Monday, March 28, 2011

4 Thoughts About Potty Training

Fisher-Price Ducky Fun 3-in-1 Potty
1. When to start?
This seems to be the big question.  There are a few signs to look for that can let you know if your child is ready! 
  • interest in going potty, underwear, and other such things
  • staying dry for a few hours at a time
  • not comfortable with a dirty or wet diaper
  • understand basic ideas of pottying
  • follow basic verbal commands
Most children hit these milestones around the age of two (give or take a few months). My little girl started showing interest at 18 months, and I went ahead and started letting her wear underwear for a period of time each day. 

2. What You Need
You will need a few basic supplies to start potty training; some of these are optional. Even if you are out a little cost in the beginning, think of all the money you will save from not buying those expensive disposable diapers. 
  • Potty chair
  • Doll that Wets
  • Books about Pottying
  • Underwear (with a character or design they like)
  • Lots of patience
You could also use pull-ups or a cloth diaper with velcro or snaps worked well for us. She could still pull it up and down, and it would also absorb if she had an accident. 

3. Potty Training Methods
Most children in the United States start potty training around the age of two, but in other countries, some children are potty trained before they even reach the age of one! Check out this article I stumbled on to.
  • Pre-training: introduce the child to the potty chair before you actually start training. Allow them sit on it (with clothes) while you go to the bathroom. Praise the child for his accomplishment.
  • Early-Start Potty Training (as talked about in this book)
  • Outside training-okay, I'm not sure this is the technical term for it, but some people are taking their kids (even girls) outside to potty. For boys, it's a matter of hitting some target which is a big thrill. For girls, you can sit the potty chair on a porch with special books and activities nearby.
4. Rewards and Punishments
Most of the professionals say NEVER punish a child for having an accident. I personally (just my opinion) believe, you have to let them know its a bad thing. That can come through a variety of avenues other than punishment: a look or a verbal reprimand. But I still can't say I'm totally against punishment in certain situations.
Rewards are effective for some kids. They come in the form of stickers, candy, praise, or whatever makes your child happy. Some people use charts to keep up with the number of times their child went potty that day.

For my little girl, it has taken about 6 months for the training to be somewhat complete. There were days when I wanted to give up, and days when she did great. , Once your child starts going on their own and you are diaper free, you will know it was totally worth the trouble. Don't give up!

Leave me a comment about your potty training adventures! I would love to hear about them!

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