Thursday, November 6, 2014

New To Potty Training? Here's What You Need To Know

If you are new to potty training the first thing you need to know is that it sucks. This is not meant to discourage you, and there are some times of joy as you see your baby become a big boy/girl, but the overall process is not fun. I have yet to meet a mom that said they were sad that potty training was done. In my opinion it is the single most challenging task of the first 5 years of life. However, the good news is that it doesn't last forever, and your child will not be in diapers forever, but there are a few tricks to the trade that might make your journey a little easier.

Ready or Not? If your child is not ready for the potty don't force the issue. I learned this the hard way. You will know when they are ready to take that step. I encourage you to go ahead and buy a potty when you want to start introducing it to them and do just that. Let them get comfortable with the potty, stick some toys in it, use it as a recliner to watch cartoons, etc. This way the potty won't be like the electric chair to them. They will begin to feel a greater sense of comfort. Remember what they always taught us in school, first impressions are everything!

Underwear Dare. This is probably one of the most valuable tips but the one that will cause you the most time cleaning. Invest in some cool looking or incredibly cute underwear that will catch your toddler's eye; he/she will rip out of that pamper so fast your head will spin. Now, the first million times they will pee in them, and look in amazement at what is coming out and where its coming from. This is the key, because once they start putting these things together they will start to learn control. If you can catch them peeing in mid-stream put them on the potty, they will start to recognize the connection of all that's going on. I must remind you that it is a process.

Every Kid Is Different. You may compare stories with your friends and other moms, and their toddler may be doing hoops around yours in the potty race, but do not get discouraged. Every child progresses at their own pace. If you are a parent to more than one child you might have the urge to compare one sibling to another. Just remember that as different as they are in personality, so is the same with their development as well. Some children are more receptive to the potty, and some are a little more hesitant. Just work with your child in a way that works best for him/her. With some trial and error you will have success.

Potty Dance! Make the biggest celebration possible when they use the potty, pull out all the stops, dance around, shout, and make it a big deal. Positive reinforcement will make them feel special and want to get the same recognition again and again. Now, sometimes it won't be easy, like when they miss, or half of the poop is laying on the floor. Your first instinct will be to scream (I'm still working on this) but try with all your might to still make them feel like they did a good job.

Schedule It. Get your toddler on a schedule. For example, every 30 mins sit him on the potty for 5 mins. As it goes along you will start to figure out the right timing. Also be mindful of when they have something to drink. If they have something to drink you can almost count that about 20 mins later its probably ready to come back out. For this reason you might want to give them liquids in accordance to your potty schedule.

Patience Is A Virtue. The biggest obstacle with potty training in my opinion, is having the patience to see it through. Potty training can be very time consuming and it comes with its frustrations. Just try to be as patient as you can (nobody is perfect, you will come unglued a few times) and remember that this is just a stage and it will pass. Keep your eyes on the prize...being diaper bag free!

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