Pediatric Urologist: “I Read 14 Potty Training Books And Found Some Really Bad Advice”

A mom recently emailed me with a question about toilet training, one of my areas of research. She wrote: “A book I’m reading says if you wait until a child is ‘ready’ to train, you could end up with a 6-year-old who requests diapers to poop. Is this true?” In two words: heck no. I was so intrigued by this bad advice that I bought the book, which described potty training past 30 months of age as “a chore for you and your child." Out of curiosity, I bought a few other potty-training books. And then a few more. After reading 14 — yes 14! — books on potty training, I can say this: There is some seriously bad advice floating around — advice that will land many children in pediatric urology clinic

Finally — a Squatty Potty for Kids!

Plenty of modern inventions have improved life on Earth (praise the iPad!), but let me tell you: The toilet isn’t one of them. Human beings were designed to squat while pooping. We’ve been doing it for all of human history—oh, about half a million years. Even today more than one billion people on the planet, mostly in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, squat when they poop. I’d bet few of them are constipated. Not so in the Westernized world, where chronic constipation is epidemic and causing high rates of enuresis (pee accidents), encopresis (poop accidents), urinary frequency/urgency, and urinary tract infections, not to mention stomach aches. Our kids’ pipes are clogged for many reasons —

Does Dairy Cause Constipation in Children?

Parents in my clinic are often stunned when they see, right there on an X-ray just how clogged their child’s rectum is. The X-ray answers one of their big questions: What is causing my child’s bedwetting? The enlarged rectum is pressing against their child’s bladder — it’s easy to grasp. But X-rays can’t answer the other big question parents ask: How in the heck did my kid get so constipated? As I explain in The M.O.P. Book and It’s No Accident, the constipation epidemic has three main causes: 1.) the highly processed Western diet, 2.) toilet training too early, and 3.) restrictive school bathroom policies. Most cases of chronic constipation can be traced back to one or more of these factors

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