By the time children reach the age of 8 they are likely to have opportunities to enjoy overnight visits away from home with friends. Many children will also have activities such as camps which will require them to sleep away from home. This can be daunting for the bedwetter and the fear of being found out or ridiculed by their peers can make them withdraw.
If a child in the 8-12 year old age bracket has never been completely dry then it is likely that an away from home event will make them want to change this. So, this is a good time to capitalise on their motivation and start night time toilet training.
It is usually a good idea to check with the family doctor, first, that there are no underlying physiological causes for their bed wetting. If there are not, then a bedwetting alarm is a good option for this age group as they are now old enough to be able to manage the whole process on their own.
The best time to start using an alarm is at least 3 months prior to a significant away from home occasion e.g. Summer Camp, or Sport's Team tournament. This gives the child time to master their night toilet training and be dry when they have to go away. Where the child does not have sufficient time to do this, short-term solutions include Drug Therapy under the management of a Doctor, or, washable continence underwear which is much more discrete than pull-ups.
When using a bedwetting alarm the same night toilet training routines apply for this age group, as for others. The child should be Primed in the use of the alarm beforehand and practice every night during the first week what to do before they go to sleep. Changes of bedding and night clothes should be prepared in advance so when they have to get up in the night in response to the alarm, the time taken to the toilet and changing out of wet clothes and bedclothes is minimised. Recall strategies should be implemented for deep sleepers and a Reward Programme can be put in place to encourage progress and recognise milestones.
Considerations about the type of alarm to use for this age group will take into account how the child feels about using a wearable alarm and if they are restless sleepers. The DRI Sleeper eclipse wireless alarm is discrete for older children who may be embarrassed about using a body-worn alarm. The sensor goes directly in the underwear and the alarm can be placed on bedroom furniture, which means they have to get up to turn the alarm off and not just switch it off and roll over and go back to sleep. Also, the wireless alarm is good for restless sleepers as there are no cords to pull out during the night.