Girls are usually easier than boys to toilet train. With all the boys and girls I have ever known, this has been the case. I don’t think there is any research that actually explains why this is the case. It is also reported that fewer girls wet the bed. Actually and this is absolute truth, my daughter just one day started sitting on the potty chair and potty training was over for the both of us. She continued to use that potty chair until she was able to use the bathroom.
Some of the main signs you can watch for whether you have a boy or girl are:
• Being able to wait several hours before urinating. When urination occurs, the child empties the bladder instead of only a small amount at a time.
• The child knows the words that your family uses in connection with going to the bathroom or restroom, such as “pee” and “poop.”
• The child can get on and off of the toilet or the potty chair by themselves and can raise and lower pants unassisted
• The child generally understands and follows your verbal instructions. If your child typically does not follow your instructions, you should probably make this your step one before proceeding to toilet training.
Sometimes constipation can cause a complication while toilet training a toddler. Avoid using laxatives or stool softeners unless directed by your physician to do so. Try fiber-rich foods such as whole-grain breads, broccoli, and cereal to keep the stools easy to pass.
A good rule to follow is that children should eat enough grams of fiber to equal their age plus five. This would mean a 4-year-old needs 9 grams of fiber each day. Try to distribute the fiber equally among all three meals. Be sure your toddler is getting adequate fluids that include water, diluted fruit juices and prune juice. Do not give your child too many dairy products.
Another trick you can try is to give your toddler a teaspoonful of pure honey each morning to help soften the stools if modifying the diet is not enough. Honey is a mild natural laxative. Do not give honey to a baby younger than one year of age. Babies are at risk of getting botulism.
If your toddler is still constipated consult with your child’s pediatrician.
Once you have your toddler’s constipation problems under control resume toilet training. It may take weeks or months for your toddler to forget about the painful bowel movements enough to try poop on the potty chair. You can start with encouraging your toddler to sit on the potty chair or toilet. Once he or she poops on the potty successfully a few times, he or she should be well on their way to being toilet trained.
There is no certain or magic age at which a child is ready to start learning how to use the potty. The majority of children have developed the necessary physical and cognitive skills between 18 and 24 months of age. Some children are not interested in potty training until they are closer to 3 or even 4.
Keep in mind that starting a child on toilet training before the child is ready does not mean you will finish sooner. It is more likely the process will end up taking longer. Review the checklist below to determine your toddler’s progress toward readiness for toilet training:
• Physical signs include: Coordination enough to walk, and run steadily; urinates a fair amount at one time; has regular, well-formed bowel movements at relatively predictable times; has dry periods of at least three or four hours;
• Behavioral signs include: Can sit down quietly in one position for two to five minutes; can pull his pants up and down; dislikes the feelings of wearing wet or dirty diaper; shows interest in other’s bathroom habits or wants to wear underwear instead of diapers; gives a physical or verbal sign when he or she is having a bowel movement such as grunting, squatting or tells you; demonstrates a desire for independence; takes pride in his accomplishments; is not resistant to learning to use the toilet; is generally cooperative, not negative or contrary to your instructions;
• Cognitive signs include: Can follow simple instructions like “go get your coat or hat;” understands the value of putting things where they belong; has words for urine and stool; understands physical signals that mean he or she has to go or can tell you before it happens or hold it until he or she is able to get to the potty.
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