The Effective Strategies to Potty Train: What Scientific Studies Suggest

Based on the results of various empirical studies, here are some suggestions.

Timing of initiating training: Even though the initiation of training can be started as early as 18 months, it is flexible and you can wait until the child is ready, which is usually around 18-24 months. Don’t start potty training until the child displays the appropriate gross motor skills of walking and sitting, psychological readiness, a desire for self-mastery, as well as language skills. However, the training has to be no later than 32 months, otherwise it may be related to incontinence in the following years. Intensive training has to wait until 27 months. If you start intensive training before 27 months, you can’t finish it any earlier. Nighttime training shouldn’t start until after 30 months. (Please refer to another question about the timing of potty training for more details).

The strategy of training: both “Child-oriented” (CO) and Foxx and Azrin’s “(FA) Methods of Toilet Training” are effective. The CO approach can start earlier, between 18 and 24 months, but takes longer to finish, whereas FA is faster and more regimented, which may be not suitable for some children. In addition, in a survey of 103 pediatricians, 72% endorsed the CO approach and did not recommend intensive toilet training. The pediatricians suggested that parents can initiate children's interest in the toilet but should wait until the child exhibits interest as one of the top criteria for beginning toilet training.

The following is a quotation from an empirical study explaining the CO approach: "At approximately 18 months of age, parents may introduce a potty chair/seat. When the parent uses the toilet, the fully clothed child sits on their ‘potty’ and is allowed to leave it at will. After one to two weeks cooperation, the child’s diaper is removed when sitting on the potty. When the child is comfortable with the potty and eliminates in their diaper, the child is taken to the potty and the diaper is emptied into the potty. The parent then explains that bowel movements belong in the potty. If the child appears to understand, the child sits on the potty several times a day. As interest grows, the child’s diapers and pants are removed for short periods, placed near the potty and encouraged to use it at will and independently. If the child is progressing, initiate training pants. Nap and night training is accomplished later if it does not occur simultaneously with daytime control” (Lang, 2008).

Created on November 21 2015 at 08: 00 AM


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Details of Scientific Answers: Click on each bullet to Read References

References:

1: "Results Of A Questionnaire Evaluating The Effects Of Different Methods Of Toilet Training On Achieving Bladder Control," BJU, 2002, by E Bakker, JD Van Gool, M Van Sprundel. (Citations: 33).

Results Two groups of children were identified, one with no lower urinary tract symptoms (3404) and one with complaints of daytime and night-time wetting, and urinary tract infections (928). The groups were termed the 'control' and 'symptom' groups, respectively. There ...


References:

1: "Later Toilet Training Is Associated With Urge Incontinence In Children," Journal Of Pediatric Urology, 2009, by JG Barone, N Jasutkar, D Schneider. (Citations: 29).

OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine if later toilet training is associated with urge incontinence in children. METHODS: We used a casecontrol study design to yield level 2 evidence. RESULTS: Initiation of toilet training after 32 months of age was ...


References:

1: "Relationship Between Age At Initiation Of Toilet Training And Duration Of Training: A Prospective Study," Pediatrics, 2003, by NJ Blum, B Taubman, N Nemeth. (Citations: 167).

Objective. To study the relationship between age at initiation of toilet training, age at completion of toilet training, and the duration of toilet training. Methods. A total of 406 children seen at a suburban private pediatric practice were enrolled in a study of toilet ...


References:

1: "Relationship Between Age At Initiation Of Toilet Training And Duration Of Training: A Prospective Study," Pediatrics, 2003, by NJ Blum, B Taubman, N Nemeth. (Citations: 167).

Objective. To study the relationship between age at initiation of toilet training, age at completion of toilet training, and the duration of toilet training. Methods. A total of 406 children seen at a suburban private pediatric practice were enrolled in a study of toilet ...


2: "Results Of A Questionnaire Evaluating The Effects Of Different Methods Of Toilet Training On Achieving Bladder Control," BJU, 2002, by E Bakker, JD Van Gool, M Van Sprundel. (Citations: 33).

Results Two groups of children were identified, one with no lower urinary tract symptoms (3404) and one with complaints of daytime and night-time wetting, and urinary tract infections (928). The groups were termed the 'control' and 'symptom' groups, respectively. There ...


References:

1: "Among Healthy Children, What Toilet-Training Strategy Is Most Effective And Prevents Fewer Adverse Events (Stool Withholding And Dysfunctional Voiding)?: Part B," Paediatrics & Child Health, 2008, by ME Lang. (Citations: 11).

There was no difference in the number of children who developed stool toileting refusal, but duration of the refusal was significantly longer in the control group (7.3 versus 5.1 months). No significant differences were found between the groups in the incidence of stool ...


References:

1: "Toilet Training In Primary Care: Current Practice And Recommendations From Behavioral Pediatrics," Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics , 2002, by J Polaha, WJ Warzak. (Citations: 22).

ABSTRACT. This article is the first to evaluate pediatricians'(1) current practices regarding recommendations for toilet training typically developing first-time learners and (2) opinions on an intensive procedure for rapid toilet training. Results of surveys obtained from 103 ...


References:

1: "Among Healthy Children, What Toilet-Training Strategy Is Most Effective And Prevents Fewer Adverse Events (Stool Withholding And Dysfunctional Voiding)?: Part B," Paediatrics & Child Health, 2008, by ME Lang. (Citations: 11).

There was no difference in the number of children who developed stool toileting refusal, but duration of the refusal was significantly longer in the control group (7.3 versus 5.1 months). No significant differences were found between the groups in the incidence of stool ...



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