If you’re planning to potty train before your toddler reaches the age of 2, you may want to wait until you feel they’re definitely ready.
A new study (albeit relatively small) discovered that children potty trained early were significantly more likely to wet themselves during the day over the age of 3.
The study looked at 112 children between the ages of 3 and 10. Half had had been referred to hospital because they had been wetting themselves in the day, the others had no history of toilet issues.
Researchers grouped the children into three categories of potty training: early (before age two), normal (between two and three) and late (after age three).
Following a questionnaire to parents, the researchers found that 60% of those potty trained before 2 had daytime wetting accidents. This was 3 times higher than those in the normal group, who were trained between 2-3 years.
The children who were potty trained early were also 3 times more likely to have constipation compared to the children in the normal category. “Almost all of the children who had wetting [problems] also had constipation,” said Steve Hodges, Professor of pediatric urology and the author of the study.
The researchers think that children wet themselves because they hold on, rather than going to the toilet, when they need a poo.
However, the problems weren’t just confined to the children trained early; the study also found that of the 10 children who were potty trained after age 3, most also had daytime wetting problems, and were constipated.
Hodges advised parents to start potty training when your child shows signs of readiness and has absolutely no signs of constipation, rather than at a certain age.
“There is nothing magic about the age of 2,” he said and added that taking children to the toilet regularly and checking that they weren’t constipated would help them to stop wetting themselves.