How does the bedwetting alarm method work?

History of the origin of the bedwetting alarm

The bedwetting alarm method was accidentally discovered around 1920. A German pediatrician, Meinhard von Pfaundler, was looking for a way to let the nursing staff know when a child had wet the bed. He thought it was unpleasant when children were lying in a wet bed for a long time and wanted to help both the children and the nurse solve that problem. He developed a device that sounded the alarm when a child had a wet bed. Coincidentally, they also found out that the children who used this method were more likely to be potty-trained.

It was not until the 1930’s that two psychologists carried out research into the effectiveness of the bedwetting alarm against bedwetting. Here, an empirical test with thirty children between the 3 and 13 years old demonstrated that the bedwetting alarm is an effective solution against bedwetting. It was also established that the average duration of a bedwetting alarm training program is a maximum of three months. If children are not potty-trained at night after three months when using the bedwetting alarm method it’s a good idea to see your doctor.

How does the bedwetting alarm method work

The bedwetting alarm method is based on both classical and operant conditioning. The alarm that goes off when wetting the bed causes children to make the connection between a full bladder and having to go to the bathroom themselves. Initially the alarm will cause the child to be startled, wake up and tighten the sphincter of the bladder. The behavior is taught during this period. When the bedwetting alarm used for a few weeks, the child will form a connection between the alarm and a full bladder. By learning the behavior to go to the bathroom, the child will wake up with a full bladder and go to the toilet on his/her own. This process is called classical conditioning.

The operant conditioning is a process in which human behavior changes as a result of the consequences of that behavior. In the case of the bedwetting alarm method the consequence of bedwetting is that the alarm goes off. A child will want to prevent this where possible, because being woken up in the middle of the night is certainly not pleasant. The training will help the child recognize the full bladder, but the child will also do his/her best to prevent waking up from the alarm.

It is important to reward a child on dry nights. This will increase the effectiveness of the method

The Dryly® bedwetting alarm method

The bedwetting alarm method is an effective way to deal with bedwetting. How does the bedwetting alarm method work? Your child wears special Dryly® underwear that is connected with our mobile app through a Transmitter  and the Receiver that is hidden in Wizzu (stuffed panda). For older children, the receiver can be used separately. Both the panda as well as the mobile app work as an alarm. Wizzu for your child and the mobile app for you as a parent. This gives you insight into when and how often your child pees each night. That way you know exactly when your child wets the bed and you can help him/her! As soon as the pants get wet, both alarms go off. This is how your child trains to wake up from a full bladder. The bedwetting alarmmethode is actually a training method.

Parental support for children is crucial for the success of the method. That’s why we use the mobile app to provide insight into your child’s behavior. Wizzu is also central to this bedwetting alarm method and truly needs to become that special friend who supports your child in the process of staying dry.

Before you start using the Dryly® bedwetting alarm method, you set up the mobile app together with your child. A fun and motivating process, because Wizzu plays the lead role in the app. You enter the name, age and bedtime of your son or daughter into the app to enable it to optimally help you and your child achieve dry nights.

Explain to your child what is expected of him/her. The first evening, he or she should practice putting on and taking off the briefs and turning the Receiver on and off (in Wizzu the panda). Together with urologists, we have developed a special bed-time ritual for your child.

  • The Dryly® ritual is very important, the app helps you adhere to it. Follow the instructions in the app and start the night off right!
  • If the panda goes off at night, go to your child’s bedroom and turn on the lights. Wait until your child turns off the sound and goes to the toilet. Compliment your child if this goes well, both at that moment and the next morning.
  • If it takes longer than three minutes for your child to turn off the panda, gently wake him/her up. Let your child go to the bathroom without praising him/her. Pay no attention to your child being wet. Your child should wake up from the sound of Wizzu (and not from the parents).
  • If your child wakes up from the sound of the panda, the night was successful. Your child will be awarded points in the mobile app for doing so. He/she can buy fun gadgets for Wizzu with these points.
  • The bedwetting method will not solve the bedwetting problem right away, but it should start off a positive trend–  whereby the child will wet him/her bed less and less often.