Potty Problems

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Solutions to tot toilet-training challenges

You can see the finish line. A day when your child has developed and mastered a necessary life skill bringing them closer to their independence. It’s a diaper-free future, and you can’t wait to taste that sweet freedom. But to get there, you have to potty train them. And no-one could really prepare you for how frustrating it was going to be. Breathe! It’s normal to encounter resistance from your toddler, no matter what stage of potty-training they’re at.

To help you through this tricky time, here are solutions to some of the common problems you may be dealing with.

Issue: Scared Of The Toilet

Remember that to your toddler, the diaper has been a safe place. So, you can understand why they may find the toilet a little scary. To a child, the toilet is a huge contraption that could easily suck them in or be a hiding place for monsters. Show them that there’s nothing to worry about, by giving them a sense of control. American Academy of Paediatrics suggests letting them flush pieces of toilet paper to get them acclimatised to the flushing sound. It also helps to explain to them why we have body waste and why they should be happy to see it go away. Make the toilet child friendly with a stepping stool, and by letting them pick out a toddler training seat or potty that will be their special throne.

Issue: You’re On The Move A LOT

You’re not always going to be in the confides of your abode. Keep a portable potty with you when you’re out. It also helps to create a normal schedule that your child can adjust to. Suggest toilet visits throughout the day, and ensure that they visit the potty before they engage in an activity that they enjoy, such as playing in the playground.

Issue: They’re Regressing Back To The Diaper

In the book, The No-Cry Potty Training Solution, the author Elizabeth Pantley explains that, “About 80 percent of parents report having to deal with toilet-training setbacks”. When a child experiences some form of stress, such as a new brother or sister, illness or moving to a bigger bed, they tend to revert to a precious development level. Aviva Pflock, co-author of Mommy Guilt: Learn To Worry Less Focus On What Matters Most and Raise Happier Kids, says that you should, “Reassure your child, and yourself this is a temporary situation, and everyone will get back on track soon.” Start afresh with your normal potty routine, and maintain consistency.

Issue: They’ve Had An Accident

Don’t criticize, shame or punish your child when this happens. Try to keep your cool as you clean up the scene, and reassure them that accidents happen to everyone. To help with this, dress them with easy-to-remove clothing when out and about. Also, learn to identify their earlier ‘I need to potty’ cues before it goes to the ‘I’m very pressed’ cues.

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