Bedwetting Tips: What about Traveling?

By: Sue LaPointe

You’ve been around the block a few times with this whole enuresis thing if your child has been at it for a few years. You’ve got the drill down cold – taking care of the laundry, protecting your child’s skin, protecting your mattress, steering this sleepy child to the bathroom for one last pee. That is, you’ve got the drill down cold… at home. What about if you had to take this show on the road? The very thought might strike fear in your heart. You might be tempted to stay home until your child either outgrows this challenge – or leaves home and can take care of it without you.

You could do that, but your family would really miss out on some incredible memories – some time together that’s impossible to replace if you let it slip past you.

With a few handy tips, you can take the show on the road – and not leave a path of pee destruction in your wake. It just takes some advanced planning, some advice from someone who’s traveled that road before you. Fasten your seatbelts, and let’s go!

• Plan ahead! If you’re staying at a hotel, reserve a roll-away bed for your room. Many hotels provide a roll-away for free – some charge a nominal fee. You won’t have to worry about ruining a full-sized or (gasp!) king-sized mattress. You’ll also enjoy a more peaceful vacation, because the kids won’t spend the whole time fighting about who’s got to share a bed with the one who wets. Of course, they’ll find tons of other things to fight about… but at least not this issue.

• Make a quick stop before you settle in – or even better, shop before you leave home. Pick up a good plastic mattress cover and remake the bed before you even unpack. Your roll-away bed is probably a twin size, or a little smaller – so a twin mattress cover will do nicely. You can probably pick one up for $5 or less, but you’ll get a hundred times that much back in peace of mind. You’ll know that even if your child floods the bed, the mattress will be protected – and you won’t end up paying for damage. Same thing if you’re visiting relatives. The last thing you’d want to do is damage their mattress. This little piece of plastic will put everyone’s mind at ease.

• If your child will be sleeping in a sleeping bag, you may have some luck with a waterproof sleeping bag liner. You can get a set of four for less than $20 that are made of mylar (like the balloon). Slip one into a sleeping bag, and even if your child has an accident, the sleeping bag and everything around it will stay dry. Just wash the liner and lay it out to dry the next morning.

• Don’t forget your first line of defense – protective underwear (GoodNites or some other brand of pull-ups). Nobody even has to know your child is wearing pull-ups. Just have him or her wear boxers or shorts on top of them, and maybe some sweatpants if it’s cold. This allows for protection and dignity all wrapped up in one clever tip.

• Even if you don’t usually do this at home, during a trip away from home, be sure to have your child visit the bathroom several times before bedtime. Paired with the benefit of sleeping in a strange place (which somehow magically seems to help kids stay dry – does this mean we should just move every other night or so?!), you may get really lucky. They may fight and fuss, but it’s a sure bet you’ll hear tinkling and flushing – in spite of all the protests of, “I just went!"

Will these tips make your trip around the world or just to Grandma’s a piece of cake? Probably not – half the thrill of travel is all the unexpected things that happen, after all. Traveling with kids is always an adventure. But it’s worth it. You’ll be amazed at how your family will talk about these treks long after you get back home. You may find that some of your happiest memories as a family were about your time on the road. Come on! Be brave. Be prepared. And have a wonderful trip. Send a postcard!

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