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Toddlers Should Not be Forced Into Potty Training

Update Date: Jul 21, 2012 02:22 PM EDT
Potty Training
Potty Training (Photo : FLickr)

This is one discipline act that may boomerang.  A latest study wants parents trying to pressurizing their child in potty training at a very early stage, to rethink. The study says that forcing a child to potty train before the age of three could be harmful, and may cause more bedwetting or bowel accidents in future. 

According to Dr Steve Hodges, a professor at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, it takes some time for a child to completely develop and gain full control of the bladder. And if the child is forced to toilet train before that happens the bladder may not be strong enough and this may result in more bowel accidents. 

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Other consequences of early toilet training include constipation, kidney damage and even urinary tract infections resulting from the fact that toddlers try to hold their bowel movements longer than they should. 

"Children under age three should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds," Dr Hodges said to Babble.com.

Dr Hodges has written a book "It's No Accident," to slash the myth that children should be toilet trained at the earliest.

According to him, toddlers need to experience 'uninhibited voiding' or elimination, in such a way that their body responds to the urges in a judicious manner. Babies should be brought to the bathrooms only after they reach this stage. 

"Virtually all toileting problems - pee and poop accidents, bedwetting, urinary frequency, and urinary tract infections - are related to chronically holding pee or poop or both," Hodges writes.

"It's typically the kids who trained earliest and most easily who develop the most serious problems."

Dr Hodges said that half of his patients who have toileting issues were trained before the age of three.

According to the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, the number of children visiting physicians for constipation has increased 4 times in the last 10 years, reports Mail Online.

"Children under age three should not manage their own toileting habits any more than they should manage their college funds," Hodges says.

"Since parents tend to believe potty problems are normal, many don't bother bringing their kids to the doctor," Hodges pointed out, adding that parents should wait for their children to at least turn 3 or 4 years old before they potty train them. 

According to health website WebMD, a child must be both physically and emotionally ready before being toilet trained. 

They need to be able to control their bowel and bladder muscles and parents can look for the signs if the children are ready when children start having bowel movements around the same time each day. Another sign is when a child stops having bowel movements at night. Also, a child must be able to climb, talk and must have mastered other basic motor skills before they can use the toilet by themselves.

 

 

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