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Potty training issues - what is normal?
When you have a toddler or preschooler who is potty training and experiencing toilet training problems you start to worry.
The good news is that in all probability, your potty trainee is completely fine. I've potty trained 4 kids of my own, with a wide range of toilet training experiences and they all (eventually!) trained just fine.
- Why isn't he training faster?
- Am I doing something wrong?
- Should I try something else?
- Is her behavior normal?
But there were plenty of rough spots along the way.
Let's take a look at some common potty training issues and some useful solutions you can try for yourself.
Potty training issues come in all varieties.
Regression is so frustrating in potty training...and so common. What helps when this happens is to remember that your child DID get the idea behind toilet training. So what's happening? Well, every child is unique, but often a toddler or preschooler regresses simply because they're tired of working at the potty game.
- Getting it - then forgetting it.
Really. Think about it. You are anxious for your child to be done with toilet training but they are interested in - fun. After the initial excitement about learning this new, grown-up skill wears off, your son or daughter is left with the reality: several times a day he must stop what he's doing to go to the bathroom.
Sorry, but that's not interesting at all.
The answer becomes obvious, doesn't it? Creatively keep your child's interest level in the potty training process as high as necessary for this new skill to become second nature. Try new songs, potty games, a different prize once in a while, in general keep mixing things up.
Potty training issues with pooping are also quite common. Pooping is fascinating to small children. Something comes out of them. The act of flushing is scary for some kids. Others are delighted by it. Pooping feels different from peeing, too. Your child must figure out a whole different set of bodily signals to get this job done right.
Make sure your child is on a good diet for regular bowel movements. Lots of fiber and water. Use a gentle stool softener if you must. In a matter-of-fact manner, make sure that using a the potty is regulary scheduled when he needs to poop. Often that is after a meal or first thing in the morning. Every one is different, pay attention to your child's physical (and facial) cues and you'll know when to set him on the potty chair.
If your child has developed the habit of pooing in his pull up, try this. First, insist that she sit on her potty chair when she needs to poop. Let her poop in the pull up while sitting on her potty chair. Explain that eventually she will want to put her poop in the potty chair - that's where it belongs.
After she does that once or twice, when she needs to poop, take her to the potty chair, put an open pull up in the potty chair and tell her to poop in the pull up. When she does give her plenty of praise and tell her how happy her poop is being where it belongs.
Next step is to remove the pull up, of course. You can roll up the pull up and set it next to the potty chair. I would say nothing unless the child asks. Then say it's there if it's needed. If she wants it back, put it back in the potty chair for another time or two and then remove it again.
And always stay matter-of-fact. Because if you don't, you face the next HUGE potty training issue.
You cannot make your child toilet train. And the more you nag, scold, jump up and down, and beg the more your child understands that they have all the control in this issue. So, whatever potty training issues you are experiencing, usually the best first move is to...back off. Relax. Show it's not a big deal to you...but suggest it may be a big deal to them.
Make them think about how big people DO think potty training is a big deal - maybe they should check it out closer. The fact is, if you can get your child to want to be potty trained, she'll train herself within days.
Because one way or another she WILL train herself. The question is, how long will she wait?
Boys potty training issues can be a bit different from girls. I personally didn't find any truth to the idea that boys train faster than girls (one of my boys took almost 2 years to train), but there are some common sense things that you can take advantage of to help your boys toilet train.
To sit or to stand is always a question parents have. Make it easy on yourself. Let your son watch his dad doing his business. Get him a potty chair. Explain it's easier to sit down (and he'll have to when it's bowel movement time), but if he wants to stand up, you'll help him try that, too.
Then let him practice. Yes, there will be messes. For boys, that's often part of the charm. Get an easy to clean potty chair and put it in any easy to clean part of the bathroom. Encourage lots of practicing. The more your child practices, the sooner potty training will be behind him.
Boys like to play target practice at potty time, too. Another good move to encourage using the potty: float pieces of toilet paper and let him aim and for a special treat, get him some premade potty training targets.
Toddler potty training issues are quite common, as well. Check for potty readiness cues before starting toilet training and you'll get farther, faster.
Keep in mind that potty training issues are actually a normal part of the process and you'll be less likely to view them (and react) as though they're a problem.
Toddlers often get trained quite easily and then suddenly have difficulties when you throw something else in the mix, like using a public restroom.
Keep things simple for both you and your toddler by using a portable potty training chair that you can keep in the car for shopping excursions and outings of all kinds. There are even disposable potty training chairs for super convenience!
Using a dvd for potty training is sometimes a great help with toddlers, especially if your toddler likes to watch things over and over. One of my daughters loved singing potty songs at the top of her lungs. Kept the whole process fresh and fun and helped her stay interested in potty training.
If potty training issues don't respond to these simple ideas, consider getting a comprehensive potty guide. Make sure you get one that's full of ideas for a wide range of toilet training issues; it can be a very helpful thing to do.
Popular potty training topics.
Potty Training Child
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Toilet Training Tips
Many times just one new piece of toilet training advice that I hadn't considered before was just the help I needed to help my child over a potty training hump.
Potty Training Boy
Additional tips to help if you are potty training a boy (I've trained two boys myself).
Potty Training Girls
Specific tips to help potty training for girls move smoothly (I've trained two girls myself).
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
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