Toilet training of healthy young toddlers: a randomized trial between a daytime wetting alarm and timed potty training

J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2008 Jun;29(3):191-6. doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31816c433a.


Objective: Toilet training (TT) is important for every child, but there is no agreement on what is the best training method. We evaluated in a randomized way the comprehensive use of a daytime wetting alarm at home for 5 days in healthy children and compared it with timed potty training.

Methods: Thirty-nine children, between 20 and 36 months of age, were randomized to wetting alarm diaper training (WAD-T; n = 20) or timed potty training (TP-T; n = 19). Toilet behavior was observed by parents and independent observers before, at the end, and after 2 weeks of training. Late evaluation at 1 month was done by telephone.

Results: The WAD-T group did significantly better than the TP-T group at the end training (p = .041), at 14 days (p = .027), and 1 month after training (p = .027). Independent bladder control was achieved in 88.9% of the WAD-T group.

Conclusions: The WAD-T method is a structured, child-friendly, highly effective option for TT young healthy children. It offers the parents clear guidelines, a limited time needed to complete TT, a high success rate, and minor emotional conflicts. Results must now be confirmed in a larger sample size.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Behavior Therapy / instrumentation
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diapers, Infant
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Toilet Training*