Potty training

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Still not quite grasping the concept...

Is your child slow to potty train? Are you frustrated with poor behavior due to infrequent bowel movements? Never fear; here are some great tips to jump-start your child's potty training!

Dr. I.P. Freely, M.D.

Potty training can be frustrating. As a pediatric physician, I often get the same question: My child won't potty train; what are some things I can do to facilitate the process? My response is that all children are different. If it is frustrating you that yours is responding slower than others, there are some things you can to to make it faster. Below I have provided some tips you can use to expedite the potty training process and move on to the golden years of child development!

  • Keep a record of your child's accidents. Any time she wets herself or the bed, put a red X, or a frowny-face sticker on the chart.
  • Forcing your children to go to the bathroom stresses that it is important. Unless you raise your voice about this issue, they may never understand the urgency of not going in their diaper. Time-outs, spanking, or simply beating the child with a baseball bat works great as well.
  • A citrus or lemon juice enema can be a quick way to get your child to make a bowel movement. Simply administer the enema, and place your child on the potty. Presto! The "classical" approach to potty training really works! Note that it is natural to find some blood in the toilet afterwards.
  • Make wearing diapers unpleasant. Smearing some hot mustard or tamale sauce into your child's diaper or pull up will make them want to wear underwear. Doing the same thing after your child has an accident is a good way to ensure that it doesn't happen again.
  • Chiding or embarrassing your child can help them understand that urinating or making B.M.s in one's underwear is wrong. While in the store, if an accident occurs, you may wish to scream, "Molly wet her pants! EW! That's disgusting!" or something similar. In the real world, children will be made fun of for soiling themselves, and this is something you need to stress with your young one. There are diapers available that sound a siren when the child soils/wets him/herself.
  • Another way to make wearing diapers unpleasant is to make the child wear the thickest, heaviest diaper you can find. It restricts movement and makes it really obvious that the child is wearing a diaper, aiding the embarrassment factor.

I hope that I was able to make your life a little bit easier with these tips. I am aware that these are difficult years in a young child's life. But as a father of three, I also know that time is of the essence-- if you don't potty train your child within the allotted time span, they will be held back and in the long run, work the corner of 1st and 3rd and be known as "Two buck Bertha". How they respond now will affect them for the rest of their lives. A recent study conducted by the University of Wisconsin proved that 98% of children who don't potty train by 36 months are considered mentally retarded by mainstream society. Use my tips above to ensure that your children are appropriately counted as valid members of society.