Toilet Training – Parenting Advice

Q.I have a daughter who is 21 months old. I just finished the spring semester for college and will be home taking online classes for summer. I am also 6 months pregnant. I decided this could be the perfect time to start potty training. I am peeing every 10 min. so she has someone to go with her, and I will remember better that way. I gave it a try when I got home with all the stuff. She really gets upset about sitting on the potty chair. I got her to stay, but not without her doing a lot of crying. How can I get her to sit there and want to? She hates being wet or dirty, she asks to have her diaper changed and has most of the other signs of being ready. I really want her at least mostly trained before the new baby comes! I have told my hubbby that anytime he goes he needs to take her and I will be doing also, that way she is getting several trips. All I can think to do is make her sit there. Please, this is my first child and I have no real idea of what I am doing!

A.It sounds like maybe a perfect time for you but maybe not so much for her.

I would strongly urge you not to push it. If she’s not comfortable with the potty or the toilet leave it alone. The last thing you want is a lasting fear of the toilet or a strong aversion to the bathroom which is what will likely happen if you push her before she’s ready.

I would suggest that you continue taking her with you to the toilet and offer her the opportunity each time but without pressure… it’s tough I know, believe me I know.

Here’s my story… my oldest was happy to go on the potty at 18 months, that is until the novelty wore off and he just quit. No amount of bribery, prizes, sticker charts, balloons could convince him to go back to it – I was pulling my hair out literally!

Finally I decided enough! And I let it go – completely dropped it.

Summer came around and he was playing outside in his little pool naked and he started to pee on the grass. I said “toilet” and he stopped, ran to the bathroom and went. That was it. I left him naked all day and he used the toilet faithfully and never went back. He was 22 or 23 months.

The other two were totally different and I vowed not to get into that battle. Dervish waited until 3.5 (sigh) and The Girl, well, I started to cave when it was about a month until school started (she turned 4 in september) I started the bribing and the cajoling and the coaxing and yes, eventually she started using the toilet but under protest.

But here’s the clincher. She hated bowel movements and what eventually happened was that she avoided them so much that she constipated herself and now we have to carefully watch her diet constantly and give her fiber supplements to ensure that she doesn’t get bound up.

The other thing to consider is that you are only 3 months from a new baby and many kids regress when faced with the birth of a new baby – you might just want to hold off on the issue until after everyone is adjusted to the new addition.

So, my suggestion, don’t push it. There are just some things we can’t make our kids do and going to the toilet is one of them.

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