Potty Training: Do's And Don't For Caregivers

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There are so many different ideas out there when it comes to potty training children, in fact, you can find whole books written on the subject,  Some will say the ealier you start the better while some will say to just wait until your child is ready; they will let you know when that is somehow.  You can even find books on potty training babies, starting them as soon as they can hold their head up.  There are as many different ideas out there as there are people in the world.  So which one is right?  Which “expert” do you listen to, which article is right, which book do you buy?

It really does depend on your family and your child.  I am not really in favor of potty training babies, but if some moms want to spend all their time doing it, I am not going to argue that one.  However, I would not leave potty training up to when the child wants to do it.  I have worked with children for years, and there are just a few who just don’t care about potty training.  I have seen kids going to kindergarden in diapers because their parents did not work on it and went instead for the option of waiting on the child.  There is a line between the “child is not ready”, and the child does not want to do it.  As a parent you need to figure out which one it is.  For example, if you have a five year old still in diapers, unless he or she has some type of physical or mental handicaps, chances are, your child is just refusing to use the bathroom.   One possibilty you may want to check out if your child is taking too long or if they have been potty trained for a long time and suddenly have started having accidents again, it is possible that they may have a bladder infecction.  That would be something you may want to check with your doctor on.

The biggest factor in potty training is constintency.  Once you start, you need to actually do work on it with your child.  It will be hard work with lots of children, and it will be easy with some.  However, think of all the money you will saving when you don’t have to buy all of those diapers and wipes.  Won’t that be so nice?

If you seriously want your child to be potty trained, start taking him to the bathroom about every hour.  Get them on a routine.  Set a timer for yourself to remember.  When you switch to underwear, you might even want to take them every half hour, depending on how good they are doing with being dry.  Give them little treats for every day they are dry.  However, and this is a BIG warning, make sure they are small treats, like a sticker or candy.  Do not do big treats like movies or games or toys every day.  Kids are smarter than you may realize.  Once they are dry for awhile, you will stop giving them those big prizes; what do you think your child will do?  Well, he will want another toy, so he just might figure out the system, start peeing his pants again just so he can be dry again to get the toys back.  Do not underestimate the intellegence of a child.  Also, once you start, if your child goes to daycare, make sure they do the same thing there.  Being constistent can be very hard in a split parent home, but try to talk to the other parent so you both could be working on it at the same time.  Potty training takes twice as long if it is only being done some time but not all of the time.

One of the sillest tricks that works with a lot of boys is throwing cheerios in the toilet; for some reason boys like to have something to aim at.  This also helps with them getting more of it in the toilet and less on the floor, which is always a plus.  There are lots of cute potty training books out there if you want to get them.  You could even put food coloring in the toilet.  Remember, though, with every idea you find, it will not work for every child.  Just because something works for most people doesn’t mean it will work for your child. 

If you have done any reading on potty training, you have probably seen that people will say do not start right before you have a new baby or moving.  It is very true.  Some children may not have any problems with the change, but many of then will and lose all the progress they have made.  Some children who are already potty trained will suddenly start wetting the bed or their pants again. Any time there is about to be a big change in the family, you should wait on potty training.  I would say that the only exception to that is if there seems to be no end in sight to the turmoil in the family life.  If that is the case, you shouldn’t put it off forever waiting for everything to get better.

So keep in mind, as you take your child to the bathroom every hour, picture the hundreds of diapers you will no longer have to buy.  Picture how much money you will be saving because you don’t have to buy all those diapers.  Think about what you can spend that money on, and then while you are thinking about a shopping spree, go clean up the pee on the bathroom floor.  Yes, he missed the toilet again. 


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