The New Age of Potty Training

A growing number of American parents and doctors believe beginning toilet training much earlier would be easier for mother and child.

In 1950, nearly 95 percent of American children were toilet trained by the age of 18 months. Now, in an era of disposable diapers, fewer than 10 percent are, but a growing movement of families are toilet training their children very early - as infants or by about one year old.

"He was out of diapers by about 15 months, but that's not to say he never had accidents," one mother said.

As early as all this sounds to most Americans, potty training by 15 months is late to the rest of the world.

According to "Contemporary Pediatrics" magazine, more than 50 percent of the world's children are toilet trained by the time they turn one year old.

Early training advocates said learning a baby's potty patterns are relatively simple and similar to how mothers recognize other cues like signs of hunger or tiredness.

The American Pediatric Association recommends using a child-focused approach, and beginning at age two or two-and-a-half when a child is showing signs of readiness.