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I would definately not call myself a "potty-training expert", but I have helped potty train over 20 children.
Potty training. If you have ever had a toddler in your home, you have went
through it. Maybe it was a breeze for your child. Maybe it wasn't. I won't say that I
have all of the answers, and I would definately not call myself a "potty-training
expert", but I have helped to potty train over twenty young children and I do believe that
my method works.
I am a strong believer in letting the child tell you when he/she is ready. Before I became
a work-at-home mom, I worked in a preschool who accepted children as young as 18-months
old. It became frustrating seeing the number of parents (and the director of the
preschool) who decided it was time for their child to become potty trained -- whether they
were actually ready or not. I think that all experts and parents, who have been there,
will agree: you will only have success if your child is truly ready.
If your child seems to have somewhat of an interest in going on the potty, and you feel
that that it is the right time to start with potty training, here is my advice. This is
the exact method that I followed with well over twenty little ones.
First of all, I don't think parents should use Pull-Ups (or similiar brands). They are too
much like a diaper and way too absorbant, and tend to confuse many children. My
recomendation is to use the plain 'ole cotton potty training underpants...you know the
kind? Similiar to normal underwear, but they have extra padding in the crotch area. I
would recommend that you buy about ten pairs of the underpants. I would also invest in a
few "plastic/nylon pants", just like the kind you use with cloth diapers. Tell your little
one that he is going to start using the "big boy" or "big girl" underwear (or whatever term
you like) and start having your child use them. I would recommend using the underpants
with the plastic pants over them...but the choice is yours, and you may even wish to have
your child go without actual clothing on the bottom half. This work really well in the
warmer months and if you are spending most of your day at home.
Please be aware that your child will wet the underpants and will mostly likely soil them as
well....and you know what? This will probably happen over and over again. This method to
me is one of the hardest for parents, but in the long run, chances are you will find this
method to be the quickest. Some children use Pull-Ups for weeks, and even months....but in
most of the children I helped to potty train, give them a week (and in some cases two) of
regular use of training pants, and they will begin to gopotty. Why? Well, the underpants
are not as absorbant as diapers and Pull-Ups. Your child will be able to actually feel the
wetness....and in most cases, it is uncomfortable. Over the first few days, you will
probably go crazy changing your child because of the number of times you child will wet or
soil the underpants, but the key is to be persistant and not to give up.
When your little one tells you that he has wet his pants, take them into the bathroom and
sit your little one on the toilet as you remove the wet underpants and clothing. Don't
tell him that he "needs" to go in the toilet....but rather let him sit on the toilet so
that he will get the feel of it. Even children who have refused to sit on the toilet will
tend to allow this because they are distracted by what you are doing (the removal of the
wet clothing, etc.) After you have removed the wet clothing, ge Another very important
step is to make sure to have your child flush the toilet...even if they didn't "go" in it.
After flushing, go together to your sink and wash your hands together. Again, the
handwashing should be done even if your child didn't actually "go" in the toilet. With the
toilet flushing and the handwashing, you are getting your child ready for the rountine of
what happens when you go potty.
Those are the steps and you should repeat these steps over and over, in a consistant
pattern, until your child is fully potty trained. I also want to remind you to enjoy this
time. Yes, enjoy it! This is a very big milestone for your child and although it creates
a lot of work for you, it will all be worth it.
Note: This article does not replace your pediatricians advice, and may not apply in all
situations. Please use this article only as a guide.
©2000 - Brandie Valenzuela.
Brandie is the owner and editor of the Family
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