Potty training is one of the most exciting milestones of a young child’s life. It can also be one of the most frustrating. Some toddlers take to the toilet right away, while others take their own sweet time to get the hang of it.
No matter what kind of learner your child is, it helps to get some sensible advice from a fellow mom who knows the ropes. And Kate Gosselin has been there…and been there..and been there!
In her latest post for The Stir, the famous mom of eight offers her tips on successful potty-training techniques. Here are some of the highlights:
Starting at the right time is key. Even though you may have dreams of ditching the diapers right after your little one’s second birthday, that may not be realistic. Kate says that all her daughters were ready around age 2, but “my boys needed more time and potty trained closer to age 3.” (Signs of readiness include a curiosity about the toilet and a discomfort with wet diapers.)
Set a start date. Kate chose a time when she knew things wouldn’t be too hectic or require much traveling for the next couple of weeks, then marked the date on the calendar and gave pep talks to her children well in advance to get them excited about the idea.
Use training underpants instead of training diapers. Today’s diapers are so absorbent that children often don’t notice that they’re wet. Thick cotton pants allow the child to feel the moisture, making it easier for him or her to get the idea that it’s time to go. “They won’t like the feeling and will be more apt to stop the playing and get to the potty – fast!” says Kate. (Rubber pants over the underpants will prevent leaks.)
Offer small rewards. Emphasis on “small.” Kate used a strategy beloved by many moms: a mini M&M for each successful performance (or two, for number twos).
Don’t get into mom-competitions. So what if the playgroup prodigy is wearing underwear at 18 months while your 3-year-old is still learning? By kindergarten, they’ll both be well past diaperhood. Kate wisely says, “Each child is unique and the only people who matter in this are you and your child.”
And take it from this mom of two late-learners: One day, you’ll look back on these days and wonder what you ever worried about!
[Photo: via img.ly]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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