Newest Review: ... you and your child and frustrated and tired. Beginning toilet training too early just stretches it out into a long drawn out process, wh... more
Potty training with books and dvd's
Potty Training Tips
Member Name: broxi3781
Potty Training Tips
Advantages: Saves a lot of laundry loads or disposable nappies.
Disadvantages: Can frustrate parents and children if undertaken too soon.
I may sound lazy, but I never potty trained my children. I had read a fair amount about other cultures before having children, and I realised potty training isn't the big deal it is often made out to be. I doubt most native populations even have a word for it - children just eventually learn to follow the customs of their culture in this, just as they do in most of life. I always said if my children were still in nappies at three I'd consider it, but we never even got close to it. Please note though - I said I would start to think about potty training at age 3 - I didn't say a child must be trained by then - every child is different and what matters is what is right for your child, not mine!
I don't think potty training is necessarily harmful - although I do think using punishments, shame or coercion to potty train could be. But I do think it is a lot of work, and it doesn't really accomplish much until the child is ready. It just seemed more natural to me to just wait and let nature take it's course. It doesn't seem to matter what method you use - unless something is seriously wrong - children do learn to use the toilet. We don't see 16 year olds in nappies unless there is a serious medical issue.
Of course I had to listen to "the experts". I honestly think people forget how long potty training took when their children are older and I view tales of "My child was completely potty trained by 12 months with some skepticism. Of course children can be potty trained much younger. Some families practice something called elimination communication which can begin at birth. The idea is taken from African tribes that wear the baby naked in a sling and whip them out to pee on the ground when needed. I think this may work better outdoors or in small huts with dirt floors though. But quite frankly, I don't see this happening often in a modern Western culture. It requires almost complete baby wearing as well.
I never went in for what I called the baby races. I never participate in the competitive parenting of " my baby did this or that first". In all honesty - I don't care at all. I think too much pressure is put on mothers to potty train, and it really is not anyone elses business. Each mother knows her own child best, and can judge these things for herself. If your child is showing signs of readiness, and you are up for the challenge - by all means go ahead. But pushing it too soon can leave you and your child and frustrated and tired. Beginning toilet training too early just stretches it out into a long drawn out process, when it can be accomplished very quickly and easily if you wait until the time is right. So if you find toilet training isn't working, my advice is to relax, take a deep breath and just leave it for awhile. You can always try again when the child is a bit older. My most impoertant piece of advice is not to feel pressured or rushed by anyone else.
With my children, I simply waited until they expressed a natural curiosity about the toilet. Then I started getting toilet books, and a few dvd's and we would read and talk about toilets. When they were ready - they chose a potty or toilet seat. If they chose to use the potty - that was fine - if they didn't , that was fine too. It was their decision. Sometimes they would be very regular and I was sure I could pack away the nappies for good - but then they would quit using it again. I never made a fuss - except when my oldest took to weeing out an upstairs window!
While I didn't make an issue of using the toilet - I do think the books really helped so I have decided to list some of our favourites. In some cases the title will refer to boys - there is always a separate book available for girls in these cases, and while I have not read them, I assume they will be equally useful. I am listing the books in order, starting with the ones I found most helpful. I am not bothering with the poor ones though - if I found it useless it went into the bin. Whether you go with a totally relaxed approach as we did, or a highly structured one, i think the more books a child listens to, the easier it will be.
Potty Poo Poo Wee Wee: This is certainly the best. We still read it now and again for fun, even though my sons are well past potty training. I have reviewed this separately on dooyoo - but in short the little dinosaur is very reluctant to use the potty to wee or poo. He finds all sorts of other things to do with it while chanting "potty poo poo wee wee" and doing his business on the floor. It's only when the grown ups give up that he decides the time has come.
The Rugrat's Potty Book: A Baby's Got to Go!: this is another book we still have and read once in awhile. In this Chuckie learns to use the loo, and it is full of fun and humour. It even has a set of gold toilet stickers to use as rewards.
The Pop Up Potty Book: This has flaps to lift and tabs to pull and my son really enjoyed this book. Of all the basic books to show what a toilet is for, this was his favourite.
Potty Time (Bear in the Big Blue House): We had just the story in an anthology, but there is separate book with pop ups and flaps.
Potty Time with Elmo (Play-A-Sound) still gets used around our house, mainly because the boys love the silly noises. This book shows Elmo potty training his doll.
The Potty Book for Boys is a simple book for very young children to get the idea of using the loo. My sons both really enjoyed it, and I did find it very helpful.
Big Boys Use the Potty!: this another book for very young boys, I would say even younger than two. It is sturdy board book with photo illustrations. It is very short and simple but babies do enjoy pictures of other babies and I see no harm in reading this well before they are old enough for potty training.
We didn't have this one as I didn't hear of it until my boys were to old but I would recommend giving it a try as the Bernstain Bears are a great series: My Potty and I Berenstain Baby Bears Board Books.
The following books are not specifically for potty training, but we found them very helpful:
The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it was None of His Business: This isn't about potties at all, but it is about poo and we would often talk about how people poo when reading this and where they should be doing there business.
Pingu's Little Accidents: This was combined in another book, and some people do object to this as the dvd very clearly shows Pingu weeing. There are also rumours that Pingu is drunk in this episode, but I don't think so, I think it is lemonade. The book is less graphic and I see no problems with it. It did really encourage my son to wee in the loo and that made it a grand book in my opinion.
Who's In the Loo: This is a really funny story my children still enjoy. I have reviewed it here as well, but in short this is a colourful, well illustrated Board Book by Jeanne Willis. Each page has a different idea for or what could be taking so long in the loo and some of them are using the toilet as it should be, so I believe this encourages children very subtly to use the toilet as well.
Bear In The Big Blue House - Potty Time was far and away the best dvd we found for the toilet learning ages. It is funny and cute and I can still remember the toileteers song. The story is about Tutter learning to use the loo, but everyone gets in on the action.
Elmo's Potty Time: I honestly can not remember a great deal about this one. I know there is a silly potty song. I am recommending it anyway as I feel this would be very helpful to any Elmo fans, and the more children see characters they like using the loo - the more likely they are to do the same.
Pingu's Little Accidents: This is hard to come by, but can be found on you tube and some compilation dvd's. As mentioned in the book review, some people really dislike this, but I found the fact that it actually shows the urine going into the loo quite helpful for boys to get an idea what to do.
Rugrats - Chuckie the Brave: this is a compilation video including "Chuckie Versus the Potty". My oldest loved this one. It begins with Chuckie very upset and terrified of the toilet, but he finds out it isn't so bad and soon enjoys being a big boy. My oldest loved this, but we were watching less dvd's by the time my youngest son was old enough.
ONE LAST POTTY TRAINING RESOURCE:
A step stool. This is such a simple idea, but if your child is using the big toilet - and mine preferred this - a step stool makes such a difference. I really can not recommend this enough, and it is useful for hand washing as well.
This is a completely separate issue and completely out of a child's control. I'm very lucky in that even as babies my sons would wake to pee, and wet beds were very rare even in the early stages of going without nappies. But luck is all there is to it. It isn't because I followed a better method of potty training - or anything else. Many children do wet the bed, especially boys. It isn't a big issue and it's best not to make a fuss. There are a few steps you can take, such as waking at certain times or using a moisture alarm - but please remember - the child can not control this anymore than an adult can control snoring or talking in their sleep. Of course reminding children to always use the loo before bed doesn't hurt in these cases though - and very young children may be afraid to get up by themselves, causing them to hold it until they fall asleep and have an accident. A torch by the bed can work wonders in these cases - or leaving the hall light on. Some parents even leave a potty next to the child's bed.
Rating - my number of stars are for toilet training in general - I think it has become too much of an issue and something that adds pressure to Moms. I am glad we never bothered with it.
Summary: Wait until you and your child are ready!
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