The best bedwetting alarm for teenagers is the Rodger wireless alarm. The integrated sensor in the brief is very discreet. The wireless transmitter and alarm worked well for our bedwetting teen to manage himself if he wet.
Like many parents, I thought once my son was able to routinely keep his bed dry (for us this was around 7-years old), I thought it would be smooth sailing as far as nighttime accidents go. So when my son started wetting the bed at age 14, I was concerned. After consulting with our doctor, we decided to try one of the most reliable ways to stop bedwetting: the bedwetting alarm.
What causes teen bedwetting?
Our son’s bedwetting was what they called secondary enuresis or bedwetting that happens after a period of being dry. It is estimated 2% of kids ages 10-19 still wet the bed. That puts the number at almost 850,000 kids in the older age range still wet the bed at least one night a week in the United States.
Our son is very independent and routinely does his own laundry. So, it wasn’t until a couple of weeks of wetting the bed several times a week that he told us. When he did, we had several questions.
- Has anything happened recently that might have triggered his bedwetting?
- A difficult question we asked was if anybody – whether a friend or adult – had touched him or made feel uncomfortable in any way?
- Did he notice any patterns such as drinking water or soda after a certain time?
- How has he been sleeping? Is he staying up too late?
All of these were answered either with a “no” to “I don’t know.” so it was time to talk with our family medicine doctor.
A Trip to the doctor
We used an annual physical appointment already scheduled to bring up the subject of our teen’s bedwetting with our family doctor. Our son answered no to all of the pre-screening depression questions and we waited for his doctor to come.
After the physical, we brought up his bedwetting. This wasn’t easy for him. Since it was a relatively new thing, the doctor didn’t think he needed to be referred to a urologist or specialist quite yet. We decided to try a couple of things.
- No liquids 1 hour before bedtime
- Going to the restroom ½ hour before bed
- Going to the restroom right before bed
- Wearing a sleep tracker (in our case a fitbit) to measure sleep restlessness and sleep cycles
- Purchasing some disposable bed mats to use on the bed just in case.
What the data showed
Over the course of the next week, my son wet the bed three out of seven nights. In looking at the fitbit app, we were able to see that once he went to bed and fell asleep, he was a very heavy sleeper and didn’t move or switch positions hardly at all. He also went into deep sleep very quickly and for fairly long periods.
The nights where he wet, he took longer to actually fall asleep, but then entered deep sleep very quickly, again with very little restlessness.
We sent our doctor this data and were encouraged to try a bedwetting alarm. The theory was he was just sleeping too soundly with his body and hormones changing, and this was causing his brain to miss the cues that his bladder was getting full.
Most bedwetting alarms are for younger kids
The problem with most bedwetting alarms is they are intended for younger children. Younger kids need help when the alarms go off. They need help turning it off, getting cleaned up and back to bed. With an independent teenager, alarms that either blare really loud or have an additional alarm in the parent’s room would further his embarrassment.
We came across the Rodger wireless alarm and it sounded perfect. It is an actual brief with the wetness sensors stitched in. There is a little pocket in the front that holds a transmitter. The alarm itself is then plugged into a power outlet. This means there are no wires to get tangled up in overnight.
Additional Receivers and Alarm Choices
While you can get additional receivers (the alarm part), for us we didn’t think we needed one. We ordered a kit that included 2 pairs of briefs as well as the alarm and transmitter. There is also an app that can be downloaded to track progress. A sticker chart is also included. We didn’t have much use for the sticker chart since he is older.
The alarm volume can be changed a little. There is no option for a silent/vibration alarm.
Getting the two-pack of briefs was a good choice. The first few times he triggered the alarm, it was early in the night. He got up, turned off the alarm, cleaned up, and changed into the other pair. He then plugged in the transmitter and went back to sleep.
Do bedwetting alarms work for teens?
A bedwetting alarm does actually work with teens and aren’t just for younger children. An alarm can help deep-sleepers wake up when they start to wet and retrain the brain to recognize when the bladder is full.
He was down to wetting two times a week after about 2 weeks. Eventually, after four more weeks, he wet maybe once a week. We maintained the practice of no liquids an hour before bed, and going to the restroom both half an hour and right before.
He had his first full week without wetting at about 6 weeks. He even told us he got up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. After three more weeks of being dry every night, we stopped using the alarm. He hasn’t had a re-occurrence, just in time for sleepovers and summer camps to ramp up in the summer.
What caused my teen to wet the bed?
In our case, we think his wetting the bed was just an additional “growing pain” where his body was growing and hormones changing so much it really exhausted him at night and caused a very deep sleep.
While he probably would have stopped on his own, we are pretty sure the Rodger bedwetting alarm helped re-wire his brain to recognize when his bladder was getting full and wake him up even if he was in one of his deep sleep phases.
We can definitely recommend the Rodger alarm. You can get up briefs and the system that fits waist size up to 28″ on Amazon.com. Or, you can get larger sizes including adult and additional briefs at the bedwetting store.
If you have any experiences with this alarm or other alarms that have helped your teen, please feel free to comment below.