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Potty Training Best Between Ages 2 and 3
Date:1/23/2010

Timing is more important than method, study says

FRIDAY, Jan. 22 (HealthDay News) -- If you're ready to ditch your toddler's diapers for good, the best time to start potty training may be between the second and third birthdays.

A new study suggests 27 to 32 months is the ideal window for moving your child out of diapers. Children who were toilet trained after 32 months were more likely to have urge incontinence -- daytime wetting and bed-wetting -- between ages 4 and 12.

And potty training children sooner than 27 months generally doesn't work either, according to background information in the study. Prior research has shown potty training too soon just prolongs the process.

"There are two schools of thought on potty training. One is to try to train the kids very, very early, and another says you should wait until kids are older and demonstrating signs of being ready. But there has never been a study scientifically showing when is the best time," said lead study author Dr. Joseph Barone, chief of urology at Bristol-Myers Squibb Children's Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. "This study gives parents an idea of when it's a good time to train," he said.

Although there are always parents on the playground who brag they trained their child in a day, the study -- published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Pediatric Urology -- found timing was more important than technique.

Researchers asked the parents of 157 children ages 4 to 12 who were seen by a doctor for urge incontinence about when they started potty training and which method they used. Their answers were compared to those from the parents of 58 children matched for age, gender, race and other factors who did not have urge incontinence.

The mean age for toilet training of children with urge incontinence was 31.7 months, compared to 28.7 months for children who did not have problems with daytime wetting.

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