Submitted by Ryan Holota of JustCallMeDad.com
There comes a time in every man’s life when he must stop defecating in his diaper and start using the toilet. For most, that time is sometime between the ages of two and three. For my son, it was 30 months on the nose.
Personally, I’m fairly laid back about this sort of thing; my logic has always been that I didn’t know any twenty year olds who were in diapers and that at some point things would happen and the toilet would come into play. For my son the other kids at daycare and peer pressure became the inciting incident.
Potty time is a regular occurrence at my son’s daycare, and it is something of a group activity as far as I can tell. Not in that everyone watches, but in that it is a social event that occurs at set times throughout the day. After a few weeks of regularly participating and several days of dry diapers, the decision was made to try big boy underwear for the day. The experiment was a big success, and he only wears diapers now when he goes to bed or when we are traveling a long way.
Here are a few tips to help potty training go a little easier:
- Get your child used to the potty slowly by placing him/her on it before bath time. Applaud loudly if your child does relieve themselves.
- Big Boy underwear is a major motivating factor. The very idea of Thomas and Friends briefs made my son beg to pee in the potty.
- Make potty time a regular occurrence. Take your child to the bathroom every couple of hours, whether they think they have to go or not. Something will come out, and they will learn that they do have some measure of control over this function of their body.
- Make poop a common topic of conversation. If you make too big of a deal about potty training kids can become intimidated or even afraid of the toilet. However, if your child hears Dad saying that he is going to take a poop or pee, your child will become more comfortable with saying those things too.
- Dress your child in sweatpants or loose clothes. Pants that are hard to undo make those rush trips impossible.
- Keep flushable diaper wipes in the bathroom. Kids sometimes make a real mess when they poop.
- Positive reinforcement is better than scolding. Cheer and applaud when things go right. When accidents happen, simply clean them up and move on.
Most importantly - Relax! Yes, there will be accidents. Yes, there will be messes, sometimes really smelly messes, which need to be cleaned up. You will wonder how all of THAT fit into a child so small, and why it is that the socks get so wet when they pee, but the pants seem to stay dry. Making a big deal out of the occasional accident will not help. If the accidents are too frequent, switch back to diapers and try again in a couple of months. It’s no big deal. By university this will have worked itself out.