Potty Training: Step-by-Step
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Determining whether or not your toddler is ready for potty training is only the first step of the process. Check out this video to get more advice and toilet training instructions!
Transcript: Toilet training is a huge milestone in your child's life-but one YOU should let your CHILD indicate when...
Toilet training is a huge milestone in your child's life-but one YOU should let your CHILD indicate when he's ready to try. --The first sign that it might be time is when your child stays dry for up to 2 hours and during naptimes.-- Also, look for signs of body AWARENESS. He'll show he's uncomfortable in a dirty diaper, and eventually, tell YOU his diaper needs changing and possibly that he has to go to the bathroom. He should also have a large enough vocabulary to talk about basic bathroom functions. --Motor skill developments go HAND IN HAND with toilet training readiness. Your son should be able to walk, take clothes on and off, and get up and down from the toilet seat. These milestones are all signals that it's time to explain the process of using a potty. Talk about the feeling of having to "go", and ENCOURAGE him to tell you when he has that feeling. Show him what pee and poop look like in the toilet bowl and have him watch you flush the toilet...He should learn from and imitate his Dad's bathroom behaviors. Girls can learn from Mom. Make things easier for him with either a step stool or TRAINING potty. Have your son get used to sitting on the potty, first with clothes on and then without. Associate USED diapers with going to the bathroom by removing the diaper and putting your child immediately on the potty. Tell him, "If you use the potty, then you won't go in your diapers." Next, you'll want to establish a routine: Take him to the potty for a few minutes at times that he'll likely have to go. In the morning, after eating, and before going to sleep. Praise your child for co-operating - whether anything happens or not -- and DON'T force him to stay seated or to produce results. You can also take him to the toilet when he-OR his BODY LANGUAGE-indicates he has to go. As he successfully uses the toilet and has fewer and FEWER accidents, REDUCE the pre-planned trips and let him decide when to go on his own. Take a look at other videos in this series to learn about toddler behavior, discipline and development.More »
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Toilet training your child isn't always easy. Watch this video for troubleshooting advice for the most common potty training issues.
Transcript: Sometimes, potty training hits a few bumps along the way. Let me arm you with tips to deal with the most...
Sometimes, potty training hits a few bumps along the way. Let me arm you with tips to deal with the most COMMON potty training issues. RESISTANCE to using the potty is not unusual. You can reduce this by starting training at the RIGHT time. Make sure your child shows an interest before you begin potty training. And if there's been any significant life changes-such as a new sibling or a move to a new house-don't begin until things have stabilized. If you've already begun training, your son or daughter may TEMPORARILY regress during the transition, but your child will eventually return to his or her previous level of control. RESISTANCE may also be a way for your child to get extra attention, to feel more in control, or IRONICALLY to assert his independence. You may have INADVERTENTLY sparked this resistance if you've reminded or forced your toddler to use the potty a BIT too much. FEAR may be another reason for your child's refusal to be toilet trained.. He may be fearful of change, of falling into the toilet, or of the sound of flushing. You should reassure him that nothing bad will happen, and that HE will not disappear down the drain. You can sit on the toilet yourself to demonstrate that you're safe and happy. ACCIDENTS are another common issue. Don't blame or scold your toddler if he can't control himself. Making him sit on the seat longer WON'T help-- in fact, doing so for more than 5 to 7 minutes may cause NEGATIVE associations with the bathroom. Instead, comfort him and make as little fuss about the incident as possible..If accidents DO persist, you may explain that it's HIS responsibility to know when to go. At WORST, he'll have to learn by experiencing the CONSEQUENCES of holding it in. Bedwetting is NORMAL during toilet training. It takes longer to night train, as your child is less aware while sleeping. Avoid excess fluid intake in the evening and remember that the problem will likely resolve itself by the age of 6. If you've been trying in vain for a few months or more, or if your child is 3 years or older and isn't potty trained, ask your doctor for advice.More »
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The toilet training process differs when you're toilet training a girl versus when you're toilet training a boy. Get information about differences between each gender.
Transcript: Girls usually master toilet training faster and at an EARLIER age than boys do. Girls on average are...
Girls usually master toilet training faster and at an EARLIER age than boys do. Girls on average are trained at 18 months or older, while boys are trained at 22 months or older. However, about 22 percent of ALL children are fully potty trained by the age of 2 1/2 and 88 percent of children are trained by 3 1/2, according to the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.Why does toilet training come easier for girls? Well - when it comes to bathroom functions, their parts are just easier to manage. When you're toilet training your little boy OR girl, there are special considerations to keep in mind when it comes to gender differences. Girls should be taught to wipe toilet paper from front to back-this will help avoid urinary tract infections, which can occur when germs are transferred from the anus to a girl's urethra. I recommend boys first learn to use the toilet while SEATED-for both urine and stool- before progressing to standing up. Rushing a boy into standing to pee before he's ready may actually slow the process of training. And when he's ready, it may be easier for your youngster to use a training potty when he begins to stand to pee rather than standing on a stool to reach a standard toilet. Watching a same-sex parent, older sibling, or trusted family member using the bathroom can be helpful in the training process, so this is a good time to not be shy about what happens in the bathroom! Want more tips? Check out other videos in this series!More »
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At two years old, your child will become a terror. Or will he? Watch this video to learn whether or not the terrible twos are what you think.
Transcript: THE TERRIBLE TWOS-it's that inevitable stage when your child CHANGES from an adorable, peaceful infant...
THE TERRIBLE TWOS-it's that inevitable stage when your child CHANGES from an adorable, peaceful infant into a willful, stubborn monster...Or is it?? The so-called terrible twos are really a time of exciting growth and change. When a two year old DOES express anger or stubbornness, it's because of a CLASH between her URGE for independence and her PHYSICAL and cognitive limitations. Frustration can build when she can't figure out how to do what she wants, how to express herself, or how to make her needs understood. So, while she MAY be annoying, don't take your toddler's sometimes defiant behavior personally. It's not about YOU. It's about HOW YOU can help your child find work-arounds to make a smoother transition into an independent little person. Some ways to help: --Be patient and let her try to explain what she's saying. You may even teach her hand SIGNALS for common words such as "hungry" or "I want." --At home, don't engage in a battle, just WALK AWAY from your screaming toddler or put her in time-out for a few minutes if you're getting frustrated. --Offer up CHOICE to give your 2-year-old a sense of control. Let her choose between two pairs of pants or which toys to play with. -- In potential danger zones, like the supermarket or other places where she has to sit still, make sure you provide plenty of stimulation. Try letting her help you with what you're doing, like finding cereal at the store. And remember to bring along a favorite toy for her to play with. --Keep to a consistent routine, and let your child know when you have to transition her from one activity to another. She'll stay calmer if she knows what's coming next. And make sure she gets enough sleep every night and a nap if she still needs one in the afternoon. -- When she behaves or succeeds at a task, let her know. Say, "Good job sitting quietly" or "Hooray, you finished eating!" She'll be thrilled just by pleasing you. And finally, try to appreciate the AMAZING aspects of watching your child grow. You will discover the terrible twos AREN'T terrible at all. Take a look at more videos in this series for more information about toddler behavior and development.More »
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Early intervention is key in treating learning disabilities and developmental disorders. That's why every parent should keep an eye out for the early signs of learning problems. Watch this video to find out what they are.
Transcript: A parent always worries that their child will be handicapped in some way. While YOU may not be able to...
A parent always worries that their child will be handicapped in some way. While YOU may not be able to identify a specific disability or disorder, you CAN look out for signs of delays and talk to your child's pediatrician about them. A major sign of a developmental disorder is the LOSS of skills or traits your child once had. For example, if your daughter used to be very affectionate and talkative and is now quiet and distant. Intellectual disabilities or disorders MAY exist if a toddler seems to be significantly behind her peers in reaching almost all cognitive, emotional and social milestones. But there is a great deal of variance here, as children regularly develop at VERY different rates. You should bring your TWO year old to the doctor for a screening if she: Can't speak in sentences of two words or more, doesn't know at least 15 words, can't imitate simple actions like clapping hands, doesn't know how to push a toy truck, doesn't know the function of everyday objects like a stove, doesn't respond to the sound of your voice, and doesn't cuddle with you. Signs of developmental delays in 3 to 5 year olds include: -- Lack of make-believe games --Trouble solving simple problems, such as putting a round peg into a round hole --Difficulty playing with simple toys --Lack of eye contact --Trouble going up and down stairs --Inability to follow 3-step commands such as "go to the kitchen, get an apple, and bring it to me". --Absence of interest in other children --Lack of a wide range of emotions --Inability to use plurals, past tense, or their first or last name. Every child grows at her own pace--your pediatrician may find that yours IS healthy, just progressing SLOWER than her peers. Ask your pediatrician for tips on encouraging development. Children who DO have intellectual disabilities will benefit from EARLY detection and therapy-so that trip to the pediatrician is definitely worth it.More »
Last Modified: 2012-11-29 | Tags »
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Find out what emotional, intellectual and physical milestones your 2-year-old will experience this year. Watch this video to learn about your toddler's development!
Transcript: Congratulations, your squirmy crawler is now a high-spirited 2-year-old! Some important physical, COGNTIIVE,...
Congratulations, your squirmy crawler is now a high-spirited 2-year-old! Some important physical, COGNTIIVE, emotional and LINGUISTIC changes come along with the 2-year mark. If you're chasing your child all over the place, you know this part already: 2-year-olds can MOVE! They have increased coordination and strength and revel in the independence it gives them. They run, CLIMB on furniture, OPEN and close doors, and go up and down STAIRS while holding the banister. If you haven't already CHILDPROOFED your house, now's the time! Your two-year-old will also become aware of his individualism - meaning he finally realizes he's a separate person from YOU. He's likely saying NO! and defying instructions for the first-of many! -- times. While frustrating, this is a normal, healthy, developmental milestone. And he may also become angry or sullen when he can't really accomplish his big-kid goals, such as feeding himself or getting dressed. Your job is to foster his urge for independence, while keeping him safe . At two years old, the two of you are starting to have actual conversations. Your child's vocabulary includes 50-100 words and he'll speak in 2 or 3 word sentences.. Chances are he can also identify everyday objects, such as "book" and "cat" and follow simple instructions such as, "Bring me your shoes." And, even better, YOU probably understand about half of what he says, making communication more rewarding for you both. As your two-year-old continues to explore his world, he also has fun building with blocks, recognizing shapes and colors, and finding hidden toys. Simple make-believe games come into play more often, too. Remember, all children grow and learn at different rates-don't be TOO alarmed if your 2-year-old hasn't reached the milestones I've outlined. However, you SHOULD see the pediatrician if you have any concerns about your child's development.More »
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Three-year-olds are a lot of fun to hang out with! Watch this video to learn about the milestones your child will reach at three years old.
Transcript: What changes can you expect your child to experience THIS year? You'll find your 3-year-old is full...
What changes can you expect your child to experience THIS year? You'll find your 3-year-old is full of BOUNDLESS enthusiasm! And his or her physical skills now resemble those of an older child. She can RUN, jump, CLIMB and use STAIRS easily - maybe even ride a TRICYCLE! ENCOURAGE her motor skills by playing catch or tag. Coordination skills make great strides in the 3rd year. Your toddler's FINE motor skills have also developed. She can draw, hold UTENSILS, and BRUSH her own teeth. She can also build towers of blocks and put together puzzles with 5 to 8 pieces, some with multiple notches. You should LET your child do these things herself when possible-it'll build her self-esteem, and cognitive abilities. A 3-year-old usually has control over her bodily functions by now, but it IS normal for her to WET THE BED even though she's potty trained. Nighttime control takes longer to develop and shouldn't be expected just yet. Verbal skills are also more refined at three years old. Your child will know between 500 and 900 words and can express emotions and thoughts using 4 to 5 word sentences. Pronouns and prepositions will make their way into her EVERYDAY speech. Everyone should now be able to understand almost EVERYTHING she says, which should greatly alleviate the frustration she felt a year ago, at 2. She'll use her new language abilities to ask questions. LOTS of them. Do your best to satisfy her intense curiosity with SIMPLE, easy-to-understand explanations. Three is also the age of imagination. Unfortunately...she will likely become afraid of things like MONSTERS. EASE her fear by "inspecting" the closet and under the bed. Keep a nightlight on in her room. These fears may seem silly to you, but they're very real to her. Although your 3-year-old is more cooperative than she was a year ago, her ENERGY and eagerness to learn will definitely wear you down. Do your best to keep up, and remember, all children grow up at their own pace. Don't be too alarmed if your child hasn't reached some of these milestones yet.More »
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You'll see your four-year-old growing emotionally, intellectually and of course, physically. Watch this video to learn about all the different four-year-old milestones.
Transcript: Welcome to the world of preschool! Your 4-year-old LOVES drawing, crafting and playing with friends....
Welcome to the world of preschool! Your 4-year-old LOVES drawing, crafting and playing with friends. But that's NOT the only way your child has grown over the past year. Playtime has become more COMPLEX. He or she likely engages in intricate, make-believe scenarios, even creating IMAGINARY friends. Your 4-year-old knows more than 1,000 words and puts together complete sentences. He can sing, rhyme, tell stories, and identify COLORS and numbers. And watch what you say in front of him-he's likely to pick up on any CURSE words and repeat them back to ANYONE. Although he may be becoming more social, at the same time he's MORE prone to temper tantrums and mood swings than he was at 3. It may be frustrating, but this is all part of his normal maturation process. Try to give him "responsibilities" - such as scrubbing the tub, or folding his clothes. He's aching to become more independent and to learn more and more about the world. At the same time, I try not to impose learning REQUIREMENTS on him - for example, he DOESN'T have to read before kindergarten. If he becomes frustrated, you'll have a VERY angry preschooler on your hands. Along with linguistic, cognitive and emotional advancements, your tot's MOTOR SKILLS are far stronger than they were last year. He'll probably be able to feed himself with minimal mess, dress without help, use safety scissors, CATCH and throw a ball overhand, and skip and hop on one foot. It's also a PERFECT time to teach him how to bike and swim. All preschoolers reach milestones at DIFFERENT times-don't pressure your 4-year-old to learn or do things he's not ready for. But if you're worried that he's BEHIND his peers in significant ways, talk to your doctor.More »
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At five years old, your child's vocabulary is more advanced than ever. Watch this to get details on this and other typical 5-year-old development milestones.
Transcript: During your child's fifth year, the TOOTH fairy may make her first payment! But that's not the ONLY change...
During your child's fifth year, the TOOTH fairy may make her first payment! But that's not the ONLY change you'll see in your child. Your little one will be more PHYSICALLY active than ever. She can somersault, jump rope and generally has a well-developed sense of balance. Encourage her activity and join in yourself! She's also able to do a lot more with her HANDS, like spreading jam with a knife, pouring cereal and drawing a well-formed triangle. You may also start teaching her how to tie her own shoes. You'll be pleased to find out that 5-year-olds are CALMER and more EAGER to please than 4-year-olds. She'll take over her own hygiene rituals - with your supervision, of course - and try to be more well-behaved and cooperative. Socially, she'll also be more eager to please her FRIENDS. During playtime, she'll tend to play with one or two favorite buddies, but will enjoy herself in groups, too. Since her imagination has become more complex, expect silly jokes and performances. Your 5-year-old's intellectual capability is FLOURISHING! She understands the concepts of time, calendars, left and right, big and small, and less versus more. She can probably count up to or past 10, and begins to understand how symbols for numbers - the numeral 3, for example--represent objects in reality - say, 3 apples, or 3 puppies. She also knows over 2,000 words, uses ALL parts of speech and ALL verb tenses. Her QUESTIONS have also become deeper and more complex. If YOU don't know the answer, look it up together. Although she's become more independent, your child may experience anxiety when she leaves you to go to school. Set up a morning ritual you do together and perhaps you can go into the classroom with her for a couple of minutes for an easier transition. Remember that each child grows at his or her own pace. But see your pediatrician if you feel that your kid has any developmental issues.More »
Last Modified: 2013-05-08 | Tags »
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With your 3-year-old's expanded imagination comes more fears that seem irrational to you, but are terrifying to your toddler. Learn how to combat common toddler fears like monsters and the dark.
Transcript: Your toddler is fearless in some ways - he or she will run, climb and tumble, gathering bumps and bruises...
Your toddler is fearless in some ways - he or she will run, climb and tumble, gathering bumps and bruises along the way. But toddlers and preschoolers are also irrationally fearFUL of many things. Starting at around 3 years old, your son or daughter's IMAGINATON begins to blossom. BUT, they can't always separate FANTASY from REALITY. For this reason, it's normal that certain fears may develop. Fear of a creature living under the bed or in the closet is common as is fear of the DARK. To alleviate these anxieties, place a night light in your toddler's bedroom. You may also make a show of checking for monsters or getting rid of them with a special "trick." A favorite blanket or stuffed animal may also help relieve his nighttime anxiety. Your child may also be afraid of cats and dogs. Don't force him to interact with them, and let him know you'll protect him. Then, if it's a dog or cat you know, you can reassure him they are not dangerous by touching the animal yourself. Loud noises, baths, even the vacuum - anything can become frightening to a 3 or 4 year old. But no matter how irrational your child's fear seems to you, DON'T dismiss or belittle it. Sometimes, it might help if you can figure out what's triggering the fear. Is it related to being apart from you? To sibling rivalries that may be amped up? You won't always be able to tease out a cause, but it's worth trying. In addition: DO confidently reassure your little one that you'll protect them from any harm. DO demonstrate that the object of their fear is harmless by facing it yourself. DO role-play if his fear involves other adults, such as doctors or costumed characters. You may find a great tactic that calms your toddler's anxiety... or you may not; it all depends on your child's temperament. In most kids, though, these fears fade at around 5 years old. Take a look at more videos in this series for details on toddler behavior, discipline and much more.More »
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The most common toddler milestones span from learning the difference between left and right and being able to climb the stairs! Watch this video to get a rundown of milestones from the ages two to five.
Transcript: You've already celebrated your baby's first steps. But keep that baby book out! During the next 4 years,...
You've already celebrated your baby's first steps. But keep that baby book out! During the next 4 years, you'll cheer on your child through MANY more milestones. Two year olds may: -Show signs they're ready to be potty trained - but don't force it. Some kids aren't ready yet. --Start saying NO and being defiant. What you may see as the terrible twos is a positive sign of increasing independence. --Learn more WORDS! They may know 50 or more. --And start interacting more with other children. Three-year-olds are increasingly social. They may show FONDNESS for playmates-even MIMICKING them. They may also: --Know their own first name and age and identify their gender. --Play make-believe! --Draw and feed themselves! Three-year-olds can handle crayons and use forks and spoons. At FOUR years old, preschoolers are VERY enthusiastic about new things. They learn: --To sing songs and nursery rhymes. --To throw and catch balls more accurately. --To use the past tense. What's more, they may know more than 1,000 words. -And they may curse. If they hear you swearing, chances are it will come right back at you! So try not to do it, and do your best not to overreact if it happens. A big reaction from you is a reward to your child! At FIVE, your child is probably ready to start school. Besides this MAJOR milestone, kids this age: --FOLLOW RULES. Unlike 4-year-olds, 5-year-olds are VERY eager to please parents and authority figures. --Understand the concepts of time. They get it that there's a school time, dinner time and bed time. --Somersault! A five-year old has growing physical skills and can swing and tumble by themselves. Some 5-year-olds may even be ready to bike and jump rope. Children change a lot between the ages of 2 and 5. But each one is unique, and if your child doesn't hit every milestone at the average age, don't fret. If you do have concerns, however, talk to your pediatrician; early intervention can often eliminate or reduce any actual issues.More »
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Has your preschooler gotten all the vaccines he or she needs? Consult this preschooler vaccine checklist to make sure your child is protected from a myriad of serious diseases.
Transcript: You HATE watching your child suffer-even if it's for his own good. So while the anxiety and crying during...
You HATE watching your child suffer-even if it's for his own good. So while the anxiety and crying during a vaccination IS hard to see, it's NECESSARY to protect your preschooler from serious diseases such as the flu, hepatitis, and polio. Even if your child's preschool doesn't ask for her vaccination records - which they may or may not - you should KEEP TRACK of which vaccines your child still needs to have. By 3, your child will already have received MOST of her vaccines. But if she hasn't, it's a good time to catch up on the ones she may have missed. She should be finished with the Hepatitis A and B vaccines, the ROTAVIRUS vaccine, the Hib, or haemophilus influenzae vaccine, and the PNEUMOCOCCAL vaccine. All children should receive a flu shot YEARLY, through injection or nasal spray. If your child is getting it for the FIRST time, they should get two doses at least 4 weeks apart. Four to six year olds generally don't receive any NEW vaccines - but they should be getting the final dose in the series they began as babies. I recommend finishing them off at ages 4 and 5, so your child is fully prepared to enter kindergarten. They'll receive the LAST doses of: the DTaP, or the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccine, the IPV, or inactivated poliovirus vaccine, the MMR, or the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine, and the varicella or chickenpox vaccine, which is now required in most states prior to entering elementary school. Kids who have immune disorders or are on immunosuppressive medications may need extra vaccines to prevent pneumonia and meningitis. You MAY hesitate to let your child receive vaccinations because SOME claim that vaccines can cause AUTISM, learning disorders, or related illnesses. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the World Health Organization, Health Canada, and the European Medicines Agency and the Institute of Medicine ALL say that vaccines are not only safe, but NECESSARY. While some risks do still exist, they are minor and rare. These days, the risks are far outweighed by the benefits of complete vaccination against potentially life threatening diseases. Learn more about toddler and preschooler health in other videos of this series!More »
Last Modified: 2013-06-12 | Tags »
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