Bedwetting can be particularly bothersome when traveling and spending the night away from home. Since many families travel over the holidays, here are some tips that may help.
1.“Just in case” supplies
Even if your child does not have nightly wetting, it helps to be prepared. Disposable pull ups or disposable under pads for bed prevent embarrassment when an accident occurs. Reusable waterproof pads or waterproof sleeping bag liners are useful if laundry facilities are available. Discreet washable waterproof underwear are kid-friendly and comfortable.
2. Develop Plan of Action
Older children who continue to have bedwetting may have unvoiced concerns about holiday travel. Discreetly discuss with your son or daughter a plan for your travel so they will not have to be unnecessarily worried about having an accident in unfamiliar surroundings. Protect your child’s privacy from siblings or relatives who may not be supportive.
Try to provide a sleeping area with privacy, especially if other children their age are present. Having a room close to your room is especially nice if you plan to walk them to the bathroom during the night. Extra pajamas and a night light or small flashlight will help with middle of the night clean-up. You can easily protect the mattress with a plastic cover if visiting relatives or friends. Inexpensive fitted vinyl covers fit discreetly under the sheet and take up little suitcase space.
4. Nighttime Routine
Schedules typically change with travel but it does help children with bedwetting to be as well rested as possible. Urinating twice before bed and limiting carbonated and sugary beverages, and milk in the late evening might help.
You may talk to your health care provider about a trial of medication for your older school age child, for special occasions, such as sleepovers or vacation. If trying desmopressin or similar short acting medication, have a trial of a few days at home to make sure the dosage is correct and that it is effective in stopping wetting. If the medication does not insure a dry night at home, have a backup plan and do not expect that it will keep your child dry when sleeping away from your home.
Medication does not “cure” bedwetting but it may help your child have a dry night when he or she takes it. Desmopressin works by making the urine more concentrated thus decreasing the amount of urine produced that night.
Reassure your child that it’s not their fault and you’ll work together to discreetly handle any accidents that may happen. A good New Year’s resolution might be to begin using a bedwetting alarm to speed up getting to dryness so this won’t be a problem when you travel next year. Research proves that bedwetting alarms are still the most effective solution for bedwetting.