Have you seen that commercial? The one where a little boy, after struggling to accomplish his goal of going pee-pee in the potty, runs outside to a parade complete with clowns, a band, and adult men dressed as toilets.
I hate that commercial. Mostly because the other day my daughter finally went #2 on the potty, and then ran to the window and asked, “Where’s my parade?”
I gave her a chocolate chip, which thankfully she was happy with.
Potty Training is not easy. Judging from the sheer number of items that come up in an Amazon search for “potty training” (5,299), it’ a pretty hot topic with the preschool set. Everyone has war stories, ranging from most inappropriate place to have an accident (in church), to stories of the sheer obstinacy of toddlers who sit on the potty for 20 minutes, then pee on the floor next to the toilet.
I am by no means an expert on potty training. Heck, my youngest (3) still wears her “special underwear” (ie. training pants) at night. But here are a few tips that worked for me – and none of them involve the “iPotty” – a device that encourages children to bring an iPad to the bathroom with them.:
1. Don’t be afraid to do the “no-pants-dance.” When were were on Day 1 of potty training both our kids, we let them run around the house pantsless, and that way they (and we!) knew exactly when something was about to happen (or more often, already in progress).
2. Bite the bullet and set aside a few days to really work on potty training. I know this strategy doesn’t work for all families, but it really worked for us. With both kids, we chose a long weekend when both my husband and I would be home, and stayed at home for all three days. We went cold turkey on the diapers and had the kids wear new, cute underwear for all three days. By honing in our focus and not getting distracted by outings, both kids were really able to focus on the task at hand.
3. Let the child choose his or her own underwear. Having ownership and responsibility in the situation goes a long way toward helping children feel in control of the process.
4. Don’t throw out those wet wipes. Just because you’re not changing diapers anymore doesn’t mean you won’t need baby wipes next to the toilet and in the car. I really like the Seventh Generation Baby Free & Clear Wipes, especially for when we’re on the go. They’re made from renewable resources and free of fragrances, parabens, and pthalates. They make clean up MUCH easier and the Seventh Generation wipes are super-soft on little tushes. Trust me — kids will be more likely to wipe with something soft and comfortable than with rough toilet paper.
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