Oh, man. We all know how challenging this time in a parent's life can be. Potty, training, diapers, and bedwetting are the contents of their darkest dreams. It's understandable though. This period can create a great deal of internal and external friction and stress. In some ways, it feels like it's out of a parent's control whether or not their children successfully learn how to control their bladders and use the toilet like an adult. But the truth is, there are a number of things parents can do to make this time easier on themselves and their children. Don't forget, these kids are going through their own hardships while they attempt to master something they previously believed was out of their control.
This doesn't mean that we can't help find ways to make this important transition easier. Of course, all of our information is cited from reputable sources that you can find at the bottom of the article. In fact, we encourage parents to do continual research on the matter. Just be sure to know where the information is coming from. For this kind of stuff, it's important that actual medical doctors, behavioral psychologists, and child raising experts supply the facts. After all, this is about children's health and happiness. Without further ado, here are 20 helpful tips on how to deal with diapers, potty training, and bed wetting.
20 Diapers: Watch Their Skin
A really important tip you should always remember when dealing with your child's diapers is to make sure that they aren't causing them to have any bad reactions. Most skin reactions come out as some sort of a rash. These rashes can cause some discomfort to a baby if they have particularly sensitive skin. However, there are many ways of dealing with this. A pediatrician is the best person to consult on the matter, but many fragrance-free baby lotions can help.
In order to avoid rashes altogether, you'll want to change a diaper every two to three hours. Yep, it's a pain. But it'll help to alleviate the chances of your child developing a rash.
19 Potty Training: Sibling Or Friend Assistance
There's a lot of research that suggests that siblings can have notable impacts on each other. Although most of these things are in the realm of long-lasting behaviors, the presence of a sibling can also help with potty training. This is because they can be easily influenced by their cool older brother or sister.
In short, if the older sibling makes going potty cool or interesting, the young child is far more likely to go too. Think of it as a sort of psychological peer pressure. Daycares use this technique all the time. Instead of siblings, kids are encouraged to go to the bathroom on the potty because their friends are doing it.
So, the next time your child is being a bit stubborn about going, get an older child to step in and help. Cousins and friends work too. Enlist an army.
18 Bedwetting: Don't Blame Them
Bedwetting is a major inconvenience and a source of stress no matter how you slice it. First and foremost, it's bad for the sheets. But it's also really embarrassing for the kid. Therefore, you want to make sure that you don't blame them. There are a number of reasons why it's happening. One such reason is that the child simply cannot control their bladder. It's not their fault. More than likely, it's because they've been unable to learn to control it yet.
Yelling at them to get better only makes matters worse. So, a helpful tip is to remember not to punish or blame them in any way.
17 Diapers: Use Disposable Diapers At Night
Diapers tend to run up a parent's credit card bill every month. The stress to pay off the bill can be a lot to handle. It's one of the reasons why some parents purchase reusable diapers. They may be more expensive, to begin with, but they are a better long-term investment. However, these reusable diapers do have some flaws. They are best used in the daytime and not at night.
The reason that you don't want to use reusable diapers at night is that they aren't nearly as absorbent as the disposable ones. Using disposable ones at night mean that a child can go to the bathroom multiple times without it spilling. Once the sun rises, you can go back to those reusable ones.
16 Potty Training: Porcelain Or Plastic
Every bum likes a different texture. Although there's been a great surrounding whether toddlers should use a porcelain or plastic throne, it's really up to the child. They're going to like what they like. And, hey, if they're using a potty at all, it's a great thing!
Daycares tend to stick with plastic because they're easier to clean. Not to mention, full-sized toilets are harder to drag around. So, if a child is in daycare, they are likely to be pushed to use a plastic one. But at home, you can try something a little different... You can give them the option.
They may like the plastic one better because they are colorful and lack the loud noises of the porcelain throne. However, they also may like feeling like a grown up. Try them both.
15 Bedwetting: Make Them Responsible For Cleaning
We've already discussed the importance of not blaming your child for wetting the bed. While it's vital to avoid that, it's also important to get them to clean up their mess. Of course, this helps them take some responsibilities for their actions. After all, everything we do in life has positive and negative consequences. The negative consequence of wetting the bed is that you have to clean it up.
Enforcing that law may subconsciously affect them. But it also may consciously effect them. This will help encourage them to get out of bed and go to the bathroom if they really need to go. In short, they'll be more aware of what's going on.
14 Diapers: Keep Diapers With You
Never underestimate the power of being prepared. It can truly save you in times of need. Sure, it seems like a lot of work to think about every possible scenario ahead of time. But when things go wrong, this trait is handy. This is why it's vital to keep diapers on you at all times.
If you're heading to the grocery store, have diapers with you. If you're heading to a party, have diapers with you. If you're going on a walk, have diapers with you. If your child needs to use them, you have them right on hand. Additionally, you can easily change them if the ones that they're wearing get soaked. So... repeat after us... "HAVE DIAPERS WITH YOU!"
13 Potty Training: Give Them Rewards
No one is saying that you should buy your toddler a Lamborghini whenever they use the potty, but a helpful tip is to reward them in some way when they have. This is because these rewards help to motivate a child to use the potty successfully. Sure, it's bribery, but sometimes that's really effective.
Rewards don't need to be toys. They can also be a yummy snack that they only get when they've used the potty. They can also be a really enthusiastic reaction the child desires. In short, don't be afraid to give them a big hug, a kiss, and a "Mazel Tov!" when they've done the deed.
12 Bedwetting: Look Into Medical Changes
It's important to know that bedwetting isn't always caused by a lack of training or the ability to hold one's bladder. This is why it's important to consult a pediatrician. Doctors are careful to take medical histories into account in order to rule out any medical causes for bedwetting. Usually, it's something called primary enuresis. It's caused by a delay in the maturation or the mechanisms that control the bladder. They can be caused by stresses.
Be sure to rule all of these things out by chatting with a pediatrician. Additionally, keep them informed of any medical changes in your child's life. They could impact bedwetting.
11 Diapers: Stick To A Routine
Routines make things second nature. They take time to work their magic, but they're worth it. For instance, when one wants to get into an exercise routine, it usually takes about three-to-four weeks for it to really sink in. After that, the need to exercise becomes far more necessary. The same thing works for putting diapers on your baby.
This is an important tip for new parents. Once they stick to a routine, it will become really easy and less time consuming down the road. When we say "routine", we mean both the precise time that you change your babies diaper and how you do it. The more you stick to this, the easier it will be.
10 Potty Training: Schedule Potty Time
Routines not only work for a parent but for a child as well. In fact, children thrive on routines. It's one of the best ways they learn. When in daycare, a child is given a pretty strict toilet routine on a daily basis. This should be continued at home. In fact, you should inquire about the precise timing that a child is forced to use the toilet at daycare.
Sure, it can be difficult for kids to stop what they're doing to go to the bathroom, but it will become easier as time goes by. It also enforces the necessity of going to the bathroom. Just remind them that their food, toys, or friends will be there when they return from the potty.
9 Bedwetting: Reward A Dry Night
Rewarding successful potty-usage is a really effective way of getting your child to continue the good work. The same can be said for preventing bedwetting. Whenever your child has a dry night, reward them in some way. Again, this doesn't have to be a fancy toy or exclusive treat; although it can be. It can also be a really affectionate reaction. Let them know that they were successful. Perhaps they will want to be successful every night.
If your child really likes to color, another tip would be to allow them to color in a very specific coloring book every time they have a dry night. Give them some positive incentive for keeping the sheets dry.
8 Diapers: Use The Time To Bond
Changing diapers can be a really big chore. It's time-consuming and kind of icky. And yet, it's one of the most essential parts of being a new parent. Instead of treating it like an unfortunate obligation, make it an opportunity to bond with your child.
While you have your kid down for the change, play with them. Interact with them in a positive way that makes the process easier for both you and for them. You can even describe what you're doing. Perhaps they will absorb some of this important information in their subconscious. It may help them learn.
7 Potty Training: Have Patience
I'm sure you've heard stories about kids who learned to potty train in what seems like a mere hour or two. More than likely, you've heard these stories from your yuppy yoga friend who loves to make you feel bad about your parenting. The truth is, most of these stories are fake. Potty training takes time. It takes effort. Sure, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are few and far between. The best way for you to get through the agonizing process of potty training is to have some patience. Your child will get the hang of it eventually. One day, it'll all be a distant memory.
6 Bedwetting: Wake Child Up To Use The Bathroom
This particular tip may cause some readers to groan a bit. That's understandable. It takes time and work. But it's also pretty effective when trying to stop one's child from wetting the bed.
If your child is in the middle of an epic bedwetting saga, you may need to make sure that they go to the bathroom before bed every single night. Additionally, you might want to wake them up in the middle of the night to make them use the washroom whether they need to or not. Once is usually not enough. You may need to do this twice. This will throw off your sleep schedule, but it will also likely prevent bed wetting.
5 Diapers: Use The Right Diaper
Not every diaper is the right diaper for your child. While saving money is important, you may want to be sure of which diaper is the most comfortable and cleanest for your child. Some kids may have negative reactions to some diapers, regardless of whether or not they are top or bottom of the line.
You may want to start purchasing small packs of different diapers in order to determine which one is the best fit for your kid. Once you know, you can stick with a brand or two.
A diaper should fit your baby snug around the waist and around the legs to prevent any leaking. But it shouldn't be tight enough to leave markings or cause other irritations. pay attention to all of this because it will help you in the long-run.
4 Potty Training: Mommy And Daddy Do It Too
Just like an older sibling, mommy and daddy can help too. If your kid idolizes you or your partner, you may want to show them how "awesome" going potty can be. After all, they may want to emulate you in some way.
If it's not as easy as that, you may want to get a bit more creative. If your child wants to be cool like daddy, maybe you want to buy them some "big-boy" underwear just like their dad's to wear over their diaper. You can even turn it into a game to see who can go to the bathroom on the potty more.
3 Bedwetting: Use Waterproof Sheets
It may seem like a little bit of an "out", but purchasing some plastic, waterproof, or disposable sheets may be good for the whole bedwetting saga. Cleaning sheets every single day can alter one's sanity. Even if you make your kids clean up their own mess themselves, it takes a lot of work. Bedwetting is also very hard on one's mattress which can absorb the liquid and cause odors and deterioration.
Keeping a disposable plastic sheet under all of the normal sheets can save the mattress from an unfortunate fate. But it can also give your child an opportunity to wash the sheets themselves in order to learn about the consequences of their actions. Keeping a plastic sheet on top of everything else can save a mess altogether.
2 Diapers: Avoid Training Diapers
Although training diapers are popular, some experts believe that they are not the right call for the transition from actual diapers to underwear. These training diapers look really similar to actual diapers, therefore kids can believe that they can do the same things in them. But this continues the behavior and may encourage them to continue going to the bathroom even in their actual underwear.
The best thing to do is to jump to real underwear. They look different than diapers because they are different. Kids need to know that they can't go to the bathroom in their underwear. That time is over. Actual underwear is best for serious training.
1 Potty Training: Make It A Magic Trick
Yes, you read the title of this final entry correctly; you can absolutely turn going to the potty into a magic trick. There are many ways of doing this. But you can purchase a Pee-Kaboo Reusable Potty training Sticker and put it on the base of your portable potty. It may appear invisible at first, but once a child goes potty, they will be able to see a beautiful butterfly, a train, or flower appear as if out of nothing!
It sure sounds yucky, but kids love that kind of stuff. It gives them an extra incentive to use the potty and actually makes it fun. At the very least, it's a harmless tip that may actually help the whole potty training saga go far more smoothly.