Milestones in a baby's life need a lot of work, and more often than not the effort is made by the child himself. In the case of potty training, the tables are turned and as parents we have to initiate and keep trying until our mission is accomplished. We have rounded up some helpful tips based on firsthand experience to help the readers of Beiruting Kids with this tough journey.
As a first step, you need to be on the lookout for signs of readiness around the age of 2 years. These signs range from the child being shy, on the verge of ashamed, and go into a hiding place when they need to go potty, but since they have no alternative they will keep using their diapers. This is a preliminary sign and may go on for a few months before the child is physically ready, however one of the surefire signs is the child's ability to go up the stairs unassisted. Why is that important you might think? It's because this signifies a sphincter muscle that has matured and is ready to retain bodily functions and to release at will.
It is essential that you lead by example, as strange as it might sound, the more your child sees you using the toilet, the more it will help this act become mainstream for him/her, and a normal part of the day. Many schools of thoughts might disagree with this level of lack of privacy, but if we as parents make a big deal out of hiding certain body parts when we are trying to teach a task, then the child will feel ashamed rather than comfortable.
Like everything else in life, there is reward and punishment. However, we use the term "punishment" to show the contrast of the two and not at all to signify an actual act. The reward of a successful potty session is clapping, cheering, a sticker, or even a toy or snack promised to the child prior. The punishment is a sad face, a suggestion to go back to diapers, or any light gesture that helps the child understand what he did was wrong without harming his ego. You might want to use a strict tone but steer clear of screaming, as this will discourage your child from trying another time.
How to put these tips to practical use you might say? Keep in mind that girls are potty trained before boys, but it doesn't mean that the latter can't be diaper free at an early age also. Therefore to make things easier, here is a how-to guide.
Remove the diaper during the day. Yes, remove it completely because if you leave it on and intend to ask the child whether he needs to go or not, more often than not it isn't happening. Take it off, replace it with underwear, and on the clock each half hour ask and try to put the child on the potty, and choose a colorful potty with flowers, animals or anything that your child favors. Some children refuse and cry, by all means don't force them to sit, they need to be emotionally ready as well, and don't take off their underwear by force, a baby is a person and has the right to have his/her body respected. Expect 3 days of running around the house with cleaning utensils to sanitize puddles of pee, and in some cases especially with boys, expect a week of this situation on and off for a couple of months until they are ready. By taking the diaper off, your child feels that he has done wrong and as the cold sensation trickles down, he will set himself not to repeat the mistake, day after day until a week or so, he/she will be diaper free during the day. All children at first can't hold their bowels, and they go every half hour, but as the days go by, 30 minutes turn into 3 hours. Don't be afraid to take your child out in underwear and shorts but take a change of clothes with you. You must know that once you set your mind to potty train your child it is a serious matter and you can't send mixed signals, it can't be potty train at home but use the diaper when you're out. If you have a special case where it is absolutely impossible to risk underwear and an accident, then use pull-ups, which are training underwear, and you can tell your child that they aren't diapers. Once a month has passed on daytime potty training, start observing your child's diaper when he wakes up in the morning, and if you find it dry day after day the remove it as well. This doesn't guarantee a clean bed, there is always a risk of accidental slips afterwards, but at least you can rest knowing that the major work has been done.
It is essential that as parents we are aware of this important milestone, and of the hard work we must dedicate to making it a success. It is true that no kid will enter college in diapers, but if we harness our energy into helping them cross that threshold, both us and our child will be ready to move on to accomplishing other tasks.
Photo credit : todaysparent.com
Article by : Maria Najem
Article Source : BeirutingKids.com