Are your struggling with an anally retentive toddler? Dr Muhammed Rehman, specialist Paediatrician at the City Hospital, share his top tips for dry days and nights.
What’s the ideal age to start potty training?
Toilet training is an important developmental milestone for children and parents. Parents need guidance in recognizing signs of readiness (certain physiologic, developmental, and behavioral milestones have to be met rather than his or her chronologic age) to begin toilet training. The approach to toilet training is either child-oriented approach or parent-oriented approach and both the approaches resulted in quick, successful toilet training among healthy children. The appropriate age could be between anywhere between 18 to 24 months depending upon your child’s readiness to achieve this important developmental milestone. Studies have reported behavioral problems, including tantrums and unsuccessful toileting outcomes, if toilet training is started prematurely or done inappropriately.
The potty training process can be fraught with anxiety and toddlers often get constipated as a result. How can you avoid it happening?
Children who refuse or resist toilet training are at significant risk of stool withholding, which can lead to acute, then chronic, constipation. It can be prevented by adopting a positive, loving approach to toilet training, avoiding over reminders and if the child is not making progress, training should be discontinued for two to three months. During toilet, training use easy-to-remove, loose clothing and training pants as part of the transition from diaper to underwear. If treatment is needed, it may be initiated after consulting your doctor and will consist of dietary (decreasing dairy intake and increasing fiber intake) and behavioral management along with laxative medication if indicated.
What’s the average age kids can go dry through the night – and why?
Lots of kids can go dry in the day, but frequently wet the bed, which can continue to occur for some years. The average age for kids to go dry by night is around four years, however nearly 20 per cent of children can still be wetting bed at the age of five. The development of bladder control appears to follow a progressive maturation whereby the child first becomes aware of bladder filling, then develops the ability to suppress contractions voluntarily and, finally learns to control them. These skills usually are achieved, at least during the day, by approximately four years of age. Nighttime bladder control is achieved months to years after daytime control, but is not expected until five to seven years of age. If a child continues to wet the bed beyond the average age then they must be seen by a paediatrician who can rule out any underlying urinary tract abnormalities.
Some cultures start toilet training their babies as early as six months. In your opinion, is this successful and helpful? Should we all be trying it?
Most experts agree that before you start toilet training, your child should be able to walk and sit up on the toilet, as well as being dry for several hours or wake up dry after a nap.They should be able to pull clothes up and down, follow simple commands, demonstrate their independence by saying ‘no’ and communicate the need to go to the toilet. I wouldn’t suggest starting toilet training at six months of age as there is no evidence that children learn the physical and mental skills required to toilet train that early.
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