These tips are part of the Potty Savvy workshop I teach (and am about to take on the road, and am writing a book about!) These four items are the things I want every parent to know. I am hoping the best for all the little bums of the world.
1) Potty CHAIR, not SEAT! Whether you are doing potty learning between 10-18 months like I teach at Potty Savvy or whether you are teaching a 2-year-old, do not use a potty seat that fits on the big potty as it will not foster independence. We definitely don’t expect our little ones to do potty on their own for many weeks, but we do want them to have a safe low potty for them to run to whenever they have a sudden desire to go on their own! Even if you have a step stool, remember that a small child must learn how to mount it, turn around while standing on it precariously and then bend over to remove the pants. That is two accidents waiting to happen- a head injury from your tile floor and a pee in the pants. So..buy a little potty for the floor.
2) POSTURE for BOWELS. The biologically/anthropologically sound way to poop is in a wide-legged squat position. Many potties encourage legs together (maybe to prevent splashing). My favorite potty for a wide squat and wonderful bowel movements is the Potty Pod by Prince Lionheart (I have no affiliation nor have I ever made contact with this company!)
3)DIET MATTERS! Pay careful attention to diet and water intake to prevent constipation while potty learning. You will hear of 2 and 3-year-olds who were doing great and suddenly refuse to poop in the potty, holding it in and pooping while standing, sometimes crying while doing so. When we hold poop in, the body re-absorbs water and it only gets harder. It is no mere coincidence that most people start potty just after 2-years and that is usually when healthy children have their first bout of bad constipation.
When the first bout of constipation happens to be on the potty, well… lets just say that toddlers are sensitive creatures and one little anal tear and pain while potty learning during a bout of constipation is enough to make them refuse the potty by simple association. This is an awful cycle which is first prevented by starting potty before 2 years (even better if there is still some breastmilk in the system) and then prevented by limiting the consumption of constipating foods like wheat, dairy and bananas while potty training. Add flax meal, and a highly soluble fiber like super-fun Chia seeds mixed with some…
4) WATER, WATER, THROUGH A STRAW! Sippy cups are just terrible! Have you tried to suck out of those things? It requires a lot of effort to get water out and hydration is incredibly important to preventing constipation while potty learning. Lets say your child has a less than ideal diet and the above mentioned constipation could occur- you could still mitigate constipation with increased hydration to keep the bowels wet. Always have two sippys/water bottles at child access level and remind your child to drink regularly, like you will remind about potty. Having one by the little potty is awesome and will often procure a nice pee which you can celebrate!
I am available as to coach parents through my Potty Savvy program via phone and email from anywhere, should you want any help or want to learn my 12 week, 12-step method. I teach Potty Savvy monthly in Seattle. mooreamalatthicks at gmail dot com or simply like the blog on facebook and send a message: http://www.facebook.com/#!/MamaLadyParenting