Potty training is possibly one of the biggest “Oh crap!” moments (quite literally) as a parent. Many parents slide through this process, while most struggle. A key thing to remember while potty training is that every child is different. If you have more than one kid, you will know that potty training them was a different process each time.
There are tonnes of books with detailed methods on how to potty train your little one out there, making you think to yourself, “This seems easy, I got this!”, but think again. Only once the ordeal has begun, you become aware of these all too real dilemmas that arise with potty training.
Here are some of the problems you might face while potty training.
1. “ My child agrees to pee in the toilet, but refuses to poop in it”
This is one of the most common dilemmas parents face. However, to relieve you of your worries, let me tell you that this is, in fact, natural in potty training. Most children agree to pee into the potty but refuse to poop in it. This happens because children soon begin to understand the concept of privacy and hence, shy away from pooping in front of people.
One way to combat this is by closing your eyes with your palms when he/she is on the potty and they should begin feeling more comfortable. Another reason this could be happening is that children often think of pooping as removing a body part and come to fear the concept altogether. A good way to overcome this challenge is letting the child know that everyone poops. Take examples of his/her favourite cartoon characters or friends and family and soon he/she will realise there’s nothing to be scared of.
2. “ We are planning a trip soon, which will get in the way of his potty training. Will this cause a setback?”
Ideally, this shouldn’t. A few days in the diaper should not make him/her regress. However, this might be a good opportunity to teach your child different restroom signs. You can also continue the potty training when you’re back in the hotel, which should teach him/her to be comfortable in different toilets away from home.
3. “ A few days after getting the hang of potty training, my child has stopped and gone back to soiling his nappy”
Regressing can happen to any child and it’s more common than you think. However, a good tip for parents out there is to not treat accidents any differently. By this, we mean no anger bouts despite how frustrating it can be. A simple “Oh no!” should send your child the message that this is wrong. Despite the setbacks, being steady and continuing the potty training should eventually put your child back on track.
4. “My daughter hates pooping in the potty so much that she has been holding her poop for days”
When this happens, it’s best to put a pause to potty training for a while till he/she isn’t constipated anymore. Holding her bowels in will only make it more uncomfortable and painful to pass. Put on diapers if he/she feels more comfortable pooping in them for a while till he/she isn’t constipated anymore. If they still refuse to poop, this constipation may be caused by other factors like their diet. Ensure to give your baby fibrous foods to ease constipation and he/she should eventually succumb to pooping. However, you can combat this by letting him/her get a feel of the potty with his/her nappy on and realise it’s not that scary after all. They should slowly, but eventually, begin getting comfortable with the potty.
5. “How to make the switch from the potty to the big toilet”
When you think your child is getting the hang of using the potty, treat the process as a game and ‘advance him/her to the next level’. It’s all about getting comfortable with the seat and hence, replicating the same process and technique you used with the potty should work with the big toilet as well. Use step stools if the toilet is too high and child-seats if he/she is too small for the seat. When you think he/she is ready, remove these tools and they should be able to take on the big throne on their own.