HOUSTON Potty training is a part of parenting. In between playtime, Pampers give way to Pull-Ups and, hopefully, independence.

It was a great accomplishment in the Kulpecz family s household once their oldest child was potty trained.

We noticed around 2 and a half (years old) he was interested in the potty, says Geri Kulpecz, mother of 3-year-old Micah and 14-month-old Ethan. Daddy was going to the potty. So, we started doing potty training.

It s pretty much the same story for parents around the playground who have potty trained.

At two and a half (years old) we decided to give official potty training a whirl and we kind of just went cold turkey, said Lindsay Hunniford, mother of two.

But are parents starting potty training too early?

Dr. Steve Hodges, a California pediatric urologist and author of It s No Accident: Breakthrough Solutions to Your Child s Wetting, Constipation, UTIs, and other Potty Problems, believes once parents train their children they are essentially teaching their kids how to hold it. In some cases, however, holding it too long could lead to urinary tract infections and other health problems.

He recommends starting no younger than ages three or four.

I cannot imagine changing the diaper of a four-year-old, Hunniford replied.

Neither can Yana Finkelshetyn, who is not only a doctor with Methodist Sugar Land Hospital, but a mother of two girls.

I think it s a little unrealistic for the modern world. I also think you have to tailor it to your kids, Finkelshetyn said.

That means waiting until your child shows interest and initiates it. After all, timing is everything.

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