Monday, May 27, 2013

"No Potty MOMMY!"

Daycare asked me about potty-training Child1 who is 2 years old. Another older child is working on potty training and they were planning on introducing the potty to Child1. I gave my indifferent blessing on this and shared some of my reservations. (Beware, I'll be using 'poop' versus stool/bowel movement and so forth)

1) Boys potty train later than girls, statistically. Many boys get potty trained around the age of 3, not so close to the age of 2. I know a 22 month girl who poops on the potty, but I don't think Child1 is all that interested.

2) Firstborns don't have an example to follow. That 22 month old girl I just mentioned has a 4 year old sister who is very proud of her potty skills. Consequently, the 22 month old is super motivated. It took the 4 year-old quite a bit longer though.

3) Parental commitment is lacking. Neither myself or HubbyJD are hardcore 'potty train NOW.' If they do it at daycare, and not at home, then you won't get far.

Daycare understood and hadn't really intended on doing very much. They wanted to let Child1 work on sitting on the potty after meals and seeing if he did poop there, making sure he didn't get afraid of the potty, and learning the idea of wiping and flushing. It will probably be several months until Child1 is actually in a better state of readiness.

Other pieces of advice from JaneMD on this subject. Make sure your child isn't constipated. Miralax is fiber, not a drug, so don't feel like a failure if your child ends up on it. Painful stools tend to make children have stool withholding (trying not to poop) behavior which encourages more painful stools. It becomes very difficult to potty train in those cases.

Try to use the child's natural physiology. The best time to go potty is after eating a meal because the gastrocolic reflex is working then. Gastrocolic reflex is why you feel the urge to go to the bathroom during your meal or right after. 

Don't spend a ton of money on the 'magical singing self flushing potty.' You didn't train on an electronic potty. The more the potty seems like a toy; the more it will be treated that way. Books, however, are perfectly welcome as a method of relaxing. It works on adults, too.

Say it with me, 'potty training is WAY more important to the parent than the child.' Your child, while not enjoying being wet and poopy, is only motivated to change because YOU care. Your child doesn't know any different so why would he/she spend energy on it? If you want an amusing potty training story about motivations, read Parenteconomics. The dad tries numerous ways to motivate his kids to potty train - and most of them backfire - until he outsources the problem to daycare by his third child. I personally have trouble keeping Child1 on the toilet to relax long enough to poop because Child2 is wandering the house while I supervise potty time.

So keep your cool and remember that almost every healthy child will be potty trained before 4 years old and it is not a reflection of you if your kiddo takes his/her time. When your child is doing an exclusive interview twenty years from now for inventing warp drive, she/he will not be recounting triumph over adversity because you didn't buy the most expensive potty. He/she will be recounting your attitude if you become a toilet-training tyrant.
(P.S. Alot of naked toddlers come up when you use goodsearch to look for 'potty.' Don't let it be your kid!)

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