Bedwetting alarm: operation, costs (rent/purchase) and reimbursement

A bedwetting alarm is an effective and completely safe method to teach children who wet the bed at night to wake up with the feeling of a full bladder. With the help of an alarm that goes off with the first drop of pee, 70% of children will eventually get rid of bedwetting permanently. This article discusses the treatment of bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis) using the bedwetting alarm. There are also other methods to tackle bedwetting.

Bedwetting alarm

  • What is a bedwetting alarm?
  • Bedwetting
  • Bedwetting alarm
  • Bedwetting alarm pants
  • Motivation
  • How does a bedwetting alarm work?
  • Operation
  • The child learns by doing
  • Follow steps
  • Where can I get a bedwetting alarm?
  • Rent or buy a bedwetting alarm
  • Compensation
  • How long should the alarm be used?
  • Duration of use
  • Consult your GP
  • How successful is a bedwetting alarm?
  • Tips for the success of the bedwetting alarm method
  • Motivation
  • Patience
  • Rewarding is better than punishing
  • Relapse
  • Combined treatment


What is a bedwetting alarm?


Bedwetting is emptying the bladder according to a normal urination pattern at an unwanted time and place. The medical name is nocturnal enuresis . Nocturnal enuresis occurs when a child aged 5 or 6 years wets the bed at least twice a week at night during the last three months or when a child aged 7 years or older wets the bed at night at least once a month. There are various methods to stop bedwetting. The bedwetting alarm method has been proven to be effective and can sometimes be used in children from the age of 5. Adequate guidance increases the chance of success.

Bedwetting alarm

A bedwetting alarm is an (auxiliary) device that alerts a child at the critical moment, i.e. when the first drops of urine leave the bladder. Thanks to this method, the child learns to listen to his bladder at night. The method consists of two pairs of pants (or a mat), one transmitter and one receiver. When the bladder is full, the child will urinate. But as soon as the first droplets of urine enter the pants, a sensor signals this. As soon as the sensor becomes even slightly wet, an alarm is immediately activated. At that moment the bell of the bedwetting alarm goes off. This signal should wake the child in time, in order to learn to prevent bedwetting as best as possible.

Bedwetting alarm pants

The bedwetting alarm set often comes with two pairs of bedwetting alarm pants as standard. These pants can be compared to normal underpants. There is also a type that has been specially developed for deaf and hearing-impaired children. This bedwetting alarm has a vibrating cushion as an alarm.


It is important that the child is internally motivated to get rid of bedwetting. So he must experience it as a problem himself. Sometimes the child is motivated at a younger age, but sometimes you have to wait until the child is 6 or 7 years old. There’s no point in forcing it.

How does a bedwetting alarm work?


The alarm clock is connected by wire or wirelessly to special pants with moisture sensors (consisting of invisible wires), which the child wears at night. The sensors in the pants are usually so sensitive that the alarm goes off as soon as the child starts to urinate, i.e. as soon as the first drops enter the pants. The alarm wakes the child, who then promptly stops urinating. The child gets out of bed, turns off the alarm clock, walks to the toilet and pees there and then replaces the used pants (that’s why two pairs of pants are needed). The child then turns the alarm on again and can resume sleep.

The child learns by doing

Using this method, the child is always warned when the bladder is full and needs to be emptied. In doing so, he/she learns to wake up on time from a full bladder. Some children find it very difficult to wake up from the alarm. If the child has a hard time waking up, the parent wakes the child when the alarm goes off. After a few nights, the child will wake up more quickly on his own. It is important that the child is really awake and not in a half-sleepy state, otherwise the child will be taught to wet the bed.

Follow steps

The parent or caregiver must know in advance exactly how the alarm works. The child must be taught to follow all the steps. Instruct the child in advance what to do. Have him repeat all the steps quietly before going to sleep. Take your time and don’t rush it. Before going to sleep, the child must be aware that the bedwetting alarm will wake him up and that he will jump out of bed as soon as he hears the sound. Let the child (help with) change the sheets himself if he or she has wet the bed.

Where can I get a bedwetting alarm?

Rent or buy a bedwetting alarm

Since bedwetting alarms are often used for a short period of time, they are often rented. The rental price varies from 30 to 50 euros per month. The purchase of a bedwetting alarm varies from 90 to 150 euros. On average, bedwetting alarm training takes 2 to 3 months, but often longer, which makes renting unfavorable. For example, Rodger’s wireless bedwetting alarm costs (in 2023) 87.00. From a hygienic point of view, the Rodger bedwetting alarm is not available for rental, but only for sale. The Rodger standard bedwetting alarm set consists of:

  • transmitter;
  • receiver (alarm clock);
  • instructions;
  • 2 washable bedwetting alarm pants;
  • pee calendar; and
  • sticker sheet.



Reimbursement of costs for the purchase or rental of the bedwetting alarm is arranged differently by health insurer and depends on the policy conditions.

How long should the alarm be used?

Duration of use

Use it every night until the child has had at least 14 consecutive dry nights. On average, treatment with the bedwetting alarm lasts 2 to 3 months, but it can also take longer.

General practitioner / Source:

Consult your GP

If the bedwetting alarm does not lead to improvement within a few weeks, it is useful to consult your doctor. The doctor can prescribe desmopressin . When used before bedtime, this drug reduces urine production at night. The effect is usually noticeable after a few days. The rapid effect of desmopressin can increase the motivation to continue using the bedwetting alarm.

How successful is a bedwetting alarm?

Research shows that the bedwetting alarm is the best method to help children (as well as adults) who wet the bed get rid of this discomfort. Youth doctor Frank van Leerdam has conducted research into this at the VU medical center. And guess what? Immediately after using the bedwetting alarm, 70-90% of the bedwetting children remained dry. Two years later, 70% of them had still stopped wetting their beds.²

Tips for the success of the bedwetting alarm method


There is a greater chance of success if the child is motivated to stop wetting the bed. Motivation is increased by giving the child responsibility for the system and praising him for progress. Let the child bear as much responsibility as possible for the consequences of bedwetting. Depending on his age, the child can take clean pajamas and change the bed himself.


Completely dry nights don’t happen overnight. Be patient and consult your doctor if this method has not produced results after two weeks. Perhaps medication support can provide relief.

Rewarding is better than punishing

Punishing the child or threatening punishment is absolutely not a fruitful method. It only makes the child more insecure.


This method is usually used until the child has remained dry for 14 consecutive nights. If the child has a relapse in the future, it may be worth starting over.

Combined treatment

The bedwetting alarm method can also be combined with the calendar method.

  1. Dr. JAH Eekhof, Dr. A. Knuistingh Neven, Dr. W. Opstelten: Minor ailments in children. Elsevier Healthcare, Maarssen, second edition 2009, p.570.
  2. Bedwetting alarm best method against bedwetting (April 6, 2005),


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