Dr. Steve Hodges, a pediatric urologist who practices in Winston-Salem, NC, is a leading expert when it comes to children and issues related to toilet training, bedwetting and constipation. His own published research shows that children trained before age 2 have a much higher risk of having accidents compared to those trained later and are more likely to become habitual holders of their pee and poop, which can lead to issues with constipation. Hodges can discuss how today's today’s modern parents feel societal and financial pressure to toilet train their children before they are developmentally and physically ready. In his opinion, few children are ready to be fully toilet trained before the age of 3. He can discuss how diet affects children's bowel systems: what goes in (food) determines what comes out (poop). A diet full of highly processed foods like crackers, chicken nuggets and hotdogs without lots of vegetables, fruits and fibers often leads to constipation. Hodges can discuss how improper poop or pee posture can affect children's ability to fully eliminate: When it comes to pooping, it’s not enough to have a cute little seat in place because a “squatting” position improves childrens’ ability to fully eliminate. They need to sit on the toilet with their feet on a tall stool, leaning forward, elbows on knees. And, he can address how parents and caregivers should not ASK if their child has to go to the bathroom because they will likely say NO because they don’t want to stop whatever activity they are involved in. Instead, children should be directed to attempt to pee about every two hours and should be encouraged in a way that works for them individually. When children hold their pee at this young age, this actually leads to smaller bladder capacity which can lead to problems like bedwetting.
Bedwetting isn't always due to problems with the bladder. Constipation is often the culprit; and if it isn't diagnosed, children and their parents must endure an unnecessarily long, costly and difficult quest to cure nighttime wetting.
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