Protecting the bed
Covers to protect the mattress, pillows, blankets, duvet and sleeping bag come in a range of sizes, styles and fabrics. The best quality mattress cover you can afford is a good investment. (All children may have the occasional accident.) This will help to minimise stains, and save on the cost of replacing a soiled mattress. Covers which go all round the mattress are better for restless children and for long term use.
Plastic (PVC) covers on top of the mattress are cheaper and easier to find. Some have tapes or elasticated sides. They can make a child sweat and after several washes may become hard, crackle and split. They are useful for occasional use and sleeping away from home, but are not good for children using enuresis alarms.
So-called breathable fabrics allow the air to circulate between the waterproof seal and mattress or bedding so sweat evaporates. Many covers are machine washable. Covers which can be sponged cut down on laundry.
As an alternative to body-worn pads, there are bedpads which absorb large quantities of urine. They are placed over the bottom sheet. The child lies naked from the waist down so the pad can absorb the urine and the skin remain dry. You should still use protective covers on other bedding. Washable bedpads without a waterproof layer dry quicker and may last longer. Use them with a separate waterproof undercover.
Protective pillow, mattress and duvet covers
- Mattress, pillow and duvet covers can be made-to-measure.
- Check the labelling - not all materials are 100% waterproof.
- A lightweight, non-rustle, water-repellent, 'breathable' fabric is more comfortable.
- Machine wash or sponge clean and dry covers thoroughly before putting on clean bedding. This reduces smells and makes covers last longer.
- Use duvet or blanket covers for boys who sleep on their back.
Next Page: Disposable and washable pads