Better Late Than Early?

Better Late Than Early?

Better Late Than Early?

When is the best age to start toilet learning in children? A study published in the April 2003 issue of Pediatrics reports that starting intensive toilet training before 27 monthsdid nothing to hasten the time that toilet learning was completed – all it did was to lengthen the months of toilet learning. Intensive toilet training was defined as asking the child more than 3 times a day to use the toilet.

This study was conducted by researchers from Children’s Hospital Philadelphia among hundreds of middle-class children living in the Philadelphia suburbs. The results might have been quite different in other groups or in other countries. Even in similar groups, individual children mature at different rates and in different ways. Still, this report reminds us that kids will learn to use the potty when they are ready, and not before. Our job us to teach them and support them, not to force them.

Dr. Alan Greene

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Dr. Greene is the founder of DrGreene.com (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

 

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