All toddlers at some stage have to be trained to use the toilet. You can make it pleasant and easy by following these simple tips.
Do not force an unwilling child below the age of 2 to sit on a potty or a toilet seat, but attempt the process of toilet training in a gentle way at an early age. Most babies will pass a motion or will pee after getting up from sleep or after a feed, so take advantage of this knowledge. After feeding, take him near the toilet, and hold him over there, then make a hissing noise, and wait for some time. He may oblige you by passing urine with or without stools. If he does, then you have saved a nappy and reduced the risk of your child getting a nappy skin rash. If he doesn’t, let it go.
Some babies who respond may do so because of a conditioned reflex. In our rural areas, and also in some urban homes, I have seen the mother or the grandmother sit down on the floor with her legs straightened in front of her. She then makes the small baby sit between her two legs nearer her ankles. The baby faces her, and her upright feet support the baby’s back. The baby often passes urine and/or a motion on a newspaper in this position.
When the child is able to sit independently get a bright-coloured potty that sits on the floor. Place it near a wall, and put the child gently on it as soon as she wakes up of after she has had her feed. Sit near her or have your maid sit near her. Give her a kiss if she passes urine or a motion. Do not look annoyed if she doesn’t.
As she starts walking around, you will be able to make out when she is ready to pass stools or urine. She may suddenly stop running. Her facial expressions may change. She may point towards her genitals. Take a cue from her signals. Quietly remove her diaper and help her sit on her potty. Do not force her if she does not want to. If she wets her clothes before you can march her towards the potty, do not scold her. Give her a kiss when she does oblige by passing the motion or urine in her potty.
Your son may show interest in passing urine while standing up as he grows, usually after he observes an older sibling doing it. Your husband may also show him how (however, psychologists opine that it is not advisable for parents to keep exhibiting their genitals before their children. If the child sees them by accident, do not give the incident undue importance). He may now want to sit on an adult toilet seat. Put a small training seat on it; this is easily available in the market. Do not flush the toilet while he is sitting on the seat. Some children get scared at this; they fear that they may get sucked into the toilet. Most children learn to use the potty and later the toilet seat properly between 2 and 3 years of age.
I have also noticed that a child who is encouraged to pass urine just before bedtime at night and again as soon as he gets up in the morning, may have a dry night as early as the age of one year. However, we must remember that some children will continue to wet their bed for the next few years.
Source: Book - Guide to Child Care by Dr R K Anand
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