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Traveling When Your Child has Bedwetting

June 06, 2024 4 min read

Bedwetting can be particularly bothersome when traveling and spending the night away from home. If your child is young and spends the night in the same room or close to parents, it is much easier.  Once he or she reaches school age and has more independence, handling bedwetting should be discussed.

Develop Plan of Action

Older children who continue to have bedwetting may have unvoiced concerns about sleep away camp or vacations.  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.


  • Make sure your child knows that he or she is not alone and most camps are very helpful in discreetly handling any wetting episodes. 
  • Double voiding (urinating two times) in the hour before going to sleep is helpful.
  • In some cases, you can make arrangements with the camp counselor, other child’s parent or family member to continue a lifting routine if this is used successfully at home. (Lifting is when a caregiver walks the child to the bathroom at a designated time, such as when the adult goes to bed or when they are already awake themselves.)
  • Fluid of choice after dinner should be water. Staying well hydrated in the daytime is important so your child is not so thirsty later in the day.  Drinking throughout the day allows frequent urination and fluids to be processed by the body during daytime hours.
  • If medication will be used, it is best if taken within an hour of going to sleep.  Make arrangements with the camp so that this can be consistently done. 


Wear disposable pants, with a plan for putting them on discreetly and disposal in the morning. If your child has outgrown traditional children’s disposables, there are still many options.

Disposable pants come in all sizes, even small through extra large adult sizes. Disposable male guards can be secured to regular underwear to catch a small amount of urine.

Disposable underpads that lie on a sheet or in a sleeping bag have tape strips to hold them in place.  They can be discreetly discarded in the morning.  Provide an opaque plastic bag for throwing away any disposables in the waste basket in the morning.

Waterproof sleeping bag liners fit into a regular sleeping bag. They provide a comfortable, waterproof surface for sleeping without raising questions from other campers. These can be inserted in the sleeping bag before it is rolled up and remain in place until your child brings it home to be washed.

Small waterproof, washable pads can be used on top of a sheet or pinned inside a sleeping bag. They can be discreetly pulled into place when your child is ready to go to sleep.

Accommodations for Travel

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.

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 camps 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.  Three tablets is the maximum dosage.  Taking more than the recommended amount can be dangerous.

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.

Family support

Reassure your child that it’s not their fault and you’ll work together to discreetly handle any accidents that may happen.  If you have a few weeks before traveling, or a few weeks after vacation, consider using a bedwetting alarm at home to speed up getting to dryness. 

Using a bedwetting alarm for a couple of months will help insure that this won’t be a problem when you travel next year.  Research proves that bedwetting alarms are still the most effective solution for bedwetting.

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