Toilet Training (cont.)
IN THIS ARTICLE
Your child should have regular checkups, sometimes called well-child appointments, with a pediatrician, family medicine doctor, or other health professional. These visits allow the health professional to evaluate your child's development and ensure that he or she is healthy.
At the 2-year visit, the health professional will ask you about your child's progress in toilet training. This is a good opportunity to discuss any concerns you have about your child's readiness.
When to Call a Doctor
Call your doctor if you have concerns about your child's readiness for or progress with toilet training.
Most children use the toilet during the day consistently and successfully around age 3. Call your doctor if your child:
How to Help Your Child
There are many different strategies and approaches to toilet training. The methods that work best use positive reinforcement and begin intensive training only when a child is physically and emotionally ready. Introduce the basic concepts of toilet use gradually and repetitively to your child. As your child gains the necessary skills, he or she will show a sincere interest in using the toilet.
Before you decide to start toilet training, make sure the household environment is stable and that all family members are prepared to help in the process. Trying to start potty training soon after having another child, while remodeling your home, while having a succession of household guests, right before going on vacation, or during a time of relationship problems will likely not be as successful as during a calm period when the family can focus on helping your young child reach this significant developmental milestone.
Talk with your child about having a bowel movement and about urinating. Your child may be more comfortable saying "poop" and "pee." It is fine to use these words, but use the proper terms as well so the child learns what they mean.
Start to talk with your child about how to use the toilet. Explain how the toilet works and how your child will be able to use it when he or she is ready. Be enthusiastic and always speak positively about your child's using the potty. Talk about how he or she will no longer need to wear diapers, will get to wear underpants that are more comfortable, and can go just like a big boy or girl.
You can also use books and DVDs to help prepare your child. Ask your doctor or a librarian for more information.
Take your child with you to select a potty that is sturdy and comfortable. Be patient and give your child time to get used to and comfortable with it. Some ways to do this are by:
Your child may want to join you when you use the toilet. If you feel comfortable with an audience, allow him or her to join you. Talk with your child about what you are doing.
Toilet training is usually more successful if you are relaxed and patient with your child.
Eventually, your child will show an interest in using the toilet. When this happens, follow your child's lead and start the process. General suggestions that can make this process go more smoothly are to:
What to think about
Praise and encourage your child for success. You can say, "You are sitting on your potty just like mommy (or daddy, or big sister)" or "You are trying really hard to poop (or pee) in your potty." Reward your child for trying to use the toilet. You can use verbal praise and fun activities, such as stickers or special playtime with you.
Accidents happen. Do not scold or punish your child for accidentally wetting or soiling his or her pants. Be matter-of-fact and reassure your child that it's okay and that he or she will get better with practice. Also, remind your child to use the toilet when he or she wakes up in the morning.
If you and your child are not making progress with toilet training, it's okay. It's probably not the right time. Put the potty chair away until your child shows that he or she wants to try again.
The most important things to remember for toilet training are to wait until your child and family are ready and to make it a positive experience. Be patient, and look forward to the days ahead of freedom from diapers.
eMedicineHealth Medical Reference from Healthwise
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