Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pre-Potty Training

These past couple of weeks I have been focusing on paving the road ahead for….DUM, DUM, DUMMM, potty training. It’s one of those milestones you hear horror stories about so I’m going to make sure this momma is prepared.

Getting Ready
Pre-potty training is more or less about introducing the concept of having to use the potty, but without actually putting your child on the Potty. This is to warm the child up to the concept so it’s not a total shock the day you start potty training. Here's Some examples of  suggestions I've found for pre-potty training that we've been incorporating in our daily routine. This one we've been doing ever since my son could walk, involuntarily. When our son fallows us to the bathroom it came pretty natural for us to narrate the steps we took to use the potty, ending it with a joyous “bye, bye- pee,pee!”. I think once most babies learn to walk they fallow mommy and daddy into the bathroom anyway. If they don't already, and your looking to start potty training soon...well you know what they say, "monkey see, monkey do". During diaper changes we’ve been incorporating potty vocabulary more often then regular (pee-pee, poo-poo, wet, dry, clean, dirty, when your ready your going to learn to pee and poop in the potty like mommy and daddy).  My toddler already enjoys trying to be more independent, and when he’s potty trained he’ll be in a whole new league of independence. I’ve been trying to back off and encourage him to try to do some things on his own, if we have time (put on his socks, pull up his pants, get in his seat’s by himself, pour his own water, etc). This will give him a taste of independence, build his confidence, and make potty training less intimidating. I also checked out a few fun potty training books for the whole family . Word of advice, read through the book before showing them to your child.  Some may illustrate some habits you don’t want your child do pick up, like peeing on the wall or waring the potty for a hat.  I checked out every ”how to” potty training book they had available, even one for dad. I will be posting our favorites later.

Three Crucial Factors
From what I’ve read so far I can tell you there are only three crucial factors before starting potty training. These will help in achieving a pleasant and successful potty training experience.

#1 Don’t dwell on the fact that little Timmy down the street is already running around in his Scooby-Doo underwear. I know sometimes we can feel pressure from friends, family, and even daycare providers. Regardless of contrary belief you can rest assure there is no study that provides a correlation between kids who potty train sooner, and kids with high I.Q.’s. Here's a great tip to get those people who question your parental choices about the topic. Quote a doctor or a book. Many people accept your point of view if a medical professional or published has validated it.

#2 Do not start potty training until your child is ready. I think this is the most important factor. If you start before your child is ready you’ll run into a lot of setbacks. This can ultimately end in having to stop the process altogether than restart when your child is ready, or make the process longer than necessary. There are many signals to look for to determine if your child is ready (the potty dance, squatting, stopping activity, etc.). The book I’m reading even has a quiz you can take that tells you if your child is ready. Isn’t that great?

#3 Your attitude. It’s going to be a challenge at times but remain calm, positive, and supportive. Accidents are bound to happen, just deal with it and move on. Try to make it a fun experience for the both of you. Reward him with some special stickers or a prize of some sort for every time he does his business in the potty. Try to be creative and have fun with it.

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