Onward and upward!

Thank you for being part of our journey these 3 years! We've so appreciated all your kind words and visits. Onward and upward with our journey!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

95% Diaper Free at 18 Months

 Dear My Toy Garden friends!

     Those little toes..little nose...mid afternoon post feeding snoozes on the couch...first smiles...first teeth...Those first few months with a new baby are so amazing aren't they?  Universally though parents agree that diapers are one thing they are anxious to be done with sooner than later!  My Toy Garden is here to help with some potty training tips this week!
    As many of you already know, I am a mom as well and struggle to juggle the demands that come with that honor just like you.  Potty training was one area that went pretty smoothly at our house.  Both of my children were fully daytime potty trained by age 2.  Nighttime is a whole other conversation for another day.  :-) Here are a few things I did that worked for me.  May they help those of you about to be or who are in the process of being diaper free!  Please join our popular [FB conversation](http://www.facebook.com/mytoygarden) about the subject and add your ideas for success as well!

First of all, Gear Up!
      You need 2 things before you begin this adventure.
1)  Potty Seat - I used a [step ladder potty seat like this one](http://www.onestepahead.com/catalog/product.jsp?productId=537132&cmSource=Search) and loved it!  Using a big potty can be very scary and using a seat like this makes big potties kid friendly and makes the transition to a big potty so easy!  This seat has a step to climb up on which is fun.  The handles and smaller seat makes little buns feel secure.  It easily folds and stows for shared potties.  Best of all, big toilets weren't scary for my little ones because that's what they used from the beginning!  (Side note: I do agree with many of the reviews on this version of it.  I had 2 from them and the previous one was better quality.  There are others like it on the market though.)

2)  Training Pants - Many Facebook fans agree....Do Not Use Pullups!  Repeat...do not use Pullups!  They are diapers in disguise and will delay your child's success.  Your child needs to connect the "need to go potty" feelings with the outcome if they don't make it to the toilet on time. Put them in cloth training pants from the beginning.  A few times of hmm...what is that feeling? to   Hey!  My legs are wet!  will teach your child much faster.  Yes, it's a bit messy but floors can be cleaned.   Good news too is that yes, there are licensed character free underwear options out there!  Read this previous newsletter titled ["Leave My Underwear Alone!"](http://thetoygardenshop.blogspot.com/2012/03/leave-my-underwear-alone.html) for my thoughts on that.

Start Early - In the 1950's 100% of children wore cloth diapers and so parents were highly motivated to potty train.  95% of children in the 1950's were potty trained by 18 months.  Yep, you read that right.  95% of children were potty trained by 18 months!  With both of my children, as soon as they could walk really well, we started learning to use the potty.  By watching for their cues and setting expectations for routines like we use the potty before and after nap and after meals, it didn't take long for them to do it on their own.  Children are capable of far more than we often give them credit for.   The longer the habit of using a diaper goes on for, the longer and harder it will be to teach them a new habit.

Bare Buns - One reason why the average age of a potty trained child now is 30 months is that we are busy, busy, busy.  To potty train quickly, it does require a time investment.  Mark out a chunk of time to stay home as much as possible...slow down a bit....give them lots of water to drink and let those little buns run free around the house.  A week or two of focused opportunities will speed along the process tremendously.  Carpet cleaners can be hired with the money saved by not buying diapers anymore.

Read - Books help child understand things at their level and potty training is a great area for that!  Read about children learning to use the potty and paint the picture for them of what it's all about.  This was on of our favs...[On Your Potty](http://www.valorebooks.com/textbooks/on-your-potty-george-and-bartholomew/9780763612689?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=Froogle&utm_source=Froogle)! We got it free from the Carmel library.   You can also get it online... note you can get books from other sites besides Amazon.... I digress...

Potty Toys -  Make sitting on the potty a fun time with toys and books they can only play with while sitting on the potty.  Sing songs, draw pictures, play sock puppets....anything to keep them sitting them for a bit.  

Celebrate - When they are successful, whoop and holler, dance, make up a cheer and go over the top wahoo on them!  Call Grandma and Grandpa...fuss, fuss, fuss!   Everyone loves to be praised and positive energy will take you a long way on this subject.   Sometimes small rewards can be motivating as well.

The Whole Poop - Many report that getting your child to poop on the potty was a challenging milestone.  The best advice I've heard is be aware of your child's system and what does in it.  The more natural foods such as vegetables and water that go in, the better things come out.  Fill them with processed foods and other things and much time will pass before they do.  Most children have a regular time to be regular.  Time to have them on the potty during those times of day with lots of toys and books to distract them.

How a Potty Functions - This last tip comes directly from my youngest.  He was obsessed with how a toilet works.  He loves for you to take the back off the toilet and he'll tell you all about the flapper, the valve and the floater.   For him, a motivator to go is to be able to watch all the magic that happens in that secret back tank that happens when you flush.  For other future engineers, this might just do the trick!

Good luck!  Stay positive with your "this is what we do" attitude and you'll soon be waving bye-bye to diapers!

Toylady Janet

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