortunately for many parents, this is their reality.
So, you have a deep sleeper. One that sleeps for England, am I right? You could almost set a rocket under him and he still won’t flutter an eyelid! But the problem is your heavy sleeper is also a bed wetter which makes things flippin hard! You’d think lying in a pool of cold wet sheets would be enough to wake your sleeping beauty from her slumber, but hell no, not this one!
You want to fix the bedwetting issue but how is that even possible if your child won’t wake up?
So what can you do?
Oh yes, you’ve heard about bedwetting alarms that work on waking children from their sleep as soon as they begin to pee. In fact, the most important question you may be asking is this – how the heck will a bedwetting alarm wake my deep sleeping child? Is there ANY hope for my child?
Out of all the questions that come my way, this would have to be the most common question of them all. But I love this question! Here’s why.
Three years ago I too was blessed with a deep sleeper who’d wet his bed every night without fail. I knew something had to be done about his bed wetting but I too was struggling with the concept of how an alarm could possibly wake him up. So I gave it a go, was blown away at its effectiveness, my heavy sleeper was having dry nights and now, well, the rest is history!
It took my son nearly two weeks to begin waking to the sound of the alarm. Two weeks! I will be honest and won’t sugar coat this, but those first two weeks were hard. I was the one who’d wake to the buzzing alarm, go into his room, shake his arm until he’d finally ‘come round’ then make him get out of bed (he sleeps on the top bunk by the way!) and help guide him reluctantly to the toilet.
I was a walking mum-zombie that week I tell ya, but was it worth it? Hell yeah it was worth it, worth every minute of my much needed shut eye. I figured, if I can get through these first couple of weeks waking my son, sometimes up to three times in a night, to have him eventually wake himself up and go to the toilet on his own, then it’s more than worth it! Bring it on.
So, let’s crack on and discover how possible this really is for your sleeping beauty too.
As I mentioned earlier, bedwetting and heavy sleepers go hand in hand. Yep, they’re connected! (Yeah obviously, I hear you saying).
According to a 2011 study done by The Adler Center for Research in Child Development and Psychopathology(1), children with nocturnal enuresis (bed wetting) have more broken-up sleep, are more difficult to arouse during sleep and have higher levels of daytime sleepiness. It is not yet known (and is still argued) whether the problems with sleep are the cause of bedwetting, or whether the frequent brain stimulation without waking, contributes to disordered sleep. In either case, disordered sleep can be associated with primary nocturnal enuresis but is typically not the ‘cause’ of bedwetting.
First of all I want to explain how alarm training works. If there are no underlying issues to the cause of a child’s bedwetting, then alarm training is first line therapy for nocturnal enuresis and has a 65-80% success rate. Alarms condition the child to either wake up to do a wee when their bladder is full or hold on during the night. The alarm detects when the child begins wetting and emits a noise, vibration or both, alerting that the child has wet. When the alarm sounds, the child needs to wake and try to finish their wee in the toilet (even if they don’t feel like they need to). More information on how bedwetting alarms work can be found here.
Now listen up,this part is very important and is quite often where us parents get it wrong. Often children DO NOT wake to the sound of the alarm (even if the rest of the family does!), and regardless of what you previously thought, this is completely normal. Parents need to step up here and help wake their child if their child is not waking up themselves. (So what’s the point of an alarm, I hear you say?)
The point of an alarm is not all about waking the child. There’s a lot of connections being made behind the scenes and this is called ‘conditioned learning’. Alarm therapy is an ongoing learning process, so each night the alarm is used, important connections are being made between the brain and bladder. Amazingly, this is regardless of whether the child has woken to the alarm or slept through!
Unfortunately, this misconception causes some parents to give up too early and claim, ‘it didn’t work because the alarm didn’t wake my child’. Success depends largely on patience and understanding from parents and to allow the time required for the learning process to work its magic.
Once the child’s body has ‘tuned in’ to wake to the alarm themselves, then parents can take a step back and let their child take on more of the responsibility. Yay!
The Parenting Garden Bedwetting Alarm Success Program is a unique package put together by yours truly to help parents and their children conquer bedwetting and acknowledge important life skills learned during the program. As well as working towards achieving 14 dry nights in a row, they get to earn Honour Badges which includes Responsibility, Resilience and Self-Confidence. We all want our kids to build on and embrace these life skills don’t we? Oh yeah!
So to answer your earlier question - YES! Absolutely there is hope for your deep-sleeping bedwetting amazing child!
Rochelle, a Bedwetting Alarm Success Package customer, never thought to try an alarm on her son because he never woke when he wet the bed. Here’s what she had to say:
“My son is almost 8 and we have only had one or two dry nights in his whole lifetime. We had heard of bedwetting alarms and never tried them because he is a deep sleeper who never woke up when he wet, and was not overly troubled by being wet!
This year though he was invited to a few sleepovers and was too embarrassed to go so we thought we should investigate. We got your package and he was excited to try. We talked about how it might take a long time and that was OK.
We have been using the alarm for five and a half weeks and had a mixed start with all three colours of stickers being used a few times each. But last night he got his 14th dry night in a row!
We are stunned and amazed! He did not beat the alarm - after three weeks there was no alarm to beat - he has slept through with no wetting at all! I have been telling everyone about the alarm and how amazing it is.
Thank you so much, you have given our son so much joy this morning now he is done!”
Beginning this journey with the understanding that you may be waking your child up for the first 2-4 weeks and it may be tiresome at times, will make the experience for you and your child so much easier, trust me.
Now, ask yourself these questions:
Does the alarm work on deep sleepers? YES!
With consistent use, will my child eventually wake to the alarm? YES!
Will this be the best thing I’ve done for my child? YES, YES, YES!
Still not convinced it will work on your heavy sleeper? Hey, totally understand. If you need more proof there are 227 other happy parents that have taken the time to share their stories with us, and you can read them here.
If it wasn’t for my deep sleeping adorable six year old back then, I wouldn’t be doing what I’m doing today, sharing this with you and giving other tired parents hope that dry nights is possible for their child too. And that’s why I do what I do.
Love and dry nights xx