Bedwetting, sleepovers and family holidays
Bedwetting affects nearly half a million children and teens every night, but it can be an embarrassing secret for sleepovers and a frustration for family holidays. These practical tips will help your child - and you - cope with nights away from home, when they sometimes wet the bed.
Bedwetting: coping with nights away from home
Bedwetting is actually more common than most people realise affecting up to half a million children and teenagers every night. Studies have shown that 1 in 6 five year olds, 1 in 7 seven year olds, 1 in 11 nine year olds and 1 in 50-100 teenagers are affected and the problem is more common in boys than girls, especially in the younger age groups.
As a child bedwetting is an isolating condition: not something you’ll tell your friends and something which will certainly make you think twice about holidays and sleepovers with other children. As a parent your child bedwetting can also be frustrating, with the extra cleaning and washing contributing to your concerns.
Be patient – this is not your child’s fault (or yours), and whilst there are plenty of tips to stop bedwetting which you can put into practice right away, it might take a while to resolve.
Be prepared – whether you’re away from home with the family, or whether you’re preparing your child for her first sleepover, there are lots of practical things you can do to ensure you all have a great time (and her secret stays safe!).
Essential for sleepovers...
- Absorbent sleeping bag liners. Sleeping bags are the ideal solution for sleepovers – it’s OK for your child to take their own bag and ask to use it. The liner can be rolled up inside the sleeping bag before she takes it away (if her friends ask, tell her to say the lining is to make her extra snug!).
- Disposable absorbent pants. Put them in the sleeping bag before your child sets off and no-one will see her wriggle into them.
- Alarm clock. might help her remember to wake up early and pop to the loo, or change her wet clothes. Plus a torch so she can find her way in the dark.
- Small waterproof bag. teach her how to put her wet clothes in as soon as she wakes up and tie a knot or secure the bag firmly.
Essential for family holidays...
- Waterproof bedcovers. If you’re travelling with your child this solution is a great investment. Buy a good waterproof mattress protector. You can also buy waterproof duvet protectors and waterproof pillow protectors.
- Disposable or washable bed pads. Take along a few spare pads, to put on top of the sheet so you don’t have to keep rinsing it out.
- Wet wipes and antibacterial spray. Easy to pick up at the supermarket and essential for wiping down mattress covers and to help your child stay clean and prevent smells.
- Plenty of changes of clothes and pyjamas. It’s your holiday too, so minimise your time spent rinsing and washing by buying some super light PJ shorts and taking at least one pair of them for every night you’re away.
- A roll of plastic bags to put wet items in.
- Daytime absorbent pants and extra pads. Just in case.
- Remember if you are going abroad you may need to pack disposable items with you, as they may not be available in another country.
- You can buy these in theERIC online shop.
provides information and support on childhood bedwetting, daytime wetting, constipation and soiling to children, young people, parents and professionals. All the bedwetting items above are available in theERIC online shop