Bedwetting and sleepovers

Preparing for a sleepover can be both exciting and scary for you and your child. If your child sometimes wets the bed, they may feel reluctant to spend the night at a friend's house for fear that the bedwetting will be discovered. They may also feel unsure about how to handle bedwetting if it does happen, and what to say to their friends.

But bedwetting doesn't have to get in the way of your child's social life. Here's how to help your child get ready for a sleepover:

Before the sleepover:

  • Talk to the parent(s) who will be hosting the sleepover to confirm details and find out if your child needs to bring anything special, such as a bathing suit. Let the other parent know about your child's allergies, medications, and medical conditions. Explain that your child sometimes wets the bed and tell the parent how your family usually handles it, so that the parent will be able to help your child discreetly if this does happen. Provide a telephone number where you can be reached in case there are any problems.
  • Talk to your child's doctor about possible treatment options for managing bedwetting and which options might be right for your child. Options include family counselling, bladder exercises, bedwetting alarms, and medication.
  • Talk to your child about the plans for the sleepover, and what to do if they wet the bed. Having a plan can help ease your child's mind. If your child will be taking a medication for bedwetting, make sure they understand how to use it. You can help your child feel more confident by saying that whatever happens, you know they'll be able to handle it. Let your child know that if they want to come home, all they need to do is call.

During the sleepover: Be available in case your child or the host parent calls, but resist the temptation to call your child at their friend's house to make sure everything is fine.

After the sleepover:

  1. Pick your child up at the time you have arranged.
  2. Talk to your child about their evening. Ask open-ended questions about what they learned or saw during the sleepover, and how they felt about their experiences. Talk about what worked well and what you'd do differently next time.

By planning ahead and helping your child prepare for a sleepover, you can help ensure that bedwetting won't spoil the experience. Talk to your doctor if you have any questions about managing bedwetting.

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