Typical problems in the process of potty training
If you experience challenges in potty training your child, stop trying to make it happen and, instead, try to figure out what is causing the challenges. It may take a simple back-to-the-diaper phase or it may require professional help. Regardless, maintain a warm, loving and encouraging environment for your children. Some challenges many parents (and children) face:
Your child is afraid of water or the toilet
Dr. Kushnir says this is a common problem and to try these potty training solutions:
- Throw a few pieces of toilet paper down the toilet and let the child flush and watch the process.
- Offer your child a potty seat (the kind that fits on top of the toilet); the smaller opening may reduce the fear of falling in.
- Place a few sheets of toilet paper on top of the water in the bowl. This will reduce the sense of depth, the sound of rushing water and water splashing.
- Explain to the child the process of digestion and waste production in the body, and how food and water turns into urine and feces. This will help in better understanding and soothe any fears of separation anxiety.
Your child gets constipated
“You should check your child’s food consumption,” suggests Dr. Kushnir. “Children whose diets consist primarily of meat, rice, potatoes and sweets tend to develop severe constipation.” To help avoid constipation, which can be very distressing to your child, boost your child’s consumption of vegetables, fruit, fiber and water. If constipation persists or becomes painful, contact your child’s pediatrician.
Your child wants you with him when he sits on the toilet
According to Dr. Kushnir, this is a common phenomenon at the beginning of the toilet training process. But, he says, “do not allow your child to rely on one particular person, provide your child with activities such books or other activities and gradually withdraw yourself until your child is independent in the bathroom.”
Your child has daytime accidents
“Daytime accidents occur as an integral part of the potty training process,” explains Dr. Kushnir. “Parents should always anticipate these accidents and respond by expressing understanding and encouragement, thereby calming the child.”
Your child wets the bed
“The attainment of bladder control during sleep is a natural process that usually takes place with very little parental intervention,” says Dr Kushnir. “Parents should remove the diaper at night when they notice that the child repeatedly wakes up in the morning in a dry diaper.” However, when a child continues to wet the bed, go back to using diapers and seek professional help if your child does not seem to have nighttime bladder control. The longer a child continues to wet the bed, the more likely he will continue to wet the bed as he gets older.
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For more information on potty training issues, visit www.dr-kushnir.com.