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02nd Feb 2024

Doctor explains why you shouldn’t rush potty training

What do you think the right age is?


Potty training is no easy task, but there’s one mistake many parents make when starting the process.

Many mums and dads are keen to get the whole process over with as quickly as possible but starting toilet training before your little one is physically, mentally, and emotionally ready can be harmful on many levels.

Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist, warns that children who start toilet training before the age of two have a three times higher risk of developing daytime wetting problems later on:

“Parents who toilet train their children early to meet preschool or créche deadlines, or because they think toddlers are easier to train should know there can be serious repercussions.”

Dr. Hodges says that early toilet trainers are more prone to later problems because they are more likely to “hold” their poo or wee:

“When children hold their poo, it backs up in the rectum. The enlarged rectum presses against the bladder, reducing its capacity and causing the nerves feeding the bladder to go haywire.

“Research has shown that bladder growth continues in children up to the point of toilet training. Uninhibited peeing and pooping in nappies appear to be more beneficial to bladder development.

“In my practice, it’s often the children who trained earliest and most easily who end up with the most severe problems with going to the toilet.”


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