The Top 10 Tips for Potty Training Your Childby Dr. Clare Albright |
What parent feels knowledgeable and confident about potty training their child? Potty training is one of the greatest challenges that both children and their parents face in the first few years of a child's life.
1. Dress your child in underwear at about 28 months of age when the child is at home. Today's disposable diapers provide almost no feedback to the child about when they are wet. Your child will feel uncomfortable in their 'big kid' pants when they are wet and may therefore feel motivated to try the potty.
2. Allow your child to run around naked when you are at home. Having to deal with the urge to eliminate will be much more noticeable to your child when there is nothing to catch it in but the potty-chair.
3. Look for signs of potty training readiness in your child. These signs of readiness may include: telling you when they are peeing or pooping in their diaper, requesting that you change a poopy diaper, keeping their diaper dry for hours at a time, showing enthusiasm for their potty, etc.
4. Begin potty training at an appropriate age. Potty training becomes less difficult as your child gets older. Potty training prematurely can make a child feel misunderstood, alone, and rebellious. It is often best to wait until the child is three years old to focus on potty training.
5. Make potty training fun by giving your child little rewards for sitting on the potty with no diaper on. You could use stickers, crackers, small, inexpensive toys, etc. Using candy could produce sugar cravings and tooth decay.
6. Purchase a couple of potty training videos designed for toddler viewing. The research shows that the best way to teach any behavior is to have role models demonstrating the behavior. (Live models are more effective than video modeling.)
7. Pour cheerios or crackers into the toilet for little boys to take 'aim' at. This challenge taps into a little boy's natural interest in hitting targets.
8. Purchase several toddler-level books about children being potty trained. Potty training feels more natural and less stressful to a child who has been exposed to the process at "storybook time".
9. Consider allowing other trusted adults to help you to potty train your child. Many pre-schoolers respond more quickly to input from grandparents, aunts, and trusted babysitters than they do to input from their parents in the area of potty training. Some parents report that a grandparent was able to potty train their child in one weekend away.
10. Make potty training a top priority on a consistent basis when you have the emotional and physical energy to do it. Even if your child shows signs of potty training readiness, you may not be ready for it as a parent!
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