Toilet training in primary care: Current practice and recommendations from behavioral pediatrics

Jodi Polaha, William J. Warzak, Karen Dittmer-McMahon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


This article is the first to evaluate pediatricians' (1) current practices regarding recommendation for toile training typically developing first-time learners and (2) opinions on an intensive procedure for rapid toilet training. Results of surveys obtained from 103 pediatricians indicate that physicians' recommendations lean toward a gradual, passive approach to toilet training with 72% endorsing "child interest" in the toilet as one of the top criteria children must exhibit before beginning training. Respondents had a somewhat unfavorable view of intensive toilet training for first-time learners with 29% endorsing the use of such a procedure, although in most cases without all of the components. It is recommended that some components of the intensive procedure could easily "fit" with physicians' current practices to increase toilet-training effectiveness within a shorter training interval. These recommendations, including compliance training as a part of teaching, increased fluid intake to promote toileting trials, and multiple training sits, are described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)424-429
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2002


  • Behavioral pediatrics
  • Toilet training

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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