Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Potty training: when to start?

I suppose it must be the fact that we're looking after the grandchildren that has made me ponder on the big questions in life: and probably one of the biggest for all "new parents" is:

When do I potty train my little angel?

From distant memory, I seem to recollect that with child number one, everything was so new and seemed so difficult, and we were so immature and confused by this little human who was nothing like anybody we had ever met before: tiny, totally dependent, and who cried for Australia at the most illogical times! As well as that, we felt really inadequate because peers of mine reported with smug smiles that "their child" slept all through the night the day after they brought "it" home from hospital, and that they had potty trained their infants by the age of 6 months! History reveals, that 3 days after bringing their pride and joy home, they were up 3 times a night for the next 2 years: and the hope of potty training disappeared within 2 weeks, not to reappear for a further 12 months!

By the time number four had come along, we were much more experienced at all this child rearing challenge and we had reached the conclusion that as long as the child was toilet independent by the time they reached high school, then we would be happy! I am pleased to report that he was. But scientists have now put a figure on the age when parents should introduce toilet training to their infant: the experts have declared that "Toilet training should be started when both the child and parents are ready. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Paediatric Society recommend starting when a child is 18 months old and shows interest in the process."

I like the bit where they state that both the child and the parents should be ready: and although there are no studies to assess the various merits of different types of potty training, it may well be that the carrot and stick approach doesn't give high achieving parents an edge, when it comes to attaining toilet independence for their budding high achieving child; because "In reality, toilet training is a complex process that can be affected by anatomic, physiologic and behavioural conditions."

So 18 months seems like a good ball park figure: the experts seem happy with it: but at the end of the day, it's really up to the parents and infant: good luck!
Ampersands & angle brackets need to be encoded.

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