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More Potty Training Don'ts


Don't give in to external pressures
External pressures can come from many sources: Grandparents, other moms at the playgroup, preschool administrators, spouses. Keep in mind that while many grandparents are full of wisdom about childrearing, some advice just doesn't ring true today. I often turned to my own mother for help with parenting, but I always kept in the back of my mind that this was the same woman who didn't use a car seat with me and thought whiskey was a fine remedy for teething when applied to my gums. Go with your own instincts and rely on the knowledge you have about your child's readiness.

Where other parents are concerned, just as it is with teething, crawling and walking, so it is with potty training. These are skills that children learn, and they all learn at different times, at their own pace. Resist getting caught up in the competition now, because it doesn't end with potty training. Your child still has to learn to read, write in cursive and drive!

Schools that require your child to be potty trained by a certain age may do so simply to meet licensing standards or avoid inconvenience. Licensing standards require that any room with a child in diapers be equipped with a diaper changing table and a sink as well as other supplies. If the sink must have hot water at a temperature that differs from that of the sink available to children, this can mean that the school must run new plumbing from a separate hot water heater. Schools may not want to deal with the hassle of equipping a room, or they may not want to spend the money. And think about it this way, if the school is already setting an arbitrary deadline for toileting skills and not taking into account the individual needs of each child, what other areas will they apply this thinking to as well? Consider that this may not be the school for you or your child.

Don't expect night time training any time soon
Generally speaking, urinary control comes before control of bowel movements and dry nights come well behind both. It is completely normal for bed-wetting (or enuresis) to occur in children until they are 4 years old. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, about 40 percent of 3 year olds are affected. For many children, bladder control at night comes much later and does not necessarily signify any medical problem. The academy lists two main factors: Your child's bladder has not yet developed the ability to hold urine the whole night and/or he hasn't learned to recognize when he has to go, to wake up and make it to the toilet and use it. For a child who is asleep, that's a four-step process. When my son was working toward dry nights, I tried to keep that in mind, as well as the fact that as a grown woman, it's sometimes difficult for me to accomplish the one-step process of pressing the snooze button.

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