Potty training is not always easy and depending on each individual child, can take anywhere from weeks, months to even years. I went through it 5 times before and was lucky that it wasn't too hard. When the time came to help my daughter train her kids, it was a very different story, especially with my grandson. Now we are getting prepared to train Anthony in just a few months, and since we all live under one roof, we thought this Madrinas del Baño Pull-Ups campaign would be a perfect way to gain some tips and insights into potty training that might help us get him trained on the potty, without as much struggle as we endured with his brother.
Last week I attended a teleconference with two very respected parenting experts and I did in fact learn many tips for successfully potty training any child. The two panelists shared with us their expertise and experience with potty training, and today I get to share some of those tips with you.
Dr. Alberto Andres Cotton is a well-respected Miami based pediatrician with 17 years of pediatric experience who had dedicated his career to the well-being of children. Jeannette Kaplun is an award-winning journalist and internationally recognized parenting expert with over 17 years of experience on TV, radio, online media as well as a published author and mom.
Potty training tips straight from the experts.
Make potty training a family affair: especially with larger families like we Latinos have, it is important that everyone is on the same page. Share potty training tips, steps, schedule and any other little tricks you are using with the entire family (dad, abuelita, aunt, tio, los primos). Make sure everyone sticks to the same method especially if your child is being baby sat or is having an afternoon with the family. So before sending your child over make sure to explain what steps you and your child are following. Teaching the same routine will make potty training less stressful for your child.
When potty training boys, is it better to train them standing up or sitting down?
There is no wrong way to train a boy, it depends on the family. Dr. Cotton suggests that if a boy watches his dad standing up, he might do the same. But that is not the only way. There is not always a man to show them so sitting down is also fine and there are times that the child might feel more comfortable sitting down anyways, especially if they will be going number two. Just figure out which is more comfortable for the child and yourself.
The age question.
Although some believe that children should be trained by the time they are two years old,
experts say you shouldn't start training your little one until you see that they are ready. Dr. Cotton suggests that we don't worry about the age, rather lets worry about when the child is ready. If the child is not mentally ready, they will not be able to go to the restroom even if you persist, no matter how many relatives or friends tell you that they should be. Instead keep a look out for signs that show your child is ready and interested to begin. A child should also be able to communicate, sit down, get up and pull down his underwear.
When should we make the switch from diapers to training pants?
When the child asks to go to the restroom, even if they still have a few accidents or don't always make it on time. At that point the American Pediatrics Association suggests is a good time because the child is ready and can now pull their underwear on and off and will be more comfortable than tugging at diaper straps. Training pants can help make potty training a fun and easy bonding experience between parent and child by encouraging parents to celebrate the potty training milestone with fun rituals.
What do you do with a child who holds it until the very last minute?
I still struggle with this one with my own 5 year old daughter. I loved that Dr. Cotton suggested making a schedule depending on the age. For example, a child around 3-years-old
should be going 5-6 times a day to the restroom. So you should program a
schedule were they use the restroom in the morning, noon, afternoon, night, and
before they go to sleep.
The most important tip in my opinion.
Paciencia (patience). Dr. Cotton and Jeannette Kaplun both said it several times. There is no rushing in potty training and marathon training is not suggested. Potty training is a long process, and not always stress-free. There should be no comparing, no scolding, no putting extra stress on your child. Potty training does not happen de un dia a otro, but it will happen, so enjoy it and make the experience a pleasant one.
Done right potty training can be a bonding time for you and your child and it can also be fun. I already feel a little more comfortable with training another boy, now that I am equipped with some much knowledge. You can find more ways to celebrate every flush by visiting Pull-Ups on Facebook and by watching this video.
This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pull Ups. However, all opinions expressed are my own.