Tips For Potty Training Success

Superman (2)

This post and giveaway were made possible by iConnect and Pampers. I was compensated for my participation in this campaign, but all opinions are 100% mine.

The weather is getting warmer and for many parents of toddlers that means it’s potty training season. Though my family is out of this season of our lives I know many of you are still working on it so I wanted to share a post with some of the tips I learned during the process. I also wanted to share some tips from Dr. Laura Jana, a potty training expert.

Her first tip is to watch for signs of readiness. Just about all children give subtle (and some not-so-subtle) signs that they are ready for potty training. These signs of readiness typically include using their words to express themselves, toddling their own way to the bathroom, pulling down their own pants, saying they want to use the “big potty,” and being aware of the sensation of peeing or pooping, characteristically noticeable when young children suddenly stop what they’re doing as they feel themselves start to go. It is also helpful and increases the likelihood of potty training interest when children start to be bothered by their messy diapers, as that can serve as a good motivation for using the potty instead!

I found this was the biggest factor to finding potty training success for my kids. I tried potty training before my boys were ready and failed because I was trying to train them too early. I learned that there is no magical age to start potty training but it is instead all about when they start to show signs of readiness. My boys both have Sensory Processing Disorder, and my youngest is also on the Autism Spectrum, so they both took longer to develop the awareness that they had soiled themselves and even longer to realize when they needed to go to the bathroom. Once I waited for them to become aware of these things potty training became much easier.

Dr. Jana’s second tip is to prepare for potty training by making sure you have all supplies on hand. These supplies will help you through any obstacle and can help foster your child’s interest and independence – from a step stool (to improve access to the toilet) or potty seat to training pants. Pampers Easy Ups training pants are designed to help the diaper-to-underwear transition by allowing potty-training toddlers to set aside their diapers and wear something with a more underwear-like look and feel that still helps contain accidental messes no matter wherever they happen: at home, on-the-go or overnight.

We liked using training pants because they helped reduce messes. I also found that they were easiest for our always on the go family. Pampers Easy Ups training pants, available in sizes 2T through 5T, are a good choice because they have fun designs featuring your child’s favorite characters like Thomas & Friends® and Dora the Explorer®. The super-stretchy sides make them easy to pull up and down when using the potty so children feel a sense of independence when using them.

Her third tip is to celebrate every win. As with any learning experience, young children can learn a lot from both their potty successes and their setbacks. While potty accidents are an inevitable (and admittedly inconvenient) aspect of potty learning, they shouldn’t dominate your day-to-day discussions. Instead, simply help your child learn to cope with and clean up any messes, and focus your attention on celebrating your child’s efforts and successes with plenty of hugs and words of encouragement.

I found that focusing on my kid’s successes and encouraging them to keep trying was really important. Our kids were really motivated by sticker charts and the possibility of earning small special toys when they had enough stickers. This also made the process more fun for them.

Want even more potty training tips? Join Pampers on April 28th from 9-10pm EST as they host a Twitter Party with Dr. Laura Jana, pediatrician, award-winning parenting book author and potty training expert who co-authored to Its You and Me Against the Pee…and the Poop, Too! Dr. Jana will be sharing her tips to help simplify and improve the potty training experience for little ones and their parents. RSVP here.

What tips do you have for making potty training less stressful? I’d love to hear in the comments below and I’m even giving you a chance to win a great prize pack if you leave a comment!

GIVEAWAY:

One person will win a $25 AMEX Gift Card, Pampers wipes & Pampers Easy Ups

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment below sharing a potty training tip

OPTIONAL 2ND ENTRY:

Share this post on social media (adding the hashtag #PampersEasyUps) and comment with the link

This giveaway ends May 10, 2016 at 11:59pm CST. Must be a US resident, 18 or older to enter.

Potty Training Children Who Have Special Needs

huggies potty training

When I was a preschool teacher {back before I had children of my own} I couldn’t understand how children older than three were not potty trained yet. I blamed the parents and assumed they were just too lazy to potty train their kids. Here I am years later ashamed that I ever thought that and realizing how wrong I was in judging them. My oldest wasn’t potty trained until he was almost four and my youngest is three and a half and not even close to being potty trained. And that saying about karma? Yeah, I think it’s true because I feel the judgment when people realize my child in pull-ups is in preschool and no longer a toddler.

You see, what I didn’t understand all those years ago was that each child was different and though I had this list of things children “should” be doing by a certain age, it was just a loose guideline. Some children develop skills quicker and some children take longer to develop skills and potty-training is no exception to that rule.

The first time I tried to potty train Jacob he was about two. I had this idea that a sticker chart and a lot of encouragement along with making him sit on the toilet every 30 minutes were the keys to potty training success. After about a week I realized that he wasn’t “getting it” and I threw in the towel. Not only was he not realizing he had to go, but he wasn’t even realizing that he was wet or had a dirty diaper. After this first failed potty training attempt Jacob started wearing pull-ups. I figured this would be the easiest way for him to go to the bathroom if he all of a sudden felt he was starting to pee in his pants and could get to the bathroom.

Months later I tried potty-training him again. He still wasn’t ready and I decided at that point to wait until he was realizing he had to go before trying again. When that milestone came around it was a little bit before his fourth birthday. He started telling me when he had to go and we’d run to the bathroom. Sometimes he’d make it to the toilet and sometimes he’d just be so busy with what he was doing that he’d wait until the last minute and end up having an accident. The first weeks were full of constant reminders and multiple accidents but a month or so later he was fully potty trained and he moved on to underwear.

I really wish it hadn’t taken so long to potty-train Jacob but this was my first kid and I had no clue what I was doing {not that I have any clue now but at least I have a bit of experience}. My first attempts at potty-training were before I suspected any special needs and I think if I would have known then that he had Sensory Processing Disorder I would have waited until I thought he was ready and saved both of us a lot of time and frustration.

Lucas I think is going to be a little tougher to potty train. Lucas has SPD like Jacob but, along with having that, he also has Autism Spectrum Disorder and significant language delays. After the long journey with Jacob I decided not to push it with Lucas. At three and a half he doesn’t notice when he is wet yet and only occasionally seems to even notice if he has a poopy diaper. Children with Autism often are delayed in potty training and having SPD and language delays means that things are even more difficult because he doesn’t process senses the same as a “typical” child and can’t communicate his needs as well verbally. With Lucas I feel more confident in my parenting and accept the fact that people may judge me but I don’t care because I now know that I am doing what is right for my child and for my family instead of trying to pressure him to fit.

Here are some tips I have for potty-training children with Sensory Processing Disorder and/or Autism {seeing as every child is different these may not all work but I hope some might give you ideas of what might work for your child}:

1) Wait until they are ready. Your child needs to realize that they have have soiled themselves before they are even ready to start potty training.

2) Explain the process of using the toilet to the child. Explain step by step before, during and after. Many young children with Special Needs, and many without as well, need to know what is coming up so they can mentally prepare themselves for the task. Reading books about potty training may be beneficial, too. Here’s a list of ten books that you can read with your potty training child.

3) Provide visuals. You can type in “visual aid for potty training a child with Autism” in a Google search but here’s a direct link to one I think is a good one that you can print out and use in your home. Some children are visual learners and pictures will help greatly so they can see each step of the process.

4) Develop a way for them to notify you that they have to go potty. Maybe use sign language or have them point if they are non-verbal. A picture card may work well also so that they can give you the card when they need to go. For children who are semi-verbal maybe they can learn one word that they can use to tell you that they need to go to the bathroom.

5) Encourage your child and celebrate every victory. Even if they start peeing on the floor and you grab them and sit them on the toilet and they finish the rest in the actual toilet bowl…that’s a victory! Even if they go in their pants but then alert you that they are wet… that’s a victory. They aren’t going to be potty trained over night but instead, there are going to be a lot of small victories on the road to potty-training success.

6) Some children need motivation to get tasks done. Each child is different and therefore their motivator will be different. For some it may be extra time with a favorite toy or electronic, like my boys and their tablets or trains. For others one m&m or a sticker if they go in the potty may work. One thing I have done in the past is put old McDonald Happy Meal toys into a basket and if they went on the potty they could play with one. Since these toys had been put away it was like they got a brand new toy and I didn’t have to go out and spend extra money on them.

7) Use pull-ups that are easy to get on and off. We like the Huggies Pull-Ups because they feature easy open sides. Since he still wears a pull-up to school these help because then the teachers don’t have to take off his shoes and pants to change him.

8) Consider using a special kind of training pant that lets the child feel when they have peed. Huggies has a type of pull-ups called Cool Alert that feel cool when wet. I think this one in particular would be great for children with SPD or Autism because they can feel when they are wet with these more so than with an ordinary pull-up.

9) Make it fun! The Huggies Pull-Ups feature a favorite character, Lightning McQueen from Disney Pixar’s Cars movie, which makes wearing them exciting. They love reading books in the bathroom. We also sing random songs I’ve made up, which Lucas really likes because he loves music.

10) Understand and accept that your child is going to have accidents. With potty-training, like any learning process, it is going to take time. Your child will most likely have accidents and that’s okay. As frustrating as it can be for parents, try not to get frustrated with them because that will just make the process harder for everyone involved.

I hope the above steps have helped give you some ideas as you try to potty-train your child with Special Needs. The Huggies Pull-Ups website has some other tips and if you have any tips I’d love to hear them in the comments :)

If you are wanting to use pull-ups, Walmart has Huggies on rollback right now in stores and online for $8.97 a package! They also have Night Time Pull-Ups that are extra absorbent.

(Disclosure: I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Huggies but all thoughts are my own. #HuggiesWalmart #CBias #SocialFabric )

Go Green With The Lorax and Seventh Generation! {Review and Prize Pack Giveaway}

seventh gen 1

In partnership with Universal Studios’ motion picture debut of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax* also known as the “Speaker for the Trees” who brings environmental truth and ecological hope to all, Seventh Generation will feature limited edition Lorax prints on all our diapers and training pants. These prints are intended to remind parents and caregivers of the lessons of The Lorax, and encourage family reading and environmental awareness while creating a few smiles. Discover (or rediscover) Dr. Suess’ The Lorax as you read about his legacy and messages of sustainability with your child, and inspire a new generation of environmentalists starting with your family!

I normally don’t use Seventh Generation brand products but was happy to try them out because they had a cute Lorax print and I wanted to try a more eco-friendly option than what I am currently using. Upon first glance at the Free & Clear Training Pants I noticed that they have really stretchy sides and waist. I like this because they fit snuggly on the child while still being comfortable. I found the training pants were thinner than the brand that I normally used which worried me at first but I discovered that they absorbed fluids well and didn’t sag like our other ones do. Other perks of these training pants are that they are hypo-allergenic and free of chlorine processing, fragrance and latex. The only downfall is that I like to buy my diapers and training pants in larger packages and it seems that these products are not available in bulk packaging.

GIVEAWAY:

One winner will win a package of training pants {in the size they choose} and “The Lorax” book

HOW TO ENTER:

Leave a comment telling me which of the Seventh Generation Free & Clear Diaper products you are most interested in trying with your family in an effort to become more eco-conscious?

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES:

(Leave a comment for each you do)

1) Share this giveaway on a social network

2) Like Making Time For Mommy on Facebook

3) Like Seventh Generation on Facebook

4) Follow me on Twitter

5) Follow Seventh Generation on Twitter

6) Follow me on Pinterest

7) Subscribe to this blog via email or RSS

8) Enter another one of my giveaways {found here}

Giveaway ends on March 15, 2012 at 11:59pm Central time. US Only.

(Disclosure: The Seventh Generation Diapers prize pack, product and information have been provided by Seventh Generation through MyBlogSpark.All thoughts are my own. This giveaway is not associated with Facebook in any way.)