Recently, a friend called me and said he had great news, that after 4 and a half years of buying diapers, his youngest was finally potty trained. His joy was multi-facetted: First, was monetary—no more spending on dippers. Second, he was glad to not have to change another dirty diaper again (he has a weak stomach). And third, was gaining back some time because his daughter was more independent. Of course, every parents dream is to have a child that is potty trained by 2 years old, but you can’t rush a child. It is estimated that about four million toddlers start potty training each year, that means that there are about 12 million opinions of how to do it because in Latino families, everyone has an opinion. My son Jacob is turning two and a half in April and there are indications that he is ready to be potty trained, but I didn’t know where to start. Luckily I have the opportunity to be part of (don’t laugh but there aren’t that many Latino Daddy bloggers) “Mardinas del Bano” campaigned aimed at helping Latino families navigate the path to potty training with information and resources to make it less painful for both parents and child. From what I have read, Jacob is at the perfect time to start training because, according to pull-ups.com, your child is already when they show some of these signs:
- Your child can stay dry for two hours at a time during the day or is dry after a nap.
- Your child is uncomfortable with soiled diapers and wants them changed. (pronto!)
- Your child shows increasing interest in the bathroom.
- Your child’s b.m.’s are regular and predictable.
- Your child wants to wear Big Kid® pants.
- Your child can indicate by words, facial expression or body language that he or she is about to go.
- Your child can follow simple verbal directions.
Jacob is definitely exhibiting item one and two from above. The third item is not so clear. Here is what I mean; I can’t go to the bathroom in peace! If I lock the doors, Jacob stands at the door toggling the handle and screaming Da Da… If I don’t lock the door, then he comes in and hangs out until I am done. This is ok when I only have to pee, but sitting down is an entirely different matter. Most Dads might agree, that this was usually my only “alone” time, not it is share time. But children learn from example, and I chock this up to a learning opportunity and bear it. I have further read that potty training doesn’t have to be a pain and can in fact be fun. Jacob definitely learns faster when a chore or task is masked in “fun-time” verse “work-time.” He also appreciates being rewarded for a job well done; whether it is a simple “good job” or high-five to a sticker or cookie. The idea is to celebrate every attempt, even the failures. If you know of any other parents getting ready to start potty training, encourage them to visit www.facebook.com/pullups to learn more about Pull-Ups and the resources they can provide. Jacob also loves using a tablet and seems more proficient at it than me, so I am excited to incorporate a new mobile app from Pull-Ups® that provides guidance with potty training and yet make it fun for Jacob. The dream of watching videos while using the bathroom has finally arrived—every man’s dream. The major thing I’m preparing for is being patient. It is easy to try to rush the situation or to get frustrated because after a few attempt the child has an “accident.” The first thing will be to get him to start using pull-ups, since it will be the first “sign” that he is transitioning. And that is what he has to learn, that it is time to transition from “baby” to “big boy.” Stand by for more updates and any tips I learn along the way.