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Potty Training Tips For Parents

Dec 21, 2007
Potty training is a major developmental milestone for children. Some reach potty training readiness before others. Many parents experience anxiety over potty training problems. Before you begin a potty training program, know the facts.

Facts about Potty Training

* Most children are potty trained between the ages of two and four. Some are ready sooner; others take longer and may not be ready to potty train until age five.

* Children should be at least 20 months old before potty training begins. A child must be able to walk to the bathroom, pull his or her pants on and off, and pick up small objects.

* A child that urinates eight to ten times a day is not ready for potty training. The child must be able to stay dry for several hours and wet a diaper only four to seven times a day in order for training to be effective.

* Children that are prone to temper tantrums, willful acts of disobeying, and inattentiveness may not be ready for toilet training.

* Kids approaching readiness for toilet training are aware of the need to relieve their bowels and bladder. They may voice this need, tug at clothing, or bring you a clean diaper.

Beginning Training

* When your child is ready, let him practice pulling his pants on and off independently. Provide a step stool, potty seat insert, or child's potty-chair. Teach him about proper hygiene and flushing the toilet.

* Children learn quickly by watching a parent or sibling use the toilet.

* Provide simple, systematic instructions. Also provide lavish praise when your child performs a request correctly.

* Tell the child to go potty every hour. Even if they do not go, it raises their awareness of bowel and bladder conditions.

* Boys should sit to urinate until toilet training is well underway. Aiming a stream of urine takes considerable skill and is for advanced toilet training.

* Separate your toilet training into daytime and nighttime sessions. It is common for bedwetting to occur for months, if not years, after a child is potty trained. Focus on daytime training first.

* Training pants are for nighttime only. This allows your child to feel uncomfortable when an accident occurs. It motivates him to attempt to make it to the potty when the urge to urinate or defecate arises.

* Check your child at regular intervals. Praise him or her for having dry pants each time.

* Consider rewarding your child with a special treat such as a favorite cookie for each successful potty experience.

* Placing O-shaped cereal in the toilet can help little boys learn to aim a stream of urine.

Toilet training should not begin during periods of stress or illness. Plan to stick close to home during this time. Scope out the location of bathrooms each time you leave home. Never scold a child for needing a toilet at an inconvenient time.

If your child shows resistance to your first toilet training attempts, simply go back to training pants or diapers until your child is ready. Remember, there is no right or wrong age for potty training.
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