Tackling bedwetting these holidays

Holiday series #3: Tips for managing sleepovers

The school holidays is a time for sleepovers and trips away with family and friends, and for many children this means lots of fun and adventures. However for children who wet the bed, the idea of sleepovers can be a source of anxiety, and may cause them to avoid such events altogether.

If your child wets the bed, there are a number of ways to help make these occasions less stressful, so they don’t miss out on the fun of spending time with their friends, which is an important part of growing up.

Practice scenarios

One way to help your child feel more prepared is to practice possible scenarios before a sleepover or school camp. For example, where is the best place to keep their spare pyjamas or pull-ups? Or, could they have an “early” alarm set to wake to dispose of or pack away any products? This sort of information is also helpful to share with the supervising adult.

Chat to the supervising adult

Be sure to let the adult supervising know that bedwetting may occur. This will prepare them for any specific toilet routines your child may have, and help them understand what they can do to help.  For example, younger kids may need more help cleaning up whereas older kids may only need help if they ask. The Continence Foundation of Australia’s Tips for Supervising Someone Else's Child can support you with these discussions if needed.

Come prepared!

Some items to consider including in your child’s pack are a sleeping bag (discreetly lined with bed pads), pull-ups, zip-lock bags, an identical pair of spare pyjamas, a change of underwear, wipes to hide odour, and a torchlight (for getting up to go to the toilet at night). It’s also worth ensuring your child feels well prepared by orientating them with their new environment, so they know exactly how to get to the toilet during the night without getting lost.

Get the right advice

You can speak to your doctor or continence professional for advice on how to help make sleepovers less stressful. To help start these conversations, we have created a checklist to help guide the discussions with your doctor. In addition, the Continence Foundation of Australia also has resources on their website including Tips for Bedwetting Children Who Want to Enjoy a Sleepover.


  1. The Continence Foundation of Australia. Sleepover stressbusters. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/news.php/254/bed-wetting-sleepover-stress-busters (Last accessed 19 Dec 2016)
  2. The Continence Foundation of Australia. Tips for sleepovers and camps. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/pages/tips-for-bedwetting-children-who-want-to-enjoy-a-sleepover-or-school-camp.html (Last accessed 19 Dec 2016)
  3. The Continence Foundation of Australia. Tips for supervising someone else’s child. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/resources.php/01tA0000001b1cIIAQ/tips-for-supervising-someone-elses-child  (Last accessed 19 Dec 2016)
  4. The Continence Foundation of Australia. Tips for bedwetting children who want to enjoy a sleepover. Available online: http://www.continence.org.au/resources.php/01tA0000001b1cHIAQ/tips-for-bedwetting-children-who-want-to-enjoy-a-sleepover  (Last accessed 19 Dec 2016)
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1. Myint M et al. J Pediatr Urol 2016;12:112e1-112e6