The development of conscious control of bowel and bladder evacuation is a complex phenomenon which is contingent upon neuromuscular integrity, the will of the child, and experiential influences. Control of bowel and bladder emptying is acquired by most infants by the age of 3 years. Efforts to coerce training before the child is ready are usually unproductive and traumatic for mother and child.
The successful achievement of voluntary evacuation is quickly and easily achieved by some children. On the other hand, most babies achieve control a period of months or years during which success and failure are intermixed, gradually improving toward adult type control. Some children continue to have lapses well beyond the time of expected control and thus require further attention.
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