Parents are frequently mysti®ed by the process of elimination. By this, I am not referring to the sleuthing skills of Sherlock Holmes as he tracks his elusive nemesis Professor Moriarty, but to the child's controlled release of waste products. Unfortunately, for parents who are looking for easy answers on the most effective methods of toilet training, they must realize that the issue is still fairly controversial within the medical science community. Much of what physicians recommend regarding toilet training is based on theory, and not necessarily on facts that are demonstrated in carefully controlled studies. The outcomes are clear: we want our children to be functional members of society, capable of making it through the day without soiling themselves or others, and learning that process at an early age without developing neuroses related to bowel and bladder control. How we get to that point is not always so clear.