One expert shares his take on why early potty training might sound good in theory, but can actually cause a lot of problems for your child.
You might have heard or read about parents who engaged in newborn potty training. While in theory, it sounds like a great idea since it would be easier to take care of your child, and you’ll save a lot of money on diapers. However, one expert says that engaging in potty training too early can cause a lot of problems.
Toileting problems happen because kids learn the habit of holding their pee or poop in
According to pediatric urologist Steve J. Hodges, engaging in potty training at a young age causes a lot of problems for children.
He shares “Babies need to experience uninhibited voiding, or elimination, without the expectation of using the toilet at such an early age.”
He adds that toileting problems in children, such as poop and pee accidents, bedwetting, and even UTI, happen because kids hold their pee or poop in.
“Once kids learn to put off peeing and pooping, essentially the definition of toilet training, they tend to do so often and for as long as they can
“Each time you squeeze your sphincter to prevent the release of pee, you create resistance in your bladder. But unlike muscular hamstrings, a thicker bladder is a bad thing. It has a smaller capacity and its sensation mechanism goes awry. When a child habitually delays peeing, over months and years, his bladder wall becomes more muscular and eventually the bladder can get so strong and irritable that it empties without any input from the child,” Hodges adds.
It can also cause constipation in children
Hodges also shared that in kids who hold in their poop, chronic constipation starts to become a problem.
“In reality, many constipated kids poop regularly, even multiple times a day. Large poop masses in children typically go unnoticed because looser poop oozes by and finds a way out more easily than the hard stuff, giving the impression that the child has fully eliminated,” he adds.
According to Hodges, kids who hold in their pee are also more prone to UTI, as the less frequent a child urinates, the higher the chances that UTI causing bacteria will go up to the child’s bladder.
As a rule, Hodges shares that potty training shouldn’t be taught to kids younger than 3 years of age since kids who are younger than 3 don’t have enough experience to know when they should be going to the bathroom. Kids who are a bit older on the other hand, know their bathroom habits well, so if they need to go to the bathroom, they will do so instead of holding it in.
It might be more of a hassle to delay your child’s potty training, but it will be better for their health in the long run.