Toilet Training – Directions Optional

It is almost Halloween. The leaves here are starting to turn. It is cooling off. Consistently, it is below 95. Fall decorations are now on the door. Christmas stock is going into the stores earlier each year. Each year I am reminded of my family holidays. The biggest and best holidays were always Thanksgiving and Christmas. My Dad loved Christmas as much as we did. He probably enjoyed his fireplace the most and loved to make a big fire. He burned up all the gift wrap almost as soon as it came off the presents and with it he often burned up the directions to the games that we also received for Christmas. Consequently we had to wing it with some of the games.

Toilet training is not easy and no rules really apply. It is not like an election you can not take a poll or pray over it. You can not even follow popular opinion. You must inform your self and make the decisions based on your family structure and the needs and ability of your child. Each child is unique and much to the chagrin of the parents, the kids have not read any books on toilet training in 1-2-3 days more or less. Some children do not care about a reward system and with the super dooper diapers they are perfectly content to have wet and dirty diapers all day if need be. They are like most of us . They want to avoid change or even choice. No Problems! No Worries!

Our son called us this weekend and Tony, his son just successfully negotiated his way through toilet training this weekend for both poop and pee. He was pretty proud of himself. He was also proud of his new Dump Truck. Nana had purchased it for him as a reward for when he finally achieved his big boy pants. I guess you can call your first pair of under roos as a merit badge of sorts. Any way he was wearing his cotton underwear and a big smile. As long as it is not posted on Facebook I suppose he can run for public office someday.

I do not have a specific program for toilet training to recommend. I have some suggestions. I usually wait until the child is ready. I do not hurry because the parents or grandparents think the child is at the right age. My benchmarks are the ability of the child to communicate. With most children they are ready when they are putting 2-3 words together. Girls generally speak well sooner and are ready and more interested in toilet training earlier than boys. Training for pee is achieved sooner than for poop. Day time continence is achieved long before night-time dryness. In fact night-time dryness is almost never achieved prior to 3 years old. In many cases boys are later achieving dryness at night as well, often after seven years old. Night time dryness is more dependent on the level of sleep that the child is in. Waking the child at the parents bedtime and early in the morning will only frustrate the parents as well as the child. In more cases where the child is delayed with dryness at night , he is usually a very heavy sleeper and as he matures his sleep stages will change as well.

For the younger patients I will usually discuss it with them. I will then recommend the parent to put the child in under roos and put the diaper over it. I want the child to feel some discomfort/wetness. Other wise it is business as usual, for the little guy. Some people suggest having the potty chair in a private area such as the child’s bedroom. I think it is less intimidating to start with a potty chair than a seat on the toilet. Also you must be on a schedule. You can not suddenly run with the child on errands and interrupt the childs training program. If the child is in daycare or preschool, they must be on the same schedule or have the same understanding. Both the parents and the alternative care taker must sign onto the same program. What ever you do. Do not place the child on a public toilet with a motion sensor. If it roars while he is sitting on it he may never toilet train.

There are some safety factors to consider. I have seen little guys tear their scrotum when they dismount the throne. The toilet lid has fallen on little penis’. Even little girls can tear their labia. Make sure you have either a secure booster step or and even a toddler toilet.

Review the article from the Academy of Pediatrics and the associated links.

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