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7 Ways of Potty Training

Posted Sep 29 2008 9:11pm

7 Ways of Potty Training

Child, Development Stages, Parenting, Potty Training, Preschool, Toddler

Having problem with Potty Training? I have a list here that may come in useful. The first 2 ways on the list was my method of potty training my boys. The rest were from my friends. Some are really innovative!

Please remember that these ways are not instant magic, accidents are bound to happen. If you were expecting an accident-free-potty-training-session, dream on. Before the action becomes a habit, the child may forget every now and then. So parents, please don’t be lazy, be prepared to clean up the pee and poo.

Potty Training can be achieved with these ways but not by hours or minutes. Be patient. My friends and I have successfully potty trained our kids with these ways in an average of 3 days. The rule of the thumb- how well you understand your child, determines how frustrating-free it can be when it comes to potty training.

I realised that many parents try too hard to get their kid to start going to the toliet too early or should I say too soon? I do not mean the time or the age of the child. What I am referring to is the ‘readiness’ of the child.

Train your child only when you noticed that he shows signs of readiness like telling you that he had just pee or poo on his diapers or when he suddenly stop whatever that he is doing and stayed still when he is peeing or pooing, this shows that he paid special attention to the action. When children are much younger they would continue whatever that they are doing even though they may be doing their ‘business’ on their diapers.

My boys showed signs of readiness at different age. Keatkeat was ready only 2 months before he turns 3. Whereas Binbin was ready right after he celebrated his 2nd birthday.

Different ways works for different children.

1) For Keatkeat, I started off by buying him some new shorts, all chosen by him. He loves the pictures on the shorts very much. So I told him,

“Since you love your shorts so much, you must keep it clean. To keep it clean you will need to go to the potty to shh-shh and poo-poo. If you shh-shh and poo-poo on the shorts, then I will need to remove it to wash away your shh-shh and poo-poo. If they can’t be removed then I’ll have to throw them away. Then you won’t be able to wear it already. You want that?”

Obviously he shook his head. It was that simple for Keatkeat.

2) Whereas for my Binbin, I had to use the sweet-method, which I guess many parents may not fancy or even object. Well, the trick is get sweets that are tiny. So teeny-weeny that even a dozen a day can’t do much harm.

That’s why I bought the mini-M&Ms. I will reward him with ONE piece every-time he shh-shh or poo-poo in the potty. Because the mini-M&Ms are so tiny, Binbin have the urge of getting his next reward sooner. So that helps him to remember to go to the potty. There was a mini-issue that came along with this method….He would start to drink more water so that he has more shh-shh and sometimes he may go to the potty just to pass out a few droplets. Well, I still reward him.

The purpose of the reward is to create a habit of going to the potty and not spoiling the child.

So long as the motive is achieved, I do not see why I should not reward him. Eventually, the rewarding stops when the bottle of mini-M&Ms is emptied. By then, he remembers to go potty, not because of the reward, but because it became a habit.

3) Some kids are just so easy to train. Like Candy’s son, Yangyang. He is 3 months younger than Binbin, yet when he was 20 months old, Yangyang was fully potty trained, even for NIGHT time!

Candy bought a potty-rocking-horse. Yes, you read it right, the potty is actually a rocking horse! Every hour, Yangyang was told to give the horse a ride but on one condition, he must shh-shh or poo-poo in it. Soon enough, he does it on his own whenever he has the urge.

As for night time, Candy would make an effort not to give Yangyang any form of liquid one hour before bedtime. She also insisted that he must go to the toilet before he lies on the bed.

4) It was believed that a child will feel the urge to urine 1 hour after a cup of water. So this was how the old folks (whom I know off) do when it comes to potty training.

The training usually starts around 23 months. They allow the child to run around in the house half-naked. So that they can avoid washing soiled bottoms. Then they give them a cup of water. They watched the time. One hour after the drink, the child is put to sit at the potty till he pass urine, if not, he is not allowed to stand up.

Then another cup is given and the time is watched again. The routine continued for about 3 days, then they stop the time watch but continue with the cup of water and see if the child automatically goes to the potty about one hour after the drink. If he does, they conclude that the child is able to sense it when he has the need to go.

5) Most of the time, getting the child to pass urine in the potty is not much of a problem. The problem comes when they need to do the ‘big business’. When a child is first being potty trained for pooing they are frightened when the poo comes away from them.

They think that something is wrong with them. In the beginning of pooing training the little ones are frightened that they are losing a part of their body. Sounds weird I know but there it is. What to do about it?

One friend of mine suggested to put them back in nappies and wait a while.Or you may place them on the potty, after first establishing which time of the day they would normally poo. They stay on the potty, no matter how long it takes until they do poo. If it takes 8 hours then that’s so be it.

The objective of the exercise is to get them to relieve their bowels. If you want to speed up the process there are ways. My friend outlasted her daughter, Michele. She always pooed about 6pm so it was easy. Also the longest my friend had to outlast was generally around 1/2 hour.

She also loaded Michele up with toys to play with whilst she sat. If she wanted food or drink she was very happy to comply. Her method is not about punishing a kid. It’s about training and that should be fun at all times.

6) The waiting game.

Another friend of mine played the “wait it out” game. She would actually sit on the toilet floor reading her own book as she didn’t want to make it too fun… She and her daughter were there to do some business after all! But to begin with she would sit on the floor in front of the toilet and they would make a game of “straining” where she would pull up her knees and pretend to be pushing out a big poo. It wasn’t long before they would hear a plop.  

7) This one is classic!  My friend’s daughter, 4, has been successfully toilet trained for wee and night time for over a year, but refuses to do poo on the toilet/potty/anywhere! My friend and her husband are constantly throwing out her shoes because they can no longer be washed. They have tried everything almost every possible method they have heard off from friends, health nurse and doctors, but nothing ever works.

My friend worked in the same child care centre as I was in the past and have never come across anything like this. She and her husband has a strong feeling that their little two year old son will be fully toilet trained before their daughter at this rate! They were getting very annoyed and frustrating to the point where they feel like going mad.

Their daughter is very stubborn and likes to do everything her own way, so they wondered if there is genuinely something wrong or whether it is psychological. It has now gotten to the point where she is in pain and her stomach is so full and hard. They took her to the doctor last week practically begging for help and was finally referred to a paediatrician. X-rays showed her bowel was full. The child is NOT constipated, she purposely ‘holds on’ and won’t do poo. She even need to go into hospital to be ‘cleaned out’! Unbelieveable? Believe it!

After that incident, the parents created their one-of-a-kind potty training method:

They told their daughter that she was going to learn about how things grow and she put a brightly coloured toilet seat cover on the toilet bowl and added eyes etc. and they called it Sandy. They explained to her, that Sandy needed wee and poo as everyone needed food and water. So during the day they would tell her daughter that Sandy was hungry and she should try to feed her soon.     Till now, their daughter still uses the term ’I need to feed Sandy!!

How do you potty trained your child? Share your tricks  with me. 

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