Is There a Downside to Early Potty Training? A New Study Says...

When it comes to potty training, sometimes earlier isn't always better, new research shows.

According to a small new study published in Research and Reports on Urology, researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center looked at 112 children ages 3 to 10 who experienced daytime wetting or urinary urgency/frequency and found that "early trainers" (kids who learned to use the toilet before they were 2 years old) were nearly four times as likely to have daytime wetting issues.

"Parents who train their children early to meet preschool deadlines, to save landfills from diapers or because they think toddlers are easier to train should know there can be serious repercussions," study author Dr. Steve Hodges, an associate professor of pediatric urology at Wake Forest Baptist, said in a news release.

Because younger kids are more likely to hold their pee in, they're more likely to also be affected by bladder contractions and reduced bladder capacity, the researchers stated.

Researchers also noted that early trainers were three times more likely to have constipation issues and that constipation can actually cause these bladder mishaps at times.

Of course, this isn't to say that no 2-year-old (or younger) child should begin potty training. Dr. Hodges noted that a very important factor to consider before you begin potty training is that your child is not showing any signs of constipation.

"There is nothing magic about the age of two," Dr. Hodges said in the statement. "If parents opt to train early or late and are meticulous about making sure children void on a regular schedule and monitor them for signs of constipation, I suspect the incidence of voiding dysfunction would decrease."

Do you think your child is ready to start potty training? Take our quiz to find out when the time is right for you and your tot.

Find out the differences between potty training girls and boys.

Photo of potty training baby courtesy of Shutterstock.

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