Monday, October 15, 2012

5 Tips for Making Potty Training Easier

Potty training can be a daunting and difficult task for parents, especially new ones. Here are five things you can do to help your baby learn faster and make it easier on both you and your child.

  1. Acknowledge when baby is having a bowel movement and associate a word or phrase with it. This helps your child to:
    • help him know what you mean
    • keep him aware of the situation (instead of just learning to ignore it)
    • keep it a social event between you and him (instead of him going off to hide)
    • helps to prevent the stigma parents accidentally associate with bowel movements
  2. Let your active and mobile baby watch you go to the bathroom. This is helpful later because:
    • reinforces what the words for bowel movements and urination actually mean
    • reinforces the concept of toileting as a social event (prevents "stage fright" that many kids feel)
    • it creates a concept and definition of normal from the outset
    • babies love to mimic
  3. Buy a small potty and keep it around long before you actually plan on using it
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    • no fear of newness later on
    • they have already gotten past the stage of exploring it and looking at it before it becomes an obstacle to potty training
  5. Have your child sit on the potty sometimes while she goes, even if her diaper is still on. This helps to:
    • prevent your child from getting used to or comfortable with sitting around in a messy diaper
    • establish the correct place to have a bowel movement
    • getting them used to and comfortable with having a bowel movement in a sitting position
    • get them accustomed to the feeling of pooping without a diaper
  6. Let your baby go diaper-free every now and again. Later on, this will help to:
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    • prevent your child from losing an awareness of their own urination
    • make them more comfortable with being naked... not as a modesty issue, but as a sensory issue; if they always have a diaper on, the sensation of cold, hard, plastic surface on their naked bottom can be very uncomfortable
"Toileting and elimination awareness, exposure, and habit forming can and should be established very early in life, rather than ignoring it for a lifetime and then simply introducing all of the concepts at an “event”, expecting your child to take the transformation in stride."

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