www.rogerknapp.com

Established 1997

Search this site

APP for your mobile device
Search for Roger Knapp
or Pediatric Advice
   Family     

Medical

 

Jokes     Recipes     Inspiration     Miscellaneous     Pictures     Quotes

Potty Training

 

Your child is now potty trained!!! Wow you did not know that! They are not going on the toilet but all kids are  potty trained by 18 months of age .... in that they know how to go, where to go, the name for it, and they even will occasionally sit on the potty and grunt. Nothing happens because their brains cannot control the muscles. CANNOT control the sphincters. The child will go on the toilet when they are able to: 1. Recognize the full bladder or rectum (you do not teach that, they figure it out on their own) 2. Communicate it to you by patting the dry diaper and saying pee pee or poo poo. 3. Hold it back and keep it from coming out until they get to a toilet. And 4. Let it go when they get on the toilet, which is backwards from everything else they have done. They contracted muscles to walk, and crawl. To go on the potty, they have to sit and relax the muscles and let it happen. Until the child develops all 4 steps, then the child is not ready to go on the potty. Many people say their child was potty trained at 9 months, but either they do not remember when it was (you can’t remember when they first rolled over 1 year ago. Believe me the older people can’t remember and make up some young age. …… like it means they are a better parent?) Or the parent sits the child on the pot every 10 minutes all day and catches the accidents on the toilet. Then runs to the baby book and says potty trained. The parent is trained to catch the accidents. And besides that: when was I trained or Bill Gates trained? And will the age one is potty trained affect the quality of person they will be later? We all get there some day. You only affect your child in 5 ways: Teach them a language. Work with their education. Discipline them to be a polite civilized human beings and not a wild animal in the streets. Get them a set of morals, don’t lie, cheat, steel, etc. And get them a Religion. But when you are potty trained is not going to change the person you will be later. The age that the child develops control over the muscles and can go on the potty is a development like sitting and walking, and you will find a bell curve like that for all development stages. It is from 18 months to 4 years old!!!!! Many 3 year olds walking down the mall with diapers on below their pants and you don’t know it. Girls train earlier. Girls (as a group) talk, read, and even go through puberty earlier. Girls go through puberty at 9 and boys at 14, a 5 year difference. And even the adult male is more immature, right ladies? So girls train around 2 yr. and boys around 3 years as a group. There are differences with some males earlier and some girls not till 3 , but as a group males are latter. I’ve had a few patients going on the potty before 18 months and a few over 4 years old. Also males can be urinating on the toilet at 2 and not poop on there till over 3. Males have a harder time pooping. That is why men go in there with the newspaper forever! Do not force the child to go or it becomes a game of "lets see you make me!" In fact you may want to use reverse psychology between 18 and 24 months by telling them no you can’t sit on the toilet. If you tell them not to touch the TV they want to touch it all day! Let the urge to go on the toilet come from the child. When they have developed control, they will come to you saying pee pee, and you put them on the toilet and they go, then you pull out the cloth pants and put them on there frequently all day. Until they can: 1. consistently tell you they need to go, 2. hold it back until they get to the potty, and 3. let it go when they get up on there, and do this every day for a week, then they are ready to start going on the potty and wearing cloth pants. So the best advice here is wait. They have total control. You can make them take a bath and go to bed but you can not make them poop on the potty. This is a battle they win. Wait until it comes from them. If they do not want to poop on the potty, they gotcha! Don’t enter a battle you can’t win. Plus it really doesn’t matter when you are potty trained. It won’t change who you become. Grandma should be more worried about if the child is developing their language rather than pressuring you and the child to potty train. Amazing the social pressure put on toilet training. So you can’t train them because the weather is warm, before the next baby, or because they are a certain age. Plus they are now potty trained but do not have the control to go on the potty. So just wait. The normal range is 2-3 years old.

Treats or bribes have been suggested by some. This may help if the child is scared or reluctant. Just like I am scared to climb Mount Everest but if there is a 1 million dollar reward I would be getting my boots on today. A strong reward will overcome their fear. Then once they realize they wont die on there, they will continue to go on it without the reward. Some points here: 1. The reward must be what they cry in the stores for. It is one of the most important things they want. 2. The only time they get it is for going on the potty. If they get it every evening then they will just wait until then. You may have to change the daily routine and say now the only time you get it is for going on the potty. 3. It should be used up like food or blowing bubbles. If it is a specific toy and they get the one, then they will not want to go on it again after getting it. You could use privileges like going to the park or playing game or watching certain videos. And 4. Most important is that someone else is getting it for going on the toilet also. If the reward just sits there, it will not apply pressure. Everyone in the house who they see go in to use the toilet, they stand up and eat one after using the toilet in the presence of the child. Better yet have the friend come over to your house for the day and when that child uses the potty, give the treat to that child and not yours. OH! They will react and you must stay calm and say "But anyone who goes to the potty gets one." Still do not push them on the toilet. Just state facts: anyone who goes gets the treat … even you. Then once the child starts going on the toilet, you can phase out the treats. If the child does not have neurological control, then this will not help. Do not use it unless you are sure they can control it but just being stubborn or afraid. If this does not work after a period of time, stop it and wait. They have control and you cannot force this thing.

Frustrating! The more you get upset the worse it is. Chill out and act nonchalant. If they know it upsets you, it will be worse.

Dr. Knapp