Your Child is Potty Trained – How do you Maintain???
After a few days of post potty-boot camp interval training it is time to get your child back into clothes. Obviously they can’t run around naked for too much longer and it is time to take the major step of buying underwear
! It is important to bring your child to the store with you so they can choose their own underwear, as this will get them more excited about wearing them and give them a sense of ownership of the underwear. Praise them for taking this step, for becoming a “big boy” or “big girl” with special underwear. Tell them they have graduated from potty boot camp and are now a “potty star!”
To wean your child off using the timer
, you will have to be responsible for reminding them every 30-45 minutes to use the potty. How you word this request is important. Every parent with a toddler knows that every question they ask their child gets answered with a “NO!” so make the request a statement rather than a question. Try “Time to use the potty” rather than “Do you have to go potty?”
It’s very likely that you may see some regression in your child’s potty habits at the point when they start using underwear. This may be caused by episodes of “bladder memory”. When your child feels the absorbent underwear material on their bottom they awaken the memories of diaper usage and begin to unconsciously let themselves go in their underwear. If this happens, continue to use the timer until your child is having fewer accidents.
Potty training maintenance is sometimes more difficult than the potty training itself. The excitement of the initial success of potty training has worn off and now you are in constant reminder mode. As a parent you feel like a nag, but you must be vigilant and consistent. At least every thirty minutes you must remind your child that is time to use the potty. They will be able to tell you at this point if there is a need to go, but don’t wait for them to tell you.
Accidents will happen at this stage, it is inevitable, and there will be episodes of frustration for both children and parents. Remember to think of this as a learned skill that your children are slowly acquiring. When they learned to walk there were often accidents as well but eventually they did stop wobbling and began to move forward with confidence. So it is with potty training, unsteady and unreliable in the beginning but progressing nicely over time to the point where they can be completely trusted and self-sufficient.
The key for parents is not to expect a dramatic change too soon. If you are hoping your child will recognize the urge, go to the potty, pull down their pants, wipe and flush and cleanup all by themselves after graduating from potty boot camp then you are bound to be disappointed. There will be gradual progress and frequent regression, but when they are fully independent then you will wonder at how it seems they were always doing this by themselves.
Post by Suzanne Riffel, author of "The Potty Boot Camp: Basic Training for Toddlers"
- a new, fast, easy toilet training method that produces remarkable results.