Recently, a friend of mine showed me an article by Dr. Barton Schmitt, originally posted from Contemporary Pediatrics 2004. In the article, Dr. Schmitt discusses toddlers that are delayed in potty training, the causes, and some helpful tips.
The one thing that struck me was this first sentence:
Toilet training can be defined as delayed if the child is over 3 years of age, has normal development, and is not toilet trained after three or more months of training. (This definition excludes families who have not yet started toilet training.)
Because WHOA. That means almost every three year old I know is delayed. Here’s the thing, mommas: brush that off. Ignore that part.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned with a toddler of my own it’s that MOMMA KNOWS BEST. Not the Internet, and not some doctor over the Internet. If your toddler is not ready for toilet training, that’s fine and I bet you know why he’s not. If you feel like he’s ready, just delaying himself, then only you can make that call. Momma knows best.
If you feel like your toddler is ready and just refusing, here’s a method that may help you better than the 3-Day Potty Training Method:
- Figure out an activity currency for your kid. Going to the park? Television time? Access to his scooter? It needs to be something he LOVES for it to be worth it.
- Make sure that currency is something YOU control and can award immediately. For example, a trip to a restaurant may not be a great reward because that’s probably not something you can carry out every single time.
- The currency/prize is given IMMEDIATELY after using the potty for a solid 30-60 minutes. Seems like a long time? Sure. But if we’re talking about a stubborn kid, you have to make it worth it, really worth it.
- If he purposefully goes to the bathroom not in the potty, he doesn’t get the activity until he produces again. For example, he can’t ride his scooter again until he goes in the potty.
For some folks, this may feel too harsh. For others, it might work perfectly for a stubborn child. Good luck, potty training mommas!
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