Are We Potty Training Our Children Too Late?
Potty training as early as possible was highly desirable in the past when cloth nappies were washed by hand. However, since the introduction of disposable nappies, ever-larger nappy sizes, and the creation of the electric washing machine for those who use reusable nappies, these motives have subsided with convenience creating a lack of focus on potty training at an early age.
The Average Age Of Potty Training Is Now 3.5 Years Old
Over the last 50 years, potty training has begun later and later. The average age of potty training has now crept up to 3.5 years of age from 2.5 in 2004. However, studies have shown that many children are physically, emotionally, and psychologically ready for potty training at the age of two. A study conducted in 1957 demonstrated that potty training could be successful at an even earlier age, with 92 percent of children toilet trained by the age of eighteen months, compared to only four percent in 1999.
The Dangers Of Late Potty Training & The Environmental Impact
Potty training too late poses several risks and dangers. These dangers include harming your child's bowel, bladder, or mental health.
There is also an environmental impact when disposable nappies are used. Many disposable nappies contain single-use plastics, which inevitably end up in landfills, slowly degrading and polluting the environment for hundreds of years.
One study found that delaying potty training by one-year results in the UK's population throwing away an additional 970 million disposable nappies. Research also shows that one throwaway nappy can contain the same quantity of plastic as seventeen plastic bags.
So, When Should We Start Potty Training?
The success of potty training is centred on when the individual child is ready. As we have mentioned, this can be at any point from the age of two. It is essential not to take a forceful approach to potty training, as this can cause a fear of the toilet, which will almost always delay progress.
The latest research shows that if you potty train your child between the ages of two and three, they will be fully toilet trained by the age of three or soon after. For parents, this is highly desirable because their child will be ready for preschool, with some establishments only accepting potty-trained children.
The good news for parents, children, and the environment is since 2004, the percentage of people using reusable nappies has moved from six to twenty percent. The upward trend of parents choosing reusable over single-use nappies must continue if we are to protect the environment that our children will inherit.