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  • The Dangers Of Potty Training Your Toddler Too Early

    It's an exciting milestone but can backfire if your little one is not yet ready.
    by R.M. Mauhay .
The Dangers Of Potty Training Your Toddler Too Early
PHOTO BY Shutterstock/Tomsickova Tatyana
  • Getting your tot potty trained at an early age is truly an achievement worth celebrating for parents. After all, potty training is considered as a major milestone for kids.

    According to Mayo Clinic, kids show interest and readiness for potty training between ages 18 months to 3 years old.  However, it’s important for you to remember that the readiness varies from one child to another. Instead, watch out for the signs that tell you your child is ready to be potty trained.

    There are mothers who potty train their tot as early as 4 months and were successful in doing so. So, it can be tempting to start early — aside from saving money buying disposable diapers, there's also that feeling of accomplishment becoming a parent to a tot who can already use the toilet on their own.

    Before you start potty training, ask yourself this question first: "Is there a downside potty training your tot at an early age? Can it be harmful?"

    Potty training before your child is ready

    According to Cleveland Clinic, there are a number of harmful effects associated with potty training your child at an early age, especially if they are not physically and emotionally ready. Here are some of them.

    1. Stress for both parent and child

    It will only make things harder for you and your child if your baby is just not ready or you are not dedicated to potty training yet. It can cause anxiety and over time, more resistance for your little one to use the potty. It can also put a strain on your relationship as parent and child.

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    2. Urinary tract infections

    Janet Lansbury, an early childhood expert and author, says that introducing the toilet too early can lead to severe consequences. "The subtlest nudge toward the potty or being diaper-free can cause holding of urine or feces, delay toilet learning for months or even years, make toddlers feel ashamed, lead to severe constipation," Lansbury emphasized in her website. 

    When your child learns that they can hold their urine as much as they can, they can become a “chronic holder." This will trigger urinary tract infections to occur caused by the child not wanting to get interrupted with whatever activity they’re doing.

    3. Constipation

    Just like how your child learns that they can hold their pee, they also learn that they can hold their poop. If this happens, they may experience constipation.

    This happens to toddlers more frequently since they don’t get that much fiber in their diet. If they hold their poop for long periods of time, the higher the chance that a blockage will form, causing difficulty in pooping.

    4. Bladder problems

    According to Steve Hodges, MD, an associate professor of pediatric urology in the U.S., holding the pee for too long can "create resistance in your bladder." This will eventually cause a decrease in size for a toddler's bladder, when they realize that they can hold off going to the toilet just so their play time remains uninterrupted. 

    Over time, this creates a dangerous cycle in your child's body. As they hold their pee, the bladder wall becomes more muscular. Eventually, the bladder will become so strong and irritable that it will just empty and your child will no longer be able to control it.

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    5. Frequent accidents

    According to a study made by Dr. Hodges, published in Research and Reports in Urology, toddlers who are potty-trained at an early age are more prone to accidents. The study found that toddlers who were trained very early experienced accidents during daytime and nighttime compared to those who were trained at an older age.

    These are the possible consequences to toilet training your child before they are ready. However, if you are determined to start, here are some things you need to prepare:

    • Make sure you are fully focused when potty training your child. There should be no distractions
    • Be mindful and observant of your child's gestures and body language
    • Always be ready with the potty wherever you go with your tot

    Solenn Heussaff started potty training Baby Thylane at six months. Click here to find out how she did it.

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