Thursday, June 11, 2009

Potty training tips

We sell a variety of training pants at our stores, so naturally, the topic of potty training comes up quite frequently. It's one of those things that as a parent, you can't avoid, but you can make it easier by following some simple rules:

1) You can't start pottying your child 'too early'. It was common practice in previous generations to start pottying babies well before two or three years old (ask your parents!), which is the current standard in North America. In other cultures, babies are pottied from birth. The concept of waiting to start potty training a child until she can walk and talk, and pull her own pants up and down independently is nonsense. The earlier you start pottying your child, the easier it will be on both of you!

2) As soon as your child has solid poops (um, solid food begets solid poop!), and it becomes obvious when she's having a bowel movement (farting, grunting, going red in the face, you get the picture?), if you're around and you notice what's happening, take the diaper off and let her finish it on the potty. If you continually wait for her to finish it in the diaper, and then you give her a fresh diaper, you are training her to poop in the diaper. If your child poops in a diaper, make it a point to let her watch you dump the contents of the diaper into the toilet -- let her wave bye-bye, let her flush the toilet... let her know where poop belongs!

3) Don't ask your child if she wants to use the potty, you are just providing an opportunity for her to say 'no'. Watch the clock, and take her accordingly; start by pottying her on a frequent basis, then slowly increase the time between potty trips.

4) When you begin actively potty training your child (ie, trying to get her to self-potty), move her right out of diapers into underwear, don't rely on training pants. Training pants are meant to hold a wetting, there will be no repurcussions for your or her if she has an accident. The onus is on you at the beginning of potty training to take your child to the potty (see point #3). If she is wearing training pants, you will be lazy about it (trust me!). If she is wearing underwear, you will be more likely to potty her on a consistent basis. Only use training pants for excursions outside of the house.

5) Reward your child for self-pottying. There is nothing wrong with providing an incentive for your child to potty herself. Whatever her button is, you've got to push it! At the beginning, when she is getting used to self-pottying, reward her every time she takes herself to the potty (even if it's every twenty minutes to squeeze out a drip!). Then reward her every two times, then every three times... you get the picture? Don't worry, she won't require a Smartie to pee when she's 18 years old, lol.

6) Relax. Don't get stressed out about accidents (which are inevitable), your stress will make your child anxious. Potty training is not going to be an overnight event, it's a gradual process, there will be accidents, but no parent has ever sent a child to university wearing diapers.

When it's time for you to purchase training pants for your little one, we have a great selection:

- Bummis training pants ($12.00) feature a PUL outer, and a cotton flannel inner, with extra absorbency sewn into the wet zone. S: 20-30 lbs; M: 30-40 lbs; L: 40-50 lbs

- Mother-ease training pants ($13.00) feature a PUL outer and a cotton terry inner, with extra absorbency sewn into the wet zone. S: 20-30 lbs; L: 30-40 lbs

- Happy Heiny pocket trainers ($20.00) feature snaps that make it easier to deal with poopy accidents; they are lined with a microfleece lining, so your child will not feel wetness. XS: 15-25 lbs; S: 25-35 lbs

- Starbunz learning undies ($20.00, ETA end of June) have a pocket so you can customize absorbency; they feature a cotton lining (especially made for us!), and snaps to make it easier to deal with poopy accidents. They have stretchy sides, to make it easier for your child to pull them up or down.

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