Potty over here. Potty over there. Wave your hands in the air. Shake your derriere.
I'm not going to say that Crash is 100% potty trained, because he is not. He is well on his way to being rid of those nasty diapers and pullups!! Potty training is a freaking science. You have to have all of the right elements in place in order for it to happen. Being that I work with 2 and 3 year olds, I know my poop. :o) I thought I would give a little advice to anyone who has a child they are trying to potty train.
1. No two children are the same. Shoot, I've even had twins that were potty trained several months a part. What works with one child, may not work with another. So do not get defeated.
2. You cannot force a child to go potty. They've reached the big second birthday and you are ready to be rid of the diapers. Guess, what? Just because you are ready, doesn't mean little Frankie is ready.
3. A child is not "potty trained" until they are able to tell you they need to go. Crash does not tell me he needs to potty. I still have to guess at when I think he may need to go and take him. He does go nearly all of the time.
4. In most cases, getting the child to go number 2 on the potty, takes longer than number1. Don't be discouraged. It's important to know your child's habits and patterns. For instance, when Crash needs to poop, he usually goes into the bathroom and shuts the door. Why he doesn't just climb on the potty, I'll never know. Most of the time, I'm able to catch him mid-push and let him finish on the potty so he gets the concept.
5. Consistency is one of the most important things with potty training. If you feel your child is ready to start working, you have to get them on a schedule and stick to it. It is annoying, no doubt, but it helps. I was taking Crash to the potty every 30-45 minutes. We did this for 2 weeks without any result. One day he just started going. Wahoo!!
6. Start getting your child interested in the potty at an early age. This may be some what controversial, but I truly think this works. Moms: take your little girls with you into the bathroom when you have to go. Dads: do the same with your boys. We started doing this with Crash at around 18 months. He was very mobile and steady at the time, very independent. We also started putting him on the potty. This is a very simple, easy way to get your child used to the whole bathroom routine.
7. If your child is afraid of the potty, they will not go in it. I've come across kids who are TERRIFIED of the potty. They refuse to sit on it. You cannot make this a traumatic experience. Fighting with them to sit on it will just cause delays in the long run. Don't drop it all together, but once a day at least attempt to take them to the potty. Eventually, they will stop the tantrums and give it a whirl.
8. Pull ups will not make your child go to the bathroom. I actually dislike pull ups a lot. Think about it: they are the same thing as a diaper. We didn't start using pull ups with Crash until he started going on the potty. They are easier for him to pull up and down on his own. I actually prefer the Luvs brand diapers. We used them because you are able to refasten them. I didn't have to get a new diaper every time I took Crash potty.
9. Watch for the signs. There's no magic age that says your child is ready to be potty trained. The two biggest signs I pick up on with most children is their bladder control and fussing when they are wet. When a child's bladder control becomes noticeably better, this is a good key they may be ready to start working on the potty. They aren't going in their diaper as frequently while they are awake and they are staying dry while they are sleeping. Crash has actually had very good bladder control for quite awhile, but until recently he didn't mind sitting in his pee. If a child cannot tolerate being in a wet diaper long, this is another good sign. Now, I'm not saying I left my kid in the same wet diaper all darn day. I'm talking about when he would come to me fussing about his diaper. I would check it, and it would still be warm. I know that he has obviously just gone and does not want to be wet one tiny bit.
10. Don't be afraid to use bribes. Cough. I mean rewards. I've used anything from from stickers, to jelly beans, to high fives. Make it fun for the child. You will see a positive result when you use a little bit of positive reinforcement.
I just thought I would share some of my tips that have worked very well for me. They may not be perfect, and they may not work for everyone.
It's a little sad reaching this mile stone. Crash is my last baby. It makes me a little teary knowing that he is growing up. We've gotten over two major hurdles the past few months. He's sleeping in his own bed and he's going on the big boy potty 99% of the time. :o( He'll be growing a beard and driving the car before I know it.