The scenario I hear a lot is, “he’s in Boy Scouts now and wants to go on their camping trips, what do we do?” If you are working through the Time to be Dry program and not quite dry, what do you do about sleepovers?  This question can often come with a lot of emotions because as we all know, kids can be cruel and parents are trying to protect their child from ridicule.  Here are a few tips I give my families.

Medicines for Sleepovers

I get asked to prescribe medicines for sleepovers only.  Bedwetting medications are not 100% effective in every child.  Using desmopressin (DDAVP) for only sleepovers can be dangerous if you are not there to monitor their fluid intake.  If you will be with your child and you are interested in trying desmopressin, try several nights at home to see if it works for your child.  Remember, stop drinking 1 hour before taking the medication and do NOT drink after taking the desmopressin.  (This is why it difficult to take at sleepovers if no one is monitoring your child’s fluid intake.). I also highly suggest a backup plan to use with the medication.  If your child is not consistently taking desmopressin and waking up dry.  They should wear some sort of pull-up or incontinence pad.

Bring a pad/pull-up, plastic bag, and a towel

There are 2 ways to discretely wear a pad or pull up at a sleepover.  You can either have your child be the last child to change their clothes in the bathroom.  Bring your bag that has their pull-up, pajamas and a plastic bag in it. Then have them go right into their sleeping bag, so no one notices the extra bulk in their pants. Also, have them wear loose-fitting pajama bottoms.  First thing in the morning change in the bathroom, place the pull up in a plastic bag and bring it home.

Another option is to pack a pull-up or pad into the sleeping bag and a plastic bag. Have your child slip into the pull up after lights out and all of the other children have gone to bed. Then have your child slip out of it first thing in the morning and tie it up into the plastic bag and bring it home.  Have your child practice this at home.  You can even have them sleep in a sleeping bag at home to make sure they can pull off a wet pad or pull up in the morning while being in their sleeping bag.

Make sure the sleeping bag has an extra towel tucked in it if your child is prone to leaking and for extra protection. Have them place a folded towel underneath them, inside their sleeping bag before falling asleep.


I think it’s incredibly important that you keep their wetting a private issue.  Telling other parents may not be appropriate.  If they are staying with a close friend of yours, it might be reasonable but if not, I wouldn’t mention the problem to their friend’s parent.  You don’t know if that parent is going to share this information with their child.  Again, kids can be cruel. This is why I have my patients take their wet pull-ups home.  Placing it discretely in the garbage might still be noticed by others.  I’ve had kids stay at our home that wear pull-ups.  They placed the wet pull up in a bathroom we rarely use.  Once a pull up has sat for 2 weeks in a garbage can, it starts to smell.  You don’t want to be a topic of discussion among your child’s friends. 

Talk to your child about privacy but not feeling shame.  You can say “This is a private problem and you shouldn’t feel bad about it.  Your friends don’t need to know that you are wearing a pull-up, so this is how we are going to keep it private.”

Make sure you practice how to do this so they can feel confident at their next sleepover.

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