My children have past the bedwetting stage now so I don’t tend to think much about that time in our lives anymore – until recently when my 8 year old had a friend from her school over to have a sleepover.
The Mum was pleased that her 8 year daughter had said yes to the this sleepover because recently she had been turning them down due to her still, at times, wetting the bed overnight. I felt very privileged that this young girl felt comfortable enough with us to come and stay. That got me thinking about how to ‘manage’ this situation with her and my daughter to ensure that it was comfortable and memorable (for all the right reasons!) sleepover for our young friend. I had not been in a situation of having to discuss bed wetting with older children. Looking at statistics on bed wetting, 10% of children at the age of 5 will be wetting the bed and at age 10 there will be approximately 5% that still wet at night.
So, that afternoon our young friend turned up at our house with her pjs, teddy, toothbrush and Brolly Sheet Bed Pad with wings, which pleased me immensely for two reasons. The first was because I am a proud employee of the company and secondly I didn’t have anything remotely useful in my house that I could use as bedding protection!
The girls decided they were going to make up the sofa bed to watch a movie and then sleep overnight there. Both girls were helping me make the bed and we popped the Bed Pad with wings over the fitted sheet, tucked it in so I dropped into the conversation that this was a ‘special sheet’ that our friend likes to sleep on and she would share it with my daughter that night.
After a quiet word in my daughters ear about the possibility that her friend may wet the bed overnight and what actions and support could we offer her friend if that did happen, away they both went, shut the door and ignored me for the rest of the night until the movie finished!
When it was time to go to sleep – well lights out – I spoke to our young friend about where I would be sleeping in the night, where the bathroom was and that she could come and get me at any stage if she needed anything. I didn’t want to put the words ‘wet bed’ into the conversation so I walked away wondering if I had been too subtle in my approach. The Continence Association also recommend a similar approach when hosting sleepovers. I would recommend that communication is the key between both families and go with your own instincts of how much you tell your own children about their friends’ situation. In my case the girls were sleeping on the one sofa bed so I felt I needed to make my daughter aware, however if they were in separate beds then perhaps I wouldn’t have said anything. Whatever approach you take I’m sure you will handle the situation with dignity and compassion – here’s to happy sleepovers, whatever the outcome.