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Potty Training

Is your little one ready to start potty training? Huggies has you covered! We’ll help you determine how ready your child is, find the right supplies and tools, and provide fun activity suggestions to make your training routine a success. Check out the

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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Two children dressed in winter garb playing with teddy bears

Preparing Your Toddler for Baby’s Arrival

When many moms find out that they’re pregnant the second time around, their thoughts often turn to their toddler. Will their bond with their first child be interrupted? Will their children get along? Will their toddler feel left out when baby makes their appearance? As exciting as it can feel to give your little one a sibling, it can also be a little bit nerve-wracking. Check out the tips below to help prepare your toddler for the transition of getting a new sibling.

1. Read, read, read

Most toddlers and young children love to listen to stories. Pick up a few books about kids getting siblings and integrate them into your regular reading list. As you read, relate the story back to their life. Over time, they’ll begin to understand that just like their favorite new character they’re going to be getting a brother or sister soon.

2. Give your tot a doll

To prepare your child to be gentle with the new baby (and to feel excited and included in caring for the baby) get them a doll and help them practice now. Many toddlers love to “change diapers,” give their baby a bottle, and tuck it into bed. As a bonus, once the baby arrives they can take care of their baby while you take care of yours.

3. Take a hospital tour

To prepare your little one to visit you in the hospital after delivery, take them on a tour now. Many hospitals even offer special sibling tours that are geared towards young children and include fun activities to help your child get excited about their sibling.

4. Plan how you’ll maintain consistency

Think about the things that are important to your toddler’s routine and work to create a plan that keeps those things at the center of their life. If they do best with a morning cuddle and story right when they wake up, perhaps plan for your partner to head into work half an hour late for the first few weeks to make sure this happens. If they like certain foods for lunch, go ahead and prepare them now so they won’t have to miss them in those tough few weeks after your baby arrives.

5. Let your tot shop for baby

Taking your toddler to the baby store and letting them pick out an outfit or two and help them feel connected to their sibling before they even arrive. Once your baby arrives, make sure you point out just how much they LOVE what your older child picked out for them.

6. Plan for the transition

No matter what you do, helping your toddler adjust to their new sibling is going to take time. Just as life will have changed for you, it will have changed in major ways for your toddler as well. Ease the burden by making a plan to keep them engaged and entertained (and feeling special) in those first few transition weeks. Whether that means spending a few afternoons per week with a grandparent or carving out special one-on-one time with one parent each day, make a plan and once your little one arrives, make sure you stick to it! 

How do you help your toddler get ready for a new sibling?



This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

Image : Getty

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Two little girls looking down at the leaves on an outdoor path.

5 Ways to Save Big on Your Little One’s Fall Wardrobe

With the changing of the season from summer to fall comes the inevitable packing away of tank tops and shorts and the realizations that your ever-growing little one likely needs a whole new wardrobe. If cash is tight (or if you’d prefer to spend it on something other than brand-new kids clothes) check out the tips below to help you build a functional wardrobe for less.

Plan to layer

Just because summer is over doesn’t mean you have to pack away the sundresses or t-shirts. If your little ones still fit into their summer clothes, consider leaving them in their drawers to be worn with leggings underneath or with a sweater or cardigan over top.

Welcome hand-me-downs

If you’re lucky enough to have friends, siblings or co-workers who pass down clothes from their own kids to yours, take advantage of all they pass along. Even if a particular shirt or outfit isn’t really your style, find ways to personalize it and use it. Perhaps your little one doesn’t usually wear dresses but you’ve received a few – consider trimming the skirt portion off and letting your little one rock it as a tunic style shirt. 

Sell your little one’s outgrown clothes

While it won’t necessarily save you money on clothes, having a little extra pocket money to spend can go a long way. Check out selling at local children’s consignment stores, post in your local mom’s group or list serve, or host a yard sale. You won’t likely make as much as you spent on the clothes originally but if you’re thrifty, it can make a big difference in your shopping budget.

Check out local consignment sales

While kid’s consignment stores often offer good deals, seasonal consignment sales (often hosted by churches or community organizations) usually have children’s clothes and equipment at even steeper discounts. As a bonus, many consignment sales offer additional discounts if you’re able to volunteer either as set-up help or during the event itself.

Shop off-season

If you plan ahead, you can score great deals at traditional stores for off-season clothes. As the season turns, most stores work hard to get rid of last season’s inventory to make room for what’s coming next. If you plan ahead you’ll likely be able to score winter clothes in the next size up at the beginning of spring. 

How do you save on your little one’s wardrobe?



This article was written by EverydayFamily from Everyday Family and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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Mini Mouse and Mickey Mouse Potty Training Seats

In Case You're Wondering About Potty Training…

Several of my friends have young toddlers, and they’ve all recently picked my brain about potty training.

How old was Noah? How did you do it? When is normal?

And I’ll tell you what I told them.

Calm down and it take it easy.

I started the potty training at 18 months because I convinced myself that he was showing signs of “readiness” (meaning I read one too many magazine articles), and the battle raged until he was almost 3-and-a-half.

A battle that included potty seats, potty times, potty charts, potty rewards — I even put blue food coloring into the water so that his urine might turn it green, just to entice him. We tried little potties, potty rings, and even standing up with Daddy.

A battle continuously lost each time he’d put on a diaper, immediately soiling it even after sitting on the little potty for what felt like forever.

A battle that left me frustrated, feeling like a failure, muttering things like “I can’t physically MAKE him go to the bathroom,” and “WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?”

I was done with the diapers — so very, very done — but 2-year-old Noah insisted, “But I yike my diapers, mama.”

Sigh.

And then one day, a few months after his 3rd birthday, I put the potty ring back onto the big-person toilet. It scared him the first time around, but that was over a year ago. Maybe….

Noah sat down and peed.

HALLELUJAH!

A couple of hours later, he pooped.

WHHAAAAAA’?!

And from that night forth, he stayed dry at night — even waking up to go to the bathroom.

MARCHING BAND! SOMEONE GET ME A MARCHING BAND!

Image: DisneyBaby Blog

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little boy potty training

Potty Training: Getting Boys & Girls to Go

Chin up, mommy: though it may seem unlikely right now, your toddler will learn to go potty in the potty. It does take some tots longer than others to master the skill, but they all eventually do — we promise!

Tips for Boys and Girls

  • Practice patience.
    The more low-key and relaxed you are, the better for everyone.
  • Pick your pot.
    You have two choices: a low-to-the-ground potty chair or an insert that fits on the big toilet seat. (If you go this route, you’ll also need a step stool.) If possible, give both options a test-drive to see what your toddler prefers.
  • Stock up on supplies.
    Make sure to have liquid soap (for washing little hands), disinfecting wipes for floors and fixtures, rewards (such as stickers or dollar-store trinkets) and Pull-Ups Products (such as Big Kid Flushable Wipes and Pull-Ups Training Pants).
  • Storytime.
    Buy or borrow DVDs and books about potty training to share with your toddler. Most are available in both boy and girl versions. What to Expect When You Go to the Potty is a great choice!
  • Cheer!
    Be sure to lavish your little one with praise and positive reinforcement at every turn.

Just for Boys

Going potty is a bit more complicated for boys than it is for girls. Little boys need to master sitting and standing, after all. Here’s where a male role-model comes in handy!

  • Start with sitting.
    Start off by having your little guy sit for both pooping and peeing. Once he’s really got the hang of things, he can stand “just like Daddy.”
  • Help him hit the target.
    Show your son how to aim. If he’s sitting, he’ll need to point his penis down into the toilet to make sure the pee goes where it needs to go. When he starts to stand, help him hit the target by floating O-shaped cereal, bits of toilet paper or drops of food coloring in the toilet bowl and challenging him to go for a bull’s-eye.
  • Reinforce good manners.
    It’s never too early to teach your tot potty etiquette. If he’s standing to pee, show him how to raise the seat (all the way, so it won’t fall on him midstream) and then lower it again when he’s finished. Don’t forget to flush and wash those hands!

Just for Girls

  • Wipe front to back.
    This is the only piece of girl-specific advice you need. If this is too tricky for now, you can have her pat dry instead.

Good luck — and go with the flow!

WhatToExpect.com

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Let's Start Potty Training

Congratulations! Your little one knows when she has to go potty, her diapers are staying dry and she's showing other classic signs of potty training readiness. Chances are, you're good to go.

So now what? Well, before you officially begin potty training, make sure that you are ready to take on the challenge, too. It does require a commitment, because you'll probably need about six weeks just to complete basic toilet training.

Here are some tips that will help when you decide to get started.

Pick a potty

This may sound like an obvious first step, but a little planning ahead before buying goes a long way. Getting your little one involved in the purchase of her potty can help build excitement and encourage her interest in toilet training. Make time to go shopping together and let her help you select the perfect one.

Play potty

That's right, play with the potty. It will help your child feel comfortable and proud that she has a potty that's all her own. Let her put it wherever she wants to (really, it doesn't have to be in the bathroom) and encourage her to sit on it with her clothes on to start. You can add more fun to the experience by having her potty train her favorite doll or stuffed animal.

Praise her

Learning to go potty like the big kids isn't easy. Your little one needs your support and encouragement to keep her going. Praise her interest in sitting on the potty even if she doesn't poop, pee or take off her diaper. When she has an accident (it happens), remain positive by letting her know that it's okay and she can try again next time.

Try an incentive

What's best? That depends on the child. Maybe a potty training sticker chart featuring her favorite cartoon character will work. If that doesn't do it, offer playtime at the park or an extra treat. It might take a little experimenting to figure out what appeals most to your little one, but in the end she'll feel happy knowing that she's making progress and her efforts are being recognized.

Skip the punishment

Is that another puddle of pee in the family room? Take a deep breath and avoid punishing your toddler for inevitable accidents. Being negative won't help her learn any quicker and will likely have the opposite effect. Some research even suggests that using punishment techniques when potty training could mean a greater risk of incontinence and urinary tract infections for your little one-not good!

Reward her success

Has your child been using the potty properly for one week or more? If so, she's probably ready to try training pants or cotton underwear. You can let her pick out her favorite styles at the store as a reward for all her efforts. Remember, bowel control and nighttime dryness will definitely take several more months or even years for her to master. But that doesn't diminish her accomplishment. Learning how to use the potty successfully is a milestone that is worthy of celebration.

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Potty Time

Potty Training infographic

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little boy playing in bathroom

Help! My Son Won't Poop in the Potty

From The Washington Post

Your little boy might not pull down his Pull-Ups until you figure out what kind of guy he is.

What works for one child doesn't always work for another, according to authors Sara Au and Peter L. Stavinoha, whose book, "Stress-Free Potty Training" (Amazon; $13), tells parents that toilet training should suit the child's temperament. You can train your son in a flash, they say, if he's a persistent person who focuses on a goal relentlessly or if he's a perfectionist by nature. But that child still might need extra time to learn his skills because he wants to do them right.

It is harder to train an impulsive child, because he is usually so busy bouncing from one activity to the next that he forgets to go to the bathroom, and it's also hard to train the sensitive child who is bothered by scratchy labels, seams in his socks and new experiences - like using the potty.

The strong-willed child usually gives the greatest grief. If you think your son refuses to use the toilet (or pick up his toys or eat his peas) simply because you've told him to use the toilet (or pick up his toys or eat his peas), you may have to get someone else to train him or learn to give your son his rules in a low-key, nonconfrontational way.

Tell him that he can still stand up to pee in the toilet, but you won't ask him to climb on a stool to reach the little seat that you've put in the big seat that sits on top of the toilet so he can poop there. Instead, put a little potty chair in his room so he and his teddy bear can poop whenever they want. And be prepared to congratulate Bear when he uses it one day and to wipe your boy's bottom to show Bear how it's done.

You also have to show respect when you give rules to a strong-willed child - or indeed any child - if you want to get your own way. Tell your son that he doesn't have to poop in the potty, but he does have to sit on it while he poops in his Pull-Ups so he'll get used to the idea. And if this makes him hold in his poop? Quietly take dairy, chocolate and bananas out of his diet, because they are binders, and give him some bran in his cereal at breakfast and some stewed prunes at dinner, so his stools will be easier to pass. If constipation becomes chronic, it can last for years.

You also should tell your son that his body grabs nutrition from the foods that he eats and drinks, but it throws the rest away. This explanation will help him realize that his pee and his poop are trash. Just don't flush the toilet while your son is still in the bathroom. It takes some children a while to realize that their poop isn't part of themselves.

To learn more, read "Toilet Training" by Vicki Lansky (Book Peddlers; $13). The science is diluted, but it's still the best and simplest book about a subject that matters so much at the time and is hardly remembered a few years later. For more consolation, please remember: your son will be trained by the time he gets married. And that's a promise.


Chat Thursday at noon Join Kelly for a live Q&A about parenting and other family relationships at washingtonpost.com/advice , where you can also read past columns.

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Girl Reading a book potty training

Who's Ready for a Potty?

It's hard not to want to toilet train your little one as soon as she can walk. Your friend tells you her 18-month-old boy potty trained in a week. The daycare refuses to take kids who aren't toilet-trained. And it seems there is a bright and shiny new potty in every home you visit. That's a lot of pressure!

Welcome to potty training anxiety. A very common parenting phenomenon that can be put to an abrupt end by asking yourself one simple question: Is my little one even ready to potty train yet?

"Every child is unique and will be ready to potty train at a different age, so there's no need to stress yourself out or compare your child to other toddlers," says Kathrym Espana, M.D., a pediatrician at Texas Children's Pediatrics Fannin in Houston.

Although research indicates that the best time to start potty training is when a toddler is between 24 to 32 months old, Espana says the most ideal time is when your little one is developmentally ready.

Here are some signs that indicate your kiddo is ready to give it a go.

She knows when it's time.

Maybe she squats, grunts or tugs on her diaper. Perhaps she uses a word to let you know. When your child shares that she's about to poop or pee, it means that she is becoming aware of what it feels like when she has to go potty. That's key.

The potty interests her.

Bring up the potty as a topic of conversation. Does your little one like talking about it? Will she sit on it? If so, you're heading in the right direction. Tears or resistance at the mere mention of a potty means-oops, the timing isn't right.

She understands directions.

Ask your little one to "sit down" or "stand up." Does she get what you're asking her to do? More importantly, does she do it? She needs to be able to comprehend and follow through on instructions before she's ready to be toilet trained.

Her diapers stay dry longer.

Surprise! Your toddler wakes up from her nap and her diaper is completely dry. Then you go on a playdate and don't even have to change her. Once she's staying dry for periods of two hours or more, it's a sure sign that she is developmentally on her way.

She has more motor skills.

You know walking is a must before you can train, but other gross and fine motor skills are required, too. Your little one needs to be able to have proper finger and hand coordination so that she can pull her pants up and down. The ability to sit down on the potty -and get back up again-is also a must.

Remember, only 40 to 60 percent of toddlers complete potty training by the time they are three years old, so no worries if your little one isn't on the same timeline as her peers or siblings. It will happen when she is ready. Until then, it wouldn't hurt to just browse the potty aisle the next time you're alone at the store.

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little girl with toilet paper

Potty Talk: Words To Use When You Toilet Train

Your kid’s showing all the signs of potty readiness—dry diapers after naps, long gaps between changes, and an ability to follow directions. But how do you get the potty started? With these tips!

Q: How do I approach the subject of potty training?

A: Keep it easy, breezy—and super positive, says Teri Crane, author of Potty Train Your Child in Just One Day. "Rather than ask a question like, ‘Do you want to stop wearing your diapers?’ try something like, ‘I think you are ready to stop wearing your diapers and start using the potty today.’" 

Q: What words do I use for "number one" and "number two"?

A: Number one and number two, if that’s what you like. The best words to use are the ones with which you and your partner are most comfortable and familiar. If you prefer formal ones (urinate and defecate), fine! If you’re into more casual ones (pee and poop or wee-wee and ca-ca), fine! Just be consistent. And remember, you’ll be using the words a lot when you’re out and about, so you want to make sure you’ll be okay speaking them in public, too.

Q: What can I say to encourage my child to go potty?

Again, be consistent. "It will confuse your child if you ask her in the morning if she has to ‘go tinkle’ and then call it ‘go pee-pee’ in the afternoon," says Crane. "Children have very concrete thinking. A euphemism like, ‘Do you have to go to the bathroom?’ will probably be literally translated to ‘Do you need to walk into the bathroom?’ Which means unless there’s something in the bathroom that your child needs, she will probably say, ‘No.’"

Q: What should I say when my child has an accident?

A: No kid gets through potty training without at least one accident, so don't make a big deal about it—just continue to be encouraging. "Keep assuring your child that you believe in his ability to master this new skill," says Crane. "Tell him, 'Everybody makes mistakes when we learn something new. But we just keep practicing and pretty soon, we're really good at it. The more you practice, the better you'll get at it.'" 

Check out the Pull-Ups potty training resource center for more tips, tools, and advice.

Image: Getty

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