Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Potty Training Tips and Tricks

This week we are going to be talking about Potty Training. Potty training is never easy. I have not met one parent who has said their kid just woke up one day, went to the potty, and it was golden from there. And if you know of one I want to meet them!
Potty training is messy, it's hard, it requires consistency, scheduling, and above all patience. There is the possibility of tears, sore knees (from scrubbing), tons of underwear to wash, and make sure to keep some fresh sheets handy while keeping a waterproof sheet on your lovies bed!
One thing that is also important to add is that no child is the same on potty training, there are thousands of methods out there, and it is up to you to find the right method for your child. But before we get into all that let's look at the signs your child is ready to use the potty::

  • If your child can walk unassisted, obviously
  • Has a semi-predictable bowel movement pattern
  • Is dry for at least two hours at a time throughout the day
  • Dislikes wearing a wet or dirty diaper
  • Shows interest in the toilet
  • Shows a fair amount of independence
  • Is proud of his/her accomplishments
  • Is for the most part cooperative, and listens to directions fairly well. (Mainly showing interest in trying new things)
  • Understands directions
  • Knows when he/she has to go potty
  • Can pull up and down his/her pants
Now let's talk about the types of potty's out there. Now I'm not going to go into the styles because there are probably hundreds, but just the two main types of potty's you can use::

The Potty Seat (fits onto standard toilet)

The Potty Chair

Based on which your child shows the most interest in you can go from there. My first son was terrified of actually sitting on the toilet at first, but showed interest in it. He was getting to the point where he would take off his own diaper if he peed or pooped, or would let us know. We first bought the Potty Seat that fits on adult toilet, but since he was afraid of sitting on the toilet he refused to sit on it. Standing he would do, and so he would often pee inside the toilet. Depending on how tall your child is you may or may not need a stool to place by the toilet for their convenience. Just make sure it has grip on it so when they step on it, it won't tip over.
So we went and bought a potty chair which after some coaxing he started using. Now it didn't happen over night, we tried so many methods. I tried getting him to pee through cheerios that I was told makes it a game, and would make peeing fun. It didn't really work out that way though.
We tried incentives like prizes and treats (small ones to give them an idea) which didn't take as good as we had hoped. He would wait until he wanted a prize and only then would go to the bathroom, and once he was satisfied with what he got he didn't want to try anymore.
Finally we did the sticker chart. Kids love stickers so every time he peed he got to put a sticker on the chart. Once he got so many stickers he was given a dollar where we would take him to the dollar store and let him get anything he wanted within reason. He also got to pick out the styles of stickers used out of a few different options which made it more fun for him. We also gave him a lot of praise, and showed much excitement every single time he used the potty. It made him incredibly proud, and he WANTED to go to the potty.
We started off slow so we didn't overwhelm him leaving him in his underwear during the day, but putting diapers or pull-ups on him at night. After about a month of this he got to where he wasn't peeing in his diaper or pull-up at all while sleep. He has since then never once wet the bed, and started wearing underwear on a full time basis when he turned 3 years old. One thing is to make sure your child pees before they go to sleep, and as soon as they wake up. It's also a good idea to take them to the restroom every 2 hours and try to get them to at least pee, and this will help build a consistent pattern.
Right now we are in the works of potty training our almost 2 year old. He seems to be on the exact same track as his older brother, and we are going to stick to the same methods that seem to work best. If, however, they don't work with him we will try others. All kids are different.
Here's just a few of the methods out there you can try::

The Sticker/Rewards Chart

Bribery (do not overbribe, can use coins in a bank, a few m&ms, etc., get creative)



Big Kid Underwear (Let them pick their favorite characters or styles)

Books or Shows can also be helpful

And that my friends is all the advice I have for you today. Be sure to check back on Thursday for priddymomma's Potty Training post & also Saturday for Leslie's.
And as always if you have any topics you want to see discussed on here feel free to send us an email at thecaseofthemissingcheerios(at)gmail.com

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