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The article below summarizes this perfectly. It is really frustrating to me to read about all the parents that struggle and have so much grief over potty training their 2+ year olds. The diaper industry has taught us all to 'wait until they are ready' etc. They have done this purely for their own profit, and left a wake of distraught parents and kids. It is so frustrating. Now they are even trying to make it a fashion statement for the older kids to be in the 'cool blue jean diapers'.
We need to start potty training at the more appropriate age of 9-12 months.
You don't have to use cloth diapers to achieve this if you don't want to. There are other ways.
The Great Diaper Scam
The diaper industry is another example of how business distorts reality to generate more profit. If you go to any grocery store, you'll see diapers for children all the way up to ages 4 or 5. You'll also find a bogus group of pediatricians that endorse diapers for children up to age 5. This combination has led to a gradual shift in what is considered the appropriate age for toilet training.
If you look back in history, 90% of the children in 1950 in the US were toilet trained by the age of 18 months. If you look worldwide, you'll find that in many traditional cultures, children are potty trained by age 1. Look even further and you'll find that some cultures start toilet training in infancy, and some children are toilet trained even earlier than one year.
But not in the good old USA. Here with the convenience of disposable diapers, the age of toilet training has been eroding. Parents are toilet training their children later and later, and of course there are "experts" who affirm this as a good decision. It's no matter that these so-called experts have ties to the diaper industry, or have already been discredited. Take a look at Dr. Brazelton, the worst pediatrician of the century, as Exhibit A.
Some "experts" say that children don't have the appropriate muscle control for toilet training until age 2. This is a complete joke. Our child was seven months old the first time we put her on the potty, and guess what: she figured it out the very first time.
If you take away disposable diapers, you have cloth diapers, which in some form have probably been used for tens of thousands of years. With a cloth diaper, a child can immediately feel if he or she is wet. Therefore, the child gets feedback and over time will learn to stay dry. With disposable diapers, there is no such feedback and therefore no reason to change behavior.
Our child ended up being fully potty trained (daytime) by around 18 months. This was not a pressured effort, it was just using cloth material instead of disposables to facilitate learning. While this may be considered early by today's standards, it is not. It's the exact same age as children were toilet trained 60 years ago in this country. Children haven't changed in that time, it's only the diaper industry that's become more pervasive.
If you look, you'll also find studies that show how later potty training can lead to problems, such as urinary infections. I never see this information being printed on diaper boxes. The disposable diaper industry is chasing profit regardless of how this negatively impacts a child's development. There is also profit to be made in the "how to" toilet training industry, with a whole bunch of gadgets and systems to teach children.
In actuality, the solution is simple: if you use natural cloth materials instead of disposables (or a mix of the two), children will teach themselves. I think it's a very unfortunate situation that children aren't being exposed to this natural learning process early in life . Toilet training in the first two years of life is developmentally appropriate. It's time for legitimate pediatricians to get this message out to parents.