Getting your child out of nappies can be a minefield. Luckily, Samantha Allen has over a decade's worth of experience.
Samantha has been helping children achieve milestones in all areas of development and coaching families and preschool teachers for over 12 years.
Of all the developmental milestones we take pride in our children achieving, potty training is up there as one of the greatest.
Yet getting your child to this milestone can be notoriously tricky. For every success story, there seems to be at least three tales of struggle.
Encountering difficulties when potty training your child can have far-reaching effects on you, your child and the dynamic at home.
It requires delicate handling, but conversely, can be a very frustrating time. Like any hot topic, it's prompted a lot of discussion.
Samantha Allen upholds this view. The founder of NYC Potty Training has over a decade's worth of experience in applied behaviour analysis and helping kids achieve skills in all developmental areas.
Speaking to Mirror Online, Samantha shares her wisdom on the language and approach she recommends for such an important and sensitive matter.
1. Is there a such a thing as a 'best time' to start?
This can vary for each child.
I suggest starting when the child is staying dry for up to two hours; is able to walk to the bathroom; pull down their pants; climb onto the potty; and is demonstrating awareness of elimination; such as seeking privacy or getting into a certain position.
There's a lot of advice - but which to take?
2. What conflicting advice is out there?
There is a lot of conversation about potty training.
My approach is so different to almost everything out there, so it's hard for me to say what is the most conflicting information.
There are people who say to wait until a child is showing interest or that if the child is resistant to using the potty and/or is having accidents, the child isn't ready.
However, this is dismissive and not usually appropriate.
Determine if you should diaper young school age child
There's no such thing as the perfect age
Some kids don't become interested on their own and going back to nappies can reinforce their resistance and affect the family dynamic.
3. What problem areas come up the most?
One of the most common issues parents reach out to me about is kids withholding stool, only tolerating pooping in a pull-up, and/or eliminating in their pants.
The issue tends to worsen over time if:
Its not actively treated and left to work itself out.
If the right strategies aren't implemented.
When their behavior is compounded by medical complications caused by the withholding.
Set clear expectations from your toddler
4. Making yourself understood
Any language can be used so long as it is clear and consistent.
Parents should be mindful of the words they choose, as toddlers tend to take things literally.
5. Samantha's five basic pointers
Use the regular toilet with a toilet training seat instead of a potty chair
Go cold turkey from diapers to underwear
Give lots of fluids during potty training to increase opportunities for practice
Encourage independence completing the whole toilet routine, including wiping, dressing, and handwashing.
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