Tips for Traveling with a Bedwetter
Modified from the tips at the bedwetting store
Traveling with children is a wonderful experience as we work to expand our children’s minds and provide them with new experiences. Traveling with children can also be stressful, especially if one of them is a bedwetter. If one or more of your kids still wets the bed, this can add to the stress of family travel. It doesn’t have to keep you from having an adventure and all having a good time. 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.
“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 the 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. By far the most common tool for parents of bedwetters are the disposable underwear, just as Goodnites, Underjams or the generic equivalent. One parent said, “On the Airplane – I have my daughter wear disposable absorbent underpants on the airplane, both going and returning. This way if she falls asleep, I don’t have to worry about accidents on the airplane. With girls, have them wear leggings under a dress so any bulkiness doesn’t show with a full goodnite.”
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. Figure out where you can buy disposable products in the country you are visiting. In north america they go by the name goodnites, but in Europe and Australia they are called drynites. Some countries, like in Asia may only have a youth diaper available. If that’s the case it’s best to talk to your little one first and make sure that will be o.k.
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. Another parent said “In the hotel have your child wear disposable underpants at naptime or bedtime. This way you don’t have any issues with wet sheets in the middle of the night; no calls to the front desk or miserable sleeping arrangements.”
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. In general it seems that many agree that it’s best to not limit water too much, if your child is thirsty let them drink, just not too much and certainly nothing with caffeine. Remember that jet lag is going to really throw off both routines and sleep times, be prepared for this, you might need a “night time routine” in the middle of the day.
You may talk to your healthcare 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 for your bedwetter, 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 ensure 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. With a little luck and practice their bed will be as dry as the Sahara.
- While getting travel insurance won’t help alleviate the stress caused by your bedwetter, it is one more thing that will put your mind at ease. If there is a real medical emergency you will know that your most precious belongings, your children and your loved ones are covered. Check out the policies at www.healthisinternational.com