• Urine is constantly produced by the 2 kidneys in your child’s tummy and is stored in the urinary bladder.

  • This urine is then passed by the child at regular intervals.

  • Newborn babies pass urine more often, especially when being fed as they have a small bladder capacity.

  • Newborns can pass up to 15 to 20 times of urine in a day.

  • Older children begin storing more urine in their bladder and pass urine less frequently.

 

What is toilet training?

  • Toilet training is when you teach your children to control the passing of urine in inappropriate places.

  • During the day, they may pass urine in the nappies, and at night it can appear as bed wetting.

  • Most children are ready to start the training at about 2-3 years of age.

  • Before you begin training them, it helps for them to know about the feeling of bladder fullness, how to control urine passage and importance of not wetting the nappies or bed.

  • Remember this is a long process which needs a lot of efforts and patience.

 

What are the types of bladder control?

There are mainly 2 types.

  • One is the Day control where children gain control over the bladder during the daytime.

  • This is achieved earlier than night control as they are alert and conscious during the day.

 

How long does it take to be toilet trained?

  • There is no fixed time by when the child would be trained.

  • It is said that by 5 years of age, about 80 to 90 % of children are successfully trained.

 

Why is my child unable to be toilet trained?

  • The children with any of the below problems, generally are difficult to be trained.

  • Children with sleeping problems- like snoring, repeated awakening at night

  • Children with urine infections

  • Children with development problems

  • Children with problems like diabetes or children having problems concentrating urine.

 

How are these children investigated?

  • Most of the time, if the child is otherwise well, then no major investigations are done.

  • The urine is looked for infections, signs of diabetes and also the concentration of urine.

  • In children who are older than 5-6 years, a scan may be asked for to look into the kidneys and the bladder.

 

What is the treatment for this?

  • It is very important for parents to remember that this is not a serious problem especially if all the urine tests and scans have been normal.

  • It may only mean that the child’s brain needs more time to cope up with the training.

  • If you have any obvious reasons to explain, like snoring or night awakening, then discuss with your doctor.

  • Remember never punish your child as it leads to a negative effect on the child.

  • Instead, reward the child when he does the right thing.

 

Other methods that might help-

  • Get the child to use the toilet just before sleep

  • Limit fluid intake to 50 to 100 ml at least 3 hours before sleep

  • During the day, ask the child to control the urge to go to the toilet. They can control for a few minutes to start off with and then prolong as tolerated.

  • Avoid sugary drinks and coffee for at least 6 hours before sleep.

 

If none of the above measures help or if any concerns, then you should see your doctor.

 

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