As part of the Huggies Madrinas del Baño campaign, (Godmothers of the Bathroom in case you’re wondering!) I had the opportunity to be part of a teleconference with Dr. Andres Cotton, pediatrician based in Miami with 17 years of experience, and Jeannette Kaplun, mommy blogger, author and former host of Viva La Familia on Univisión and most recently, creator of bilingual site, Hispana Global. It was really great to get advice on potty training from a medical perspective and a mom who has gone through it twice!
Dr. Cotton and Jeannette made really great points, some things I had not thought about… I think the most important thing I learned is that each child has to be ready! If we try to potty train a child when he/she is not ready, potty training may face obstacles, and it is common for children to experience setbacks. We live in a society where parents are feeling pressure to have their children do more, and do it earlier and earlier! We feel we have certain goals to meet at certain ages, and if we don’t meet those developmental goals, some people may be judgmental and say we are not doing a good job! Despite what some preschool programs will have you believe, experts say you shouldn’t start training your little one until you see that they’re ready.
Another really important point that they made is the importance of having everyone involved. For those of you not familiar with Hispanic culture, that means Abuela, abuelo, tias, tios, madrinas, primas, primos, babysitters, anyone who isn’t really family but that is like family too! Everyone has to be on the same page, so that they encourage trips to the potty, and so when, as parents, we decide that it is time to embark on that journey full of poopy and peepee, everyone will be on board. It can really mess up the process if mom does it one way, and Abuela goes back to diapers when she babysits, for example.
Jeannette shared her experiences with us, explaining that she faced pressure from family members who said her son “should” be potty trained by a certain age. Dr. Cotton explained that some regression was normal, and not a source of worry. He explained that potty training is a stressful event for children, and that it was our job to make it fun—this would help take the stress away from the experience. I imagine if potty training is started before a child is ready, that would be an added stress as well.
I completely agree that kids have to be ready—I mean, I can’t get Enzo to put on his coat without a fight when he has decided he doesn’t want to, so why would I want to start potty training if he’s not ready? That would just frustrate both of us. I think equally as important, is that parents have to be ready. And… I am not ready yet! I am not going to lie—it’s not like teaching a child how to eat or drink from a cup! I mean, it might involve a few accidents with poop… It requires patience, persistence and probably a whole lot of hugs and laughter. I am really happy to be learning and discussing tips and tricks from Dr. Cotton, Jeannette, other mommy bloggers, and friends who have been through it! I am thankful to be able to learn from other moms. I can’t wait to start using the Big Kids App on my Iphone to celebrate Enzo’s tries!
If you haven’t checked out Pull Ups on Facebook, you should! You will find great tips there and answers to many questions you may have! Also check out this video on Youtube, reminding us how important it is to celebrate every try!