Our Family

Our Family

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Potty Training ! (again)

I am not one to push potty training at a young age.  If your child is not ready it ends up back firing, and will be a lot more work.  How do you know when they are ready?  Well, every child is different and there is no magic age for readiness.  Some signs your child may be ready are: going for long periods of time without wetting, complaining when their diaper is wet or dirty, interest in sitting on the potty, and ability to dress themselves.  For the boys, I didn't even attempt potty training until they were three.  That seemed to be their magic number that they showed they were ready and it only took a couple of weeks until they were daytime trained.  The exception was Anthony who we began potty training right before his 3rd birthday, but had his tonsils out the week after his 3rd birthday.  The surgery put potty training on hold until several weeks later when he was completely recovered and back to normal. 

Lily won't be 3 until March, but she really wants to use the potty.  She has never liked having a wet or dirty diaper and as soon as she could talk would ask to be changed.  She can dress and undress herself with very little help and she has a strong desire to wear pretty panties.  We bought some Disney Princess ones when she saw them at the store and she couldn't wait to put them on.  Yesterday we starting working on potty training.  It's been about 12 years since I have potty trained a girl, but I was successful with the last one and all the boys in between. 

My tips for potty training (when your child shows readiness)

  • Don't start potty training before a big change in a child's life (move, new baby, illness, siblings starting school, parent job change etc..)
  • Pull ups are a huge waste of money and don't really teach the child to be potty trained.  We go straight from diapers to underwear and only use pull ups at night once a child is day trained.
  • Keep books or other small toys in the bathroom to encourage your child to sit on the potty.
  • Make a routine for the child-potty as soon as she gets up in the morning and at nap time and try sitting on the potty every 30 min or so for a few minutes (some children will not need to go this often) 
  • Make it fun!  My children love coming out of the potty and having the older children clap and cheer for them.  We also do a small reward (sticker/candy) every time they go.
  • Make sure they are wearing clothes (or not wearing any sometimes) that they will be able to get on and off easily.
  • Don't make a big deal if they have an accident.  Clean it and them up and move on.
  • Be ok with backing off if it is not going well, the child resists, or is not feeling well.  Forcing the issue will not be good for you or them. 
  • Don't be concerned if your child has to wear pull ups at night for a long time.  Children's bladders are small and they can be deep sleepers.  It is quite common for children who are trained during the day to still wet at night.
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