Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Potty Training Tuesday # 12

Taking A Break - Knowing When To Take a Potty Training Break

There often comes a point in the potty training journey where a parent or caregiver has to decide if it is worth while to continue full out potty training or if they need to step back and take a break.  

Taking a break is not a sign of failure on anyone's part.  It is just simply pausing until your child is really ready.

Just because your child has displayed the initial signs of readiness, doesn't mean that they are 100% ready to be potty trained.  

Here are some signs that it may be best for you and your child to take a break from potty training:

-You child is having very little of no success on the potty.
-He or she gets very upset by accidents
-Your child has become scared of the potty.
-He or she is showing a decreased interest.
Your child is completely oblivious to accidents.

Taking a break is not quitting or giving up.  It may be frustrating to have to take a break, but it is very common.  Many kids make numerous attempts before they really get it.

You don't necessarily need to quit completely to take a break.  You can still encourage your child to sit on the potty when you are changing their diaper and to tell you when they have to pee.  This lets the child know that even though you have taken a step backwards from underwear back to diapers, potty training is still a priority while eliminating the mess and stress of frequent accidents.

If you are taking a break due to decreased interest, you need to use your break to build up your child's interest again.  Talk about friends and family who use the potty.  Talk about wearing big boy/girl underwear.  Model using the toilet.  Anything you can think of that might boost their interest without causing a lot of pressure is good.

If you child has become afraid of the potty, take a few days to try and eliminate this fear.  Have the potty somewhere that it is visible more often.  Encourage them to sit on it, even with their clothes on.  If their fear seems to lessen with this, try to keep on potty training, if not, it is time to take a break.  Pushing a child to do something that they are afraid of can be very traumatizing.

When to start again?

Knowing when it is a good time to start again is much the same as deciding to start in the first place.  Watch for signs and take it step by step again - sitting on the potty regularly but still wearing diapers; wearing underwear/taking your child to the potty often to develop a routine and pattern; to finally having your child ask to go potty and eventually go on their own

Potty training is always more successful when it is done at the child's pace and comfort level, not yours!

Stay tuned for more tips, tricks and advice every Tuesday!  And please do share your own experiences!  I am always looking for ways to make potty training easier for myself, not only at work, but also at home as I will soon be jumping in head first to potty train Liam!

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