Friday, November 23, 2007

Potty training (revised version)

These were things I purchased/did before starting potty training:

· I read the book ‘On Becoming Potty Wise for Toddlers’ by Gary Ezzo & Robert Bucknam before starting at all. I highly recommend doing some reading before you start and making a plan! This is a short book and easy to read but below there’s a website with heaps of other options too.
· 15 pairs of underpants
· 4-5 pairs tracksuit pants/shorts (something easy to pull up and down quickly)
· a couple of extra pairs of socks and shoes (these get wet too)
· special treats for rewarding success
· chips, dry biscuits to encourage a good thirst in the first week
· milk primas/ special drinks to get lots of fluids in (more opportunities to teach)
· some new/special books, sticker book etc to encourage sitting on potty
· You may want a potty training dvd for the child to watch- I didn’t get one but it’s a good idea.
· Protective seat cover for the car seat and pram (I just use the same one). I bought mine at Baby Bunting~ Kiddopotamus brand
· a potty (or two) that child feels comfortable sitting on- a bowel movement can take a while sometimes! At the start I left my extra potty in the car for emergencies and for when we were at other people’s houses. We tried a few potties before we found one that T liked- some he just wasn’t comfortable on!
· Box of wipes close by potty
· Potty training doll to demonstrate and make it fun. I used Potty Elmo (only needed him at the beginning)
· Pull-ups (optional). I used these occasionally at the start when we went out somewhere where I knew it would be difficult but I think because T was so young he didn’t understand that they weren’t undies and he never got lazy and urinated in them. I think as they get to know what you expect them to do, pull-ups have a danger of sending a mixed message- at some stage you have to trust them!! I did also buy Pods (like a kids pad to put inside the underpants) from America, but they arrived too late and we hardly used them.
· Potty poncho- a cover for public toilet (didn’t need straight away)

My son (T) was 19 months old when we began potty training (this had advantages and disadvantages). So from mid April this year this is a rough outline of the journey.

Before: Go through the toileting process with a doll (I used Elmo). Talk it
through and get them to role play etc.
Days 1-3 T did not show many signs of grasping the concept. I mainly
focused on giving him foods that made him thirsty and lots of drinks and about every hour trying to put him on the potty with books or a dvd to keep him sitting down for 5-10 minutes hoping to catch a wee.
I kept asking him if he was dry and giving lots of praise or occasional rewards if he was. Lots of treats for a success on the potty! Celebrate.
When they have an accident, don’t make a big thing of it but say something like, “Oh no! Wee goes on the potty. Oh well, try again later”. I had my mum come and help me for the first couple of days. Initially she was there to mind E so I could focus all my attention on T but she was actually an invaluable support when I felt discouraged or wanted to give up. I really owe the success of training to her and my husband otherwise I definitely would’ve quit.
Days 4-18 We progressed from about a 50% success rate to maybe 80% but I had learnt his body pattern and it was much easier to predict. If we went out during this period e.g. we had a Christening on, we used a pull up but treated it like underpants in that we still took him to the toilet etc.
By the second week if T was in my care (not being babysat) we had almost 100% success (by a combination of me putting him on the potty and him using gestures to indicate that he needed to go). We still used the Elmo doll to role-play etc.
Expect them to be extra tired too- they’re learning a new skill that’s taking lots of concentration. Also, I felt exhausted as well!!
Days 18- 25 I went overseas for a week leaving him to be cared for primarily by my mum but also by others. I asked them to use a combination of pull-ups and the potty (to make it easier for them- less mess) and that I would resume training when I returned.
Day 25-27 Within two days of being back in underpants full-time as well as staying home and really focusing on ‘getting it right’, we were back on track.
Month 2- My focus changed in the second month to try to allow T to become totally responsible for his own urges. I would put him on the potty before we went out but would leave the rest up to him. This was hard to do- to let him tell me when he needed to go without reminders. I really had to bite my tongue and be prepared for a couple of accidents which I used as reminders about what he needed to do.
Month 3- In the third month I tried to concentrate on using both the potty and the toilet but it was obvious that the potty was definitely the preferred option. This posed a problem because E was now crawling and wanting to (a) touch the potty and (b) harass T whilst on the potty. He was fine using the ‘big’ toilet while we were out but wanted the potty at home.
Month 4- By about July, we started giving treats and praise again but this time for the ‘big toilet’ and we stored the potties away and out of sight. Just gave treats for about a week and then slowly ‘forgot’ about them.
Month 5-now T tells us when he needs to go to the toilet. He always uses the big toilet now (with his cushioned seat insert) and likes to be left alone to do his business. I leave a few books near the toilet for him to read when he’s using his bowels. He gets offended when we require him to go to the toilet when he doesn’t need to go but usually obliges with some coaxing. The next step for us now is teaching T to wipe after a poo and eventually getting himself on and off the toilet, redressing and washing hands etc independently. This will gradually happen as he gets physically taller/bigger and more able. We’ll also have to ‘night’ train him too but we might wait until he’s closer to 3 to attempt that.

Here are some websites to check out: (Pods) cute Elmo movie
site with potty time dvd

There are so many books on the subject. Have a browse and see which one you find the easiest to read. I highly recommend “getting you head in the game” before you start so that you feel prepared.

On Becoming Potty Wise for Toddlers- Potty Training doesn't have to be complicated and neither should a resource that explains it. On Becoming Potty Wise for Toddlers looks to developmental readiness cues of children as the starting point of potty training. Readiness is a primary prerequisite for successful training according to the best selling authors, Gary Ezzo & Dr Robert Bucknam. While no promises can be made, they can tell you that many moms successfully complete their training in a day or two. Some achieve it literally in hours. What makes the developmental readiness approach work so successfully? Timing:Learn to recognize the optimal window for potty training your toddler. Education: Learning the most effective way to teach your toddler the potty training process. Motivation: Learning hoe to instill into your toddler a sustained excitement about using the potty on his or her own.Author: Gary Ezzo & Robert BucknamPublisher: Parent-Wise Solutions, Inc.ISBN: 9781932740141 Format: Paperback BookOnline Price: $16.95

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