Practical tips for managing your child’s incontinence

It’s reassuring to hear from someone who has been there, done that, and experienced what you’re going through. Since bed-wetting and incontinence isn’t spoken so openly about, it’s can be it difficult to get this type of friendly advice. To help, below you’ll find a collection of helpful tips from fellow parents and teachers, as well as healthcare professionals.

Pre-bed time routines

If your child has bed-wetting issues, a good pre-bed time routine can help; 
  • Establish a healthy and regular eating and drinking habit throughout the day. 
  • Ensure your child goes to the toilet before they get into bed. 
  • A bed-wetting alarm could also be worth exploring when it comes to minimizing night time accidents.

Make sure they’re drinking enough water

If your child shows signs of constipation this should be treated since constipation can also put pressure on the bladder and cause bed-wetting. So it’s important to make sure your child has a healthy diet and regular bowel movements. 
If you child has an excessive thirst and bladder emptying difficulties, it’s a good idea to speak to your doctor to health care professional.

Prepare spare bedding

Keep a spare set of bedlinen, pyjamas and a duvet handy in your child’s room for midnight changes. It will help when you’re woken up and sleepy during the night, and help to make the accident less of a big deal for everyone.

Invest in a mattress protector

An TENA under pad (mattress protector) is a great way to protect your child’s bed from a bed-wetting accident. You can even prepare the bed for a possible change by fitting one sheet, then the protective under sheet and then another sheet on top. This way when you need to change the bed, it’s already half done – you remove the damp top sheet and protector.  

Neutralise odours

Odour can raise suspicions and make children feel self-conscious and embarrassed. These days, modern incontinence products feature odour neutralisers to keep children feeling comfortable, even after an accident. 
To find out what products best suit your child, view the full TENA product range for children.

Curb teasing

Kids can be unkind to each other, especially when it comes to bed-wetting. So it’s important to explain (not by telling off) that everyone has differences; some are short-sighted, some have allergies etc. Remind children that everyone develops at different rates and that is not something they can control. However, being nice to people and helping them is within everyone’s control.

Get other adults on board

Tell teachers, or parents of your child’s friends, about your child’s bladder issues when in their care. This way they can be your back-up, and provide support for your child. It could be ensuring they have easy access to the toilet, or making up a code word in the case that they wet the bed during a sleepover. Another good idea is to pack a spare pair of pants in their gym kit or school bag.

Sleep overs and school camps

It’s a good idea to invest in a washable sleeping bag for your child. Then when packing for camp or a sleep over, hide an incontinence product in your child’s sleeping bag, or pyjamas, so they can secretly change when they go to bed. 
If needed, talk with the other parents, teachers or carers who will be looking after your child, so together you can come up with a bedtime strategy. It could be that they wake up your child before they go to bed, so they can go to the toilet again. Or they could conveniently place incontinence products in the bathroom so your child can easily find them. Often teachers and other parents have managed bed-wetting issues before, so they might even be able to suggest new strategies that can help you out at home.

Having friends around

To prevent any unnecessary embarrassment for your child, check the bed to make sure it’s clean. If your child is worried about an accident in front of friends, wearing an incontinent product that suits their needs, can help them to relax and enjoy their play date to the full.

Bladder weakness in teenagers

When it comes to teenagers, little leaks after laughing is nothing unusual for girls – it’s something that often disappears on its own accord. However, it’s still a delicate and potentially embarrassing situation, so help your teenage by providing a discreet incontinent product that they can use – this this can help reduce the risk of irritation and neutralise odour. If either one of you thinks that it’s a urinary tract infection, make an appointment at your doctor’s to check it out.
For discreet protection for your teenager, view the Lights by TENA range. If you are looking for tips and advice for caring for a child or teenager with needs, you’ll find more information over on Family Carer.