I chose to name this entry "Pants on the Ground" not because I am a fan of this silly song that made its debute on Amercian Idol earlier this year, but because of potty training. My son has recently shown interest in potty training. He rarely produces anything, but at least he sits on the toilet for a while multiple times a day, and tells me after every bowel movement that he needs to go to the potty. So, there is a lot of work to be done in my home, but his interest has been sparked!
One thing that I have done is begun to change his diaper in the bathroom while he is standing....unless it is a messy bowel movement, and then it is back to the wooden changing table to lay down! If he is standing as I change the diaper, then he gets the opportunity to pull up and down his pants before and after. Whereas if he is being changed lying down, he doesn't get that opportunity as easily. Since he likes to watch the other family members go to the bathroom, he is now getting the message that if he is standing instead of lying down that he is just like us. The more signals we can give to toddlers that they are "big boys" and "big girls" the more we are letting them know not to act like babies. And since babies wear diapers and big kids don't, merely changing the tot's diaper standing up and having them help participate in the process is one step toward successful potty training. Here is a link with some signs of readiness and suggestions for potty training:
Toilet Training-Home Treatment
Many of the kids that I work with for occupational therapy would have difficulty pulling their pants up and down whether it be because of orthopedic, visual, or neurological problems. So if this is also the case with your toddler, maybe you can have them participate in a different way. It might be helping pick out "big boy" underpants at the store or it might be choosing which of the bathrooms in the home to go to (as long as the home has 2 or more toilets!). Another thought is to adapt their ability to pull up and down their pants. More than once I have sewn loops inside the front left and right sides of young children's pants for them to have something to grasp. This is especially good for kids with limited wrist motion or strength. The sky is the limit when it comes to adapting a routine. Just keep the mindset of keeping the child actively involved in the process!