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Sleep & Naps

Getting your little one to sleep like a baby can be a lot easier said than done. Huggies has compiled articles, advice and answers on how to get both you and your newborn snoozing soundly.

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When to End the Naps

Your toddler always seems refreshed after his mid-afternoon nap and, let’s be honest, you appreciate the free time. But at some point, the day-sleeping ends. Here’s when to quit insisting on naps—and how to make the transition smoother for both of you.

Experiment with nap-free days. If your child’s fighting you on the naps, go ahead and give her a few days off—and watch her behavior closely. "If a child still has a consistent temperament from morning until bedtime, goes to bed at a reasonable time, and sleeps well all night long, he may be ready to give up his nap," says Elizabeth Pantley, co-author of The No-Cry Sleep Solution: Gentle Ways To Help Your Baby Sleep Through The Night. "If, however, a child gets wired and won’t settle down easily, often falls asleep in the car, or gets more whiny or cranky as the day progresses, he may not be ready."

Let kids snooze if they need to. In most cases, the nap doesn’t completely disappear overnight (so to speak). "Your child may be weaning off naps, but on some days he’ll still want to sleep in the middle of the day," Pantley says. If your toddler seems tired or overly irritable, try some quiet time, which can result in a good (and much-needed) nap. He can lie down quietly and look at books; you can also read to him or play calming music.

Make sure they have a good night’s sleep. "When our kids were transitioning from naps, we stuck to an extra-strict schedule at bedtime," says Amy Smith, a mom of three in Rockville, Maryland. "We also found that a warm bubble bath was a great way to get them relaxed and sleeping better—so they didn’t crave sleep the next day."

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Transitioning into Training Pants

"Moving into training pants is a key sign for your child that she is becoming a Big Kid and therefore should start using the potty," says former Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner, Page Turner.

Below are some helpful insights from Page and the Pull-Ups® Brand for transitioning tots to training pants and completing potty training:

  • Build excitement around the milestone of moving into trainings pants that are just like Big Kid underwear. To get my twins excited about becoming big girls, I had them store their training pants in the dresser drawer just like real underwear.
  • Have your child practice pulling them on and off themselves before starting to use them. In my case, practice really did make perfect!
  • Try giving your tot the chance to sit on the potty – first with the pants on and later with them off. I had my girls sit on the potty after they helped decorate it with stickers, which really helped create excitement about the whole process.
  • Teach your child about the graphics that disappear when wet and indicate the difference between wet and dry.
  • Celebrate when your toddler correctly uses the training pants to encourage Big Kid behavior. Or try celebrating with an outing they enjoy – my kids always love a special trip to the park.
  • Once you’ve made the switch out of diapers and into training pants, don’t switch back and forth. It may be confusing and slow down the process. Set backs are inevitable, but I found my kids made the most progress when I kept them in training pants, even when we went on vacation.

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Essential Tools for Potty Training

Julie, former Pull-Ups® Potty Training Partner and stay-at-home mom with a four-year-old daughter and a seven-year-old son offers real-life insights.

We talked with Julie about toilet training and the steps she took to ensure her toddler felt like a Big Kid.

Having a System Makes Potty Training Easier

Every parent knows that the potty training process is not something you can approach blindly or with the expectation that your child will be toilet trained in a week. Potty training involves having a system in place before you begin that includes finding the right tools, researching information on the topic, obtaining support from family and friends and being prepared as a parent to hang in there for the eight - ten months it will most likely take.

"When my kids expressed interest and showed readiness skills like sitting on the potty and wanting to wear Big Kid underwear, I went to friends who had recently toilet trained their children for advice," said Julie. "They helped me realize there were steps I needed to take to prepare myself and my kids to potty train, and their understanding and support really meant a lot."

Julie suggests that parents start by being realistic in terms of expectations and understand that successful potty training should be approached with consistency and patience. Every child is different and some children take longer than others. Research conducted by the Medical College of Wisconsin shows that it takes eight months on average to potty train a child.

Julie also suggests that parents identify those who will be a support system-spouse, family, and friends. They'll be there to help find some humor in those difficult days and to help maintain consistency in the process if they're helping out. For Julie, that meant leaning on her best friend.

When she toilet trained her first child, Julie researched information, reading magazines and books to find out everything she could about toilet training. She also suggests tapping into websites that give parents useful tips for every parenting stage, like www.Pull-Ups.com, which has useful sets of activities and resources, such as, Big Kid Beginnings or the Big Kid Prep List that help parents identify what potty training stage their child is at. Books, magazines and advice from other moms also help give you guidelines on potty training do’s and don’ts.”

Julie also found that involving her children in decision-making motivated them to stick to the potty training system.

"For both my son and daughter, we made going to the store to pick out a potty seat and their own disposable training pants big events," said Julie. "We really wanted to signal to them that they weren't babies anymore, so we moved them into Pull-Ups® training pants and started talking to them about what it meant to be a Big Kid."

Throughout the process it's important to coach children with praise and hugs, as well as other rewards. Julie and her husband rewarded their kids with stickers and small toys. However, every child is different, so choose rewards that relate to and motivate your child.

"As a parent, you'll learn that you can't push or get frustrated. Each child will train when he or she is ready," Julie concluded. "Hang in there…it's two steps forward and one step back, but once you find a system that works with your child, stick with it. They'll be using the potty by themselves in no time."

Make sure you have these essential tools when potty training your child.

  • Support from family and friends
  • General information from resources like books, magazines or your pediatrician
  • Potty seat
  • Pull-Ups® Big Kid* Flushable Wipes
  • Pull-Ups® disposable training pants
  • Reward system
  • Easy access to www.Pull-Ups.com and the Pull-Ups* Big Kid App

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Gearing up to go potty

  1. Acknowledging the potty

    The very first step toward potty-training is having your child understand when he's going to the bathroom. He'll start telling you when he's going or has gone. He'll want his diaper changed immediately because he recognizes that he's uncomfortable. Then you can start introducing the concept of the potty. For example, after he's gone in his diaper, discard it in the toilet and help him flush!

  2. Well, hello potty

    Before you bring your child in contact with the toilet, it may be useful to think about getting a child's potty seat. One idea is to draw a colorful, fun potty out of construction paper and post it next to the actual potty, so that she can associate the drawing with the real thing. Ask her if she would like to use the potty before bath time or after a nap. If she refuses, remain positive and say, "Okay, maybe next time!" If she is excited, follow through with the process.

  3. Big kids go potty

    Once your child sits on the toilet — or even if he just tries — praise him enthusiastically. If he actually goes, giving him a reward such as a piece of candy is one approach but also encourage him after he's done by clapping and saying things like "Good job!" and "Big boys go on the potty!"

  4. Signs of readiness

    Potty training could take about, on average, eight weeks — but this is highly individual. What's just as important as waiting for your child to show readiness is that you pick up on behavior demonstrating that your child might not be ready. Once she sits on the potty, if she doesn't get down to business and starts fiddling with the toilet paper, whining or even crying, for example, then it's time to wait a few more weeks before you start again.

  5. Ditching the diapers

    As the concept of using the toilet becomes more prominent, set your watch every hour and encourage your child to go frequently. Associate certain times of day with going to the bathroom — first thing in the morning, before and after nap/rest time, after lunch, before bed and so forth. And make sure that as a parent, you're frequently and noticeably using the bathroom as well.

  6. Potty pointers

    Don't succumb to pressure, and don't pass pressure on. Although your friends may be potty training their children or have a child who, they say, "self-trained at 18 months," don't feel as if your child is not as advanced because he lacks the physical readiness to use the potty. Remember, your child must be physically independent in addition to being emotionally ready. Some kids, too, need to decide that the benefits of being a "big kid" and wearing underwear outweigh the convenience of diapers.

The best advice overall is to stay positive and enthusiastic — both for you and for your child — and remember what parents who have been there say: "Don't worry — she's not going to go to college in diapers!"

Learn more at PullUps.com    

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