Are bedwetters simply lazy?

Bedwetter lazy sleeping

Parents’ beliefs about bedwetting and bedwetters are extremely important. Their knowledge and understanding of bedwetting can shape the way they help their child. 

A study carried out by the Urology Department, University of California found that 26% of parents thought their child wet the bed because they were lazy! Because of this belief, these parents are more likely to become frustrated and angry with their child’s behaviour, which can cause the child to feel a further sense of failure and shame.  So, do children wet the bed on purpose? 

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Children don't wet the bed on purpose

All children hate wetting the bed, even if they don’t show any concern. It is embarrassing, it prevents sleepovers and disrupts sleep. They have no idea why they do it or how to stop.  It is for this reason that punishing your child or sticker charts aren’t particularly effective. 

Children aren’t lazy or doing it on purpose if they are wetting the bed when asleep, or, if they are unable to wake up sufficiently to go to the toilet.

Sometimes they may look awake when they are peeing, but usually, the child isn’t sufficiently awake to get to the toilet in time.  Research has shown that bedwetters tend to find it difficult to arouse fully from sleep to get to the toilet in time. 

Parental shame

Parent embarrassment can also be significant, and this may prevent some families ever talking about it, going to the doctor, or looking into effective treatments.

Many parents believe their four, five or six year old should be dry by now (especially when the first day of school looms), and they can put a tremendous amount of pressure on their child to become dry. This pressure can be counterproductive, especially if started at a very young age.

To complicate matters, this fear of shame can extend beyond parents to peers: older children around the ages of nine and ten may already be facing anxiety about being ridiculed by classmates at school camp, potentially compounding the issue further.  

Lack of awareness

In the aforementioned study, there was a lack of awareness of the causes of bedwetting and 72% of the parents didn’t realise that there are products that can be very effective to help stop bedwetting.

Of course, some parents just hope their child will grow out of it, and some will, but others won’t grow out of it for years.

Only 55% of these families reported they would seek medical help to investigate the bedwetting. Yet it is important to realise that sometimes there are underlying medical reasons for bedwetting, therefore, is prudent to go to your doctor to rule this out.

At Stay Dry at Night, we believe in compassion and a holistic approach towards bedwetting. Please visit our 11 Ways to Help Your Child Stop Wetting the Bed page for more tips!


As bedwetting is an unconscious behaviour, it is very unlikely that any child routinely wets the bed out of laziness or wets the bed on purpose.

Understanding that bedwetting is something your child cannot help, and that there are viable products and techniques that can either reduce the bedwetting or, stop it completely, can be very reassuring for the whole family.

Do you think your child is a lazy bedwetter?  Do you agree?  Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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