Travelling Tips for Parents with a Bedwetter
Bedwetting is one of those things that is incredibly frustrating because you can’t necessarily prevent it, and you can’t even get mad when it happens. Within the walls of your own home, you have certain routines that you follow when an accident happens, but all of that goes out the window when you’re on the road.
*cue Willie Nelson* “On the road again! Doo doo doo doodoo doo!”
(Pixabay / Pexels)
You might be surprised to learn that, while most kids are daytime potty trained by four years old, it’s not uncommon for a six, seven, or eight year old to have nighttime accidents. In fact, nighttime bedwetting accidents sometimes happen to kids pushing 12 years old!
So what are you supposed to do when your child is going to summer camp, or you’re going over the river and through the wood’s to grandmother’s house? Bedwetting is a deeply personal experience, and kids often feel huge amounts of guilt and shame when accidents happen. In your own home, it’s fairly easy to clean up while maintaining your child’s privacy and dignity because you know where the new sheets, cleaning supplies, and mattress protectors are (and can probably find them in your sleep). In a hotel room or at a relative’s house, you probably don’t have that luxury, so if you’re not prepared, a small accident can turn into a big, embarrassing ordeal.
Late Night Wake Up
Especially after a long day out on the town, your child might drink a lot of fluids at dinner, so even if you remind them to go before bed, they might not be able to hold it until morning. To counteract this, plan a late-night wake-up call where you walk your sleepy child to the potty to prevent an accident. Make sure that the path is clear before turning in for the night so that your child can get to and from the toilet quickly and easily.
There are several different brands of absorbent sleeping pads on the market that you can put both in a car seat (for those long car naps) and on top of the bed that your child will sleep in. You can use some of the name brand pads, but you can also find smaller, less expensive absorbent pads in the puppy training section of the supermarket. These pads are thin and absorbent, and when you put a small blanket or sheet over the top of them, they are almost unnoticeable.
Overnight (or bedtime) pants are kind of like kid-sized pull-ups but with extra absorbency. It’s easy enough to discreetly pack a few pairs, and if your kid doesn’t end up having an accident in them, that just gives you a reason to celebrate! If your child does end up using them, at least they’re easy to clean up and have a low profile.
Peejamas are a newer nighttime potty training tool, but they are just as (if not more!) effective than these other methods. They look and feel like comfy PJs, and their extra absorbent fabric soaks up nighttime accidents. With these training pants, there’s nothing to do in the morning but either pack them into a resealable bag or throw them in the laundry if you have access. The great thing about this product is that they don’t generate waste the way that disposable pads and overnight pants do, and they only take up as much space in your suitcase as a regular pair of pajamas.
With your other trip essentials, you should also pack several resealable bags to put wet blankets, underwear, and pajamas in until you can do a load of laundry. You can also have a few resealable bags pre-packed with a new pair of undies and pajamas so that you aren’t hunting around in your suitcase by cell phone light in the middle of the night. By having everything already gathered and in a Ziploc, you can simply grab the bag with clean clothes and store the soiled ones in the same place.
Another good thing to bring is a small nightlight to help your child find the way to the bathroom in the dark. Trying to find the toilet in an unfamiliar place is hard enough, but when you add darkness into the mix, it can be downright impossible!
And of course, make a plan of action before you turn in for the night. Privately pull your child to the side and walk through the path to the bathroom, where the change of clothes is, and where your room is located (if you’re not sleeping in the same place). Be calm, reassuring, and patient as you walk through your plan of action, and if your kid needs you in the middle of the night, keep the grumbles to yourself.
Like we said before, nighttime bedwetting can put a serious damper on an overnight trip, but it doesn’t have to be such a negative experience. With a little bit of planning and some helpful tools, you and your child can make some great traveling memories and minimize the bedwetting stress.