Choosing the right bedwetting alarm

A recent study saw 66% improvement in children who used a bedwetting alarm for 2 weeks, verses only 4% for those who used nothing at all.  Research into the bedwetting alarms shows an 80% success rate in committed children (and their caregivers).

How does a bedwetting alarm work?

Different alarms work in slightly different ways but essentially a sensor detects wetness, which then activates an alarm (which vibrates and/or sounds) to wake your child. Eventually the alarm conditions the brain to wake up before any accidents happen at all. The time is takes to ‘train the brain’ and stop wetting varies from child to child, but for some children they become dry within 10 days, other children can take much longer.

Choosing the right bedwetting alarm

There are three types of bedwetting alarms:

#1 Wearable Bedwetting Alarms

With a wearable alarm, the child places the moisture sensing device in his or her pyjamas or underwear (in the line of fire). When the child wets, the sensor detects the wetness and the alarm is sounded. The sensor is attached to a cord at one end and the alarm/unit at the other end. The unit attaches to the pyjama top.  With this alarm your child will need to use a waterproof bed pad.

Recommended: WetStop3 has been used successfully for over 40 years!  It is a good cost-effective alarm.


#2 Bed-and-Pad Bedwetting Alarm

With an ‘alarm-and-pad’ bedwetting alarm, the moisture sensor is sewn into the pad placed beneath the sleeper. The sewn-in sensors in the pad detect moisture and the alarm sounds.

The sensor pads which come with the Wet Detective from Potty MD have the added advantage of being waterproof, which means you don’t need an extra waterproof pad on the bed (as well as the sensor pad). The pads are also industrial quality so they withstand wash after wash. This is a good option for those children who don’t want to wear an alarm. They are also good for adults, the elderly and those with special needs.

Recommended: Wet Detective


#3 Wireless Bedwetting Alarm

The third type of bedwetting alarm, the wireless alarm, is the newest technology on the market.  The child wears special underpants (available in all sizes) which have sewn in sensors.

The added advantage of this alarm over others is that moisture is detected immediately thereby triggering the alarm to sound immediately to wake the child. 

This alarm is comfortable to wear as no cords or cables are involved. A small transmitter is attached to the underpants and a base unit is plugged into a power point (or powered by battery).

Another advantage of this alarm is that if you have a particularly deep sleeper or you have a child who shares a room, then a vibrating unit (Bed-Shaker) can be attached to this unit so vibration is used to wake your child. Lastly, a separate base unit can be purchased to place in the caregiver’s room so mum or dad can also hear the alarm sound.

Recommended: Rodger Wireless Bedwetting Alarm




Alarm Type

Useful for


Wet Stop 3

Wearable alarm with clipped on sensor and cord

Sound and vibration


Cost effective.

Simple to use.

Proven success (sold since 1979).

Wet Detective

Sensor pad on bed and alarm unit beside bed




Special Needs


Can be set to a loud setting.

Pad is waterproof.

Simple to use.

Comfortable – no cables.

Rodger Wireless Alarm

Wearable sensor underpants with transmitter. Base unit plugged into wall.




Special Needs

Latest technology.

Comfortable – sewn-in sensor underpants.

No cords.

Moisture detected immediately.

Vibrating Bed Shaker attachment available.

Second base unit for parent’s room available.


Bedwetting alarms best practices

  • Choose the right time. Choose times when routines are not interrupted too much.
  • Talk to your child about how the alarm works and help him get prepared each night (spare pyjamas, night light, change of underpants/bed pad).
  • Make setting the alarm part of your everyday bedtime routine.
  • Do not skip nights.
  • Be POSITIVE! Give plenty of encouragement and stay confident and positive along the way.
  • Work on daytime toilet habits too. Encourage regular fluid and toilet stops throughout the day.
  • Avoid using nappies or pull-ups—your child should feel the wetness.
  • For some children it takes time before they wake to the sound of the alarm. Be patient & assist your child with waking when the alarm sounds. With time they will wake by themselves.
  • Remain PATIENT throughout the process. Some children become dry within days, others take weeks.

As you continue to use the alarm every night the number of dry nights will begin to outnumber the wet ones. However, during the training process, expect the occasional accident to occur. This is normal as your child’s body develops.