Thursday, August 2, 2012

Potty Talk

Ok, ladies. Brace yourself. I am going to discuss the dreaded topic that inevitibly comes with rearing little ones...potty training. We all have to do it and, if you're anything like me, dread it with every ounce of your being. It is a necessary evil, one that comes with frustration, worry and angst. When to start? To Pull-Up or not to Pull-Up??? Potty seat or not? Having successfully potty trained two and knowing many others who paved the way, I've got some insight for you. But first, let me back up a bit. Before we delve too deep into the poetry of potty, let me say this: I do not think my way is the only way or the best way. My method happened to work with the first so I did it with the second, simple as that. It worked early, and without much effort on my part. I started around 18 months and they were both potty pros before their second birthdays.
There are many different theories surrounding how and when to start this process with children and of course you, as their parent, know the most effective way for your child. What works for one doesn't work for all and there is no "normal" or "right" age. I have a few tips that worked with mine that will hopefully make your journey to the john a little more pleasant. If it doesn't work at first, try, try again!!
- Decide when you will start and do. not. go. back. I can't tell you how many people I've known that have begun the process only to give up shortly after out of frustration. I understand the frustration. It's annoying. It's messy. But it's only going to take a few days for it to sink in. Going backwards only confuses your child. I can't give you an exact age, but mine starting pulling their diapers off and squirming during changes around 18 months and so it began. Once they are aware of what's going on with their little bodies, that's a good sign they may be ready.
- Go cold turkey. Once you decide to start, block a few days on your calendar so you can stay in and practice. Get that kid in undies and lose the diapers! I never used Pull-Ups or put them in diapers to sleep. With my kids, it seemed the more they were in underwear, the better. Or let them run naked, if your situation allows. Much easier (and less laundry!) But switching to the diaper throughout the day can be confusing and they may feel like they are "allowed" to go when the diaper is on.
- Give them water, take them pee. It's almost that easy...almost. I suggest offering more to drink than normal to give them more opportunities to try.
- Decide an amount of time to let your child "hold" it in between taking them and create your schedule around that time for a few days. Mine was 15 minues. I know, it's not very long and taking your kid to the bathroom every 15 minutes is exhausting. But it works. Yes, you will try only to have them NOT go and then they will go all over the floor a minute later. You will want to scream, punish and give up but you will not have time because you need to take them in another 15!! So clean up that mess and move on.
- Don't reward. Crazy?? Maybe, but you know what? If you have a kid who doesn't need or want to go, they won't. Candy, stickers, ice cream, you name it...these are all just distractions in my opinion. Stick them on the potty, encourage them to try and if they don't go in a minute or so, move on. It's only for another 15 minutes anyway. Now, that's not to say you can't be a cheerleader. I'm not above singing silly songs or having their stuffed animals go pee too, just be careful about rewards. It may teach them to try when they don't have to, just for the sake of that Skittle...
- Conversly, don't punish or make a big deal if they have an accident. Seriously. Clean it up and move on. They are not peeing on the floor to punish you or drive you to the brink of insanity. They are toddlers with no bladder control and have to learn and work really hard to hold it. Keep that in mind and NEVER punish, make negative comments or threaten them when they have an accident.
That sums it up. Honestly, it's a lot of work but soooo worth it when you no longer have the expense or hassle of diaper-duty. Good luck and hang in there!!! Here are a few more resources for when the time comes...Let me know if you have questions!!

1 comment:

  1. I'll bookmark this for a few years from now!