Potty Training: Naptime and Nighttime

Potty training during naps and at night can be challenging. Why does this last step seem to take so long? What are the main differences between boys and girls during these times of the day? Plus, what can parents do to help encourage the process?

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Episode Transcript

Parent Savers
Potty Training: Naptime and Nighttime

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


[Theme Music]

Deborah Pontillo : Although much is made of getting children trained to use the toilet while they're awake, there is still the matter of overnight, and naptime. How much longer does it take for kids to be able to control their bladders while they sleep? What can parents do to help continue the dryness from daytime into nighttime? I'm Doctor Deborah Pontillo, from Howtohelpmychild.com, and today we're talking all about potty training during naptime and nighttime. This is Parent Savers, episode 63.

[Theme Music/Intro]

Johner Riehl : Welcome again everybody to Parent Savers, broadcasting from the Birth Education Center of San Diego. Parent Savers is your weekly online on the go support group for parents of newborns, infants and toddlers. I'm your host, Johner Riehl, and thanks again for all of our loyal listeners who joined the Parent Savers Club. Our members get all of our archived episodes, bonus content after each new show, where we do a special conversation with our expert, extending the show. And plus, we also have special giveaways and discounts that we offer to our members. You can subscribe to our monthly newsletter for free though, if you're not already a member, and you can get a chance to win a membership to our club each month. Another way for you to stay connected is by downloading our free Parent Savers app, which is in the Google Play and iTunes market place, and it will alert you anytime a new Parent Savers episode is uploaded and it's ready for your listening pleasure. At Parent Savers we are a group of parents that talk about topics that are of interest to parents of kids up to three years old, and we are joined in the studio by panelists who are parents, today we have three of our super-parents, how we're calling them, and these are Scott, Ursula and Laurie, and they've all participated before and you might recognize them, but we'll go around the room and we'll do introductions again and talk about how many kids we have.

Laurie Babb : I'm Laurie Babb, I have two boys, Lorenzo is 5, Marcello is 2 and a half, and I'm a local small business owner and educator.

Ursula McDonald : Hi everybody, I'm Ursula, and I'm 35, and I have two boys, Desmond is 4 and Callan is 2.

Scott Kilian : I'm Scott Kilian, I'm 36 years-old, I'm a certified financial planner, I have one boy, Alex, he is 3.

Johner Riehl : And I'm your host Johner Riehl, and I'm continuing the boy theme with the panelists here, I have three boys, Quinner is 6, Whitaker is 4 and Zyler is 2 years-old. And we're all eager to talk a little about potty issues, especially in the bad. But Dr. Pontillo, how about yourself?

Deborah Pontillo : Thank you, yes, I'm a child psychologist, I'm 38 years-old, and I have a 6 years-old girl named Natasha, and a 2 years-old boy named Ethan.

Johner Riehl : Nice, well welcome to the show.

[Theme Music] [Featured Segments: Potty Training Alarm Diapers]

Sunny Gault : Hey Parent Savers, I'm Sunny, one of the producers here on this show and today is a special potty training episode, joining me on the phone is Tim Fuhriman, he's the co-founder of Potty Patrol, Tim, welcome to our show!

Tim Fuhriman : Thanks for having me.

Sunny Gault : So Tim, tell us a little bit about the Potty Patrol system. How do the diapers work?

Tim Fuhriman : Basically, the way the new system works is it helps the children link between cause and effect, and so, when a diaper gets wet, it plays “Tinkle, tinkle, little stars”, so it plays a little musical number for them, and it helps the kids make the connection between cause and effect, and very soon they figure it out and get potty trained.

Sunny Gault : That's great. And are the diapers one size fits all? How does the sizing work?

Tim Fuhriman : Well, they are, they're pretty broad sized, we just offer the one size, around 20 to 25 pounds, pretty close to, say, size 4 in a groceries store. It works for some kids that wear size 3, some kids that wear size 5, so it fits right in that range, and it's pretty broad reach. Most people have been very succesful with the size that we've got.

Sunny Gault : Great. And what are some of the benefits of using potty patrol system?

Tim Fuhriman : Obviously, it can save you time, it can be a frustrating process and you got this great technology that helps children learn more quickly, obviously, families can spent up to 2,000 dollars a year in diapers, so it can save you money, and it can help save the Earth even, because once you get out of diapers and they start using the toilet, there will be far less diapers going in to landfills across the country. There is about 49 million diapers a day in the US alone.

Sunny Gault : Wow, that's amazing. I actually had a chance to test this product myself along with a couple of the Parent Savers bloggers, and I have to say, he was a 2 and a half years at the time, and it worked really well for him. We didn't have a lot of experience in potty training, we had like one day, there was a total disaster, and I said, OK, maybe we're not ready to do potty training yet. And then we use your product and it was really good, like you said, to be able to tell my son, “OK, there's a song playing, I need you to do something when there is a song playing” , because sometimes that's a hard connection to make, if they're not used to going to a potty, they obviously don't know they have to go to the potty when they need to go the bathroom, and so, for my son, he loved the song, we kind of made a game out of it, we sat down, we played together and hang out together, we'd hear the song, “Oh, it's time to go to the potty”, and then we kind of ran out to the potty. And it was really good. We probably only had a week, maybe ten days of doing that, before he was pretty much potty trained with the exception of some pull ups and naptime and during sleep time, but other than that, this was a really good way for us to kickstart the process.

Tim Fuhriman : I'm super glad to hear that you've had a good experience with it, my friend and I, we're both fathers, he's got five children, I've got four, I had a very similar experience as you did, I got a little guy and although he's not 2 and a half, he clearly and quickly made a connection between what he is supposed to do there, and figured it out, and it's been fantastic for us, and so we quickly brought this to market so that we could share it with other families. Again, as you mentioned, everyone's going to have different experiences and different stages of the readiness, and obviously the biggest key is to adjust to the needs of the individual child, but we've found that this is a fantastic product, it helps the child figure out how to make that connection between cause and effect and it's really made the process a lot simpler for a lot of families all across the country. We're selling it on our own website, PottyPatrol.com, and we also sell it at walmart.com, at amazon.com, and we are happy to have any of your listeners to try it, and if they're interested they can join our Facebook, or tweet about it, or tell anybody, positives or negatives, we're happy to hear what we can do to make it a better product and help as many families out there as possible.

Sunny Gault : Well Tim, thank you so much for creating this product, I think it could help a lot of other parents out there, especially those struggling with this whole potty training process, it can be very frustrating for not only the parents, but for the kids as well, and I do think this is a product that definitely helps in the process, so thank you, and thank you for being on our show today.

Tim Fuhriman : Fantastic, happy to join you.

[Theme Music]

Johner Riehl : Today's topic is sleep time potty training and it's talking about potty training during sleep time, but I have a feeling we're going to be talking about potty training during awake time as well, especially with this group here, and I know that it's one that every family has to go through and, usually if you're talking to other parents at the playgrounds, I'm sure we all have our own potty stories we can share. But today Dr. Deb Pontillo, a pediatric psychologist from HowToHelpMyChild.com, she's going to tell us all about this and the all important final frontier of potty training, which is nighttime and naptime, so thanks again for joining us Dr. Pontillo.

Deborah Pontillo : Thank you for having me.

Johner Riehl : So is that a fair way to put it, is naptime and nighttime the final frontier of potty training?

Deborah Pontillo : I actually like it, it's a really good way to put it, because it does happen a lot later than daytime potty training for most kids, but it's a little bit difficult to lump them into the same category, just because we know that daytime potty mastery is not really associated with nighttime potty mastery, so kids typically they achieve the daytime mastery earlier and it doesn't coincide with nighttime mastery, largely because we know that in the daytime what we're talking about is not just physical readiness, we're also talking about social or emotional readiness, communication skills, cognitive development, a little bit of power struggle which is typical, but nighttime readiness seems to be more largely based on physiological readiness, which develops at each child's own rate.

Johner Riehl : What do you mean by physiological readiness, is not how the body is performing unconsciously?

Deborah Pontillo : No, it's basically each child's nervous system is built a little bit differently and it does not seem to be associated with intellectual development, cognitive development, or IQ in any way. It's just that each child physical nervous system is going to be built different, the bladder has to be mature enough to hold urine for a longer period of time, to be able to send the message to the brain to wake up, and the child's got to be able to then have the self-monitoring skills when they're slightly asleep to be actually able to wake up and make the decision to go potty. That's an involuntary thing.

Johner Riehl : So are kids that are, let's say, two and a half, three years old, that are potty training, they physically can't do it?

Deborah Pontillo : Pretty much, what we know, since we want to talk about daytime potty training, in order for a child to be ready for daytime potty training we want them to be able to hold urine for two hours. And a lot of times people talk about readiness for daytime potty training as a child will stay dry in a diaper for two hours or during naptime. Because that's often about two hours or one and a half hour, so sometimes that's even just a signal that the bladder isn't ready to do what you're asking it to do, which is to train it to go potty. But as you understand, of course, nighttime for a young children can be 10 to 11 hours, that's a lot of time for a little children's bladder.

Johner Riehl : That's a long time for a grown up bladder sometimes, and I think we all get into routines where we get up maybe the same time every night to go to the bathroom, maybe that changes over time, but it happens. And so the kids have to have the awareness and the empowerment to do that.

Deborah Pontillo : That's right. Absolutely.

Johner Riehl : So are accidents that kid have – it's all about the brain than? You don't want to punish a kid for having an accident at night, right?

Deborah Pontillo : Pretty much, pretty much. And the only exception to that would be – not an exception to punishment – but the only exception would be, if you've had a child who has mastered nighttime potty training for some period of time and then has some regression and starts having multiple accidents again, that's usually a red flag that something else is going on, either the child's under stress, there's some change in the household, a new baby or there's something else that is emotionally affecting the child. Negative attention getting for example. So you want to pay attention to those accidents. But accidents at the beginning of nighttime potty training, they're part of the process.

Johner Riehl : And so accidents are normal, right?

Deborah Pontillo : Accidents are normal, yeah, they're involuntary, nighttime accidents are involuntary. The only situation where I would say you have an issue is if the child is waking up on their own and clearly has the awareness to be able to go to the bathroom and chooses not to. Than you have something else on your hands.

For our four years-old, he was a pull up at night. And if he wakes up in the morning he'll decide, “I get to pee in the pull up”, and then it leaks out on the couch or on the carpet. And I get mad at him, you know, you're frustrated. And then I struggle, because he should know better when he's awake, and I think it started to get through to him. But that's what you're talking about.

Deborah Pontillo : Right, that's morning time, so that's a different thing entirely.

Ursula McDonald : I remember vividly being a child and, sometime under six, waking up in the middle of the night, I needed to go use the potty, and yet I would almost like dream, I was too tired to get out of bed, so I would dream that I got out of bed, and went to the toilet, and did it all, and then I would wake up sometime later wet and be so mad with myself, because I thought that I did it, and yet I was just dreaming it. I don't know if maybe that's something going on with kids too. \

Deborah Pontillo : Yeah, one of the tips that I suggest for nighttime potty training is to talk with your child and have a plan about what they want to do if they wake up in the middle of the night. For some kids, like you, probably didn't want to get up out of bed, maybe your child wants a little potty next to their own bed, because they don't want to have to go through the effort of going to find you or going to find the toilet. Maybe they want to come and get you, maybe they want to call for you, 'cause they don't want to get out of bed and have you carry them, and that's OK. So figure it out, take that out of the equation.

Johner Riehl : So Dr. Pontillo, as kids are unable to do this up until a certain period of time, so given that, is it then not important to acknowledge success in the morning or something, is that just a natural physiological thing? We just go “OK”, it's just like breathing and etc. etc.?

Deborah Pontillo : That's my preference, because I child can feel like they've let you down, or they weren't good, and it's really not something under their control, I think that certainly praising will help for what you were describing, Johner, where your son kind of just says wilfully, “I prefer to just pee myself”, then when they don't you can say, “Awesome, good job, I'm proud of you!” But yeah, if it's in the nighttime and they're dry, I would just say that that's good.

Johner Riehl : So don't make a big deal if they go through the whole night?

Deborah Pontillo : No, I mean it's crazy, I know it sounds a little bizarre, but we all put so much value in potty training as a culture, I think, and it is something just like breathing and eating. It's really not that big of a deal, and you really don't want your child self-esteemed. You're hurt by the fact that they could or could not stay dry when they have no control over it. So, to say “Good job!”, they'll think, “OK, I'm going to try to do that next time for you, daddy”, and they can't.

Scott Kilian : But this readiness is different than what pre-schools and such require.

Deborah Pontillo : Right.

Scott Kilian : It's a daytime thing.

Deborah Pontillo : That's correct.

Laurie Babb : They vary, but yeah, my pre-school want some potty train before they can enter, sometime at when they're three. They can be three, but they also have to be potty trained, to be able to wipe themselves.

Deborah Pontillo : Because the teachers are not able to physically touch them with their clothes off. So the child needs to be able to get on the potty themselves and wipe themselves as necessary, and then they can help them wash their hands or whatever.

Johner Riehl : That definitely is a great example of things are different, in different schools, different places. But I know that for our oldest to go to kindergarten, he had to be able to wipe himself.

Ursula McDonald : I know morning time is awake time, but I know that I am, right now, maybe a little remiss with my second child, because with my first child, when he would wake up, first thing in the morning, usually he was dry, and so then I would say, “OK, great job!” And than take off that pull up or diaper or whatever he had on at night and go use the potty, and then we put maybe training pants on during the day.

Laurie Babb : My second child, he wakes up so much earlier so it's hard for me to kind of wake up myself, to have the discipline to get out of bed, check his pants, praise him if its dry, and take him to the potty. And I'm wondering if I'm prolonging this whole process by my own laziness and not being a morning person?

Deborah Pontillo : I can't imagine that. You've got two kids and I think for most families, what you're doing with the second one is different than what you're doing with the first, because that's reality, and don't think for a second that you're second one is not going to get potty trained because you need to sleep in for an extra hour. No, absolutely, don't worry yourself, take care of yourself and then you can be a better mother to everybody.

Johner Riehl : So there's a little birth order difference just in the way that we're treating them, but what about gender differences between boys and girls at nighttime potty training?

Deborah Pontillo : The general sense is that boys tend to start potty train a little bit later, and I think that's possibly more true for daytime than for nighttime. This is a very broad generalization, and it's not a very large effect size, but boys in general tend to be slightly more active, slightly more impulsive, so maybe have less ability to inhibit things, and when they get very active and involved it seems that they attention span maybe slightly shortly, they may not be able to attend to a very fun activity and their body sensations at the same time. That's a very broad generalization. And I think that actually more helpful, if you're thinking about potty training your own child, and things aren't going as quickly, don't write it off because they are boys, think more often it's result of just individual differences. Just thinking, “Oh, it's a boy, he'll catch up”, that's possibly true, but it also could be other things that need to be considered.

Johner Riehl : Alright, we're going to take a quick break and when we come back we're going to talk about some tips for what parents can do to help their kids stay dry at night as well as to deal with the inevitable accidents that are going to happen. We'll be right back.

[Theme Music]


Johner Riehl : Alright, welcome back everybody, today we are talking about naptime and nighttime potty training with Dr. Deb Pontillo, thanks again for joining us Dr. Pontillo.

Deborah Pontillo : Thank you for having me.

Johner Riehl : We talked about that it's a normal developmental thing for kids to – this goes a lot later – but what's the age when you should start to feel concerned? If they're still going to the bathroom at night, if they're like 6, 7, 8?

Deborah Pontillo : At 5 years of age, 80% of children should be able to go through the night without accidents. And by age 6, 85% of children should be able to go through the night without accidents. So most pediatricians and psychologists will tend to look at a child who's 6 years-old to see if there's any other possible reasons why the child may not be fully mastering nighttime potty training, but before that it doesn't seem to make sense, just because in so many kids they're just not ready.

Johner Riehl : One of the things that we've discovered too, obviously, is that the closer the kids drink to nighttime, the more likely the accidents are to happen. When do you need we should cut that off?

Deborah Pontillo : Most people would say – it's hard for younger children. I wouldn't personally recommend for children under the age of 3 cutting the off at all. Just because they need to keep hydrated, obviously you don't give them a bottle of apple juice.

Johner Riehl : Yeah, but if they ask for a drink of water I hate to say no.

Laurie Babb : I'm trained at night weaned too, so I still nurse a little bit before bed, and then the only way for me to really pacify him to go to his own bed is to give him his cup of water. With my first, there was a moment when we said, “OK, no more water before bed”, maybe a sip or something, but no more after that. But then we're going to have to wait a while with the second one, until he's ready to give up that water.

Deborah Pontillo : We'll because you're doing two things at once, you are trying night weaning, so don't try the nighttime potty training in the same time. One goal at a time.

Johner Riehl : Don't multitask. That seems like the golden rule.

Deborah Pontillo : Exactly, because you can't, you have two things, conflicting strategies.

Johner Riehl : For one of our kids, he was doing so many bad things at night, I think he was twirling my wife's hair and drinking milk, she was breastfeeding, and we really had to talk about it, we had to take the long view of this, because we can't – it's not like I can say tomorrow we need to stop all of this. And so you attack each one, and before you know it, it's four months later, and yeah, four months is a long time, but it's kind of not, and you look back and you say, “Oh my gush, do you remember he was doing all those things? And now look, he's not doing it”. So I think attacking each thing at a time.

Laurie Babb : Exactly, you have to. And then of course as your child gets older you have logic on your side. You can talk with a 4 and half 5 years-old about what happens when you drink water, where it goes and why, it's important to make sure you drink your water to stay hydrated during the day, 'cause after 7 o'clock we don't drink water. And that's a lot easier to do when a child is older, it's really hard to explain that to a 2 and a half years-old, I wouldn't do it.

Johner Riehl : It's hard to explain anything to a 2 and a half years-old. Alright, let's talk about some kind of tips that we've all either learned from going through it or you've got from a professional perspective. Do you have some tips from a professional perspective on how to deal with the accidents that happen, or I think it would be more fun if we go around the room and share some of the ideas.

Deborah Pontillo : About accidents and cleaning them up?

Johner Riehl : Yeah.

Deborah Pontillo : Well, like I said, before coming in this morning, my husband was delighted to find my 2 year-old – I guess he had stripped off his diaper and poured his poop on the floor. He was quite proud of himself actually, and then proceeded to pee onto it, the icing on the cake. And my husband comes in and his first reaction is “Oh! What did you do? I'm so mad!”, and he looks up to him, kind of amused, “But I took it off! It's not supposed to be in the diaper, I took it off”.

Johner Riehl : So what advice to you have for balancing that frustration that you have with, “Oh my gush, he peed or pooped on the carpet again”, with encouraging them to not do that but also not punishing them?

Deborah Pontillo : Well I think it really depends on the situation, and I think my husband and I quite frankly differed on this one, my opinion is I want to make sure that my son understood the emotional reaction that we were having, because that's one of the most important things for potty training during the day time, it's to make sure that your child is eager to please you. If they're not eager to please you and they're kind of more in their own world, they're not going to be motivated, as motivated to potty train. So I wanted him to look at my face and look at my eyes and know that that did not make me happy. And that that meant that I had to clean up, I didn't choose to punish him or put him in his crib or anything like that, because I just felt that that was a little bit harsh, he's very young for that. It's not like he was 3, 3 and half and he knew already like I've told him many times before. This was kind of like a novel thing, where he felt proud of himself. But I did say “Poop goes in the potty”, and I would've wanted him to help me clean it up and put it in the potty where it should be. Now if this were to occur repeatedly and it kind of became a game, and you can tell this because if a 2 year-old does this and looks up and giggles, than you look mad and they still laugh, then I think it's the time to say, “OK, you need to spend two minutes in your crib”, because that's something else, that's not about potty training, that's about seeing if they can get a raise out of you.

Laurie Babb : So how did you clean it up?

Deborah Pontillo : My husband did it, 'cause I was getting ready to come here!

Johner Riehl : Parent Savers saves the day!

Deborah Pontillo : I told him I have this obligation, I can't be late, bye bye!

Johner Riehl : Alright, what do you guys do at night with your boys? Are they in pull ups or diapers?

Ursula McDonald : Yes, but the 5 year-old, I'm amazed, 'cause he potty trained pretty early, like 2 and half or something; but the nighttime is going on and on, so I am wondering, I've been hesitant to get a mattress cover, because of the toxicity issues with plastic and all this, I'm really concerned about that. Maybe a wool blanket, they can absorb, but...

Scott Kilian : Here's what we did, 'cause you get these mattress covers that are water proof, right, and when they do have an accident, washing those things is crazy, and you have to dry them three or four times too, and then they get worn out. And they're really hard to put on. So I realized that sell water-proof fabric at the fabric store, so we went and bought a couple of yards for each bed in our house – they cost about three or four dollars a yard – for like six bucks, and it's the perfect size for the bed, it's three feet wide and you get six feet long. And we got one for each of our beds. And so we had the water-proof mattress cover but then we also had all these pieces of water-proof fabric that we just put on each bed, so if there is an accident, all you got to do is wash that piece of water-proof fabric, and it catches it. That's really helped us with dealing with when the accidents do happen.

Ursula McDonald : Have you considered putting a pull up over the underwear? So that if accidents happen it's caught?

Laurie Babb : Well, what I've thought about is that you just take the diaper of completely and then he starts to actually feel the wetness in the bed, 'cause I think he is aware and he has woken up sometimes dry, but he's not consistent, and he's like so excited. I think just getting rid of the diaper entirely. I guess I've been lazy and tired, tired more, I've been very busy with other things. But the 2 and a half year-old, he doesn't ever almost wet his diaper at all, so that's a real difference between the two of them, he's been going dry for quite a while now, but we still do put it on, because sometimes he... But one thing I wanted to actually bring up, maybe we don't have time to talk about it, but I have heard food allergies can make potentially – I've experienced with myself bladder issues with food allergies, making my bladder less strong, basically weaker. And so then I know that my 5 year-old has those. Actually I did get him tested and we're waiting to hear about that.

Johner Riehl : What food has caused that?

Laurie Babb : Any kind of food allergy or maybe any kind of physical allergy can cause weaken muscles and I guess the bladder is one of those places that it happens. We just got him tested, so I'm hoping that maybe if we address those more rigidly or whatever strongly we can get, he might just settle his bladder OK at night or something, I don't know.

Deborah Pontillo : Yeah, I think he's five so he still, he's five, isn't he?

Laurie Babb : Yeah, so it could be just normal.

Deborah Pontillo : Yeah. It could be just normal. Like I said, 85% percent of 6 year-olds, so that means 50% or not.

Ursula McDonald : My brother - he's not a parent, so he probably won't be listening to this I hope, cause he'd be mortified – but he wet the bed for a long long long time, and my parents tried everything, they had this one contraption that they put under the sheet and it had these sensors and an alarm would go off when it got wet, and that didn't really work, and so we just got in the habit of whoever is going to bed later, and this went through until he was in high-school, as long as I lived at home – however went to bed last, made sure that they woke him up and took him to go potty.

Laurie Babb : Yeah, that's what we do.

Ursula McDonald : But the problem was, sometimes I would just say, “OK, it's time to go to the bathroom”, and then I'd take off, he would sleepwalk 'cause he didn't really wake up then, and so sometimes in the morning we'd find him like crawled up on the floor, down in the kitchen, or other places, or he'd thing that the house plant was the toilet or whatever, so we had to – I hope he's resolved this for himself now, but we had to wake him up, take him to the bathroom and take him back to his bed, and then he wouldn't soil his own bed.

Johner Riehl : But that kind of shows I think too that it's not a common issue, that there are some different wirings going on that has to work itself out.

Deborah Pontillo : Some kids will sleep through a train going through their room, and those are the kids that you're probably going to need to wake them up one or two times a night every night for a while. Because it's impossible to get them to wet like your brother. Even when he was walking to the bathroom he wasn't alert and wakeful.

Ursula McDonald : No. And he would also sleep-talk and sleepwalk and he would appear to be awake, 'cause his eyes would be open and he talked to you, but he was clearly not in this reality.

Scott Kilian : For us, we were cloth diapering, so for nighttime it's just a pre-fold, with woolly over the top...

Johner Riehl : I don't use cloth diapers, so what a pre-fold?

Scott Kilian : It's just a piece of cloth that's folded over. We used to double up and used two of them, but now we just use one, we really haven't been doing much, we've been doing a little bit of the praise thing, but it doesn't really feel right, 'cause it does feel like a physiological thing so I'm letting that go right now. He's waking up pretty much dry, he's happy about it, but I don't know.

Johner Riehl : I'm having trouble wrapping my head around not praising him for waking up dry. I want to do that so bad.

Deborah Pontillo : Well you can see that they feel good about it, mirror that. If he feels like he's proud of it, say “Awesome, I'm really proud of you!”, but you just have to be careful about some things like, “Good job!”, like if they're doing it for you, because they'll feel that they have failed you when accidents happen.

Ursula McDonald : You can also ask them how does that feel, and of course they're going to say that it's good.

Scott Kilian : Yeah, because did they really fail if it's a physiological thing, did they fail?

Deborah Pontillo : Right, it's a good point.

Johner Riehl : Scott's a hard commission dad, “Good job, whatever!”. Alright, well thanks so much Dr. Pontillo for joining us in talking about potty training, for more information about this or any of our panelists, or Dr. Pontillo and her website, please visit the episode page on ParentSavers.com, we'll continue the conversation for the members of our Parent Savers Club as a bonus content after the show, when Dr. Pontillo will tell us about some different types of sleep trainers. For more information about the Parent Savers Club and how to join, visit our website, ParentSavers.com.
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[Featured Segments: The Daddy Complex]

Johner Riehl : Before we wrap up today's show, here's blogger David Vienna, sharing the realities of parenting from his blog, The Daddy Complex.

David Vienna : Hi Parent Savers, this is The Daddy Complex, I'm David Vienna, father of twin boys and if my experience has tought me anything about parenting, it's that I know nothing about parenting. Once your baby becomes a toddler, you will never be on time again, ever. Not an exaggeration. You're friends will simply assume that when you say that you'll be somewhere at 10 AM on Monday, it means 11:30 AM, and that's if things go well. If not, it means Thursday. You will also learn how to work at speeds that would make a dragster look like radio flyer. And if you think you're to organized for this to happen, trust me, it applies to pretty much everyone, because even militantly clock watchers will experience this often enough to either adapt, or go insane. My wife and I use to battle to get the boys through the morning routine. Wake up, go potty, dress for school, eat breakfast, get in the car and depart. As my mother in law says, it's not rocket science. The problem for us and other parents is that any number of these steps could and inevitably do take much longer than planned. For example, whether or not our son decides to spend 15 minutes on the potty remains a wild card; why do these seemingly simple steps take so long? Pick any combination of the following choise and for parents of twins or tripples, multiply it: refusing to eat, wanting to be fed by one of us, wanting to be held by one of us rather than getting dressed, arguing why cartoons should be watched, running and or screaming, unhappiness with choice of clothing, unhappiness with the choice of breakfast, more running and or screaming, random and sometimes imagined injuries sustained while running and or screaming, hunting for a specific toy that was absolutely flung across the room the previous night, impromptu game of hide and seek, conversation about whether or not giraffes dance, potty accidents, puking caused by unforseen illness, trying to ride the dog like a poney, even more running and or screaming. And adjusting the timeline to start the process earlier doesn't help, it just gives your child more time to mess around. Toddlers in pre-school simply have too much to do to hear of your randomly chosen schedule. Just getting in the car takes 20 minutes. This may sound absolutely infuriating, but my wife and I have taken a fantastically simple solution: we made peace with being late. We go to bed each night knowing the next morning we'll be barking instructions and requests at the boys over and over. And because of that adjustment, we sleep better, and enjoy our morning more. Sometimes, we even prolong that conversation about dancing giraffes. Check out more of my cherishable advice at TheDaddyComplex.com, or post on Twitter, at The Daddy Complex. You can also view episodes of fighting with babies, my series for parents, and be sure to be listening to Parent Savers for more fatherly tips.

[Theme Music]

Johner Riehl : That wraps up today's episode of Parent Savers, we appreciate you listening, don't forget to check out our sister show, Preggie Palls for expecting parents, and our show the Boob Group, for moms who breastfeed their babies, and if you are already listening to those, make sure to tell your friends about them, and you can even tell random people at the park that you see with their kids, or that are pregnant, I just did that the other day, and they're usually actually really receptive to it. They're interested in checking out podcasts, and I know people are usually in to listening new things, so help spread the word. Go to our Facebook page and check us out as well. Thanks so much for joining us, this is Parent Savers, empowering new parents!


This has been a New Mommy Media production. 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 information in which areas are related to be accurate, it is not intended to replace or substitute for professional, Medical or advisor care and should not be used for diagnosing or treating health care problem or disease or prescribing any medications. If you have questions or concerns regarding your physical or mental health or the health of your baby, please seek assistance from a qualified health care provider.


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