Five scientific facts that you need to know before starting potty training

When it comes to potty training, some of us parents are motivated as this means that this is the end of the changing diapers phase. Yet, some of us too starts to worry as they are scared that they might be unable to succeed in this potty-training phase. Before starting potty training with your little one, just try to bear in mind the below five scientific facts about urination/defecation in kids.

1. Kids can control urination/defecation once their bladder and intestines are mature. This usually happens by the age of 18-24 months. Yet, this does not mean that all children will be responsive to potty training by this age. Psychological maturity is also needed. In other words, a child that is aware of what is stool/urine and gets bothered when his/her diaper is full will be more responsive to potty training than others. Ideally, it would be great to start your child’s potty training when he/she is psychologically mature after the age of 18-24 months (for the physiological maturity of the bladder/intestine).

2. Going to the toilet is a complex task for a 2 years old baby and here is why: he/she needs to tell you that he/she wants to urinate/defecate, then walk to the toilet, and then sit on the potty/toilet seat. This process consists of three consecutive actions which can be hard for kids of this age range even if this might seem very simple to us adults. That’s why, it is recommended that children start potty training when they are ready, in other words when they start to understand/execute complex tasks that consists of two or more consecutive actions.

3. Urinating/defecating in the toilet instead of the diapers is the beginning of independence and autonomy for your little one. That’s why, it’s important to make sure that he/she is already trying to be independent in general (for example, trying to eat on his/her own) before starting potty training.

4. At night, our brain releases big quantities of the antidiuretic hormone (ADH) for our bladder to produce less urine and thus for us not to go to the toilet at night while sleeping. That’s why, in a first phase, it’s better to train your kids to control urination/defecation during the day as night urination is not frequent. Once your little one knows perfectly controls urination/defecation during the day, you can start teaching him/her to go to the toilet at night when needed.

5. Science was unable to calculate a specific duration for potty training. Yet, it usually takes 1-3 months according to how receptive is your child. Receptivity is based on points 1,2 and 3 that we’ve just mentioned earlier.

Before starting this journey, be aware that it won’t be a piece of cake and that you will need to be very patient with your kid for him/her to be able to finally go to the toilet on their own.

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Dr. Reem Khalaf Bachelor of Pharmacy and Biotechnology (German University in Cairo) instagram account : babychef_eg
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