Toilet training practices in Nigerian children

  • A.U. Solarin
  • O.A. Olutekunbi
  • A.D. Madise-Wobo
  • I Senbanjo


Background. This study reports on toilet training with a focus on the effect of age, methods used, and factors that can affect urinary incontinence in Nigerian children.

Methods. This was a cross-sectional hospital-based study carried out in public and private hospitals in South-Western Nigeria. A questionnaire was used to obtain information about toilet training practices from 350 adults, who toilet trained 474 children.

Results. The adults had previously toilet trained children 1 - 18 years old. In this study, toilet training commenced at ≤12 months, during the day and night in 40.6% and 33.4% of children, respectively. Of the 350 parents/guardians, 141 (47.7%) commenced toilet training by waking children from their afternoon nap. The most common method was allowing the child to urinate at fixed time intervals, while the least common was a reward/punishment system. Furthermore, age was considered as the most common indicator to commence toilet training. For 36.9% of the children, training lasted 1 - 6 months. Daytime continence was achieved by 33.4% of children at ≤12 months old, and night-time continence was achieved in 29.7% of children between 12 and 18 months old. By 30 months, 91.1% and 86.9% had attained day- and night-time continence, respectively, and only 8.6% of the children were incontinent at night.

Conclusion. Assisted infant toilet training is still practised among Nigerian parents despite the influence and the trends in the developed countries. The age at initiation and completion of toilet training was lower than those reported for developed countries.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1999-7671
print ISSN: 1994-3032