The Italian toilet training (TT) method has not been reported. We evaluated TT methods in Italian preschool children of the Veneto region.
Fisher’s exact tests were used to examine differences in TT methods between those children who started TT before and after 18 months of age.
A total of 225 questionnaires was included in the analyses. Mean completion ages for bladder and bowel training were 27.0 and 28.2 months, respectively. Before 18 months of age 42% of children started TT for bladder and 35% for bowel; after 18 months of age 58% started TT for bladder and 65% for bowel. Five per cent started TT after consulting paediatricians, 37% decided by themselves and 19% followed the suggestions of relatives.
Bladder training: 40% of parents brought their child to the bathroom at regular intervals, 33% when the child physically or vocally cued, 27% based on parental instinct; 24% on child verbal request, 23% upon waking from sleep, 8% before or after a meal. Bowel training: 50% brought the child to the bathroom when the child verbally requested; 36% based on parental instinct, 23% when the child started to push or grunt, 15% after a meal, 6% upon waking from sleep, 1% before a meal. 68% of the caregivers used one method, 27% combined two methods. A higher percentage of children were brought to the toilet upon awakening from sleep in those who started before 18 months of age compared with those who started after (p = 0.005). Medical advice was insignificant about TT initiation.