Night Training & The Best $100 We Ever Spent as Parents
In my decluttering, I came across this funny blue box the other day. As it took us forever to learn about it (one of those well-kept parenting secrets), I thought I'd go ahead and share it here in the off chance that someone reading is in the same situation we were in and can do something about it sooner than later.
Potty training at night. Ugh. (So there you go, read no further if you don't want to go there...) I'd like to introduce you to the Malem Ultimate Selectable Bedwetting Alarm. Quite a name, right?
Neither of our older boys were particularly difficult to toilet train. It went about as you would expect it would. However, there was one key difference. Noah started staying dry at night before he was even staying dry during the day. It just happened.
Caleb didn't have the same experience at all. I remember feeling all kinds of stress and anxiety about it, and I am sure Caleb was feeling the same. He was 5 and still having accidents every single night. As he got bigger, the pull-ups wouldn't or couldn't do the job anymore, so we were changing sheets every single day. It was exhausting and gross and frustrating and, man, you just felt bad for the kid (and his parents).
There seemed to be this outside pressure to "Night Train" him. Friends would talk about night training their kids and I was just baffled by it. Really? Training someone to do something other than sleep at night seems a bit odd. And heck, I wasn't so great at just sleep training my kids, how could I possibly do this any better?!
But we tried. Oh, did we try. For two years we tried. We limited drinks before bed. We limited drinks several hours before bed. We even thought about limiting the amount of liquid he was having for dinner. But really, that just seemed wrong.
We tried pullups, no pull ups, overnights, character underwear, plain underwear. We tried waking him up and sleepily walking him into the bathroom before we went to bed.
We changed sheets. We tried having him change sheets.
We tried setting the alarm for ourselves in the middle of the night to do it again. Brutal.
We nurtured, we coached and sometimes, I am quite sure, we even got frustrated or angry.
And then we heard about this product from our pediatrician. We bought it online and waited for it to come. I admit I was skeptical. I was more than skeptical, I was annoyed that I dropped $100 on a pee alarm. But we were feeling desperate.
The way it works is that you clip the alarm unit itself to your child's pajamas. It has a cord that extends down and you connect it to their underwear. As soon as the underwear gets at all wet this alarm starts ringing and vibrating to wake the child up. It is loud and obnoxious. You talk to your kid ahead of time, letting them know that as soon as they hear the alarm they have to do two things. They have to try to stop going to the bathroom and they have to put their feet on the floor and start walking to the bathroom. We talked to Caleb about those ideas for a few days before starting.
Reading through the materials, it warns you that the first few nights will be rough. But that with each accident, you need to get your child up, take them to the bathroom, put on dry underwear and start over.
And they weren't lying. I think the first night (this was some time ago) we were up five times. If I had a recommendation it would be to put several layers of sheets on the bed to start with waterproof pads in between them. That way you are not completely remaking the bed all night long.
The second night, he woke up two times. And the the rest of the first week he had two accidents. That was it.
Amazingly, while he wore the alarm for a month after that, I think there was only one more accident.
Really, he had to do it himself, but this alarm was an incredible way for him to learn to better understand his body.
And we now say this was the best $100 of parenting money we may have ever spent.