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Potty Training Tips!
Diaper, after diaper, after diaper!!! When will it end?! Well, if you're like me, you're wishing it would've ended yesterday so you could be done with it. Too bad it's not that simple. However, it's not as difficult as one would assume. It does require time, effort, and a whole lot of patience.
Is your child ready?
This is a question that no one can honestly answer but you and your little one. However, there are a few clues to trigger that response. A parent really needs to observe their childs behavior and reaction towards soiling their diapers. Usually, a child who shy's away when "relieving" themselves, is a hint. Also if they are embarrassed that they have soiled themselves. When my daughter (who is now 25 months old) started to hide in corners, do her "business", and then cover her tushy with hands as she walked back into the center of the room, I thought it was time.
Things you will need before training
* Potty training seat (I suggest the potty where the ring pops off the top and can be placed on your home toilet as well, it's a real money saver getting the 2-in-1)
* Training undies (these are a little thicker than regular undies for toddlers, they absorb a little more than the regular undies but still give the child that "icky feeling" if they have an accident)
*Treats, such as, stickers, small toys, lollipops... really anything that you can easily give your child as a prize each time they go potty.
How to Start
When you have decided that it's the right time for potty training, you should really try to familiarize your toddler with the toilet. Bring her in with you when you go, sit her on her potty and sing a song or play a game, or just let her sit and play with it while you explain exactly what it is to her. With my daughter, she would always like to imitate so she wouldn't sit on her potty, she wanted to sit on the big girl potty (so I just put her training seat on the toilet). The first few times I let her sit with all her clothes on and just played patty-cake with her, so she would get used to sitting up there. Then after a couple of dry runs, I would take off her pull-ups and let her sit while we played and sang (itsy bitsy spider, patty-cake, miss mary mack... anything to keep her happy). The key to this process is to keep the child happy while sitting on the seat. If they cry for any reason, take them off the seat. Don't force them to stay sitting, it will only scare them. This is going to be a long process for some, but dont worry you will get through it!
The first time you hear that little trickle hit the water you're going to be ecstatic! Make sure your child knows this! Make it a BIG deal! Get up and dance and scream and sing "YOU DID IT"! This is really important because the first time your toddler uses the toilet he/she will probably be scared because it is something new. So it's up to you to let them know they did a great job! But it doesn't stop there, you must make it a BIG deal everytime they go, until they start to get the hang of it.
Another word of advice, start to moderate their liquid intake. Instead of a full glass of milk, maybe you can try giving them half of a glass before they potty, and then half of a glass after. I noticed that with my daughter, she couldn't hold it very well when her bladder was too full. During the first 2 weeks take your child to the bathroom every half hour, or every 20 min after they've had a drink. When they have started to get the hang of it, switch them to the undies (even if they're not a 100% trained). I must warn you, there will be accidents so be sure to have carpet and floor cleaners ready!! But the undies will help them to understand that icky feeling when they do have an accident and train them to hold it until they are sitting on the potty.
It's always a good idea to reward your child when they have done something good. It shows them that your proud of them and that they have done the right thing to earn a treat! Depending on what your child likes, you can be creative in what the reward could be. With my daughter I had to keep switching up the reward (because she has no attention span!). We started off with a song and dance. Then added a sticker reward everytime she went #2. Then we noticed that she had stopped trying to hold herself and was having more frequent accidents and didn't really care for the stickers. So the next time she went potty #2, we switched it up with a reward of bubble blowing. This really seemed to catch her attention. We also used lollipops and gummie bears, but try not to make this a regular reward. You dont want her to be expecting these sugary treats in the middle of the night for going to the bathroom, and then throwing a fit when she doesnt get it.
When you think your toddler has mastered the skill of using the potty during the day time, I would suggest working on the night time as well. First, get them accustomed to sleeping in undies for there midday nap. When they can get through these naps dry, then switch them completely over to undies overnight as well. Now this may be a pain, but you're going to have to wake up the child throughout the night to take them to the potty. The first week will be rough. I started off waking my daughter up every 3 hours for a potty run. After 3 days, I realized, I could take it down to 2 potty runs a night. After 1 week, I took her down to 1 potty run at 1:30am everynight. Now, I'm not saying this will be exact for every parent and kid, it's really a matter of trial and error. However, these are guidelines that you can follow, until you get into your own groove.
Potty Training will be different for every family. Everyone has their own training methods, ideas, and strategies. Patience is key! Rewards are very helpful! And just remember every child learns at their own pace, so try not to get too frustrated if your child isn't ready just yet. Take your time. They'll be all grown up and out of diapers soon enough. Then we'll reminsce of the days when we use to open those gross little diapers! And believe it or not, you will probably miss it!
How long did it take you to potty train your toddler?
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