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e: bladderandboweluk@disabledliving.co.uk
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Children & Young People

Children – Toilet Training

Most parents and carers worry about toilet training their children, particularly if their child has additional needs and many receive conflicting advice and information from friends, other parents, relatives and professionals. Modern nappies that keep children clean, dry and comfortable can reduce the child’s awareness and may make toilet training more difficult than it was for earlier generations. Advice to wait until the child is ready to toilet train is common, but not helpful.

For a long time it was thought that leaving toilet training until later makes it easier, particularly if a child has additional needs. It was also thought that children have to be showing an interest in toilet training, or at least an awareness of when they are wet or soiled. There is no clear evidence to support this and some children will not want to stop using nappies, particularly if they have learning disabilities, processing problems or sensory issues. For these children changing something they have been doing since birth may become increasingly difficult with time.

0161 607 8219

National Confidential Bladder and Bowel UK help line

It is important that all children who have delayed toilet training, particularly those with additional needs, have an assessment of their bladder and bowel health to make sure that any underlying problems are not missed. Children should be supported with a toilet training programme early, in the same way as they may need to be with any other delayed developmental skill, such as walking or talking. Waiting until the child is considered ‘ready’ is no longer deemed appropriate.

Bladder and Bowel UK provide training packages for professionals and have a variety of information leaflets available to help families, children and professionals understand the problems and options for support and treatment.

We also provide a national confidential helpline: telephone 0161 607 8219 or via email at bladderandboweluk@disabledliving.co.uk. If there is no one available to help you when you call, please do leave our contact details and we will get back to you, although this may not be the same day.

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