Posts Tagged ‘ potty training ’

Word of Advice to Potty-Training Parents

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

Yesterday I had the chance to chat with one of our advisors, Harvey Karp, M.D., author of The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block (one of my all-time favorite parenting books). I told him how Lila’s doing with potty training and he asked, “And you’re not going overboard with the praise, right?” Umm… why, yes, I believe I am. He explained why that can backfire: If you make a huge deal out of it every time your child goes to the bathroom, she starts thinking along these lines: “Wow, this is really important to them. I can’t handle the pressure. I’m not even going to try anymore.” Or your child might realize that she’s got the upper hand in this situation, and embark on a power play by not going on the potty.

Instead, Dr. Karp recommends a technique he calls “gossiping,” where you tell others how great your child is doing. (Do it in a whisper right in front of your child, to give her the impression that you don’t realize she’s listening to the “conversation.”) I actually did this the other night, when I told her favorite duck how Lila let me know at the birthday party that she was ready to use the potty. She then handed me her sheep, Pillow Pet, and turtle so that I could tell them the story, too. So from now on I’ll do more gossiping and dial down the unbridled enthusiasm after each trip to the potty.

Add a Comment

Another Potty Post

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Check out this proud little girl! This picture was taken this morning. Lila now asks to go straight to the bathroom as soon as she wakes up, and even though her diaper was soaked, she still managed to go.

Lila really impressed us this week. Especially yesterday, when we were at a birthday party at Pump It Up. I put her in a diaper and decided to not even mention potty training to her. But in the middle of the party chaos, she told me she needed to use the potty. I scooped her up and sprinted off to the ladies’ room, asking her to hold it. She calmly replied, “I am.” I did the whole routine you’re surely familiar with: put my hand inside the toilet paper holder and then spun it furiously to collect as much paper as I could, then gingerly covered every inch of the seat, yanked my child’s pants down, and ripped off her diaper (all while trying not to create too much air flow around us, thereby causing the toilet paper to gently float down into the toilet or onto the floor). I plopped her down and within seconds, she went. How cool is that? As we exited the bathroom she shouted to the people coming in, “I JUST WENT PEE ON THE POTTY!”

PS: I decided I’m going to spare you (and older Lila) the details on her exploits learning to go #2 on the toilet, but I’ll say that she’s starting to have success on that front, too, and leave it at that!

Add a Comment

More Potty (Training) Talk

Monday, March 21st, 2011

DSC08050The update on potty-training my daughter Lila: We’re getting there, but I think this is going to be a slow road. She had some success on the potty (both real and portable), but she was sitting there for so long, it was almost inevitable. By Wednesday of last week she got tired of passing the hours this way. When I made my lunchtime check-in phone call, Lila answered the phone by proclaiming, “DON’T WANT TO SIT ANYMORE.” Another day she greeted me with, “I NOT SITTING ON THE POTTY!” We’ve been tracking how often she actually goes, and when you subtract the naptime and nighttime diapers, it’s not that often. So over the weekend I wanted to see if Lila could try sitting on the potty only when she needed to go. Two accidents later, I can tell you the answer: not yet.

I’m not discouraged, though. She’s actually doing pretty well considering how many (unmissable) events and activities we crammed into the past two weekends. This week’s challenge is helping her understand that she needs to go before it’s too late. Any advice? I’m all ears!

Add a Comment

Potty Training: The Fun Is About to Begin

Monday, March 7th, 2011

My younger daughter, Lila, is 2 1/2, and it’s time for us to start potty training. We trained her older sister, Julia, when she was that age, and if I remember correctly, it only took several weeks for her to stay fully dry during the day. (Night training was a whole other story.) But I expect no such timeline with Lila. She and Julia are almost nothing alike. For one thing, Julia likes to please, and what others want or expect doesn’t have any bearing on Lila.

With Julia, I did the research, my husband and I plotted out our strategy, and we jumped right in. I’m taking baby steps with Lila. Two weeks ago I busted out the plastic toilet seat and soft potty rings and had her try them out. When she sat on the plastic toilet, she immediately stood up: “Don’t like it.” No problem, I said, and I placed her on the soft potty ring. Her eyes bugged out and she gripped my hands with terror before wriggling down. “When I’m older,” she declared, using her new catchphrase for whenever she doesn’t want to do something.

So this past week, we’ve been doing a lot of talking about potty training: “Soon you’re going to use the potty!” “We’re not going to use diapers during the day!” She seemed intrigued, so I asked her over the weekend if she wanted to try using the potty now. “No thanks,” she said cheerfully.

But the talking stops and the action starts this Saturday. I’ll report back each week and let you know how it’s going. I’ve already printed out this story on five common potty training problems because I suspect I’m going to encounter all of them. If anyone wants to chime in with their tips, I’ll take ‘em!

Add a Comment

Perfecting the Art of Potty Training?

Monday, January 31st, 2011

potty-training-toiletsShould a child be banned from preschool for having too many potty accidents?

At a preschool in Arlington, VA, a 3-year-old named Zoe was recently suspended for failing to comply with the school’s potty training policy.  Even though Zoe had already been potty trained, the new preschool schedule changed Zoe’s potty dynamics.  Since she began having too many accidents in a short amount of time at preschool, she was reproached by the school and asked to leave for one month. Eventually, her mom found another preschool (one without a potty training policy) willing to enroll Zoe, and she has not had any accidents since starting her new preschool.

News about this suspension worries parents who are already feeling the pressure to speed up their children’s education from an early age, from enrolling toddlers in sports to getting preschoolers to read chapter books. Since some preschools now accept only students who will be less hands-on in the potty department, parents are feeling the need to potty train their kids even if they’re not ready for it. There is also a social stigma that if a child is falling behind in developing certain behavioral or language skills, the child is delaying his achievements.

However, as expert Elizabeth Page pointed out in The Washington Post, potty training is considered a motor skill that depends on a child’s own pace, much like other milestones such as walking, talking, and reading.  Adults shouldn’t force kids to potty train before they are ready or shame and embarass them if they aren’t progressing as fast as other children.  Potty training can take time and even those who are potty trained could still have accidents.  In short, children should be allowed to progress on their own terms to potty training success.

Get potty training tips on

As a parent, are you worried about potty training your child?  What potty training techniques and tips would you recommend?

Add a Comment

These Things Are Almost Not In My Life Anymore

Monday, July 12th, 2010

See that pair of Disney Princess—adorned training pants? I think we might have ordered our last pack. I may very well be jinxing things, but we just had four dry nights in a row in our house, and I’m pretty pumped. My daughter Julia will be 5 next month, and she’s been potty-trained during the day for almost two and a half years. Nighttime has been a completely different story. The child must sleep like a rock, because her diapers are routinely drenched. It got to the point where I was doubling up on them at night. My pediatrician said a 4-year-old who’s not fully trained is normal and nothing to worry about, so I haven’t given this a whole lot of thought. But when the topic came up among a group of moms in Julia’s pre-K class and I learned that nearly every child had moved on to underwear at night, it made me wonder how much longer it would be for my daughter. After three nights of dry training pants, last night we decided to up the ante and live on the edge with undies. I can’t think of a better reason to wake up at 5:20 a.m. than because you hear your child making her way to the bathroom on her own, and heading back into bed!

I’d like to poll you all, too: When was your child trained through the night? And so that I manage my expectations correctly, will you tell me how often you have setbacks?

Add a Comment

Potty Training For Toddlers

Friday, July 18th, 2008

In our June issue, we wrote about how you can use sign language to help 1-year-olds learn to use the potty. (That’s the sign for "potty" over there.) Parents advisor Dr. Linda Acredolo, a developmental psychologist who first pioneered sign language for babies, has found that signing can help get children interested in the diaper-ditching process when they’re at a more cooperative and less strong-willed age. I enjoyed reading blogger Rebecca Lacko’s account of using the Baby Signs program with her 13-month-old. I know that when I followed my daughter’s lead on readiness—and she wasn’t seriously interested in the potty at all until age 3—there were days when I was convinced she’d be wearing diapers to kindergarten.

Add a Comment

Tags: , | Categories: Your Child

Pants To Go

Monday, March 10th, 2008

 Index_hand_2  Pants3_2  Pants4_4

You have those moments (you all know the ones) where your kid needs a new pair of pants…and fast!  Perhaps you are on the go, and maybe even without your diaper bag at your finger tips (heaven forbid!). 

Check out, a new company selling a change of pants in a coaster-size tin for kids from 3 months up to 6T.  They are 100% cotton and come in a variety of colors.  Toss a tin in your glove compartment, in your pocketbook (even if it’s a clutch), or carry one in your back pocket.

For those clumsy, sloppy days, I kind of wish they made these in my size.

Thanks to DailyCandy Kids LA for the link!

Add a Comment