Potty time?

 - by Sarah Lipoff

This morning my daughter brought to my attention her need for a fresh clean diaper. She’d never done this before, sharing with me that she had soiled her diaper and was in need of a new one. At first my excitement was overwhelming – was this the start of potty training? Could it be time to sit on the potty? Is it possible I might not have to spend money on diapers and wipes and ointments anymore?

Well, I’m getting a bit ahead of myself. My babe is just about 18-months and barely able to reach the toilet. She’d end up taking a bath in the potty if she actually sat on it. So, I figured it was time to purchase some potty training items and at least let her check out what sitting on the potty is all about.

Understanding that potty training isn’t going to happen overnight is the first step to toilet training success. Also, not having any expectations, not putting pressure on your child (or yourself), and keeping a positive attitude helps with the whole transition. Your job as a parent is to get your kid to sit on the potty every two hours, happily help change her when she has an accident, and allow her body in its own time to understand when its ready to say goodbye to those diapers and fully transition to using the toilet.

As a preschool teacher, I’ve assisted in potty training quite a few of the young people of my community, but this is my kid we’re talking about. I know it wont be the same.

I’ve worked with kids as old as 5 years of age that weren’t potty trained along with the child’s┬áparents that were freaking out because of it. They had tried everything, pulled their hair out at night not understanding why their child wont kick those diapers, suffered through countless potty accidents, and tried to offer as much moral support to their older child as humanly possible (but were really about to have a potty training breakdown). I would take their youngster by the hand and help him make the transition from pull-ups to toilet success. Most times, the child just needed an extra push from someone other than his parents, who were (understandably) a bit burned out on the situation.

I’m not sure what my daughter will make of her new potty chair. She might find it an interesting toy – a spot to put her pretend car keys. Honestly, I don’t care. As long as she takes an interest in her new potty, I’m feeling positive about the direction our potty training is heading.

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