18 September 2009

Potty Training

Let me start by saying I think we potty train our children too early. I think we start and push too far too soon. I'm as guilty as the next person. For me it comes from not wanting to be that close to stinky, poopy diapers anymore. I love my kids, but changing diapers gets old... fast. That being said, here is how I potty trained my kids. It worked well for E and I've seen signs it'll work well with Pieces, but I'm not ready for him to start.

Wilson Potty Training 101

1. Be prepared for mess ups. They happen, get over it.
2. have plenty of underwear on hand. mess ups happen.
3. Mentally prepare for the mess ups that will come. It's ok.
4. I like to use real words, toilet, poop, pee, penis, vagina etc. I figure let them learn the other stuff later. Teach them the scientific terms and use them with vigilance.

Ok, here we go:
Day 1: Show the the toilet. Make a big deal of what's coming. Explain what the toilet is for and how it works. Let them flush it. Let them wash their hands. Pretend for a bit. A peeing doll is nice, but not necessary.
Day 2: Repeat day 1 and add about how tomorrow is Big Girl/Boy day. play with underwear. It's ok to play with it, let them see it. We all use the toilet. It's no big deal. Continue throughout day explaining about how the toilet is for poop and pee. Get a good night's rest. Both of you.
Day 3: Get fluids ready. I don't do salt, it holds water. We want them to pee. As soon as they wake up, grab some brand new undies and head to bathroom. Put them on toilet and have them try. No more than 4-5 mins trying. Ever. Put on new underwear. Spend the rest of the day going to the bathroom to try every 30-45 mins. Give drinks all day. repeat. repeat. talk about the toilet and what it's used for.
Day 4: Repeat day 3.
Day 5: You should see improvement on own by now. If not.. I'd suggest trying again in a month. Go back to diapers. Don't mention the toilet at all and try again in a month. The same way.

Never demean or force your child to use the bathroom. Accidents are no big deal, so don't make them into one. But go to toilet and try there after every accident. This is how children get scarred. I don't believe in training pants, pull ups that stuff. Into undies and away we go. During the night I'd limit fluids and try right before bed. I'd go to sleep knowing I'm changing sheets and oftentimes I'm pleasantly surprised. Banana got thru the 2nd night fine and hasn't looked back. I've trained both a boy and a girl this way and it's worked for me. I hope it does for you. I'd love to hear how it went.

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