Health Library
Using a Bed-Wetting Alarm

How Do you Use a Bed-Wetting Alarm?

Bed-wetting is a common issue among children. About 20 percent of all 5-year-old children wet the bed and a small number of 10-year-olds still have bedwetting. While most children will outgrow their bed-wetting it can be embarrassing for children and cause low self-esteem.


A bed-wetting alarm is an effective and safe treatment to stop bedwetting. A child will typically need to wear a bed-wetting alarm for about three months, but it may range from a few weeks to several months.

The bed-wetting alarm is made up of two parts: a moisture sensor and an alarm. The moisture sensor is clipped to the child’s underwear and detects wetness and triggers an alarm. The alarm, a lightweight plastic device, is clipped to the child’s pajama top. The alarm can be a buzzing sound, a recorded voice and/or a vibration.

When the alarm sounds, the child should awaken and walk to the bathroom to finish urinating. If the child is a deep sleeper and does not wake up, a parent or adult needs to wake up the sleeping child. The adult should prompt the child to walk to the bathroom to urinate. After the child has attempted to urinate in the bathroom, put on dry underwear and pajamas and reconnect the alarm. Eventually your child will learn to awaken before the buzzer sounds. They may also begin to sleep through the night and remain dry.

Sometimes there is a chance your child may begin wetting the bed again when you stop using the alarm. If your child starts bedwetting again, just restart the alarm.

Special Instructions for Using a Bed-Wetting Alarm

  • Wear the alarm every night.
  • Try having the child go to bed at the same time every night.
  • Attach the sensor clip directly to fitted underwear / panties.
  • Do not attach the sensor clip to pullups or diapers.
  • Do not turn off the alarm until after the child urinates in the toilet.
  • Drink plenty of fluids during the day and right before bedtime.
  • Discontinue the alarm after being dry for three weeks in a row.
  • Document “wet ‘or “dry” on a calendar to track progress.
  • Rinse daily (per alarm package instructions), the metal plates inside the sensor clip only, by running under water to clear the urine from the metal plates. This keeps the sensor plates from being damaged by the urine, so the sensor continues to work.

If your child is not having any dry nights in three to four weeks with the alarm, call the Urology Office and speak with your child’s care provider.

Medication may need to be added with the alarm, or possible alternate care options.

Last Updated 08/2022

Contact Us

Contact us.

For more information or to request an appointment, contact the Division of Urology.

Contact Us