Teach Your Kid To "Take The Browns to The Super Bowl"
First, potty training should never be a chore or difficult on the child. That is why I am having a little fun with this article. Perhaps it will help those reading to loosen up, in more way than one!
What is your favorite bathroom funny?
When Do I Start?
We have all probably heard, "All children are different. You will know when they are ready." My first thought when I was told that by my child's nurse was, "Really? I will know when they are ready? That's your idea of a helpful start?" Well, no need to fret, here are some signs to let you know your toddler is ready. He or she will:
- show an interest in the potty training chair (see pictured example) or using the toilet. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060)
- have normal bowel movements at the same time of day. (http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-readiness-checklist_4384.bc)
- understand or follow basic directions. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060)
- tell you with the "poopy face" or "pops a squat" when it is time to us the bathroom. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060)
- have a dry diaper for over 2 hours ( http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-readiness-checklist_4384.bc)
- not like having a dirty diaper. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060)
- pull up and down his or her clothing with ease. (http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/potty-training/CC00060)
- be able o sit quietly for long periods of time; approximately 2 to 5 minutes. ( http://www.babycenter.com/0_potty-training-readiness-checklist_4384.bc)
Little Man or Little Lady is Ready to Potty!
First, my suggestion, is to have a mild celebration for getting one step closer to no longer paying $45 for a box of diapers and having to lug them to your car! Then, remember, potty training has to be fun for your toddler. Of all the sites I have researched on this topic, all of them express the need NOT to punish your child for a mistake. You will have better results when potty time is fun time.
The next step is to help your toddler become familiar with the toilet you intend to train him or her on. Most children love their own little potty from the store with a character or special design placed on it. My youngest, Matthew, is now potty training but he prefers to get up on the toilet like a big boy! In this case, we have bought a toilet training seat that can convert into a step stool and a seat for the toilet. This decision is up to you and your toddler. In the beginning it is perfectly normal to allow your toddler to sit on the preferred seat with their clothes and/or diaper on. Remember, your child is just getting use to the seat.
Now you are ready for your toddler to make an actual "number 1" and "number 2" in the toilet. Begin scheduling time for the toilet. If you are a stay at home Mom or Dad, that is a little easier than for working parents. For working parents, "that's a little easier said than done." Working parents, communicate with your day care provider about scheduling time for the bathroom and ask them for specific times. This will help you continue the training on the weekends or your days off. It is very important to schedule a routine for your baby or toilet training can become an arduous task.
In the beginning, toddlers may do absolutely nothing when they sit on the toilet. Do not be discouraged! Try to watch for signs that your child needs to go. Look for the unmistakable "poopy face" or watch for them to tug at their diaper. Talk to your child about what is going on. When you are using the bathroom, explain what you are doing. Say things like, "Big boys go pee-pee in the potty." When they finally, and this is usually by accident, do anything in the toilet, praise your baby for a job well done. When my daughter, Isabella, was potty training, she really began to make the effort when we started giving a single M&M when she used the potty. For Matthew, a simple hand clap and a hearty, "You're such a good boy!" works beautifully.
A Couple of Thinkers to Think About
Let me go over a few things that were never brought to me when Isabella first started potty training. These are things I learned through research and experience.
- Try emptying the contents of the diaper into your toddler's toilet. I know this sounds disgusting but it works.
- If your toddler isn't doing anything in 2 weeks, they are probably not ready yet. Wait a few weeks to a month and try again. We had to do this with Matthew.
- Accidents will happen. Kids will tend to play and forget about the need to get up and go to a bathroom. This will happen even when they are in "big boy or girl" underwear.
- Toddlers will usually master daytime toilet training in a few months but night time toilet training will take longer.
Well, that's it! I hope this article is helpful to you; I definitely enjoyed writing it!