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Potty training our little ones |

Health And Family

Potty training our little ones

MOMMY TALK - MOMMY TALK By Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan -
Dear Maricel,

Can you share with me some tips on potty training? I have a two-and-a-half-year-old boy and a one-year-old girl. I started potty training my two-and-a-half-year-old toddler when he was two and there are still lapses until now. Is it too late to potty train him now?


Dear Dulce,

Thank you for your letter.  Right now, I’m in the process of training my youngest son, who is turning three this month, to use the potty.  I started training him when he turned two, so it’s been quite a while already, but I’m not giving up. I know that with consistent training, my efforts will pay off. The average time to complete toilet training is about eight months, including some starts and stops. In my experience, my girls completed their toilet training faster than my boys.

Just before writing this article, my son Benjamin excitedly announced that he went to the potty to "poo."  I congratulated him, of course. Let me share with you some pointers that I’ve been applying.  Hope it helps.

1) Look for signs of readiness.

Before you begin potty training, it is important to look for signs of readiness, which include:

• Staying dry for at least two hours at a time

• Having regular bowel movements

• Being able to follow simple instructions

• Being uncomfortable with dirty diapers and wanting them to be changed

• Asking to use the potty chair or toilet

• Refusing to wear diapers and opting to wear regular underwear

2) Ineffective techniques

• Spanking, using force and punishing mistakes or "accidents" are not allowed.

• Making them sit on the potty chair or toilet seat for long periods of time will only tire them.

• Toilet training your child during a stressful time or period of change in the family (moving, new baby, etc.).

3) Reminders for grown-ups

• Give your child praise when you see progress.

• Remind him to use the potty.

• Bring him to the potty before a trip and as soon as you get to your destination and also before sleeping or taking a nap and as soon as he wakes up.

• Be consistent even when you don’t feel like bringing him/her to the potty.

• Offer rewards to encourage "proper behavior."

• Teach them to wipe and wash their hands after going to the bathroom.

• Take comfort in the knowledge that children train at their own pace.

• Set an example by allowing your child to see family members or other children use the toilet.  I let my boys go with their dad and one time I asked Anthony to make a paper boat float in the toilet bowl and see who sinks the boat first. I go with my girls and encourage them to learn proper hygiene in the girls’ room.
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