Dealing with the concerns of children in between zero and three years of age can be nightmare for many families. The research indicates that there are 5 million children in this age group which suffer from infections due to frequent accidents within USA (Hodges, 2012). Considering the young age and the complete dependency of very small kids on the care givers, it is even essential that there be some sort of assistance for the families and caretakers who look after the small children.
Every single child is different. While some of them get potty trained even before they are one, few of them take time with their toilet training, and are not ready even until the age of 4 years (Ketola, 2009). Forcing the child or intimidating him with the after effects aggravates the problem.
Potty training at very young age has serious impact on the child’s health when attempts to behave against his bladder’s natural phenomenon. It leads to the serious problem as he grows, and is most vulnerable to frequent urination, dysfunctional voiding and UTIs between the age of 7 and 12 years (Hodges, 2012).
On the contrary, potty training at a very late age contributes to symptoms like inferiority complex in children, constipation, shying away from public, malnutrition and skin infections (Vermandel, Weyler, De Wachter & Wyndaele, 2008). Families which are forced to potty train their children either due to their own will or the rules imposed by elementary schools in their places also turn out to be the victims finally. Thus, it is of utmost priority that parents and caregivers understand the psychological state of children before coming to the conclusion on ‘when’ to start with potty training.
Children when potty trained at an age that is either too early or too late, cannot bear the implications of cleanliness, bladder fill or infections. As they get habitual of using toilets for their natural needs, they also learn how to resist the release of pee or poop for long. This results in thickening of bladder. Over the time, the bladder muscles get so thick that they force the bladder to empty itself, resulting in involuntary urination.
The risks associated with potty training at the wrong age seem to justify themselves with over 5 million cases of UTI registered this year worldwide (Hodges, 2012). The only way out is to educate the families on the subject and urge schools to co-operate with kids and understand the psychological state of mind they are in. School authorities MUST take the figures into consideration seriously and modify their strict policies which are followed without considering the young minds.
The best way suggested by the experts is to look for the signs of readiness that your toddler shows ('Potty training questions answered', 2010). Here are some indicators which may help with deciding if it is time to start with training the little one for using toilet independently:
- If the child stays dry for 2 to 3 hours, it is good time to implement the toilet training habit. Parents who struggle to keep a continuous watch on the child may fix on some arbitrary intervals when they may take their young ones to the toilet as a part of the training (Stockman, 2010).
- The biggest problem with pursuing very young children to start using toilet is their lack of interest. According to a study, the small children resist breaking their routine play for sake of getting up and using the toilet (Sullivan, 2011). Thus, is the child imitates adults and asks to use the toilet for his need, it is an ideal opportunity for parents to hit the start button for toilet training.
- Very young children usually do not care when their diapers get soiled. Rarely when the child immediately rushes to inform the parents or an adult caregiver to have it replaced, it is time that he may be offered assistance with his potty training (Stockman, 2010). Usually, this is the stage when the child seems conscious enough about hygiene factors and cleanliness.
- There is a stage when the children get too sensitive about telling somebody that they need to pee or poop. They turn to a quiet corner though for the needed release. This is a clear indication that the child must be permitted and trained to use his own potty when he is in need of that.
- Children’s interest in learning ‘new’ habits is to be considered the positive phase of growth. Children are usually anxious about everything new around them, but often lose interest too quickly in a single task. Their inclination towards learning new habits must be treated as the time that they start with an essential milestone of their lives, their potty training.
The following resources are the peer reviewed journals on Potty Training practices which can work as the guide to families facing the problem:
Duong, T., Jansson, U., & Hellstrom, A. (2013). Vietnamese mothers' experiences with potty training procedure for children from birth to 2 years of age. Journal Of Pediatric Urology, 9(6), 808-814. doi:10.1016/j.jpurol.2012.10.023
Ketola, T. (2009). Potty-training companies: applying Erik H. Erikson's stages of psychosocial development to CSR. International Journal Of Business Governance And Ethics, 4(3), 250. doi:10.1504/ijbge.2009.023331
Positive Relationships: All in a day's work - potty training. (2009). Nursery World, 2009(2). doi:10.12968/nuwa.2009.17.2.1092417
Potty training questions answered. (2010). Practical Pre-School, 1(110), 16-16. doi:10.12968/prps.2010.1.110.46813
Potty training reviews Pourty: the potty that pours Pourty Â£9.99 www.pourty.com Neil Henty. (2011). Practical Pre-School, 1(129), 20-20. doi:10.12968/prps.2011.1.129.20b
Stockman, J. (2010). Toilet training of healthy young toddlers: a randomized trial between a daytime wetting alarm and timed potty training. Yearbook Of Pediatrics, 2010, 82-84. doi:10.1016/s0084-3954(09)79432-1
Sullivan, K. (2011). Practical potty training. Practical Pre-School, 1(128), 10-12. doi:10.12968/prps.2011.1.128.10
Van Aggelpoel, T., De Wachter, S., Wyndaele, J., & Vermandel, A. (2014). 662 Stool problems during potty training: Contributing factors. European Urology Supplements, 13(1), e662. doi:10.1016/s1569-9056(14)60652-7
Vermandel, A., Weyler, J., De Wachter, S., & Wyndaele, J. (2008). Toilet Training of Healthy Young Toddlers: A Randomized Trial Between a Daytime Wetting Alarm and Timed Potty Training. Journal Of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, 29(3), 191-196. doi:10.1097/dbp.0b013e31816c433a
Hodges, S. (2012). It's no accident. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press.