Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My visit to a Montessori school -Joan

As I gather potty training tips for moms, what an ideal place to gather this type of information but at a school, so off I went! This particular school is located on the Upper West Side. I found that they were very proud to share the information. One thing that I have noticed is that there are many tips that you can try, however your child and you will ultimately decide the best tips that work the best for the two of you. So here goes:

* Commit to a plan. Arrange your schedule so that your child can spend most of his time at home near the bathroom (at least for the first week). Prepare yourself and accept that there will be many accidents, missteps, and changing of clothes. This is part of the process.

* Take your child to the store to choose the new underpants. Let him/her know that soon it will be time to wear underpants instead of diapers. Purchase enough underpants to allow for at least 8 to 10 changes per day.

* Take your child to the bookstore and choose books about using the toilet. Some suggested books might be Everybody Poops, Once Upon A Potty, and Lift the Lid, Use the Potty.

* Separate your diapers into "daytime" and "night-time" stacks. Allow your child to see that you are about to finish the last of the "daytime" diapers and it will be soon be time to wear the new underpants. Be sure to let your child see and celebrate that he/she is using the last daytime diaper! Once it is used, make the commitment that daytime diapers are gone forever.

* When ready to begin the process, remove your child's nighttime diaper and allow your child to sit on the toilet as soon as she/he wakes up when you think they may be having a bowel movement, before a bath, etc. If this is successful, allow them to flush.

* If possible, during this process, allow your child to wear minimal clothing (only underpants and a tee-shirt is perfect). Shorts and pants can be an obstacle to making it onto the toilet in a hurry and will only increase the the amount of clothing you will need to launder.

* Your child will have many accidents. They need to feel the sensation of urine running down their legs and some discomfort before they can be successful. When this happens, assure them by saying, "That's okay. You will soon learn to get the potty before you get wet. Let's get you into some dry underpants."

* Allow the child to remove the wet underpants, clean up (with a little help), and put on new underpants. You want to send want to send the message that you are only helping them to take care of their body all by themselves. Assist them in cleaning the floor or carpeting where the accident occurred. These are all lessons in cause and effect.

* It is important that you don't send the message that accidents are terrible mistakes, icky, gross etc. Try to use a calm voice with positive reassuring words.

* Stick with it. Eventually, even your child will tire of being wet and always changing clothes and cleaning up. All children can be toilet trained when adults are committed, positive, and consistent.

* Limit liquids before bed and tell your child to tell you if he/she needs to to use the toilet during the night.

Until next time!
- Joan

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