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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Secrets of Potty Training

I was asked recently to write a post on my method of potty training.
There was a few parents that were getting frustrated and tired, and came to me for advice. Here it is! My Secret formula.

The secret of potty training is, that it is NO secret.
In fact, Its very simple if you are willing to just relax and know that your child will be potty trained when he or she is ready.

Things that have helped me.

A. I never pushed my children to potty train. Again I
    believe in a more natural parenting method and took 
    the signs that my child was ready. (see below, on how 
    to spot the timing)

B. Portable potty seat in the car: for those times when 
    you are nowhere near a restroom and your child 
    says she/he has to go. Of course bring Wipes, and 
    toilet paper. Also a large garbage bag is helpful in 
    case you need to put the potty seat in it for transport. 
    I know this may sound crazy but it has made my 
    life waayyy easier when I was potty training my children.

C. Always have along extra clothes where ever you may 
    go, and toilet seat covers for public bathrooms. Oh 
    and  don't forget extra shoes. Many a times,.. did I 
    find that the pee just runs right into their shoes if 
    they have an accident.

D. Important!....Remember a child has a very little 
    bladder and they have to go when they say they do.

Stats: ....I bet your wondering what the stats were for
              my four kids ?.... and... does she know what 
              shes talking about????

- My first child (girl) was potty trained by 2 1/2 years

- My second child (girl) was completely potty trained a little before age 2 because she wanted to be like her big sister. I didn't even ask her. She simply one day said she didn't want to wear her diaper anymore.

- My third child (boy) was potty trained by 3, boys are known to take longer. I truly waited till he was ready.

- My fourth child (girl) by age 2 1/2. She also decided she wanted to be like her big sisters and brother. She wasn't quite as easy as my second child. Torn between wanting to remain the baby of the family and wanting to be big just like them.

Read the signs to see if your child is truly ready:

1.Is he/she acting interested ?...does your child follow 
   you  into the bathroom and ask what you are doing?

2. Does he or she stay dry overnight?

3. Does he/or she let you know when he/she is going 
    potty in her diaper? and want you to change her 
    right away?

4. Is your child able to dress himself? pants up and  
    down? and complete simple tasks if asked?

5. Verbal ability to tell you that he/she has to use the 
    potty. Whether its signing or speaking with voice

If your child is showing these signs then seize the day. The first plan of attack is:

1.) Put underpants on them and stay home for a week.

I know this sounds brutal but trust me, when your child is ready he/she may be potty trained by the end of that week. Your child just needs a chance to slow down and  get a chance to be in tune with their own body. When wearing the underwear they usually do not  like the sensation of having wet or poopy pants. (Its hard to completely feel wet in disposable diapers) There is a hint to this mind boggling method. This actually is easier to accomplish in the summer time because you can make quick trips to the park, with no risk of cabin fever. Dresses or bathing suits for girls and sweatpants or swim trunks for boys.

2.) Positive reinforcement..."You will be just like mommy 
     and daddy and go pee or poop in the potty."
     Clap and chant "hurraaay!"...when they sit on the 
     potty. Tell them, you are so proud.

3.) Read books on the subject, watch dvds.

4.) If you have a friend or relative that has a child that 
     is potty trained and a little older, ask them if they 
     are willing to let your child see that their older child 
     uses the toilet. Sometimes this is the only thing you 
     need to do to get your child interested. Just to see 
     that another child uses a potty.

5.) Here is a list of some favorites of our family to help
     with the potty training process:

We watched a Elmo Sesame Street dvd : called " Elmos Potty time"

Listened to this song over and over:  "The Poopsmith Song" by: Over the Rhine (check out the lyrics here)

You can also look on YouTube, there is many potty training videos (obviously... you may want to examine and view them before you show them to your child to make sure they are appropriate)

Books:  Everyone poops by: Taro Gomi, 
and Once upon a potty by: Alona Frankel (They have a boy and a girl version)

(I'm sorry.................I just have to mention)
Please!!...If you claim that your child is potty trained at 6-12months......Check yourself to see if you are not, in fact, the one that is potty trained.

I have seen too many parents that "they" the parents are the ones that are potty trained...They set their watch and know when their child usually has to go to the bathroom. Then they put the child on the potty. This is going to prolong the process. Its teaching your child that they don't have to listen for their body cues. Their parents will for them.  This is a lot of work for something that will eventually come naturally for the child. They wont be in diapers forever. It doesn't take long for children to want to do things on their own. Especially if they have family members or  friends that use the potty.

Another thing: Don't be fooled by the rewards method. (The one where you give your child candy or money) Do you really want your child believing and controlling whether he/she goes on the potty with the assumption that it will get you money or candy?  You may go broke by the time your child is 18. How about freedom from diapers? and proud parents? Isn't this enough?

BE PATIENT! I promise your child shall be potty trained eventually. I doubt they will be going into elementary school with a diaper on.

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