Potty Training Girls and Boys

You spend most of your day changing diapers and coming in close contact with some sort of bodily fluid from your child, we get it. The idea of potty-training may seem like the perfect solution. But, how do you know if your child is ready? And perhaps more importantly, how do you know if you're ready? Plus, helpful tips for getting your boy or girl off to a great start!

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Potty Training Girls And Boys

Please be advised, this transcription was performed by a company independent of New Mommy Media, LLC. As such, translation was required which may alter the accuracy of the transcription.

Dr. Rappaport: This is one area of parenting where I’m sure we all happy to see our babies growing up. It’s the phase where it’s less diapers and more big kid panties. When do you know when the time is right? How do you teach them how to use the big kid potty? I’m Dr. Lori Rappaport, cognitive-behavioral therapist, parent educator and founder of the Growing Up Great Parenting Programs and this is Parent Savers

[Theme Music/Intro]

KC Wilt: Welcome to Parent Savers, broadcasting from The Birth Education Center of San Diego. I’m your host, KC Wilt and you can now download our free apps to check it out on your smart phone or tablet. Visit our website, https://www.parentsavers.com for more info and we want you to be a part of the show. Did you know that you can email one of our experts directly and ask parenting questions? If you have a question that we didn’t answer in an episode, send in. We have so many great knowledgeable experts partnering with us to get your question answered. So, you can send us a message on the episode that’s online or through the Facebook or email. And, we are so excited to announce the Parent Savers Club. This is an exclusive membership club available to all of our listeners. It gives you access to all the archived episodes, even transcripts for the show plus the special monthly newsletter with special giveaways, discounts and so much more. You can access all these great information through the web or through our new Parent Savers app. For more information, visit the website, https://www.parentsavers.com and click on the member’s link at the top of the page. So, I am a new parent myself. My Carson is getting older and older and he’s now 22 months old. We’re not two and still refer him 22 months. [Laughs] I’m joined by two new parents here in the studio.

Danelle Dutoit: I’m Danelle Dutoit and I’m 32 and I’m a working mom and have a two and a half year old son named Jude.

Naomi O’Grady: I’m Naomi O’Grady. I’m 34 years old. I’m a marketing professional with a local biotech company. And, I’m really excited to hear about this topic of potty training coz I have 18 months old boy-girl twins and I have lots and lots of diapers. [Laughs] I’m looking forward to saving some money by flushing all that down the toilet. [Laughs]

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segment: Ask The Experts]

KC Wilt: We have an email from one of our listeners. “My name is Bren. I live in Pittsburg. I think my child has an ear infection. It’s been really hot here and we’ve been swimming a lot and I think that’s how he got the infection. I rather not give him traditional antibiotics. I was hoping you could suggest some holistic alternatives for this ear infection or for any future ones he has. Thanks so much.”

Dr. Tara Zandvliet: Hi Bren, this is Dr. Tara Zandvliet from South Park Doctors. If your son feels hurt if he moves the out ear and it itches too, it is likely swimmers ear. It’s in the canal and it could be cured topically. You could use a few drops of Vinegar, three times a day for three days in each ear. Or, you can mix an equal amount of water, vinegar and hydrogen peroxide together and put some in the ear at night. Put a cotton ball to hold it in there. To prevent swimmers ear, place a few drops of oil in the ear canal before swimming or use ear plugs. Avoid dirty water like in some rivers and lakes and dry the outer ear thoroughly after swimming. Don’t forget to tip the ear down towards the ground one at a time to let the water drain out after swimming. If you don’t shift the head above the ear, it doesn’t help the water get out. If the infection is deeper in the middle ear, it causes a lot of deep pain and the kids end up crying a lot and it often causes a fever. The ears may pop when the child swallows or yawns. These generally cure themselves in 24 to 48 hours if the immune system is strong. So I would say boost it with Vitamin C like in orange juice, with Omegas in fish or kids supplements and some herbs like golden seal or echinacea or even the Chinese treatment of Astragalus to boost the immune system. You could consider a homeopathic treatment like Hyland’s ear tablets. You could even try a garlic or lobelia extract and put a few drops in the ear. All of those are great cures for middle ear infection. Don’t forget to treat the pain. That is the most important. You can use Tylenol or Motrin or you could use a few drops of warm but not hot olive oil and keep it in there with a cotton ball. The oil equalizes the pressure with the fluid in the middle ear and that releases the pressure of the ear drum and thus reduces the pain. If there's any drainage from the ear do not put drops in. I hope this helps. Bye, bye!

KC Wilt: If you have a question for one of our experts, call the Parent Savers hotline at 619-866-4775 and we’ll answer your question on a future episode.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt: Today on Parent savers, we have Dr. Lori Rappaport, parent educator here to help us learn how to potty train our children. Is there anything in the younger months that we can do to help prepare our babies when they’re still on diapers?

Dr. Rappaport: Sure, there’s a lot of things you can do. Certainly, modeling is keyed just as you talk to your baby to develop language before they can even speak, we talk about potty training and we notice the toilet, recognize it, “oh! Mommy is going pee.” For those of you that are open and allow your children into the bathroom and those of you who don’t necessarily have a choice, like having twins, they follow you everywhere. That having them see you going or seeing if there are older siblings that are going and making that a part of everyday language is very important. So, talking about it, using the toilet, talking, using the words pee and poop, asking your child to let you know when their diaper is soiled, “are you wet? Let me change you.” Identifying the behaviors they’re doing like, “oh, you’re going poop”. You can tell when they’re hiding behind the couch or they’re grunting or they stop all of a sudden playing and you say, “oh! You’re going poop”, very casually, very comfortably but again, we’re labeling those behaviors for them. You can get a potty chair if you want to and have that in the bathroom. They can sit when you are sitting. They can have it in there. They know that it’s there and you can talk about it very future oriented. “Oh! When you’re ready to use the potty, you’ll get to sit on that chair.” So that they know that it’s there and they know it’s waiting for them. But, keep it future oriented. Don’t put pressure on them. “Do you want to use it? Do you want to use it?” We just want them…

Danelle Dutoit: What age do you think is appropriate to start potty training?

Dr. Rappaport: You know, it varies. Somewhere between 18 and 24 months people think about that and it really depends on your child. It depends on their signs of readiness so they can show you. If they’re starting to wake up with a dry diaper at nap time, if they’re telling you and they don’t like being wet or dirty when they’re dirty, if you see that they have a big interest if you’re talking about it, “Oh! I want to go on the potty”, then it usually gives you a sense that they’re ready for that. That’s not a start, a step-fast rule. Some kids aren’t ready at 18 to 24 months and boys tend to be on the later side and that is well. And those who have older siblings tend to be a little earlier because they’re seeing that and they’re in the bathroom a lot watching you with them.

KC Wilt: Is there a parental readiness?

Dr. Rappaport: That certainly is such a great question. I think that parent have to be more ready for potty training than kids. You have to be ready to commit. It is a huge change. You mentioned two in diapers, the expression two in diapers used to be when we had to wash them and we couldn’t wait to get them out. Now, disposable diapers are pretty easy and they’re a lot easier than toilet training. When you’re in the middle of the mall and you’re online and they say, “I gotta go.” You got to drop everything and go. If they’re wearing a diaper, you can finish your transaction. So, diapers actually make it easier for us as parents to live our lives. So, we have to be ready for how it imposes on us and be very attentive and aware of our child and ready to move it in any given moment. And, we’re not always ready for that. Parents need to be ready if you’re contemplating a big move, if you’re having a new baby, if you’re changing jobs, those are not good times.

KC Wilt: Well, everyone wants to do it when they’re having a new baby coz they try to like, speed it up for the…..

Dr. Rappaport: Exactly, but the problem is that you’re pressured. The pressure you feel and the intensity and desire translate to your child and there are two things that you’ll never get your child to do on your watch. One is, go to the bathroom and one is eat. Those are two behaviors that no matter what you do they’re in charge and they know it and we cause some really difficult struggles if you try to force them to potty train and you could then run into some other more difficult issues we have like, Encopresis where we see kids who are holding their bowel movements and that can be very, very difficult from health perspective to treat as well.

KC Wilt: My child is a little oblivious. I never know when he’s pooping. I never know when he is ‘Aha” doing that other than he gets rashes so he says stinky, stinky. So, I’m excited coz he is now saying he has a stinky which is really exciting so, I’ve been trying to put him on the potty, you know, so occasionally he’ll ask me to sit down coz he likes to move. He doesn’t like to sit in one spot so, that’s kind of hard coz I have friends who will put them on the potty and just wait and wait and wait for them to go and when they go they get a little water or something and they get excited. Something so that your child knows that you go to the bathroom on the potty is a good thing. My child won’t sit on the potty, won’t sit anywhere. And when he does, he thinks it’s a game and he sits that and he goes psssssss…..[Laughs] and so, and I’m trying like, I was in the bathroom the other day and I was like, “mommy is going potty” and he comes in and he got about 5…..he also needs to look down and he’s trying to look at me going potty. It was a little bit too close for a comfort, I’m like, step away a little bit. But, it was cute in that way that he was interested in it but, he’s so oblivious to anything else that I’m like, I have other friends, you know, the same age that are boys, that are, you know, moving a little bit more forward and I feel like I’m kind of in the stagnant spot.

Dr. Rappaport: He’s 22 months. He’s not ready and he’s letting you know that. He’s too curious but he’s just not interested. When children are ready, it should take about three days of real dedicated time to get them to understand and be able to use the potty. That’s not saying their one of their accidents but, the transition’s very, very quick. When children aren’t ready and we’re forcing them and we’re talking and we’re like, “don’t you wanna use the potty?” it could take 6 months of non-stop, this day we wear underwear. Tomorrow we don’t wear underwear, you know, all of that again, has to do with parental readiness. If you are ready to commit and train your child and your child is showing those signs then you have to be focused and I think it’s really important not to sometimes get excited and let them use it and other times when it’s not convenient for us,” no, no, we’re not gonna do that. I’m gonna put a diaper on you coz we’re going out for the afternoon” and, you know, you’ll have an accident. You really need to be ready. Once the underwear comes out, it doesn’t leave. So, don’t buy the underwear coz it’s fun and you think they’re excited and they wanna see it, buy it because you’re ready and take away the diapers. Once the underwear comes out, the diapers are gone. That’s what they have pull ups for that you can use those at night. And they should only be used at night and if you’re not ready for the inconvenience of, “oh my! We’re going out to play group” and you’re gonna may be have an accident, then you’re not ready to toilet train your child.

KC Wilt: Are you gonna scar your child? For example, me sitting with my son on the toilet seat and pushing it, am I pushing him too away from it that he’s not gonna be interested in or if I put him, you know, I have other friends that put their kids back and forth through big kid underwear and diapers and they have accidents, is that going to something that’s gonna, you know, scar them from actually using a properly the potty?

Dr. Rappaport: That’s a hard question because a lot of it depends on parental reaction. So, when you’re ready to toilet train your child, what’s most important is getting them in a routine and getting them sitting. It’s not necessarily important what comes out of that moment. But, the idea that they want to sit, that we practice sitting and sometimes it comes out and sometimes it doesn’t. We want them to sit for at least 2 minutes, not get on and get off and go, “oh I don’t have to go” because of course as you know it takes a while for your body to develop that reflex. So, we reward them for sitting. When they’re ready to go that we sit down and say, “okay, if you sit for two minutes you get a sticker” or I love to use little gummy bears, little M&Ms, little Jelly Bellies, very minute rewards that you get one for sitting but you have to sit for two minutes. They might wanna sit ten times in, you know, in a two hour period which is great because the more practice they have, the more likely that if they’re sitting something is gonna come out. When it does come out you let them know, “Wow! Look at that, you did that.” They get three for peeing in the potty and five for pooping. So, we reserve that and that’s really a standard of 1-3-5 to give them an idea that just getting into the routine is a good thing. So, when you’re sitting down and getting them ready, you want to give them a 3 day period. I like to call a potty camp where you’re ready, you hold up in your house, you’re around is not leaving them naked because we want them to experience wet underwear. Are you washing a lot on that day? Probably, but so what? You want them to pump them full of liquids, get in a ray of juice boxes that will excite them and let them drink a lot. And, because practice makes them learn so, if we only pee once every couple hours is not really, we’re not gonna catch it. But, if we pump them full of liquid, all things that they want to drink, they’re going to pee more often and we reward them for sitting and we do that in a 3 day period where we let them know, “let’s go try to sit.” If you catch them going to the bathroom and they start to have a poop in their underwear or pee in their underwear, say, “okay, you’re ready to go. Let’s go try and see if there’s any left to go on the potty.” Still, bring them to the potty. Have them sit down because what we’re teaching them is when you feel that, this is what you’re gonna do. And, kids tend to not recognize it until it’s happening and then if they get a little better and they’re toilet trained, our biggest nightmare is they say, “I need to go” and within two seconds [Laugh] if you’re not at a bathroom, it’s not enough time. But, they will learn to go [Inaudible 00:14:14] to a logical connection. They will learn how to make that connection over a longer period of time. So much of the scaring you’re talking about comes from our reactions as parents where we’ve asked them before we left the mall, “do you need to go?” they say, “no”. We buy that, we walk out and there we get to the car and what do they do, “have to go” and we’re upset with them. And so they learn and they see, “oh! When I tell mom I need to go or dad I need to go, they get upset.” It’s not really that. It’s just that we tend to because we’ve already asked them or in the case of twins, one has gone and you make the silly mistake of not making the other one try and you get back to the car and it feels like when you’re training twins, you’re forever at a potty. That’s when I recommend keeping one in your car. Keeping a potty seat in your car is very helpful.

KC Wilt: You know, actually I’ve had a family I worked for at one point and it was awesome because we’ve been in Downtown LA and they were like, don’t know where a bathroom is nearby. Oh! Open the trunk and it was right there. That’s great. It’s really one of those things you don’t have to feel frustrated.

Dr. Rappaport: And they won’t be 15 going on a potty in the car. So, don’t fear that you’re setting a bad habit. But, it is a convenience and at that moment in their life it’s more important they get on the potty than where it’s located coz they are the ones that you can strap to your head as you are walking around. [Laughs]

Danelle Dutoit: Those inflatable ones you can blow up. [Laughs]

Dr. Rappaport: I don’t recommend those. They’re not all that fun.

Naomi O’Grady: My twins are a boy and a girl and I’ve been starting to strategize like, maybe I should start with the girl first and she’s a little bit more matured. Can you kind of talk about the difference between boys and girls and their readiness and how potty training is different? And then, any suggestions for someone with twins, would it be advisable to try to get one over the hump first before starting with the other?

Dr. Rappaport: Sure, I think that in the general sense as we talk in general as nations, girls are earlier than boys in a lot of ways when they mature early. So, if your girl is ready and your boy is not then, don’t pressure him or make him feel badly that he’s not. Allow her to train if she’s ready, don’t wanna hold her back and just mention to him, “oh well, when you’re ready, you’re gonna….when you get bigger you’re gonna go on the potty too.” Always talk future oriented as you are confident that this is gonna happen for them. Not that you are worried about it, what you don’t wanna do is say, “do you wanna get on, do you wanna go with her?” because you are pushing them and they know they’re not stupid, they know you want them on the potty and it’s overwhelming to them if they’re not ready, they get scared. What’s different about boys and girls is the stand Sid. For boys who have older siblings or who see their dads a lot, they might want to start off standing. They may have a desire. They may have that in their head and that’s okay. It’s generally easier for boys to learn how to sit and learn how to push their penis down than it is to stand up and try to get it in the toilet. But again, because of the role modeling sometimes they have a desire. If they are desiring that we certainly don’t want to discourage them and tell them no. Cereals are great, fruit loops, any round little cereals you can put in the toilet. You don’t have to invest in those, very expensive toilet targets. Cheryl Cereals, they work just as well and teaching them to aim for that, it’s a game, it’s fun.

KC Wilt: What age do you recommend going from sitting to standing for our little boys?

Dr. Rappaport: You know, there’s not really a particular age. They will decide on that. When they get to pre-school, if you’ve trained them before and they’re seeing other kids, they’re gonna start to notice that. They get a little aware and they may say I want to stand up or they may want to sit for a long period of time. Really, as long as they’re going in the toilet, it’s not a big deal. Don’t ask them, “well, don’t you wanna stand?” you know, thinking regime, all of my friend’s kids are standing now they’re 4, should mine? Not if he’s comfortable, bathrooms are very private. No one has to watch you. However he wants to do it is fine.

Danelle Dutoit: Now what does potty training look like? And how do we go about doing it?

Dr. Rappaport: Well, as we were talking about before, I’d like to call, you know, I’d like to dedicate at least 3 days where you can be around the house and you’re ready so you’re not planning on taking them anywhere and have a nice ray of juices, have gone out and got them some fun underwear, there’s so many different kinds, they’d be excited that they’re now gonna wear big boy or big girl underwear and get a reward, something that they’re gonna use for the potty. It helps if you understand their schedule, if you have a schedule. So, if you notice and before you’re ready to potty train, if you notice that, “my child tends to go, have a bowel movement after breakfast, usually about 20 minutes after or sometimes when he wakes up from a nap or sometime before diner”. If you can target those times and you kind of know where they’re at, you can have them sitting then and you can talk about practicing. “We’re gonna go practice sitting.” When you’re pumping them full of liquids, they’re gonna urinate a lot more frequently so you have that chance if they all of a sudden are wet and say, “oh, you peed. Look at that, you’re all wet. Well, let’s go see if there’s any more to come out.” Bring them to the bathroom, let them sit. Get them involved in the routine of changing their clothes. Don’t change them. We’re looking at them being bigger. We want them to take responsibility. One of the first things we want to do is, “okay well, you got wet. Take off your underwear. Here’s where you put it” and you probably don’t have them throw in the hamper, you might have to put them in a plastic bag or may be put it directly in the laundry room. All of those things, ‘Wow, you did a great job.” We want to reinforce them that it’s normal and okay. Let them feel competent so they didn’t go in the potty right away but, they were able to put….to change themselves, to put their underwear where it needed to be. That’s all steps in the process of becoming independent and feeling good about themselves. If we whip them off and play them down on the changing table, change their underwear, clean them up, what are we really doing? We’re just substituting diapers for underwear. So, we really want them to be a part of that. Keep them around the house during that time, notice their routine, you’ll notice the child and you might notice now may poop several times a day. As they get potty trained, they tend to poop fewer times a day. It kind of consolidates because they have to think about it. Their body changes. So, you’ll start to see that and you want to have them sit. If you see them going and you can tell that red face or you know, ask them say, “hey, I see that you have to poop. Would you like to try sitting?” They may or may not want to do that. Don’t get into a power struggle with them. If they’re doing that and they’ve pooped already in their pants say, “okay well, let’s go empty it. Poop goes in the toilet.” Have them go, have them help you put it in the toilet, flush it, do something with the underwear, whatever they’re wearing, where do you want them to put it to clean it, all of that so they understand that.

Danelle Dutoit: And if your child is in day care, do you start a home potty training or do you have day care start? Which one would you recommend?

Dr. Rappaport: You’re gonna have to work hand in hand and anyone that watches your child, if you establish a routine and you’ve done your three days of potty camp, by no means does that mean there, completely trained, the care givers, the grandparents, whoever is gonna be with your child needs to participate in the routine, that means they need a little bag of jelly beans with them, they need to understand the scoring system and the same way with the day care. There are many day cares that will help you initiate potty training. They do it all together and some kids aren’t ready but, see their peers want to. But, your child needs to be ready as well. I get a lot of panic calls sometime around July where parents have signed their kids up for preschool that needs them to be potty trained and lo and behold, they’re freaking out and they’re pushing potty training on their child. You can’t make them potty train and if you’re in a couple our preschool, pull up your grades, they can be in pull ups and if they have an accident, they have an accident. So, it really isn’t one or the other. I think you need to go hand in hand. If you start potty training at home, then share that with the day care and vice versa.

Naomi O’Grady: Would you recommend using pull ups just for night or say if you’re like, pull ups are kind of diapers just with sides so, which one would you prefer?

Dr. Rappaport: When you’re ready to potty train, then they’re ready for underwear. If you’re making that commitment, then you make the commitment to underwear and pull ups are for at night and…..

KC Wilt: That seems scary coz right now you know, my child is 22 months old and the thing is that, okay, let’s say he’s a little more advanced like some of his other friends that are his age that are going in the toilet, I still don’t look at their kids at 22-23-24 months as being able to cut off diapers a 100%, you know, like, they do a really good job and they go to the bathroom in the toilet say 60% of the time, you know, but, it’s not 80%, you know. Are we doing a determent if we like you said earlier, throw them in diapers?

Dr. Rappaport: Well, if you’re….you’re talking about a 60% I guess the question is are these parents trying to toilet train them? They’re in a process of several months of toilet training when it shouldn’t take several months if your child is ready. So, you’re slowly toilet training, sometimes you do it, sometimes you may not offer to them because you’re out to dinner and it’s not convenient. That’s not toilet training.

KC Wilt: Okay, so you recommend waiting till they’re older, maybe, I mean, what’s the general age so that I’m not looking at my son Carson at 22 months going, okay, we’re gonna start putting you on the potty. Maybe I’ll shove it until he’s 30 months, I mean what’s the good general….?

Dr. Rappaport: You know, average, at this point well, I said 18-24 months is sometime around the time that people start to look and think. More girls are 2 to 2 1/2, more boys are 2 ½ and older and again, it varies widely depending on your birth order whether your first child or fourth child. But, when you’re watching people toilet train for month, they’re not really toilet training if that child doesn’t have access to the toilet all the time and that parent isn’t vigilant about “okay, you went an hour ago, you need to have access, let’s go try”. When you’re toilet training, you’re on top of those things. So, there’s not a huge benefit and they don’t toilet train any faster because that child has started at 22 months 60% of the time is now potty trained when they’re 2 ½ to 2.10, you know, even 3. So, what did you buy yourself? But there can be that distress for the child over the frustration of a parent depending on how you handle what you’re considering an accident or not. So, when you’re ready, what happens with the diaper is that kids really sense that, you know, the diaper is there for them. So, if they don’t feel like stopping and going to the potty, a pull up or a diaper catches it, there’s no determent. When you have underwear and it’s wet a lot and you don’t like to have to stop, again, take care of your own underwear, go put it in the laundry room, clean yourself up, use the wipes, get new underwear out of your drawer, you can follow your child and help them but, really having them to that, that’s annoying. Most kids don’t stop to go to the bathroom because they’re playing, you notice and they don’t wanna stop. Well, if they don’t have to worry about taking care of themselves, that’s… they’re not going to do that either. When you create that routine, they sort of stop and it gets easier to go to the bathroom than it is to have to go through all of that……

KC Wilt: Well, I can’t picture the same aspect. I can’t picture my 22 month old, explaining that to him, go put this there, take this there, do that, I mean, I’m lucky if he ends up putting his pajamas in the hamper, you know, if that happens.

Dr. Rappaport: And you walk with him and you do that if you’re in the midst of training but he’s not ready for that.

KC Wilt: He’s not old enough. Right!

Dr. Rappaport: Now, there are some girls who could be 22 months who are very variable and really ready for that.

KC Wilt: When we come back, we’ll talk about how to get your toddler to think to go on the toilet plus what to do when your child has regression. We’ll be right back.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt: We’re back with Dr. Lori Rappaport talking about potty training our kids. So, are there any other methods that we can use to help our child use the toilet?

Dr. Rappaport: One key thing because I hear people have lots of potties, its okay to have a lot of potties if you have a lot of bathrooms. Potties belong in the bathroom. They don’t belong in front of the television in the family room and many people make the mistake of having a potty in every room so that if the kids want to go, they can sit right there in there. That’s not realistic. We want them to think about it. So, you want to have your potty in your bathroom. There’s really two components to potty training. One is a reinforcement for that and two is a routine. Having some kind of routine, sitting with them, as adults we sit and read magazines, lots of people bring their telephone into the bathroom now. We sit, it’s a time that you stop and you take a little bit of time to go to the bathroom. It doesn’t happen immediately for some people. We want our kids to have a routine. If you notice after breakfast, we go sit, after nap time, we go sit. When you get up in the morning, even if your diaper is a little wet or especially if it’s dry, let’s go sit on the potty that it’s time to sit and it’s not…. So it’s less of noticing a queue in them and asking them do you need to go, do you need to go because that makes them anxious than having certain times that you’re aware as part of their schedule and they need to go sit.

KC Wilt: So every time they sit, you reward them with…..

Dr. Rappaport: With one, right, that if they’re sitting for at least 2 minutes. Now if they sit and get up, well, no you have to sit longer to get, to get what we need to sit. Have books in the bathroom, have a little basket of books, something to sit. Say, “let’s read a book while you’re sitting and may be you’ll go potty while we’re reading.” So, we take their mind off of it because we don’t want them to be anxious and focused. If they don’t go say, “well, you did a really good job sitting. May be next time something will come out.” We’re not mutually invested. When you’re mutually invested and what’s coming out, nothing comes out.

KC Wilt: Can you come home with me? [Laughs] Your language is so positive, you know, like, you know when I try to be positive and do positive reinforcement like, I do do it but yours just flows. So nice! [Laughs]

Dr. Rappaport: The reason I say we need a three day potty camp and the reason the number one readiness sign for toilet training is parental readiness is because you have to be in a place where you’re completely tuned into your child, you’re checking the clock, you’re monitoring how much they drink, what time they went last on the potty because then you’re not anxious. When you’re catching your child because you’re doing six other things and you look at him and realize, ”oh no! He looks like he’s kind of wants to go. Do you wanna go? Do you wanna go?” and we get very anxious. What do you think happens to our child? If they’re a least bit scared of the potty which can be very scary for them and many kids are afraid of the flush. So, be careful in those new bathrooms with the automatic. Stick your hand over the light and don’t let it flush for them. Let them get off before you will allow it to flush and have them stand back. The kids are scared and they don’t wanna do it and they say, “no, no, no I don’t have to” and then they have an accident and we as parents get frustrated with them. And rightfully so, you know, there are lots of things going on in your life, you may be pregnant, you may have a new born and so we often don’t have the patience we need to have in that moment.

Naomi O’Grady: For night time, I have a lot of girlfriends that have told me, you know, pull ups are bad but it will promote bed wetting and you should just go cold turkey and not put pull ups at all.

Dr. Rappaport: Pull ups are great.

Naomi O’Grady: Okay.

Dr. Rappaport: Not when you’re 12 unless you have some serious issues and it’s wonderful that they do make them that large these days…..

KC Wilt: They even make them for 65 years old. [Laughs]

Dr. Rappaport: They do, pull ups are great at night because they allow you to put your child,….. get your child ready for bed. Have a bathroom time before bed and just slide the pull up down. But, when they’re not yet ready to be continent all night long, then the thing is that the pull ups really save us as parents and save the kids from waking up wet every day. For many kids, night time dryness comes later than day time. There are some kids who kind of train and within, you know, the same period both happen but, for many kids it could be even 6 months to some kids even a couple of years and we know that night time wetting is genetically inherited. So, if you or your spouse had issues with wetting late into your, you know, elementary school years then it’s likely that it wouldn’t be surprising for your child to have those issues and that’s neurological.

KC Wilt: Is it psychological that they have the diaper on or the pull ups that they’re gonna pee or is it physical that they can’t help it and they’re going to go anyway?

Dr. Rappaport: Well, there are two things, when in night time you haven’t yet neurologically gotten that component down to be able to be dry, then the pull up is there for you but it allows you to go to the bathroom at night and if you happen to wake up in the morning early and you’re still dry, you can get them to the bathroom and certainly have them, “wow, your pull up is dry. Let’s go see it’s time to do sitting. “And, we sit every morning even if you wake up with your pull up drenched in something because again, we all go to the bathroom when we wake up in the morning. It’s a routine you wanna start. For the kids, if they’re wearing a pull up more during the day, then they tend to use it when they don’t feel like going to the bathroom. There are some kids at night and you know those kids who wake up dry many times in the morning or you get them ready for bed and their pull up is dry before they even get in the bed, their pull up is soaked but all day long they’re continent, then they’re just not wanting to go to the bathroom. They don’t feel like it and they do feel that safety of a pull up. Those are the kids where we hold the pull up till we get right into bed. So, we let them get into their pajamas, they have on underwear, we allow them to play, do your night time routine, read and before you get into bed, then you put the pull up on because otherwise, many of those kids and those might be your friend’s who are saying the pull ups wet and we haven’t even gone to bed yet. Yes, because it’s on and they feel like, ah, I don’t have to bother. It’s a hassle to go to the bathroom and if you don’t mind, some kids really mind going in a diaper. There are other kids who really don’t care.

KC Wilt: Now, this might be my new thing, it’s okay just to keep the diaper. I mean, we’ve caught diapers and I don’t wanna go buy pull ups. Can I just put the cloth diaper on him at night once we’re there?

Dr. Rappaport: You certainly can, the problem with the cloth diaper is that if you’re giving your child the autonomy to get up and if they one, have a bathroom in their room or two, they have access to a bathroom and they’re independent enough especially 2 ½-3 years old, some of them, night times, you know, they’re still wet at 3 ½ then they can’t really get, the diaper is harder to get off.

KC Wilt: So, it does matter disposable, I need that stuff.

Dr. Rappaport: Yeah, it’s just harder because we want them to be able to take it off and go on their own and not have to get you or not have to say, “oh, I’m not gonna call. I’ll just, you know, go because I’m wearing a diaper.” We try to get them to see the pull up as similar to underwear. And once they start having a dry diaper a couple of mornings and you can track it with them when you start to really see that, “oh, there are several mornings they’re dry.” That’s the time to take them away at night.

KC Wilt: Is this the same for naps as well?

Dr. Rappaport: Same for naps, yes. When they’re going you have them sit before they take their nap and get up. If they’re waking up with a dry diaper and often naps will happen sooner than night time because it’s a shorter period. If they wake up dry several times with their nap a couple times in a given week, it’s time to take them away.

Naomi O’Grady: So you take them away completely cold turkey because my son, we recently potty trained him and he’s really good. He doesn’t wet at night or naps but every once in a while he does. So, now I’m like do I keep it on?

Dr. Rappaport: No, then you take him away. If that’s every once in a while is fine and that brings me to what do you do at night when you wake you up in the middle of the night coz they’re wet and you’re delirious. So, one, you want to cover your mattress with a water proof sheet then you wanna have your sheet on. So, if they were to go and many of you have that so this way they go. Well, here’s the key. There’s something called a water proof pad. It’s usually, if you have a twin size or if you have a toddler bed, they make them that long, it covers that area of the bed, so it’s not necessarily a mattress but goes over.

KC Wilt: It’s kind of a puppy pad?

Dr. Rappaport: It’s kind of a puppy pad but it covers the top of your mattress. You lay that down on top of the sheet that you have and you put on another sheet. So, in the middle of the night when you’re delirious and your child goes, “I’m wet” and you have to change the blanket and you have to change his pajamas, you’re now going to take off that first sheet and pad underneath and you still have a sheet and a mattress pad underneath. Again, so you’re protected. Usually what we do is we only have one so, in the middle of the night after we get them ready, they’re sitting delirious and tired and we’re now changing their bed sheets, putting on new sheets and fixing the mattress. So, that prevents that and I have had families where we’ve done three layers because sometimes we’ll have two accidents in a night and we wanna make sure that we don’t get into that routine so we do an extra sheet and a pad and extra sheet and a pad so that they don’t have to do that.

Danelle Dutoit: That is a great idea coz I have the pad but I’ve never done the sheet on top of it.

KC Wilt: Well, I guess you can even do if you don’t find those mattress pads even, you know…..

Dr. Rappaport: Target has them, Walmart has them, everybody has them. They’re water proof sheets in any baby store, they’re water proof pad. They use them for older adults. They put them down when you’re in labor. They have disposable ones but, these are, you know, we’re not talking disposable. We’re talking just one that goes in the washing machine and it’s able to pass.

Danelle Dutoit: Oh, I have a disposable one.

Dr. Rappaport: You can use those but, you know, for as often [Cross Talks] you know, even when a child is toilet trained and they’re dry through the night, a year later they can have an accident. They could get sick, there’s regression.

KC Wilt: So, now what causes regression coz I know the kid will be going great, will be having…they’re on the toilet and all of a sudden accidents all the time?

Dr. Rappaport: Regression is caused in a childhood across all sorts of things by change. So, if a child is sick first and foremost and they’re not feeling well, the steps that they’ve mastered up until that point, they tend to regress. If you have had major change like moving and there’s a disruption in their routine, you’re gonna see change, fears and some anxiety. If there’s a new baby in the house, if you’ve gone away for a week and you left them with grandma and grandpa and all of a sudden they’re wetting. It’s not surprising when there are changes like that, children adjust and the first things to go when you’ve recently mastered things is you’re on the top of it. it takes a lot of energy, mental energy to come think about those things and when you’re preoccupied with other things, those things tend to go just like it does in adults when we’re preoccupied with other things we tend to forget where we left something or we forget to pay a bill or we forget to do something things that we normally do because we’re overwhelmed with other things.

KC Wilt: Thank you so much Dr. Rappaport for helping us learn how to potty train our kids. If you want more information on Dr. Rappaport, go to today’s show on our episode’s page on our website or visit https://www,growingupgreat.com.

[Theme Music]

[Featured Segment: Eco-Friendly Parenting Tips]

KC Wilt: Before we wrap up today’s show, here’s Amy Sorter with some eco-friendly tips for new parents.

Amy Sorter: Hello Parent Savers, I’m Amy Sorter, Ecopreneur and Co-founder of https://www.ecosavvymoms.com where you can find information for your family on going green, saving money and looking great doing it. Today, we’re going to talk about organic products for the family what I would like to call the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen. We all know the importance of feeding our children healthy, well balanced meals and of course, fruits and veggies make up an important part of those nutrients. For some new reasons, purchasing organic products is becoming increasingly popular but, still remains too expensive for many. Switching over to organic groceries can be difficult and pretty expensive task so, I asked myself, where can you save a few dollars and where should you spend extra for the organic? For those who want to start the switch but really can’t afford to buy all organic, it’s really important to know which fruits and veggies are less contaminated with pesticides and which are important to purchase organic. By avoiding the 12 dirties fruits and vegetables or buying them organic we can lower our pesticide exposure by almost 90%. Every year, the environmental working group tests all products to determine which carry the highest level of pesticides and this is what they found. Now, the dirty dozen are among the dirtiest. Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell peppers: All of these are contaminated with over 90% tested positive for pesticides. Celery, Nectarine, Strawberries and cherries also have a high percentage of pesticides, over 90%. Kale, Lettuce, imported grapes and carrots and pears round out that dirty dozen. Now, new to the dirty dozen are carrots and kale which they didn’t use to have on our last year and Spinach, one of my favorites have dropped to the 14th dirtiest and potatoes have dropped to the 15th. Now, here’s the exciting news, this is where you can really save money and get excited about what you’re buying. You can buy these items non-organically and try to save some money. Onions, no detectable residue on 90% or more on samples. Avocados, my absolute favorite, my daughter and I eat these every day, tested less than 10% positive for pesticides. Frozen Sweet corn and pineapples tested less than 10% positive. Well, mango, asparagus and Frozen sweet peas are also on the list. Kiwis are the great ones, cabbage, eggplant, papaya, our summer time favorite, watermelon tested only 28% positive. Broccoli, tomatoes and Sweet potatoes and grapefruit round out the clean 15. To see a full list of the 47 fruits and veggies tested and for other planet friendly eco tips, visit https://www.ecosavvymoms.com or visit us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ecosavvymoms and don’t forget to make it a green day.

[Theme Music]

KC Wilt: That wraps up today’s episode. We love to hear from you. If you have any questions for our experts about today’s show or the topics we’ve discussed, call our Parent Savers hotline at 619-866-4775 or send us an email through our website, https://www,parentsavers.com or Facebook page and we’ll answer your question in an upcoming episode. Coming up next week, we’re starting a two part series on postpartum depression in both moms and dads. Next week we’re talking to the mamas about overcoming the baby blues. Thanks for listening to Parent Savers, “empowering new parents everywhere.”


This has been a New Mommy Media Production. The information and material contained in this episode are presented for educational purposes only. Statements and opinions expressed in this episode are not necessarily those of New Mommy Media and should not be considered facts. Though such information and materials are believed to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional medical advice or care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problems or disease or prescribing any medication. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified healthcare provider.

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