Potty training in 10 steps

Potty training in 10 steps

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Narrator: Potty training will go more smoothly if you understand the basics and approach it step by step.

Alynn, mom of 22-month-old Mason, has been watching for the developmental cues that he's ready to potty train. It seems the time is right.

Child: Hi, doctor.

Pediatrician: Hi, Mason. How are you, buddy? Good to see you!

Narrator: Josh Rabinowitz of Advocare Mainline Pediatrics in Pennsylvania is a pediatrician and father of three. He's meeting with Alynn to go over ten basic potty training steps.

Pediatrician: Potty training is an important developmental touchstone and it really represents early independence.

Narrator: First, the supplies you'll need:

A potty chair or a potty seat. You might want a few for different parts of your home.

A stool for using a potty seat and reaching the sink to wash hands.

Big kid underwear. You'll need this eventually, but save it until your child is almost fully trained.

Optional items include:

Potty training books and videos.

Stickers and a reward chart.

Pull-on training pants, and

A waterproof mattress pad.

Step one: Figure out if your child is ready to potty train. Learn the signs of readiness, or ask your child's doctor.

Mother: "Using the potty, I feel grand."

We've been reading a lot of potty books, and it seems like he's really interested now in using the potty.

Pediatrician: That's an encouraging sign. There are many signs that children may give us to let us know that they are ready for potty training. Not every child is going to exhibit every sign.

Narrator: Children don't potty train at the same age or the same pace. Most kids are ready to start learning some time between 18 months and age 3.

Step two: Choose a good time to start potty training.

Pediatrician: It's important to choose a good time when you will be able to be around steadily, to respond to his cues and be supportive of his attempts.

Narrator: Pick a time when your family's not traveling, extra busy, or going through big changes.

Consider potty training during a warmer time of year if possible. You can dress your child in less clothing, which makes it easier to undress for the potty and clean up after accidents.

Step three: Start a routine. Once a day, seat your child on the potty fully clothed – after breakfast, before a bath, or whenever he's likely to need to go.

Pediatrician: Once Mason is able to sit on the potty with his clothes on and he's comfortable, then we practice sitting on the potty with maybe just his diaper on. He may even want to try to pee or poop into his diaper while he's sitting on the potty. Once he's comfortable with that, we'll have him sit on the potty without clothes on.

Narrator: Don't force your child to sit on the potty if he doesn't want to. It could scare him. Wait a week or two and try again.

Step four: Demonstrate the process.

Pediatrician: An important step is to model for Mason the behaviors of going to the potty.

Narrator: Describe to your child how you know that you need to pee or poop. Then show him how you use the toilet, wipe, and pull up your underwear.

Mother: What's Momma doing?

Narrator: Let him see what you left in the toilet. Then demonstrate flushing and washing your hands. Seeing an older sibling do this can be helpful too.

You'll be helping your child in the bathroom for a long time, especially with wiping after a bowel movement and washing hands thoroughly.

Of course, you'll do things differently depending on whether you're training a boy or a girl.

Pediatrician: It's important to teach boys to go on the potty sitting first. Then we can teach them later to stand and aim into the toilet properly.

Narrator: For girls, make sure you wipe in the right direction after a bowel movement.

Pediatrician: It's important to wipe girls from front to back so we're not wiping bacteria from the anus up into the vagina.

Narrator: Step five: Make it personal. Help your child understand the connection between his waste and the toilet.

Pediatrician: Next time he has a dirty diaper, bring him up to the toilet with his potty chair, put the poop into the toilet, let him flush the toilet, and say “bye bye, poop” so he learns that that's where bowel movements go.

Narrator: Step six: Encourage the habit. Tell your child to sit on the potty and try to go whenever he has the urge. The more time he spends out of diapers, the faster he'll learn, but be prepared for clean-ups.

If your child isn't getting any pee or poop in the potty, try the "wait and pee" approach. Sit him down on the potty when you think he's likely to pee or poop and keep him engaged with jokes or a book until he lands something in the potty.

Mother: So when he finally goes on the potty, how should I react?

Pediatrician: You should praise him. Not with humongous amounts of praise, but that reward is even just you being so loving and positive for him about his success in the potty.

Narrator: Rewards like stickers or a special privilege can also help motivate your child to use the potty regularly.

Step seven: Pick out training pants. Once potty training is going well, try putting your child in training pants instead of a diaper. Your child can pull these on and off without help, which is good preparation for wearing underwear. Encourage your child to keep his "big boy" pants clean and dry.

Pediatrician: If he's successful, he can go right to big boy underwear.

Narrator: Letting your child pick out new underwear is a great reward for potty training progress.

Step eight: Handle setbacks gracefully. Accidents are normal during potty training and long afterward.

Pediatrician: Mason may show a lot of interest early on and have a lot of success, and then not really care.

Narrator: When this happens, don't get angry or punish your child – this makes potty training harder on both of you. For better results, be positive and loving. After an accident, calmly clean up and encourage your child to use the potty next time.

But you may need to play detective to find out if there's a bigger problem at work. Constipation, fear, discomfort, or anxiety can all cause your child to regress.

Father: [Reading to Mason] Munch munch scrunch…

Narrator: Step nine: Introduce night training. If your child is staying dry all day, including during naps, he may be ready to sleep without a diaper or training pants at night.

Put a waterproof pad on his mattress and have him try it. Make sure to have him go to the bathroom right before bed.

Pediatrician: It's important to expect that even when Mason is dry throughout the day and is moving his bowels regularly in the potty, that he may not be dry at night for a long time.

Narrator: Your child's body may not be mature enough to wake him when he needs to go. If your child is wetting or soiling the bed regularly, put him back in diapers or training pants at night and try again in a few months.

Step ten: Reward success.

Pediatrician: As Mason continues to succeed with his potty training, we offer appropriate praise and rewards. Don't use food or candy as incentive for him to go on the potty. Praise him with stickers, or with words of appreciation and love.

Narrator: It takes time and patience to potty train your child. Once you're done, celebrate!

Watch the video: How to Potty Train Your Dog in 7 Days. Super Awesome Dogs (July 2022).


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