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

or technique, parents were given three choices: a child-oriented approach, described as waiting for the child to show signs of readiness before initiating training and then letting the child direct the toilet training process; a parent-oriented approach, described as starting training when the parent was ready and then bringing the child to the toilet at regular, defined intervals, or a combination of the two.

Researchers found no difference in the method of toilet training and the likelihood of having problems with wetting at ages 4 to 12.

Age shouldn't be the deciding factor in beginning potty training, said Peter Stavinoha, author of the book "Stress-Free Potty Training" and a clinical neuropsychologist at Children's Medical Center of Dallas.

The key is making sure your child is physically and developmentally ready, Stavinoha said. Although many children will show potty training readiness at about 2 1/2, it can vary, Stavinoha said.

"Many parents approach potty training as something over which they have total control," Stavinoha said. "Parents are a big contributor to their child's development, but they don't really control it. Parents are there to facilitate, to guide, to reinforce and to praise, but parents shouldn't put pressure on themselves that if they do a series of steps, the children will achieve a certain outcome."

If you feel like you've been changing diapers forever, you're not alone. Over the last few decades, the mean age of potting training has crept up in the United States and other countries, including Brazil, Switzerland and China, the article said. In 1980, the mean age U.S. children were toilet-trained was 26 months. In 2003, it was 36.8 months.

One possible explanation for later potty training is the widespread availability and convenience of disposable diapers, the study authors propose.

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