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Are accidents normal or the sign of a problem in the toilet training process?

Guide to Toilet Training


Accidents sometimes continue for months after the toilet-training process appears to be complete—even when a child is three or four years old. Such daytime accidents are part of learning new physical habits and should start to taper off by about six months after training. (Nighttime wetting can continue much longer.)

However, quite frequent accidents in a three-year-old—particularly when they do not seem to be diminishing—may signal a physical or developmental problem. Your best move is to talk with your child's pediatrician about his toilet-training history and current behavior and, if requested, take him in for a checkup. If there are no physical problems, your concerns will be put to rest. If there is a developmental delay or physical issue, your prompt attention will speed up the treatment process.​

Guide to Toilet Training

​Toilet training is an important developmental milestone for children, and it also can be one of the greatest challenges for parents. Not all children are ready at the same age, and they often respond differently to various training methods. With conflicting advice from friends, relatives, and the media, parents can quickly become confused and frustrated. Guide to Toilet Training, 2nd Edition is a complete guide to every phase of the toilet-training process. Parents will be informed and reassured by the practical information, proven techniques, and expert advice offered in this thoroughly revised and updated edition. This book can be purchased on ShopAAP.

Last Updated
American Academy of Pediatrics (Copyright © 2016)
The information contained on this Web site should not be used as a substitute for the medical care and advice of your pediatrician. There may be variations in treatment that your pediatrician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.
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