see also Bed Wetting
Before the age of eighteen months most children are simply unable to make the connection between the urge to pass water or stool and the results of doing so. Control of bladder and bowels is something that develops gradually between the age of eighteen months and midway through the fourth year, although accidents can happen up to the age of five or older.
Setbacks are quite common after illness or major upsets in routine, such as the arrival of a new baby or tension in the family; if the problem continues for more than a week, see your medical doctor or go to a homeopath for constitutional treatment. Soiling is usually caused by Constipation, which in turn can be caused by insufficient roughage in the diet or by retention of faeces for emotional reasons; again, if the problem continues for more than a week, consult your medical doctor or homeopath.
Self-help: It is important not to hurry or force toilet training. Unlike you, the child has little to gain from putting urine or faeces in a potty rather than in a nappy or on the ground. Try to avoid making the child feel disgusting or guilty about the products of his or her own body.
Introduce the potty at around eighteen months, and give it to the child whenever he or she expresses the need to pass water or stool. Once the connection between the potty and the urge to go to the toilet has been established, try to be matter of fact about the results - don't freak out if the child misses or go into rhapsodies if he or she succeeds. Once the potty has been mastered, encourage the child to use a child seat on an adult toilet - a small step may be necessary at first.
Until the age of about two and a half, a nappy is necessary at night; if the child has been dry for several nights running, remove the nappy but keep a waterproof sheet on the bed. Occasional bedwetting is quite normal up to the age of about four.