Yesterday's post about declawing cats (and was it only me that had the urge to go out and declaw some cats JUST FOR FUN after that?) was insufficiently controversial for some of you, who now want me to talk about POTTY-TRAINING. Oh dear Maude. Next shall we discuss the death penalty?
All right, fine, let me just phone in for a tranq refill first.
Here is Swistle's Main Philosophy of Potty-Training: "Meh." Any preferences I express for one method over another are mild and casual and only because I find that way easier: I could be talked out of or into just about anything---though not for long, since I would soon default again to whatever was easiest.
I tend to side with the idea that children train when they train, and that the only changeable thing is how much time you get to spend doing the training and actively managing the pottying. This may or may not correlate with the VERY LATE TRAINING at our house. You're welcome, landfills!
If I start experimenting with training and it's a big struggle, I stop and try again later. Consistency is not one of my strong suits anyway.
I like to train in warm weather, when the child can run around without pants on. This makes it easier for the child to remember that he or she is not wearing a diaper. It also makes it easier for ME to remember that I need to be reminding and/or monitoring and/or making sure the child isn't sitting on the new couch.
I'm in favor of pull-ups for the stage when the child WANTS to make it to the potty in time but doesn't always succeed. I'm not in favor of them for the stage where the child doesn't care either way. But the only reason I'm "not in favor" is the cost. If they were the same price as diapers I'd be in favor.
We have a potty seat that attaches to the toilet like a third lid---like, so there's the regular toilet lid, then the potty seat flips up the same way, and then the regular toilet seat is the third thing to flip. It is the best thing ever. I bought it ten years ago from The Right Start or One Step Ahead or a place like that, and I haven't seen one since.
I use food treats to reward potty usage. Two small things (like M&Ms or Smarties or mini marshmallows or chocolate chips) for pee. Four small things for poop. Double treats for using an unfamiliar potty. Treats are stopped at whatever Major Upcoming Event (starting a schoolish program, turning a year older, a new calendar year) occurs soonest after treats no longer seem necessary for motivation.
For the training/learning stage, I buy ugly cheap children's underwear on clearance. That way it isn't painful to throw away a pair that got pooped in, and in fact it can be a real pleasure. See ya, ugly stupid animated character I hate! It even turns into a bit of a game, where I'm ROOTING for the child to have an accident in a particular pair. This helps reduce the frustration I might otherwise feel at accidents.
I don't know WHAT to do about night-training. I don't get it at ALL. It seems like kids either wake up and pee or else they DON'T, and very little can be done about it. According to our pediatrician, 10% of 10-year-old boys are not yet night-trained, and although there are alarm systems and so forth, the most effective cure for bedwetting is time.
There. Is that enough potty talk?
Life-improving products, part 4 - (Continued from part 1, part 2, and part 3.) Stearns Youth Life Vest (photo from Amazon.com). I’d been too scared to take the kids to any body of water oth...