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Potty training basics

Potty training is one of the greatest challenges of a parent’s life. (Though we don’t know if we can quite compare it to the challenges of letting your teenage daughter go on her very first date! Yikes!)
While potty training can be very stressful knowing the ins and outs along with tips and tricks can help make potty training go a lot smoother for both you and baby . . .

Look for signs of readiness

Starting potty training before your child is ready can have the absolute reverse effect of success. Pushing potty training when your child is not ready can actually delay potty training development. Some signs of potty readiness include the child removing his or her diaper after soiling, taking an interest in others potty habits (i.e. wanting to watch you, dad or a sibling use the potty) and/or forming habits when having a bowel movement such as squatting or grunting. While some kids will be ready to learn at an early 18-24 months it’s important to remember that some children have no interest in potty training until the age of 3 or even 4. So don’t get discouraged. All children are ready at their own pace.

Take aim with cereals

It might sound silly but little boys can find fun in potty training with a simple trick. Place a few Cheerios into the toilet before your child is ready to tinkle. Then have them practice “aiming” at the Cheerios. This not only helps with coordinating and avoiding lots of potty clean ups, it also makes potty time more fun.

Limit liquids before bed

Sounds simple enough but limiting liquids before bed can help limit accidents. However, you don’t want to deny your child liquid when they are thirsty. So this really comes with a hint of common sense. You can limit liquids just do so in a responsible way.

Don’t stress

If potty training is getting really stressful then maybe it’s time to call it a loss and wait a while. Potty training is strenuous but shouldn’t be stressful . . . at least not in a way that is causing meltdowns for you and baby. It’s ok to not be ready whether it is you or your child who is not ready. Potty training will only be successful when you are both ready to commit. Remember that some children aren’t ready until their third or even fourth birthday. Both ages are perfectly normal.
Potty training takes time to conquer both for mom and baby. Be patient with both your child and yourself. There are bound to be accidents and setbacks. Setbacks can also be a sign that your child is just not ready. If you think this is the case stop and wait for more signs of readiness.

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