Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Potty Training Readiness

I potty trained my daughter back when she was 2 1/2 years old. She caught on to "pee-peeing" in the potty within 2 days and didn't even have night time accidents after that. She was successful with the "pooping" within a couple of months before there were no accidents. Sounds succesful, right? Well, I confess, it was not my first round of potty training attempts with her. Back around her 2nd birthday I tried to work on potty training with her. She was showing most of the signs of potty training readiness, except for one area -emotional readiness. Simultaneous to this she had just started breathing treatments due to her severe asthma. She would fight the mask to the nebulizer being on her face and stay very upset for awhile afterwards. So, she decided that controlling her pee and poop would be a good way to get some control back. After 2 weeks of frustration with attempting potty training, I decided to wait until she was a bit more mature emotionally. This was hard for me, because my daughter would come up to me and tell me which color of diaper she wanted. At the time, the brand of diapers we used had waist bands of different colors. It was hard for me to think that if the child is cognitively aware of what color she wants to wear that she isn't ready to put pee and poop in the potty....but she wasn't.

The following list is just a few signs of readiness for the child to begin potty training:
  • understands what the toilet is for and may watch parents, friends, or siblings on the toilet
  • can express that he needs to go potty whether it be with words, pictures, or sign language; has a word for pee and poop
  • can sit on the potty for at least one minute without getting up, and is willing to sit longer if redirected or distracted. If the child is hyperactive, but willing to sit with redirection he may be ready
  • wakes up from naps with a dry diaper or a diaper that is not completely soaked; has stretches of time where the diaper is dry for at least 90 minutes to 2 hours
  • shows a desire for independence to do things on his own
  • wants to wear "big kid" panties or underwear
  • is emotionally ready by being in a receptive mood and not negative. Being controlling and too stubborn may be a problem unless it can be redirected
  • shows a preference for a clean diaper or at least knows the difference between a clean and soiled diaper
  • has regular bowel movements (BM). If meals and snacks happen at a predictable time, this helps with knowing when the BM and urination is likely to occur
  • can follow simple directions and copy other people
  • can cope with fears and be somewhat cooperative
  • during play is pretending that the stuffed animals or dolls are going to the toilet or getting a diaper change.
  • will look at a book or video on potty training aimed at a toddler's level of understanding

1 comment:

  1. Good list! Thank you so much.