There are so many different factors to consider when facing most of the common parenting issues.
The Nurse Judy approach is a combination of many years of medical experience, a desire to treat things as naturally as possible, a large dollop of common sense.
Please see the updated post May 2017 Poop Chapter 3
Toilet training is one of those Hot button topics that seems to have lots of very differing opinions.
The most basic thing to pay attention to is how unique each of our children is.
My kids were no exception to this.
first daughter Lauren was fast at everything she did. She was singing
show tunes at 18 months. She was interested in the potty and was mostly
trained well before she was 2.
sure enough, she went through a period of horrible constipation. Watch
out for those early kids. I see this happen ALL the time!
took her time with all of the milestones. Having my older kid do
everything so quickly made it feel even slower. She was slow to walk,
slow to talk and not in the least bit interested in getting rid of the
Be careful how you ask the questions.
Me: " Hey Lani, don't you want to be a big girl? Do you want to wear these wonderful big girl undies?"
Alana: " Nope. I like being a baby. I like my diapers"
Hmmm, for some reason, that wasn't the response that I was expecting and I didn't have a follow up.
when I was figuring that this 'big for her age' almost 3 year old
would need to start wearing "depends" all of a sudden she was magically
ready. She asked for underwear and barely had an accident after that.
As with everything, Alana waited until she was good 'n ready before
doing anything and then simply mastered it.
* the first poop in the potty was 5/31/93 How can I possible know this???? Check out the "keep a journal post!"
Watch your child cues.
all kids I suggest getting a selection of the children's books and
videos about potties training. Let them get familiar with the concept
that some day, big kids pee and poop in the potty or toilet.
are all sorts of potty seats. Some have steps and fit over the toilet.
Others play music. Talk about all of the options that are out there.
Which one would your child like to try?
them watch you do your business. Although, most kids start out by
sitting down, little boys and dads...go play the "sink the cheerio game"
(I don't really need to spell that one out, do I?)
Do everything in your power to keep the stools soft. If you don't pay attention, you can be heading for trouble.
are now physiologically able to hold their poop. If they hold it too
long, it will be uncomfortable coming out...this will make them want to
hold it even more.
sure they are getting plenty of fluids and fiber. Have them help you
bake some muffins full of prunes, and molasses and all of those
wonderful 'make you poop' ingredients. Kids tend to like to eat what
they help bake. See if they will drink a smoothie that they helped make
in the blender. It is worth your energy to make sure those stools don't
get hard enough to hold. Be creative!
Many kids will easily make the transition to the potty between 2 and 3.
Wave a new package of big kid super hero or princess undies around and they may be sold.
watch out for reward backfires. With Lauren we were offering some
little M&M for each poop in the toilet. She proudly squeezed out a
pea size piece of poop, brought the potty and received her treat...."but
wait Mom and Dad...look there's more!"
Aside from show and tell and talking about it, I usually leave the more recalcitrant kids alone until they are 3ish.
Disposable diapers are very absorbent and make it very comfortable for kids to hang out with a dirty one.
your child seems ready, some folks find that they can fast track the
toilet training on a warm week when they can have the kids run around
naked. Most kids are not inclined to just pee anywhere when the diaper
thing to try is to do this in stages. Work on peeing in the potty
first. It is fine to let them tell you when they need to poop and then
put a diaper or pull-up on for that. For some reason most kids are way
more comfortable tackling the pee issue but are much more reluctant to
poop out of the diapers.
get involved in playing and often don't pay much attention to their
body's cues. Get in the habit of taking them to the potty every hour or
so. Make sure that other adults who are watching them are consistent.
sure that they are wearing outfits that they can pull up and down
easily so that when they do remember on their own they are not hampered
by difficult buttons.
your older kids, Consider having them go to the store with you when you
buy the diapers. Use cash. Singles if you have them. Show them the
money that you give to the store every time you buy some diapers.
at some toys and discuss that when they are ready, instead of a box of
diapers, you can perhaps use some of the money to buy that toy
instead...but only when they think they are ready.
far as consequences, older kids are also ready to deal with stinky
poop. I think they need to help you with a bit of the clean up process.
Talk about how nice it would be if the poop went right into the toilet.
I would give some nice positive attention for any attempt at sitting on the potty and giving it a real effort.
Set a timer and have them sit on the potty or toilet for five minutes when they are working on a poop.
Consider having a written poop agreement that spells out any rewards that have been discussed.
out and about with a newly potty trained child is an adventure. You
will quickly learn which friendly merchants have clean and accessible
toilets that you can run in and use.
will learn to watch out for the tell tale signals. The hand down at the
crotch and the jiggling up and down usually mean you have a minute or
less to find a bathroom. I used to have an inflatable potty in my trunk
that came in handy on many occasions.
not shame or yell at a child who isn't quite ready. If your child is
over 3 ½ and you don't feel that you are making progress, it might be
time to talk to the pediatrician to see if we can help you move forward.
Night time is a whole different issue.
I suggest working on the toilet training for during the day and using pull ups at night.
Wait until your child is waking up dry or asking to get rid of the night time pull ups before you tackle this.
(Bed wetting is certainly a topic that I will put on my list for a future post)
There is a new trend that had parents starting toilet training when their kids are only a few months old.
of my patients are having success with it, but I can't quite wrap my
brain around that concept, so I haven't included that in this post