The Potty Training Readiness Approach
I recently picked up the book Diaper-Free Before 3 and I was wondering what you thought its philosophies? I find it extremely interesting that the national average age of being potty trained went from 18 months to over 3 years old after Dr. Brazelton's ideas were adopted by the AAP. What's your take on the "old methods" vs. Dr. Brazelton's methods? —RainsMommy
For the past several decades, the "right" age to begin potty training has been increasing, particularly in North America. In the 1930's, most mothers started training their babies when they were around three months old. In 1946, Dr. Benjamin Spock advised mothers to wait until their infants were between seven and nine months old. In the early 1960s, T. Berry Brazelton, pediatrician and best selling author, said parents should wait until children were between two- and two- and a half years old before beginning potty training. At that time, 90 percent of toddlers under the age of two were not yet potty trained.
By the mid to late 1980s, close to 50 percent of parents were waiting until their child's second birthday before they began toilet training. Then, in 1999, Dr. Brazelton revised his earlier recommendation of beginning when a child is two and said that children would not be ready for training until after age three. His recommendations were officially adopted by the American Academy of Pediatrics and today, one-third of children still wear diapers after their third birthday.
The Readiness Approach is the method of toilet training most commonly used in the United States today. Basically, it's a relaxed, positive method that respects the child's ability to learning, while watching for signs that the child is physically, intellectually, and psychologically "ready" to be potty trained.
I think Dr. Brazelton is right on the money. The Readiness Approach in not only the most popular method in our country, but also one of the easiest approaches for potty training. For information regarding the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), please check their website www.aap.org.
For more potty training advice, check out:
Potty Training Tips from the Potty Pro, Teri Crane
Potty Training Readiness Quiz
Potty Training in a Month
Talk to other potty training parents who are also in the pee-pee & poo-poo trenches on our Toddlers & Preschoolers Message Board!