Signs of toilet training readiness: When to start, and when to wait

toddler girl playing with a teddy bear on a potty chair

When children show signs of toilet training readiness, they may learn toileting skills more easily or quickly. But not all signs are equally helpful — or even relevant — to your family’s needs. Before you begin training, it’s important to decide on your individualized goals for potty training, and then look for signs that your … Continue reading

Bedwetting in scientific perspective: Debunking destructive myths

child sleeping bed at night

© 2010 – 2021 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved Myths about bedwetting? There are several, and they aren’t helpful. Ever heard the claim that kids wet the bed out of laziness? Or that kids require counseling — talking therapy — in order to break the “habit?” Or how about the idea that wetting the … Continue reading

What’s the right age to start potty training? It depends on your goals

toddler lifts the lid of a toilet

© 2021 Gwen Dewar, all rights reserved In Western countries like the United States, many children begin toilet training sometime between 24 and 36 months.  But from an historical and cross-cultural standpoint, this timing is very late, and it comes with a downside. So what’s the right potty training age? It depends on your child, … Continue reading

“Fast-track” toilet training techniques: An evidence-based review

kid sitting on potty chair outside, seen from waist down

“Fast track” toilet training techniques can be effective, but they aren’t right for everyone. Children shouldn’t begin unless they are healthy, motivated, and developmentally ready. And caregivers must be prepared to coach their children through hours of intensive, focused training.

Bed-wetting (nocturnal enuresis) in children: An evidence-based guide

Wet bed sheets in a child's bed, copyright 2019 Parenting Science

Is bed-wetting — also known as “sleep enuresis” — a sign of illness? Does it indicate a child is lazy or defiant? Trying to get attention? Suffering from behavior problems? The answer — in most cases — is no. Kids who wet the bed aren’t lazy. Stress can contribute to enuresis, but most children who … Continue reading

The diaper alarm: An effective tool for toilet training?

© 2017 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D., all rights reserved The musical diaper alarm Considering all the claims and hype, there haven’t been many good experimental tests of potty training techniques. But Alexandra Vermandel and her colleagues are trying to change that. They’ve wondered if they could speed up potty training by using a diaper alarm–a device … Continue reading