Thursday, July 29, 2010

Potty Training: A Practical Preparation

As a continuation from my Mental Preparation, here are some things you can do that will help you practically with potty training.

1. Buy the kid a lot of underwear. A lot. How many? Well, how often do you want to do laundry? Every night? Well then about 5 pair should do. But if you’re like me and would prefer to skip a week day or so, buy at least 10 pair. Preferably with some character on them that they like. That way you can say, “Don’t pee pee on Buzz Lightyear!” Then be ready to do a lot of laundry.

2. Dress the kid in easy-to-pull up/down shorts/pants and flip flops or Crocs. Socks and shoes are out. Even if it’s winter. Their toes will not freeze off, despite what your Mother might tell you. (Not mine. Some of her children run barefoot in the snow.)

3. Decide what sort of potty apparatus you want to use. You can do the potty chair or the thing that goes on the toilet. We have both. But just pick something and bring it home a few months before you’re ready to train. Let them be curious about it. Maybe they’ll figure out what to do with it all by themselves. (With a boy, I can tell you that the thing that fits on the toilet has not been my favorite thing. Caedmon does a better job just sitting on the toilet seat than with that thing.)

4. Decide what you want to use to bribe reward your child. I think pretty much all kids need some sort of motivation, so do whatever it takes – candy, stickers, toys, etc. And have it handy and visible so they can see it and be reminded that they want that stuff and they’ll remember what they need to do to get it.

5. Buy some disinfectant wipes or something to keep handy in the bathroom for those little aiming issues. Because they will definitely be there.

6. You’ll need a stool of some sort for the munchkin to use to climb up on the potty or stand on to wash their hands. Or you can do like we do and just lean over the bathtub to wash hands. Much easier that way.

7. I used to laugh at the flushable moist wipes. I thought, “Why don’t you just call them wet wipes for grown-ups?” And then I had a child who began potty training, and I repented and began to sing their praise. Because the Pull-Ups wipes? Love them. Definitely a must.

8. Don’t plan on going anywhere for a sweet forever, or a week, whichever comes first. Seriously…don’t leave the house except for a quick run somewhere that will leave plenty of time for another potty trip once you get home. Don’t test that little bladder until they’ve had a chance to learn to hold it a little. And don’t try a public restroom until they’ve got a few things figured out.

9. I know this sounds weird, but if you want to go places ever again while you’re training, make sure you are close to a reliable bathroom (one that’s not gross) and/or get yourself one of these babies. Mine has been worth every penny. And some of these disposable potty covers wouldn’t hurt, either.

10. Put a little back-up in the carseat. I know, the cover comes off and it’s washable, but if you’ve ever disassembled one of those things, you know what a pain it is. So put down a disposable changing pad or something that absorbs and blocks moisture in the carseat. It gives a little peace of mind.

11. Hand sanitizer. I think that’s self explanatory. Put it everywhere.

12. Have all of the stuff you think you’ll need before you start potty training. Sometimes being without something isn’t a big deal. This is one of those times where it’s better to be prepared and not need something than to need something and not have it.

This list is by no means conclusive, nor will everything work for everyone. Again, I don’t know everything, nor are we “there” yet. So I’d love to hear some practical tips you have that might help me and others! Share!

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1 comment:

  1. After you have potty trained the first gets a lot easier. You just let the older kid teach the younger kid. Easy as pie. Of course, there's no hand washing and you keep having to refill the "rewards" jar (wonder who is eating all those gummy bears!??!)