Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Potty Training - Is Two the Golden Rule?

Toddler Toilet Training - Is Two the Golden Rule?

Recently my newly two year old and I began the path of toilet training. In looking for answers about the perfect age to train I came across the following:

Starting Before Two

Parents who have to meet a toilet training deadline for preschool can find relief knowing that children can communicate potty needs as early as 3 months. In several studies reported on children who, as young as 3 months, were trained how to control their bladders on cue. In a 2011 study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal results were inconclusive regarding the best age to train. The researchers shared that toilet training is a complex process affected by physical, cognitive and behavioral conditions. The authors did however issue a call to further explore urinary tract infections and daytime wetting as a negative outcome of starting after the age of two. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends starting toilet training as early as 18 months old for a child shows an interest in the process.

Starting After Two

Researchers at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School completed a study in 2010 and suggested the ideal age range to begin toilet training as 2 and 2 years 8 months. This particular study found that starting after 2 but before 3 was more important than how a child was trained. A study by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center found that children who are potty-trained before 2 were at an increased risk of later wetting problems. In addition, this study found that early trainers were three times more likely to complain of constipation than those who started later.

The Mayo Clinic suggests waiting until the child is two and:
·         shows an interest in the toilet or wearing underwear;
·         is able to follow basic instructions;
·         is able to show or tell you when they need to go;
·         is able to stay dry for at least two hours during the day;
·         is uncomfortable in dirty or wet diapers;
·         is able to pull down his or her pants and pull them up again and  
·         can sit on and get up from the toilet.

In summary, there is nothing magical about the age two. If parents opt to train early or late and are meticulous about making sure their children go on a regular schedule training will be successful.
Parents should start when both the parent and the child is ready. Parents should also be empowered to take a break and start again if they believe to have started too early.

Happy Parenting!


Visit the articles cited below for more information about the recommendations mentioned in this blog.

Articles Cited

  1. Canadian Medical Association Journal. (2011, August 9). When and how to toilet train children. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110808124236.htm
  2. Kaerts, N., Van Hal, G., Vermandel, A., & Wyndaele, J. J. (2012). Readiness signs used to define the proper moment to start toilet training: a review of the literature. Neurourology and urodynamics, 31(4), 437-440.
  3. Mayo Clinic (2014). Infant and toddler Health. Potty training: How to get the job done. Mayo Center Staff. Retrieved October 10, 2014 from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/infant-and-toddler-health/in-depth/potty-training/art-20045230
  4. Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. (2010, January 11). Best time to toilet train children pinpointed through research. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100109230611.htm

  5. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. (2014, October 7). Potty training before age two linked to increased risk of later wetting problems. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/10/141007091657.htm


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