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Potty Training Helpers
Laura Jana, MD posted:
Stocking the medicine cabinet, setting up the nursery, getting ready for potty training... As a doctor, I'm frequently asked to share my thoughts on what parents need to buy to be properly prepared. I usually start by explaining that "need" is a strong word, since there are really very few parenting products that you'll truly need (on the same level as, say, oxygen or water). I believe that there are useful and creative products that can help make the day-to-day tasks of parenting significantly easier, safer, and even just plain fun. Potty training tools are no exception. So I want to share a few of my own product preferences.

? Potty Seats: Pint-sized potty chairs and rings are popular for a reason. Some parents find that potty chairs allow children easier access and an added measure of independence. Other parents prefer the potty rings that can be placed on adult toilets, as they eliminate the extra handling of pee and poop that's required with potty chairs. I have found it useful to have one of each.

Both potty chairs and potty rings come in kid-friendly colors, shapes, and sizes -- features which I would not discount, because engaging a child's interest is a major component of potty training success. It goes without saying that you should always remember the importance of good bathroom hygiene whenever you or your child use, touch, or otherwise handle any potty chair or ring.

? Step Stools: A sturdy step stool in the bathroom will serve you well. Even if your toddler starts out with her own potty chair, there will come a day when she'll reach the next level of potty training prowess -- switching to the adult toilet. Step stools allow children an important level of independence when reaching for the sink, the soap, or their toothbrush. Make sure any step stool you buy is sturdy and stable, while letting your child choose the color or character theme she likes.

? Potty Books: I'm a huge believer in the benefits of early literacy. Make books available to your child everywhere -- even in the bathroom. Books are a great way to capture a child's attention. They can work wonders in getting him to sit on the potty a bit longer than he might, otherwise. While my children weren't interested in books specifically about pee and poop, such books can teach children to better understand their body parts and bodily functions.

? Safety Locks: It may be a pain to struggle with a locked toilet seat, especially if you've waited just a bit too long to go. But the inconvenience is a very small price to pay. Toddlers are predictably top-heavy and very inquisitive, two characteristics that make the possibility of drowning in the toilet quite possible.

Do you agree with my recommendations? Please share any additional items you have found to be helpful (or useless) on your child's journey to potty training success.
dyeager89 responded:
I have a 3 yr old and a 2 yr old. My oldest wants nothing to do with the potty. But my 2yr old does and at the rate hes going he is going to be potty trained before his brother. I have tried all these things with my oldest child and it doesnt seem to work i need help.

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