Sleepover Tips For the Bedwetter
One of the rites of passage of childhood is being able to go on a sleepover at a friend's or relative’s house, or go to camp away from home. It signifies your child is grown up enough to be on their own for a night without getting tucked in by mommy or daddy. For a child who wets the bed, though, this ordinary activity can lead to anxiety and many challenges.
That doesn’t mean children who wet the bed need to avoid sleepovers altogether. In fact, if you keep your child home from sleepovers, this may seem like a punishment even if it is not deliberate. Sleepovers can help children feel more grown up, and it is a way for children to bond with their friends. Both of these things are very important for a child who already feels somewhat babyish due to bedwetting.
There are things parents can do to help their child feel at ease and enjoy sleepovers with their friends. Pediatrician and children’s book author Dr. Howard Bennett has some sleepover tips so your child doesn’t have to miss out on the fun:
- Get other parents on board: If your child wets the bed, you might consider hosting a sleepover yourself so you can help your child. If the sleepover is at someone else’s house, Dr. Bennett suggests explaining the situation to the hosting parents ahead of time. “If everyone is on the same team, it will make the process go smoothly,” says Dr. Bennett. “For my daughter, the parents would wake her up before the rest of the kids. If she was wet, she would have the opportunity to change and give her wet Goodnites® to the parents so no one would see them."
- Wear absorbent nighttime pants for discreet protection: Goodnites® products offer nighttime protection and a better fit so the other kids won’t even know your child is wearing them. “My daughter experienced bedwetting until she was 9. Our favorite trick was to hide Goodnites® at the bottom of her sleeping bag, so she could shimmy into them before bed. She woke up dry and comfortable, and nobody ever had to find out,” says Dr. Bennett.
- Practice: Dr. Bennett often asks his patients: How do athletes get to be as good as they are? Practice! Kids can practice sleepovers by first spending the night at grandma’s house. This is a great way for children to worry less about staying dry at night and start feeling more comfortable going to sleepovers. Alternatively, your child can take a sleeping bag into a sibling’s room and have a pretend sleepover, or try some of their tricks at a best friend’s house where there is less likely to be any teasing if the child wakes up wet.
With some planning and discussion, your child can go to sleep each night feeling confident they’ll wake up dry, and enjoy a sleepover just like their friends.
These articles are not a substitute for medical advice, consult your doctor as needed.