MONDAY, Oct. 29 (HealthDay News) -- One less thing for toddlers' parents to stress over: A new study finds that toilet-training methods aren't the cause of urinary problems in children.
Whatever method parents choose -- early toilet training with firm direction or a more child-oriented approach in which training begins when the child shows interest and willingness -- makes no difference, researchers say.
"Don't get hung up on how to do it," said lead researcher Dr. Joseph Barone, an associate professor of surgery and a pediatric urologist at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, N.J.
"The most important thing is that you begin the toilet training somewhere between 27 and 32 months," he added.
Proponents of each method are adamant, Barone said. "But, in reality it doesn't matter which method you use -- what matters is that you do it," he said.
Study co-author Marc Colaco, a medical student at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, agreed that either choice is fine.
"This is a debated topic over which way is best to toilet-train your child, but both lead to good outcomes," Colaco said.
The report was published in the Oct. 29 issue of Clinical Pediatrics.
For the study, the researchers compared the two methods of toilet training in children aged 4 through 12. One group of 147 children didn't have urinary problems after training, while the other group of 58 children had ongoing problems including accidents or the need to urinate often.
Neither method was more effective than the other, and there was no link between either training method and later urinary problems.
The method of toilet training isn't as important as making sure not to create a traumatic atmosphere, said Dr. Kristin Kozakowski, a pediatric urologist at Miami Children's Hospital in Florida.
Either method works "as long as the parents
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