Assisted infant toilet training in a Western family setting

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2004 Apr;25(2):99-101. doi: 10.1097/00004703-200404000-00004.


In the Western world, independent toilet training usually starts at age 18 months or later. In Asia and Africa, assisted toilet training traditionally starts between one and three months and is completed within approximately one year. This article reports a male infant who started caregiver-assisted toilet training at age 33 days in a Western family setting. During the first days, the caregiver made observations of the infant's bowel movement schedule and the cues he provided, from which she learned when to assist him to eliminate in the bathroom. During the elimination process, the infant was held in an "in-arms" position, with close contact between the infant's back and the caregiver's chest. Meanwhile, the caregiver gave vocal signals to prompt the infant to eliminate. Successful bowel training was completed at five months. This case report shows that early infant toilet training is possible in a Western family setting if the caregiver properly learns the infant's natural elimination timing and signals.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Culture*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Toilet Training*