Newswise — Researchers at The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital (BMSCH) at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) and UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (UMDNJ-RWJMS) have completed a study that pinpoints the period between 24 and 32 months of age as most effective time frame for parents to begin toilet training lessons with their children. Additionally, the study indicates that the timing appeared to matter more than the specific training method used.

The results were published in the Journal of Pediatric Urology. Researchers observed 150 children divided into two groups, which included children between the ages of 4 and 12 who had experienced some form of urge incontinence. They determined that children within the group who received toilet training after 32 months of age showed more incidences of bed-wetting, day-wetting and other urge incontinence issues.

According to Joseph Barone, MD, Surgeon-in-Chief at BMSCH and Associate Professor and Chief of the Division of Urology for the Department of Surgery at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the study is the first of its kind to provide parents with a specific time frame for their children’s toilet training. In addition to his roles at BMSCH and UMDNJ-RWJMS, Dr. Barone is a board-certified surgeon with the The Robert Wood Johnson Medical Group, UMDNJ-RWJMS’ multidisciplinary faculty practice with 500 physicians encompassing more than 200 subspecialties.

“It gives parents a guideline for the best time to begin training with their children,” Dr. Barone explains. “Parents do not need to feel pressure, but they can be proactive and start training exercises before the child is 32 months old.”

Incontinence issues such as bed wetting or day wetting can lead to emotional problems and potentially interfere with a child’s peer relationships. The psychological effects can extend to parents as well.

“Parents may have feelings of guilt because they feel they did something wrong and contributed to the problem,” Dr. Barone said. “These problems can affect both parent and child and may have a long-term psychological impact on both if the issues are not addressed.”

Dona Schneider, PhD, MPH, Professor and Associate Dean for programs at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University and Professor of Epidemiology at the UMDNJ-School of Public Health also contributed to the study. To request more information about the pediatric urology program and related research, please visit

Please visit to learn more about The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. For a referral to a physician affiliated with RWJUH and BMSCH, please call 1-888-MD-RWJUH. To learn more about UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, visit Find our fan page on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @UMDNJ_RWJMS. For the latest news and updates about RWJUH, follow us on Twitter at and Facebook at

About The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital:As New Jersey’s largest and most comprehensive children’s hospital, The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital offers specialties including cardiology and cardiac surgery, organ transplants, trauma treatment, fetal surgery, hematology/oncology and neurosurgery in a family-centered environment. It is consistently among the top-rated children’s hospitals in America for patient satisfaction.

About Robert Wood Johnson Medical School:As one of the nation’s leading comprehensive medical schools, UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is dedicated to the pursuit of excellence in education, research, health care delivery, and the promotion of community health. In cooperation with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, the medical school’s principal affiliate, they comprise New Jersey’s premier academic medical center. In addition, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School has 34 other hospital affiliates and ambulatory care sites throughout the region.

As one of the eight schools of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey with 2,700 full-time and volunteer faculty, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School encompasses 22 basic science and clinical departments, hosts centers and institutes including The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, the Center for Advanced Biotechnology and Medicine, the Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, and the Stem Cell Institute of New Jersey. The medical school maintains educational programs at the undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels for more than 1,500 students on its campuses in New Brunswick, Piscataway, and Camden, and provides continuing education courses for health care professionals and community education programs.

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Journal of Pediatric Urology