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Super Moms Secrets to Potty Training

Jun 29, 2008
While there's probably not a parent alive that looks forward to potty training, remembering that the other side of this training means no more diaper changing can motivate anyone to take it on! Of course there's more to it than just tossing out the diapers; potty training means teaching your child independence and self-reliance and is the first step toward taking care of himself or herself. But of course you want to make sure you handle this transition properly; having your child feel as if he or she is doing something wrong or is disappointing you when they don't immediately respond to potty training is not going to accomplish anything and will just increase frustration and tension between the two of you.

Keep in mind that potty training usually starts around the time a child is able to stay dry through the night. If they wake up with a dry diaper this signals the fact that their bladder is developed enough to control; trying to force potty training before that and the child may not physically be able to control their bladder or bowels. For most children this is somewhere between 18 and 36 months but of course will vary for each child. Never go by an older child's schedule or what someone else you know is doing with their own child.

You also need to make sure your child can handle all the physical requirements of potty training. Can he handle removing his pants, opening the lid and climbing on the toilet, and so on? Children of smaller size may not be able to handle these things quite yet, so you might want to wait another few months until they can. Work with him when it comes dressing and undressing before you're even ready for potty training so that he doesn't need to learn everything all at once.

When you are ready for potty training make sure you don't start this during any other stressful times in the child's life. If you've just moved, gained or lost a pet, or for any other reason have stress in the home, put this off until the stress is subsided. Remember that children get overwhelmed much easier than adults and so can't quite handle so many things all at once. Put off potty training until a child doesn't feel stressed and upset and nervous about anything else.

Talk to your child about potty training and that this is what the bathroom is for and that it's time for him to start using it like a big boy. Be very careful to put him on the toilet and hold him safely; remember that this is a big and scary bit of equipment for him and no doubt he's afraid of falling in! Anticipate when he will need to use the bathroom so that he can connect the toilet with potty training. Purchase some "big kid" undies and have your child wear them; make sure he understands you don't want him to get them wet so he needs to tell you when he's ready to go. Make this a positive time and give the child a positive reaction when he approaches you. Make sure you never act as if being ready to use the potty is a bad thing or an emergency; this will just give the child more stress and fear.

A reward sticker program is used by many parents when potty training. Every time your child uses the toilet successfully, he gets a sticker on a chart. After so many stickers he gets a reward. The reward should be small and a non-food item; you don't want to have the child associate unhealthy foods with rewards and of course they need to earn their stickers as well. Usually rewards should come every couple of days. A new ball or other small toy can suffice.

Remember that you'll have setbacks with potty training just as you do any other type of training for your child, so take things in stride and just keep encouraging him.
About the Author
Married with two children: Jeremiah (4) and Noah (2) Former Kindergarten Teacher Current Home Maker/Entrepreneur http://www.supermomssecrets.com
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