How to prepare your bedwetter for a sleepover

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Wetting the bed is a common issue for kids.

According to the Royal Children's Hospital one in 10 children age six wet their bed, while one in 20 of those aged ten still have the same problem.

There are lots of ways you can help your child overcome this issue, and it's a good idea to see your GP for help.

The problem is, it can take some time.

So what should you do if she's been invited to a sleepover in the near future? Do you automatically need to say no?

Not at all, says BabyLove spokesperson and clinical psychologist Leanne Hall.

With some tips and strategies, she reassures your child can go to the sleepover feeling empowered.

Firstly, she says, it's important to talk to your child about her concerns, then reassure her that you will come up with a plan together.

When packing her bag for the sleepover, Hall recommends throwing in extra clothes such as spare pyjamas.


Depending on her age, Hall recommends asking her if it's okay for you to speak to her friend's parents about this issue beforehand.

She says the main message you want to convey is that you feel that bedwetting is "no big deal," and you hope they respond accordingly if it happens.

Ask the parents to keep a light on in the bathroom for the night of the sleepover, and to show your child where the closest bathroom is to where she's sleeping before she goes to bed.

During the chat, ask them not to mention the issue in front of their kids, so as not to embarrass your child.

It can also be worth seeing your doctor to discuss whether she thinks your child might benefit from medication for the sleepover.

The medication DDAVP (for example, Minirin), helps the body make less urine at night. That then lowers the chance of your child's bladder overfilling during the night.

According to the Royal Children's Hospital, this medication can be given to help your child stay dry during a sleepover.

On the night of the sleepover, Hall says it may be a good idea to limit fluid intake before bed (even though that advice is not necessarily recommended for treating bedwetting in general).

Also advise your child to also steer clear of any drinks that contain caffeine (such as hot chocolate) that night, as these can encourage more urinating.

You can also provide some overnight nappy pants (such as BabyLove SleepyNights) that your child can discretely pop on under her pj's before sleep.

Or, if she prefers, you can provide a plastic bed-sheet to put on the mattress she's sleeping on, or inside her sleeping bag.

Remember to pack a plastic bag so your child can pop the sheet or nappy pant straight into the plastic bag in the morning.

It's also a good idea to also pack some wipes, so she can clean herself discretely if needed.

When your child's at the sleepover, advise her to wee twice before sleep - once before she hops into bed, and again before actually going to sleep.

Most kids like to lie in bed chatting on a sleepover, so urinating again after lying in bed can help her empty her bladder further before sleep.

Dana* tried lots of these strategies with her daughter Lily*.

At first, Lily was placed on Minirin wafers (DDAVP) by her doctor and advised to use the toilet before bed.

Those two strategies ensured she remained dry at her first sleepover when she was eight.

For her next sleepover, Lily was in the middle of an eight-week bed wetting alarm treatment as provided by her local hospital.

But Lily didn't want to use the alarm during her sleepover, nor did she want to take Minirin or use other strategies.

Lily "braved it out" without any help – apart from simply going to the bathroom before bed - and remained dry.

When the night of the sleepover arrives for your child, Hall advises keeping the conversation upbeat.

"Sleepovers are generally exciting," she says, which is why you should focus on the positives.

Gently remind your child about the strategies you have in place, "Then go back to feeling excited!"

How have you dealt with sleepovers and a child who wets the bed?

*Names have been changed